Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rejoicing Of My Heart

Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. — Jeremiah 15:16

For centuries, many Christians were not permitted to read God’s Word in their own language. Instead, they were encouraged to attend Latin services that few could understand.

Then, in 1516, the Dutch scholar Erasmus compiled and published the first New Testament in the original Greek language. This landmark work was the basis for the later publication of Luther’s German Bible, Tyndale’s English Bible, and the King James Version. These translations made the Scriptures understandable to millions of people around the world.

Erasmus could not have known the influence his Greek New Testament would have, but he did have a passion for getting its message to laypeople from all walks of life. In the preface he wrote: “I would have [the Gospels and the Epistles] translated into all languages …. I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow [and] the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle.”

The prophet Jeremiah reflected this same passion for the Word: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (15:16).

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