In 2022, Make God’s Word Your Priority

In 2022, Make God’s Word Your Priority by J. LEE GRADY for Charisma News

How many copies of the Bible do you own? I have a shelf in my home office with different translations that I use for personal study. I’ll admit it’s easier to access these versions online, using the Blue Letter Bible or the YouVersion app, but I still prefer to hold a physical Bible in my hand when I read.

Whether you prefer to do Bible study using your phone, computer or tablet, or with a physical copy made of paper and ink, I hope you’ll make more time for God’s Word in 2022. Whenever I need motivation to prioritize the Bible in my life, I think about the price that was paid so we could have the Scriptures. Consider history:

– Christians in the first century only had portions of the New Testament, written on parchment or animal skins. God’s Word was read publicly in church meetings because the Scriptures were rare and many people were illiterate. Nobody had Bibles sitting on nightstands. What we call “books” didn’t even appear until around A.D. 320.

– In A.D. 405, a man named Jerome finished translating the New Testament into Latin (it took him 23 years), but copies of this Latin Vulgate Bible were only circulated among church leaders. By A.D. 600, the New Testament had been translated into eight languages. But common people didn’t own them.

– During the Middle Ages, monks were viewed as the guardians of the Bible and they made meticulous, hand-written copies of the Scriptures. But these were very expensive so they were kept only in churches or monasteries. In fact, priests taught that ordinary people shouldn’t study the Bible for themselves. Then in 1229, a church council ruled that only priests could own Bibles.

– Finally, John Wycliffe made the first English translation of the Bible in 1384. He risked his life when he declared: “Every Christian ought to study this book because it is the whole truth!” After Wycliffe died from a stroke in 1384, church officials declared that anyone who translated the Bible into the language of the common people was a heretic. Church leaders even exhumed Wycliffe’s body from his grave and burned it to send a strong message that they would not tolerate such “crimes” as Bible translation. The English Bible went underground for 130 years.

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