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The Reformation and Education I

     Last week we discussed that one of the goals of the Reformation was to bring the Bible to the people so that they could read the Bible in their own language.  Thus, Martin Luther translated the Bible into German and Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples translated the Bible into French within years of the start of the Reformation.  And even today it is the Wycliffe translators that go into the Amazon jungle and work with small Indian tribes to translate the Bible.  The worships services were also conducted in the native language.  The Roman Catholic Church used Latin up to 1965 when it changed as a result of the Vatican Council II.
     The second factor is the desire for the common person to be able to read.  Thus, the impetus for schools.  The Puritans settled in Boston in 1630, and six years later, Harvard College was started as a training school for missionaries. 
      In fact most of the Ivy League schools were started to train ministers:
1636 - New College (founded by the Puritans, now Harvard)
1693 - William & Mary (founded by the Church of England)
1701 - Yale (because Harvard was going liberal).  Jonathan Edwards was the 1st president
1746 - Princeton (founded by Presbyterians)
1754 - King's College (founded by church of England, now Columbia)
1755 - College of Philadelphia (now University of Pennsylvania, founded by Church of England, but encouraged all (e.g., Quakers to attend)
1764 -  Rhode Island College (founded by Baptists, now Brown)
1766 - Queen's College (founded by the Dutch Reformed; now Rutgers)
1769 - Dartmouth to train missionaries to Indians and to train Indians.
Why colleges?  So future ministers could be trained.  Unfortunately, many of these colleges no longer proclaim the Gospel.  But that does not negate their original purpose.
  Next week the Ol' Deluder Act, then on to China.

The Reformation and the Bible

    One of the results of the Reformation that Martin Luther started (1517) and John Calvin (1509-1564) continued was the importance of being able to read the Bible.  Martin Luther did this in translating the Bible into German.  Jerome's translation of the Bible (382-405) into Latin (the Vulgate - or Common) was necessary because he replaced the Old Version.  In 400 AD, the common language of the Western Roman Empire was Latin. 
    By 1517, Latin was no longer the language of the common person.  They spoke in their own languages.  No longer was Latin spoken by the common people.  Further, in many countries there were many languages spoken.  The only Bible was the Latin Vulgate, which made the Bible unintelligible for the majority of the common folk. 
     One of Martin Luther's first projects after posting the 95 Theses on the door at Wittenberg church was to translate the Bible into German.   Luther completed his translation of the New Testament in 1522 and the Old Testament in 1534.  This translation was so widely used, that the German spoken today is based on Luther's translation.
     In France in 1523, the New Testament was completed by Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples, and the Old Testament was completed five years later. 
    In 1526 Tyndale completed the English New Testament translation.  He completed it in Germany because the English church thought that this was a heretical act.  When he returned to England,  he was strangled and then burned at the stake before he could finish the Old Testament. 
     Fast forward to the early 1800s.  Since the Cherokee tribe had no written language, they could not read the Bible.  So after David Brown and John Arch, both native Cherokee Indians, became Christians, they developed the Cherokee language and then translated the Bible into Cherokee.
     This desire for the common people today to read the Bible in their common language is why the Wycliffe translators are going to many of these small tribes and translating the Bible into the native tongue.  And this desire for the common people today to read the Bible in their common language is why we have so many modern translations today.
     In summary, the Protestants wanted the common man to read the Bible in their own language.  Germans could read it the New Testament in 1522, French 1523, and the English in 1526.
     Praise be to God that we can read the Bible in our own language.
     The challenge question is "Do you read the Bible daily?"

The Persecuted Christians

Are we praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ?  They are under intense persecution in the Middle East and in Nigeria.  In Nigeria, about 100 Christians were kidnapped on Friday.  It appears that some were just freed, but hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have fled from their homes due to the Boko Haram's killings and kidnappings.  For more  information see  What the press does not say is that most of those who are fleeing are Christians.
    And in the Iraq, the Muslim group ISIS has crucified, buried alive, and beheaded Christians.  See Rev. Franklin Graham's video for an excellent video on the persecution of the Christians in Sudan and Iraq. 
     So please pray for the peace for the Christians and that they will not abandon their faith.

Persistence in Prayer

     Are we persistent in prayer?  Rev. Roest preached a good sermon and his point was because we live in a sinful world, we must be constantly be praying.  Thus, we must pray daily for our daily bread and daily for forgiveness of sins, daily that the coming of Lord's kingdom.
    So pray daily!


   We don't talk much about heaven, but heaven is a place that we should desire.  First, we will be in God's presence.  When I was in the Navy aboard ship during an eight-month deployment, I looked forward eagerly to be being with my wife.  I had to wait, but did not want to, for the deployment to finish.  Do we have that same longing to be with God?  Or are we so entrapped with the cares of this world that we don't really think of heaven.  We should have that intense desire to be with God. 
   The author of the book of Hebrews wrote:  "Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."  (11:16)
Do we have this longing for heaven?