In the entryway to my home, a five hundred-year-old Bible sits on a little pedestal. It's an original English version of the Geneva Bible printed in Scotland in 1576. It is a precious reminder of the time-tested veracity and power of God's truth.
I often look through the pages of that old Bible and reflect on the diligent work and sacrifice it took to produce just one copy of God's Word in those days. There have been times throughout history when owning a copy of Scripture could cost you more than money--it could cost your life. In an act of courage and authentic devotion to Christ, people chose to give up their lives rather than their Bibles.
These were the opening lines of a recent letter from Grace To You.
There's something mesmerizing about that time in history; God had put it on the hearts of certain men people that Scripture was something that wasn't for the privileged few who knew Latin, but for everyone. And people were willing to give up what we would term "normal lives" in order to make this dream a reality. William Tyndale, for instance, lived on the run most of his life.
It's hard to imagine living in a place where the Bible is outlawed. Yes, I know at times there is opposition to Biblical teaching, but nothing like what was seen in those days, where even the established church thought it was a bad idea for regular people to have the word of God in their hands.
You can go here to look at or download a scanned copy of the 1560 Geneva Bible. It's an amazing piece of history.
If you aren't familiar with the Geneva Bible, read this article.
And if you still haven't had enough translation for one day, see this modern day story about how the Bible came to be translated into the Inuktitut language (thanks for the correction, Buggy).