Saturday, October 6, 2012


Once upon a time the most prized possession of many homes was the Family Bible.

Before the Reformations, and the advent of the moveable type printing press, Scripture was kept tightly in the control of a few learned and privileged people. The Church Fathers protected the manuscripts and guarded the mysteries of God, the Faith, and held the keys to the Kingdom of God.

Or so they hoped to make the people believe.

But today marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of William Tyndale, one of the earliest English translators of the scriptures. Together, Both William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale helped break the captivity of God's Word as they devoted themselves to their work of producing an English Language translation.

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging here much recently. For the last two and half months I've been preparing materials for a course for equipping and training laity for work in pastoral visitation and the healing ministry of our parish. The volumes of books I had to read in advance just to select out the reading material for the course consumed massive hours. The course is now into its fourth week. I cannot help but think, that if it had not been for the special calling of Tyndale and Coverdale, a martyrs death being the reward to one, my ability to engage in the healing ministry of the church could quite possibly not be a reality.

Today I give thanks to God for our ability to read the psalms in English thanks to the King of England who authorized an English translation of the work produced by Coverdale.

Today I also give thanks for the continuing innovations and progress of technology. While there are many problems and temptations which have come with the development of the Internet, we've also gained an incredibly powerful tool for the access of information. You and I no longer need to have shelves of books, or reams of paper to track who to remember on the this date in history. At our fingertips we have access to a complete calendar of all the saints. We no longer have to pick up a book to read the Morning
or Evening Prayer .

Is it a small thing to be thankful for?

I don't think so. According to the Wycliffe organization, (named after an even earlier scholar and proponent of a vernacular Bible) there remain 350 million people without access to the scriptures in their own language.


Lectionary readings for William Tyndale  and a way to access the Revised Common Lectionary readings used by the Episcopal Church, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of America.

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