Recently, I watched BYU’s presentation of Fires of Faith, a documentary about the coming forth of the King James version of the Bible. It was made to celebrate the 400th anniversary of that book. Here’s a little preview.
The documentary was phenomenal! The producers took great pains to put together historical scenes that completely captured my imagination. It’s one thing to read about or imagine a person being burned at the stake, it’s quite another to watch a dramatization of someone being burned at the stake (it’s a level closer to reality).
Each segment had a different theme, but they all worked together and beautifully united at the end. The first segment Yearning for the Word was about the need to read the Bible in our own language. Having taught the gospel in another language, I can testify of the importance of this. Speaking to God and having God speak to you are part of a process that has to be practiced and learned. It’s not enough to rely on others to speak to God for you. He is your Father, He wants a relationship with you, individually, and it is a lot easier to do when you have the information in your own native tongue.
The second segment Martyrs for a Book was about those Protestant reformers that were willing to give up their lives to try to get the Word of God into the hands of the ordinary person. The theme of that one was – what is a person willing to die for? I began to ponder what I was giving my life for, and I realized that right now I’m giving my life to be a mother (I just had a newborn, but more on that here).
The third segment The King James Bible finished the history, and talked about the importance of the Bible; first as a way to understand God and his will for us, and secondly as a beautiful work of literary merit.
You can watch the videos on BYU.org. Each episode is about an hour, and is well worth your time.
I also learned about one of my ancestors, John Rogers, who was burned at the stake as a martyr (the first under Mary Tutor).
I feel humbled, and grateful for the blessing of these dedicated men, who felt a call from God and sacrificed their all to achieve the work that they were sent to do. I am amazed at what I feel when I read the Bible, how close I come to God when I am reading with the Holy Spirit as a teacher. Truly, Tynsdale’s belief that “if God spares my life, in a few years a plow boy shall know more of the Scriptures than you (the leaders of the Catholic Church at the time) do” has come to pass in ordinary people like you and me.
I leave you with one of my favorite biblical scriptures –
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Isaiah 41:10).