Friday, August 19, 2011

Mormon Messages: "The Blessing of Scripture"

In this year of the 400th anniversary of the King James version of the Bible, the Church recently produced a new Mormon Messages video.  The video, which is based on Elder D. Todd Christofferson's address at the April 2010 General Conference, tells the story of William Tyndale, who was instrumental in translating the Bible into English.  Tyndale is well known for speaking out in favor of sharing the Bible with all.  First, there is Tyndale's promise to a cleric who opposed making scripture available to the common man: “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough, shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost!”  And his final words, spoken immediately prior to his execution, were a plea to heaven to soften the heart of the king: “Lord! open the king of England’s eyes."  From Elder Kristofferson's address:
Tyndale nevertheless undertook the challenging work of translation. In 1524 he traveled to Germany, under an assumed name, where he lived much of the time in hiding, under constant threat of arrest. With the help of committed friends, Tyndale was able to publish English translations of the New Testament and later the Old Testament. The Bibles were smuggled into England, where they were in great demand and much prized by those who could get them. They were shared widely but in secret. The authorities burned all the copies they could find. Nevertheless, within three years of Tyndale’s death, God did indeed open King Henry VIII’s eyes, and with publication of what was called the “Great Bible,” the scriptures in English began to be publicly available. Tyndale’s work became the foundation for almost all future English translations of the Bible, most notably the King James Version.
Enjoy this video on the life of William Tyndale.  For those who would like a free copy of the Bible, the Church makes them available here.

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