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  • Writer's pictureSean Bishop

The road of the King James Bible: A Legacy of Martyrdom & blood.

Updated: Feb 28



THE ROAD:


👣🩸Waldnesians - AnaBaptist

👣🩸Wycliffe

👣🩸Jan Hus

👣🩸Martin Luther

👣🩸William Tyndale

👣🩸Theodore Beza

👣🩸Geneva Translators

👣🩸King James Bible



The revered pages of the King James Bible we hold today are a testament to the unyielding dedication and ultimate sacrifice of countless saints who fought to bring God's Word to the masses. From the earliest translations to the final printed edition, the path was paved with persecution, imprisonment, and martyrdom. The ink on its pages was mixed with the blood of those who gave their all, so that we might inherit a spiritual legacy that continues to inspire and guide us. Lets explore the stirring tale of how the King James Bible came to be.


ROAD BEGINS WITH ANABAPTIST


BEFORE Wycliffe believe it or not, Wycliffe wasn't the first man who desired to get a bible in the hands of the common people. It was the Anabaptists, also known as the Waldensians, were a group that emerged in the 12th century and sought to translate the Bible into the native languages of the common people. They believed in a direct, personal relationship with God and rejected many of the teachings and practices of the Catholic Cult way before the protestant reformation begun, making baptist not protestants, though some baptist came out of the protestant reformation. The Catholic Cult saw them as a threat and persecuted them, leading to the execution of many Anabaptists. The Anabaptists' efforts to translate the Bible into the common language predated Wycliffe's translation by several centuries (200 years) and were an important precursor to the Protestant Reformation.


AFTER WALDENSIANS THE ROAD LED TO JOHN WYCLIFFE.


John Wycliffe - Now Wycliffe completed the translation in the year 1382. Wycliffe's efforts were met with resistance from the Rome catholic cult, and he was eventually forced to retire from his position at Oxford. His followers, the Lollards, continued to share the translated text, but faced severe persecution. Wycliffe's work laid the foundation for future translations and inspired others, like Jan Hus, to pursue similar efforts.


ROAD CONTINUES TO JAN HUS


John Wycliffe's work had a significant influence on Jan Hus, a Czech priest and reformer who lived in the 15th century. Hus was inspired by Wycliffe's ideas and built upon them, leading to a significant religious movement in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic). Here are some ways Wycliffe's work influenced Hus:


1. Bible translation: Like Wycliffe, Hus believed that the Bible should be translated into the common language, making it accessible to the common people. Hus translated the Bible into Czech, using Wycliffe's Latin translation as a source.

2. Church reform: Wycliffe's critiques of the Catholic cults corruption and abuses of power resonated with Hus, who also sought to reform the "Church". Hus advocated for a return to the simplicity of the early Church and rejected some of the Catholic "Church's" practices, such as the sale of indulgences.

3. Priesthood of all believers: Wycliffe's concept of the "priesthood of all believers" – the idea that all Christians are equal and have direct access to God – was embraced by Hus. This idea challenged the authority of the clergy and the hierarchical structure of the "Church".

4. Sacraments: Hus, like Wycliffe, questioned the Catholic Cults teachings on sacraments, such as transubstantiation (the belief that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Christ during communion).


Hus's teachings and writings, influenced by Wycliffe's ideas, contributed to the growth of the Hussite movement in Bohemia, which sought to reform the Catholic "Church" and promote a more personal, direct relationship with God. Unfortunately, Hus's efforts ultimately led to his execution in 1415, but his legacy continued to shape the religious landscape of Europe.


One of the reasons Jan Hus was condemned and executed was because he wanted to translate the Bible into the common language of the people, Czech, and make it accessible to everyone, not just the clergy. This was seen as a threat to the authority of the Catholic cult and it's control over the interpretation of scripture. Hus believed that people should be able to read and understand the Bible in their own language, and this idea was a key part of his reform efforts.


Jan Hus was a Czech priest and philosopher who was burned at the stake for heresy against the Catholic cult. Hus was condemned to death and executed on July 6, 1415, in Konstanz, Germany. His teachings had a strong influence on the development of Protestantism and the Hussite movement and most of all, getting the bible to the public.


ROAD CONTINUES TO LUTHER


The next person to translate the Bible into their own language after Jan Hus was Martin Luther, who translated the Bible into German. This was part of the Protestant Reformation, which aimed to make the Bible accessible to all people, not just the clergy.


Martin Luther's translation of the Bible into German was a major reason why the Catholic cult authorities tried to silence him and ultimately attempted to kill him. The "Church" saw his actions as a threat to their authority and control over the faithful, as the Bible was only allowed to be read in Latin, which only the clergy and educated elite could understand. Luther's translation made the Bible accessible to the common people, which the cult saw as a danger to their power and interpretive monopoly. In 1521, Luther was declared a heretic and excommunicated, and a price was put on his head. He was forced to go into hiding, and his translation of the Bible was banned. Despite the danger, Luther continued to work on his translation, and it played a key role in the spread of the Protestant Reformation.


Many defenders of Luther's ideas and those who helped translate and distribute the Bible in common languages died as a result of persecution by the Catholic murderous cult. Some were executed, while others were forced to flee for their lives or went into hiding. The translation and distribution of the Bible in the common language was seen as a threat to the false Church's authority and power, and those who supported Luther's efforts were considered heretics and faced severe punishment. The period was marked by intense religious conflict, and many lives were lost in the struggle for religious freedom and the right to access the Bible in one's own language.


THE ROAD CONTINUES TO WILLIAM TYNDALE


After Martin Luther, William Tyndale was the one who translated the Bible into common language. Tyndale's translation of the texts. Luther used the Latin Vulgate. Tyndale's work formed the basis of later English language Bibles, including the King James Version.


William Tyndale was highly persecuted because his translation of the Bible into English was considered a threat to the authority of the Roman Catholic Cult At the time, the Church held a monopoly on religious texts and interpretations, and Tyndale's translation was seen as a challenge to their power. Additionally, Tyndale's ideas about salvation and the role of the Church were considered heretical by some, leading to his eventual arrest, trial, and execution for heresy in 1536. The English government and "Church" authorities saw his work as a threat to their control over the people and sought to suppress it.


TYNDALE'S FINAL CRY


As the flames engulfed William Tyndale's body, his final words pierced the sky: "Lord, open the eyes of the King of England!" With this cry, Tyndale prophetically pointed to a future where the Bible would be accessible to all, not just the privileged few. His martyrdom became the catalyst for a movement that would culminate in the King James Version, a translation that would shine the light of God's Word into the darkest corners of society. Tyndale's dying breath became a beacon of hope, illuminating the path for generations to come. His sacrifice kindled a fire that would burn brightly, inspiring countless hearts to seek truth, justice, and the promise of salvation.


THE ROAD CONTINUES TO CALVIN & THEODORE BEZA


Following Martin Luther's efforts, other reformers like John Calvin and Theodore Beza emphasized the significance of the Bible as the written word. John Calvin never wrote a translation though he did write commentary on the whole bible. Possible one of the clearest commentaries up to this time. Why I believe John Calvin should be added as part of the road to the King James bible because of his influence he had over Theodore Beza. Now Theodore Beza was a French theologian and scholar who played a significant role in the Protestant Reformation. He was a disciple of John Calvin and succeeded him as the spiritual leader of the Republic of Geneva. Beza was a prolific writer and published many works, including a Greek, Latin & French translation of the New Testament. But to be fair, he did not write the whole bible but he did write the New Testament in common language.



THE ROAD CONTINUES TO GENEVA


The Geneva Bible was influenced by Tyndale's work. Tyndale's translation was the first English version made directly from the original Hebrew and Greek texts. The Geneva Bible, which was produced by English Protestant scholars living in Geneva, was heavily influenced by Tyndale's work. In fact, the Geneva Bible's New Testament was largely based on Tyndale's translation.


William Tyndale's death had a profound impact on the translators who continued his work. His execution for heresy in 1536 was a sobering reminder of the risks involved in translating the Bible into English. Despite this, his work served as a foundation for subsequent translations, including the Geneva Bible, and finally the King James Version. Tyndale's legacy inspired later translators. His martyrdom became a testament to the importance of making Scripture accessible to all.


THE ROAD COMES TO AN END TO THE KING JAMES BIBLE


As we journey along the highway of translations, we arrive at the King James Bible, a shining monument to the power of God's Word. An Answer to Tyndales prayer. Truly important to see God’s hand in this translation. This sacred text, born from the passion and perseverance of pioneers like Tyndale and nurtured by the devotion of countless others, has traversed the centuries, touching hearts and transforming souls. Its pages, filled with the beauty of language and the depth of wisdom, have become a refuge for the weary, a beacon of hope for the lost, and a wellspring of inspiration for the faithful. The King James Bible stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of those who dared to dream of a world where the Word of God might be accessible to all, and its impact continues to echo through the ages, a sacred echo that touches the very heart of humanity.


In the King James Bible, Grace Reformed Baptist Church beholds the fingerprints of God's handiwork, manifest in every carefully crafted phrase and verse. While modern translations may strive to convey the same truths, the KJV's divine inspiration shines forth with a radiant clarity that resonates deep within our souls. It's words have comforted countless generations and continue to breathe life into our spirits today. Let us cherish this sacred text, see God’s hand in it unlike the contemporary translations where many question God’s hand in them. Consider the NIV translation. One may question God’s hand evident in it at all. Why? Dr. Virginia Mollenkott, was a literary consultant for the NIV translation committee, identified as a lesbian. Why would any believer desire to get consultation from the world and especially a sodomite when the bible clearly informs us not to? Let me not go down that road at this time, as you may see my point.


Conclusion: The journey of translations leading to the King James Bible is marked by a trail of sacrifice and perseverance. You can surely see God’s sovereign hand in it. Countless individuals dedicated their lives to translating and preserving the sacred text, often facing immense challenges and even shedding blood along the way. This trail of translations serves as a testament to the enduring power and importance of the King James Bible. As we reflect on the legacy of this beloved translation, may we be inspired by the courage and conviction of those who came before us, and may their dedication to the truth of Scripture resonate deeply within our hearts.







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