Our Bible History, Part 2

Transcript from show #270. 

(Please note that the transcripts are written pretty well as they were delivered on air).

Continuing on the prophecies toward the end time events of the book of Revelation, here's the transcript of another radio show from the Virtual Church for the Spiritual Unchurched, made available on the web site TimingRevelation.com 

Every once in a while I like to review where our Bible came from, so that we don't forget the history behind it, and so that we continue to appreciate -- or for some of us -- begin to appreciate, the background of this wonderful Word of God that we are so privileged to have still today.

I am reminded of an article I wrote many years ago about the various translations of the Bible that began shortly after the king James Bible.

These Bible translations are actually what brings us back to the 17th century when the King James was written in order to bring everybody to one common book that could be read together by all Christians, because at that time there were already various Bibles written by various authors.

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Today I pick up from last week's program from the development of the Bible in the 1500’s, continuing on up until the King James Bible, then on how other translations followed suit after this authorized English Bible by King James the 1st…

As I already mentioned in the last program, there is so much to the background of our English Bible to be learned -- and above all to be appreciated.

I think that most people have truly forgotten what the Bible is all about, what it took to get it to us, how precious it is, as the Word of God.

This study is not about the wherefrom of the manuscripts, and the references of the Codex and Textus Receptus, or the Apocripha, the Canon, and so on... as opposed to the translations of the Bible that we are looking into right now.

Opening Music
... and this was a medley of "Set Your Fields on Fire, "Keep On The Firing Line and "Blessed Jesus Hld My Hand"… this should light your fire on this wonderful day.

Let us go to the Lord in prayer…

Let us say the Lord’s prayer together…

Let us sing the Praise God Doxology together…

Worship Music… and this was “Change my heart oh Lord” from a CD “Power Praise” Kingsway Music.

Narrative #1

Continuing on the history of the Bible as to the translation into the English Language, let’s pick up from where we left off in the 1500’s...

Now, I mentioned previously that every program stands on it’s on, in other words you don’t have to have heard a prior program in order to understand the current one.

Well that still stands true here, even though I am continuing on the history of our English Bible -- you will get a complete message from each of the parts. However, if you have not heard the last program at any time, I would strongly suggest that you go to the show replays of the previous shows-- my web site will be mentioned in the end of the program. (Or to the transcripts if you are reading this as an article).

Part 1 took us to the approach of the King James Bible at the time of King James the 1st and Part 2 picks up there and then goes into the further translations that began to take place afterward.

So we looked at what the word Bible means, then what the Bible is according to
2 Timothy 3:16 that says:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God or God-breathed), and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

We saw how many people gave their lives for the keeping of this Word of God, all the struggles and suffering these people endured for the continuity of the holy writings...

We also saw that most people don’t realize or don’t give any thought to the fact that there were very few people who actually wrote the Bible. Some people say that the Bible was written by many men over the centuries and because of that they do not believe it.

However, that is not the case. The truth is that only a few people wrote the Bible. The rest are translators of the Bible, not writers of the Bible. And we saw the details of that in the last program… so I won’t take any more time today to cover all of what was covered then.

Recalling the last program

So to bring our memory back to where we left off, I read from the book “In the Beginning, The story of the King James Bible and how it changed a nation, a language and a culture", by Alistair McGrath –- which I strongly recommend by the way, if you are interested in history.

It says: “The story of the King James Bible cannot be told without an understanding of the remarkable rise of confidence in the English language in the late sixteenth century.

“What was once scorned as the barbarous language of plowmen became esteemed as the language of patriots and poets…"

As we remember, by this time (mid 1500’s), gone were any hesitations about the merits of the English language. Elizabeth’s navy and armies had established England’s military credentials, her poets, playwrights, and translators had propelled English into the front rank of “living European languages”.

Then in 1506 Henry VIII came to the English throne and set himself up to make the realm of England a significant Europe and power...

So we’ll continue from here in the next segment.

Right now, let’s go to the 1500’s in music and listen to an old traditional hymn of Matin Luther… but in a modern arrangement...

Wow, that was pretty powerful, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" – performed by Matt Boswell, from a YouTube presentation.

Station ID:

If you just joined us this is "The Virtual Church for the Spiritual Unchurched" radio show, broadcast out of the Spirit FM 88.7 studios... every Sunday at 7 am and 7 pm pacific time...

By the way the information of this history of the Bible in this 3-part series comes from a variety of resources, much of it from the book “In the Beginning” by Alister McGrath, as well as “Great Leaders of the Christian Church” by John D. Woodbridge”, with checks against various sources such as the Wikipedia, Google, and other sources.

Narrative #2

Continuing on the development of the English Bibles, around 1530-31, Henry VIII argued that the English clergy were guilty of alliance to the papacy at Rome.

Under pressure from those sympathetic to the Reformation during this time such as Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer, Henry was gradually moving toward accepting additional aspects of the Reformation agenda — one of those was the increased use of English in matters of religion.

John Calvin who lived from 1509 to 1564 was one of the most significant players in the great religious debates of the 1500’s.

Calvin left Paris in haste in 1533 fearful for his safety over the delivery of a university address endorsing some aspects of Luther’s reform program.

In 1534, Tyndale altered the word priest for the Greek word ‘presbyteros’ to elder… and church for the Greek ‘ekklesia’ to congregation. (because priest and church referred to the organized and cleric church of the time). However this was changed back again later on.

This is just a small example of some of the variance of translations works that was taking place.

Tyndale was known and commended for creating -- from unknown idioms of the Hebrew language and Greek -- many of the phrases that became colloquial to the English language of the time.

In 1534, Geneva turned toward Protestantism… many Bibles were printed from there.

The first English Bible, the work of Miles Coverdale, was completed, based largely on existing translations, including Tyndale’s New Testament and the Pentateuch, as well as 2 Latin translations whose errors had been pointed out by Erasmus earlier on.

Also consulted were Luther’s German translation of the Bible and a variant of this translated into the Swiss-German dialect of the Zurich region of Switzerland.

Coverdale’s translation was a compilation of other people’s translations, mostly those of Tyndale. But it was still the first complete English Bible to be published and thus constituted a landmark on the road to the King James Bible.

Political and reformation revolutions took place in Geneva and surroundings, to free itself from the Catholic stronghold in the 1535-36 and turn Protestant.

Political Conflicts and struggles

More political conflicts took place between German Lutherans and Catholics.

In 1536, Tyndale was betrayed by Henry Philips who tricked him to leave his safe location and was arrested. In spite of vigorous protests by Thomas Cromwell, Tyndale was strangled and burned at the stake.

Tyndale’s biblical translations of the 1520’s had opened floodgates that could no longer be closed.

Henry divorced Anne Boleyn (mother of Elizabeth Tudor who would become Queen Elizabeth 1) and executed his chief adviser Thomas Cromwell.

John Calvin published “The Institute of the Christian Religion” in Latin, one of the most influential books of the 1500’s. On his way through Geneva he was asked to stay and help consolidate the Reformation.

By the 1540’s and 50’s – Calvin ideas would gain influence throughout Europe, and many religious refugees from France, England and Italy arrived in Geneva which became a symbol of the Protestant Reformation.

Now all of this is to show us the tremendous variance and struggles and complex developments that took place throughout the 1500’s to bring us an English Bible.


And this was a Contemplative instrumental of “Wonderful Words of Life” played by Jack Jezzro, from a Youtube presentation – a different rendering of the acapella of the same song that I played in the last program,

Here are the words if you couldn't make it out too clearly:

1. Sing them over again to me,
Wonderful words of life,
Let me more of their beauty see,
Wonderful words of life;
Words of life and beauty
Teach me faith and duty.

◦ Refrain:
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life;
Beautiful words, wonderful words,
Wonderful words of life.

2. Christ, the blessed One, gives to all
Wonderful words of life;
Sinner, list to the loving call,
Wonderful words of life;
All so freely given,
Wooing us to heaven.

3. Sweetly echo the Gospel call,
Wonderful words of life;
Offer pardon and peace to all,
Wonderful words of life;
Jesus, only Savior,
Sanctify us forever.

Narrative #3

c.1537 to c.1547

Continuing on, in 1537 – English printer Richard Grafton had been working on a production of an English Bible which text had been edited by John Rogers, an associate of Tyndale’s.

The work was known as the Matthew’s Bible—a pseudonym adopted by Rogers to protect his identity. This work was based partly on Coverdale’s work but the most influence translation was from Tyndale.

By August 1537, a copy of this work was presented to Henry VIII by Thomas Cranmer.

And in September of the following year, an injunction was published in the name of the King charging the clergy of the church to use the Matthew’s Bible for the reading of the parsons and parishioners.

Although Henry had authorized the book, the marginal notes therein which had won favour in Geneva became a sticky point for England’s clergy.

Coverdale was asked to revise the Matthew’s Bible with the removal of the “offensive” marginal notes. It was then re-published by Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch and included a new preface by Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury.

This translation was best seen as a blend of Tyndale and Coverdale and quickly became the favored Bible for use in churches.

By the 1540’s the Church of England ceased to use the Latin language to any significant extend.

During this time, there was disruptions to the English state and church that were caused by the radically different religions and political agendas of Edward VI, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I.

c.1547 to c.1558

Henry VIII died in 1547. By this time the religious situation in England was unsure.

Henry’s aims had been of critical importance for the genesis of the English Reformation. But his reform policies were not themselves religious in nature.

He was succeeded by his son Edward VI who was heavily influenced by a group of senior figures who were openly Protestant.

He appointed the Strasbourg reformer Martin Bucer as Regius professor of Divinity at Cambridge and Peter Martyr Vermigli to the Regius chair at Oxford.

In 1551 --Printer Robert Estienne introducted the practice of numbering individual verses and dividing the passages in those verses.

1552 --A ferocious debate took place over the Prayer Book of Edward VI’s.

Eventually in 1553 he passed away, ending these Protestant squeamishes, and Mary Tudor came to the English throne to re-establish Roman Catholicism within England.

That sure didn’t help the situation…

English Protestants went into exile, some were banished. Those who could afford it went to Protestant cities in Europe such as Swiss cities of Aarau, Basel, Zurich, the German cities of Emden, Frankfurt and Strasbourg and the independent city of Geneva.

1554 -- this period of the “Marian exile” was 6 years, – a period seen by the exiles as one of schooling in preparation for their return. (Exiles were mostly of gentry, clergy and students of divinity.)

Much activities took place until the death of Mary Tudor in 1558.

c.1558 to c.1560

When Elizabeth rose to the throne, to the exiles, this new Queen was seen as sympathetic to Protestantism. Her “Settlement of Religion” in 1559 seemed to guarantee the position in England.

An Expanded edition of the work of John Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs” about those who were martyred under Edward VIII and Mary Tudor was produced in 1559.

The most important single literary production of the Marian exiles was the English translation of the Bible undertaken in Geneva.

In 1559-60 – Most of the Marian exiles returned to England.

In the meantime, William Whittingham and his assistants Anthony Gilby and Thomas Sampson settled in Geneva, under John Knox as the pastor of the English church in the city.

Calvin’s Geneva had provided a place of safety for the refugees which provided Whittingham with the biblical commentaries and works of theology giving him excellent academic sources for their interpretations and annotations.

This community had become close-knit and without the divisions and bitterness seen among refugees in other parts of Europe. And this community was one of entrepreneurs and theologians who became the center within which the Geneva Bible was conceived and nurtured.

Whittingham chose to remain in Geneva until his major new translation of the bible was published in late 1560.

The Title page of Whittingham’s translation of the bible read as follows:

“The Bible and Holy Scriptures, contained in the Old and New Testament. Translated according to the Hebrew and Greek, and conferred with the best translations in divers languages. With most profitable annotations upon all the hard places, and other things of great importance as may appear in the ‘Epistle to the Reader’. “Fear not, stand still, and behold the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you this day.’ Exodus xiv. At Geneva. Printed by Rowland Hall. M.D.LX."

c.1560 +

The reason for this Bible becoming so highly regarded and popular was that it provided what the common people wanted and needed: an explanation (in marginal notes) of the “hard places” (this meaning hard to understand places) as well as the best English translation of the biblical text available at that time.

Robert Estienne numbering system was used as the basic format of the English translation from there on.

Some of the features of the Bible appreciated by the people were here:

1.The English translation itself was perhaps the best of its day.
2.It was broken down into verses
3.Necessary words introduced into the text not in the original was printed in italics
4.Most importantly and attractive to the readers were:
---the illustrations
---the prefaces
---the annotations
---the marginal notes.

But in spite of all this there was still not an authorized Bible for the English people of England.

And I have again run out of time… so I will be bringing this forward into Part 3...

There is so much to the history of the English Bible and England, I could make an 8 or 12 weeks course easily – I used to do that for the Board of Education in Toronto, but from the business side.

Anyway, again the point of all this is to rekindle an appreciation for our English Bibles.

By the way, the information of this history of the bible in this 3-part series comes from a variety of resources, much of it from the book “In the Beginning” by Alister McGrath, as well as “Great Leaders of the Christian Church” by John D. Woodbridge”, wich checks against varius sources such as the Wikipeadia, Google searches and other sources.

Oh yes, and this was “I’m Using my Bible for a Road Map” by Mac Wiseman from a YouTube presentation.

Narration #4

Some scriptures about the Word of God

Hebrews 1:1-2, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

2 Peter 1:20-21, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Kings 17:13-14. "Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God."

2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

How priviledged we are to have the English Bible, the very Word of God… at our disposal.

Many people around the world are not as blessed as we are here in this part of the world. Let’s not take it for granted.

Obedience and faithfulness

As I said in the last program, the pain and struggles and sweat and blood of those who heard from the holy spirit to bring the Word of God into the languages of the peoples -- all because of the obedience and faithfulness of holy men of God we are to be appreciative of this precious book, the total of many small books all put together into one holy book.

I will continue on this in the next program because there is still much to tell about the development that continues up until the King James Bible and other translations thereafter up to what we have today.

The song says,
"I'm using my Bible for a roadmap
The Ten Commandments they tell me what to do
The twelve disciples are my road signs
And Jesus will take me safely through

"There'll be no detours in heaven
No rough roads along the way
I'm using my Bible for a roadmap
My last stop is heaven some sweet day"

Are these your words for this life today?

And we even have more than that... we have the Holy Spirit whom Jesus Christ and the Father sent to us to guide us in every way -- for that, we need to know Jesus, we need to ask him into our heart, our life…

Have you asked Jesus Christ into your life, if not you can ask Him right now:

Alright I’m about to shout too… this was “Look out I’m about to shout” by James Payne from a CD Hank, Jesus and Jesse James.

Do you know and have that life, health and peace?

Have you asked Jesus Christ into your heart as Gary and million others have done…

If not, you can do that right now… Christ the Redeemer gave his life to redeem us, you and me… and many others gave their lives to bring us the Word of God throughout the generations of history until now…

We must never take this lightly because eternity hangs on this…. Our eternity – one of loss in hell or one of glory in heaven forever…

God did His part to open the gates of heaven wide… the Gospel is the invitation to come through that gate…

And it is very simple, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever (put your name here) believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life…

And that goes for this life as well, He came that we might have life more abundantly down here also…. in Him we find life, health and peace…

Just ask Him into your heart today… just say, “Lord come into my heart, come into my life, I turn to you right now and ask for forgiveness, I repent of my sins and receive your work on the cross... I receive your Gospel , Your Word, as it was delivered through your blood shed on the cross in my place. And I thank you, Amen.

If you said that prayer and meant it in your heart sincerely, He is faithful to do what He promised and that is to come into your heart and make you a child of God today... it is important that you confess your new faith, or renewed faith, and join a Bible believing church in your community where you can fellowship with other Christians and worship God together, learn the Word of God and grow in your new faith.

Closing Narrative…

Before I dismiss the service today, I want to read to you the Blessing that was read to the people of God in Numbers 6:24-26 which is the benediction from God to you today:

“The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.'

I hope and pray that you will come back next Sunday at SpiritFM.ca, 7 am and 7 pm pacific time. And if you want to hear the service again at any time, you can go to my website at TimingRevelation.com, and click on the Radio Shows navigational tab along the left. The replays are available there for five weeks, then they are transcripted into articles as new radio shows are put up.

I encourage you to go to your Bible and read further on the scriptures that were given throughout the program today. And if you like these programs and you've been blessed, call or write the station and let them know... if you said the prayer and have accepted the Lord or you've been healed or touched in some way by the Holy Spirit, write to me on the contact form of this web site...

and this web site is also where you will find the Free Offer of the “Christian Growth and Maturity Chart” that I talked to you about last week... you will see the graphic on any page called “Get your free CGM Chart”, click on it and it will take you to a page that will tell you about it and how you can subscribe to my newsletter to get your free copy of the Chart sent to you.

Until next week, Maranatha, the Lord is coming, very soon. Goodbye and Blessing.

To the Reader:

You can listen to a version of “Look out I’m about to shout” by James Payne, at this link:


As I mentioned earlier, the information of this history of the Bible in this 3-part series comes from a variety of resources, much of it from the book “In the Beginning” by Alister McGrath, as well as “Great Leaders of the Christian Church” by John D. Woodbridge”, with checks against various sources such as the Wikipeadia, Google, and other sources.

I would highly recommend that you look into obtaining your copy of these two books. For your convenience you can look them up on my Christianbook affiliate link just below and purchase these from one of the top Christian books and products suppliers.


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