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The History of the Bible in English
Volume 46, Program 16
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Are you looking for a way to make history lessons come alive? Join Michael Farris Chairman of HSLDA's Board of Directors, as he explores this topic today on Home School Heartbeat.

    Mike Farris:

    Psalm 33:11 says, "The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation." Nothing brings this truth home more than the study of history.

    Recently, I really enjoyed reading Wide as the Waters by Benson Bobrick, which traces the history of the English Bible and the resulting political change that accompanied its widespread distribution.

    Bobrick first looks at John Wycliffe, the well-known Bible translator. He was trained at Oxford, and indeed Wycliffe was a fine scholar, who lived his faith. He believed Biblical truth was supreme, and he wanted all men to be able to read the Bible for themselves.

    The clergy feared his populist approach. In fact, Pope Gregory XI tried to arrest Wycliffe for heresy, but his Oxford friends protected him. In 1380 he oversaw the translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible into English. Church leaders reacted like the Pharisees of Jesus' day to Wycliffe's work. They were not about to let his ideas and his translation of the Bible undermine their power and their authority.

    Forty-four years after Wycliffe's death, church authorities exhumed and burned his body, charging him after the fact - years after the fact -- with heresy. A poem was written about this incredible event and predicted that the English Bible, like Wycliffe's dust, would spread as "Wide as the waters be." Indeed it has. I'm Mike Farris.

If you'd like to read more, we'd encourage you to order Benson Bobrick's book, Wide as the Waters. You can order online at homeschoolheartbeat.com. That's homeschoolheartbeat.com.

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Wide as the Waters

Benson Bobrick

Next to the Bible itself, the English Bible was--and is- the most influential book every published. The most famous of all English Bibles, the King James Version, was the culmination centuries of work by various translators, from John Wycliffe the fourteenth-century catalyst of English Bible translation, to the committee of scholars who collaborated on the King James translation.

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