“Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536”
Who was this terrible criminal?
What awful crime did he commit against society?
The man’s name was William Tyndale. The quote above is part of the account in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs of his execution. His “crime” was that he had the audacity to translate the New Testament into English in order for the common people of his day (like us) to have access to God’s word.
We are not that far from five hundred years since Tyndale’s execution. Bibles can now be found in great numbers in a variety of languages. The common man can now easily obtain a copy of God’s word. I would venture a guess that most who read these words have several copies and more than one translation at their disposal. Some of us even have a copy constantly with us on our phones, tablets, etc.
Sadly, those who were primarily responsible for Tyndale’s death were religious people. In fact, in their minds, they were not just religious; they would call themselves Christians.
Can you imagine that? Can you imagine people who would call themselves Christians trying to use such force to attempt to silence the message of the Bible?
While you are trying to wrap your brain around that, let me ask another question. Can you imagine people who call themselves Christians silencing its message by neglect?
What, in fact, is the difference between “Christians” who use brutal force to try to keep people from reading God’s message and those who have a copy within reach, but who never read its contents?
Mr. Tyndale lost his life because he believed in the importance of God’s word. Could I lose my soul because I don’t think the Bible is all that important?
I hope you’ll give it some thought.
“Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16,17)