Friday, October 14, 2011

The Bible in One's Own Tongue

Peter Ustinov as Frederick the Wise

I re-watched Luther last night, the 2003 movie about Martin Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes.  Peter Ustinov plays Frederick the Wise, elector of Saxony, employer and protector of Martin Luther.  He's a political figure but also seems to have a spiritual side.  He has an enormous collection of relics, of which he's quite proud, but--in the movie anyway--they became less precious to him as he reads Luther's writings.

In a later scene, Luther approaches Frederick with his recently completed translation of the Scriptures into German.  (Up to this time, all Scriptures were in Latin, so only priests could read them, a calculated ploy of the Roman Catholic Church.)  After a brief discussion of the upheaval such a translation will cause, Frederick then stretches out his hands and asks, "Well, can I have my present now?"  As Luther slowly brings the new Bible to Frederick, Frederick's old fingers tremble with an anticipatory itch.  Receiving the book, he immediately opens it, and a smile spreads across his kind face as he silently reads for the very first time the Scriptures of One he presumably loves. 

It's a beautiful scene full of meaning for those of us who also love the Scriptures.  I don't know whether it's historically accurate, but it's beautiful.

Imagine not being able to read the Bible for yourself?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD!

THE BIBLE

Some people don’t trust in the Bible now,
As their ancestors used to do.
They claim that it's all outdated--
It’s declarations are not true..
But scholars can’t explain away evil,
Nor cancel remorse that’s in you,
When what the Bible calls sin is unheeded;
And guilt after guilt hardens you.
So, where does goodness come from,
When evil is always around?
Men are not good in their nature,
Yet, don’t always kick their brothers down!
And there’s no explanation for the heavens,
With their stars in orders and hues:
Such beauty doesn’t grow out of nothing,
If the Bible’s simply not true.
It’s critics -- highest ranking and ordered --
Must back down again and again,
When Biblical Archaeologist start digging
In Palestinian Sand!
Prophecy, that’s so long outstanding,
Is fulfilled when exactly due.
Generations go without explaining...
If the Bible’s a hoax and not true.
And, who offers hope for the future,
As we stand beside a friend’s grave,
If the Bible’s not by Heaven’s Author,
And His Son’s not mighty to save?
No other book touches all life’s problems,
As the Bible alone does do.
Oh, you really shouldn't neglect it,
As if God wouldn’t want to claim you.
It’s lazy to believe many skeptics,
And live the way your “average Joes” do.
Be like Christ and start loving your neighbors:
Prove to all the Bible is true!
--Ralph Jay Scantlin

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD!

Dear Kent,
If we did not have the Bible or refused or could not read it, America would be in terrible shape, BECAUSE.....
HAUNTING WORDS OF HISTORY: I am much afraid that schools will prove to be great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where theyScriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt. ~Martin Luther
* DANIEL WEBSTER: “The Bible is the book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man.”
* GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Above all, the pure light of revelation has had an influence on mankind, and increased the blessings of society. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
* THOMAS JEFFERSON [author of the United States Constitution]: “I have always said that a studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”
* JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world.”
* ZACHARY TAYLOR: “It was for the love of the truths of this great and good Book that our fathers abandoned their native shores for the wilderness.”
* ABRAHAM LINCOLN: “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man. It is the best book which God has given to man.”
* THEODORE ROOSEVELT: “Almost every man who has by his lifework added to the sum of human achievement . . . has based his lifework largely upon the teachings of the Bible.”
* WOODROW WILSON: “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself of this -- a knowledge of the Bible.”
* HERBERT HOOVER: “There is no other book so various as the Bible, nor one so full of concentrated wisdom. Whether it be of law, business, morals, etc. . . he who seeks for guidance . . . may look inside its covers and find illumination.”
* ULYSSES S. GRANT: “To the influence of this Book we are indebted for the progress made in civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.”
* FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: “The influence of the Scriptures in the early days of the Republic is plainly revealed in the writing and thinking of the men who made the nation possible.”
* KAISER WILHELM OF GERMANY: “Do not join those who either ignore the Bible altogether, or, at least, give it a spurious interpretation of their own devising.”
* NAPOLEON BONAPARTE: “The Bible is more than a book; it is a living being with an action, a power which invades everything that opposes its extension.”
* JOHN BACON: “What can I do with respect to the next world without my Bible?
* WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT: “The sacredness of the Bible awes me.”
* MARK TWAIN: “It is hard to make a choice of the most beautiful passage in a book which is gemmed full of beautiful passages as the Bible.”
* SAMUEL COLGATE: “The only spiritual light in the world comes through Jesus Christ and the inspired Book . . . . Without His presence and the teachings of the Bible we would be enshrouded in moral darkness and despair . . . nations without Christ, contrasted with those where Christ is accepted, reveal such a marked difference that no arguments are needed.”
* BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Here is my creed: I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe; that He governs it by His providence: that He ought to be worshipped; that the most acceptable service we can render Him is doing good to others; that the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another world respecting his conduct in this. As to Jesus of Nazareth, I think His system of morals, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see.” --Dad

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD!

Dear Kent,

JESUS REMARKED:
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures.” (Matthew 22:29, KJV)
ISAIAH WROTE:
“Search from the book of the Lord, and read....” (Isaiah 34:16, NKJV)
Israel’s King David and The Holy Spirit (along with other Scripturally-inspired passages) wrote Psalm, Chapter 119. Psalm 119 happens to be the longest chapter in the entire Bible. And every verse praises the knowledgeable content of God’s word and His law in some new and glorious way.
PAUL SAID TO THE CHRISTIANS IN CORINTH:
“Ye are our epistle written . . . known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (Meaning that CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS are the only “Bible” Some people will ever read, while they are busy rejecting God in their lives -- Contradicting and refusing to read the Bible as unbelievers do. (2 Corinthians 3:2-3). And believers in the Bible are also an encouragement to many who do hunger and thirst for righteousness.
JOHN QUOTED CHRIST:
“If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 24 I f I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.” (John 15:22-24)
NO, Kent, I REALLY CAN’T IMAGINGE NOT HAVING THE BIBLE TO READ FROM EVERY DAY! I wouldn’t want to miss the fellowship I have with Jesus when I am in the Scriptures. I would miss sensing His love. Sometimes life is hard. I wouldn’t want to be making such ignoramus choices I might have otherwise made, had I not known the Scriptures and the sense of good direction I have know them to have. And I would not now so possess the love of family, friends and Church I so regularly enjoy, had I been as egotistical and selfish of both time and money as the Bible ALONE, taught me not to be.
Kent, for sure, there is a certain nobility within the characters of those who read, receive and heed the Holy Bible:
“These [Christians in Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word [of God] with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
The Bible is such an astounding book, I smiply can’t imagine life without it. I read several chapters every day, learning from its treasures endlessly. I own many, many copies of it in many translations myself, have studied it in college, have taught it, preached it, loved it, clung to it, counseled countless others with it, and seek to praise God with my every-living breath by it. And since I have hidden it in my heart, no one and nothing else -- not even death -- can take it from me. The Word is my joy, life, wisdom, direction, fullness, hope, glory and core of my soul. And I absolutely adore the sueper-intelligent God Who wrote it. Because Christ loves me so much; I seek to know the Bible inside out, upside down and backwards, Kent.
“If ye love me,” Jesus said: “keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
--Dad