Erasmus on the Bible

“I totally disagree with those who are unwilling that the Holy Scriptures should be translated into everyday languages and read by unlearned people. Christ wishes His mysteries to be made known as widely as possible. I would wish even all women to read the Gospels, and the letters of St. Paul. I wish that they were translated into all the languages of all Christian people–that they might be read and known not just by the Scots and Irish, but even by the Turks and Saracens. I wish that the farm laborer might sing parts of them at his plow, that the weaver might hum them at his shuttle, and that the traveler might ease his weariness by reciting them” (quoted in How We Got The Bible: A Visual Journey, Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan, 2008).

I shared that quote this week in my Introduction to the Bible class I am teaching in Chattanooga.  I may disagree with what Erasmus taught on the nature of man and how fallen man is saved from his sin, but I wholeheartedly agree with him regarding the need for the Bible to be translated into “everyday languages.”  And, I am so thankful that I have had a copy of the Bible in my language from the moment I became a Christian.  Although my preference of translation has changed over the years (KJV to NIV to NASB), I remain grateful to those who lost their lives for the noble purpose of putting the Bible in the hands of farm laborers, weavers and travelers!

Let’s not take for granted the precious gift we have from God–a copy of His Word in our language!  Thank Him for it, and use it!  Sing it.  Hum it.  Ease your weariness in it.


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