and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20, NASB).
November 24, 2019
1) When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible (Joe R. Price)
2) Eyewitness Testimony (Frank Himmel)
3) Bible Quiz
4) News & Notes
When It Was a Crime to Read the Bible
Joe R. Price
By the start of the third decade of the 16th century, William
Tyndale had already been on the run for five years. The king of
England, Henry VIII, had declared him a felon. Fleeing Roman
Catholic authorities in London (never to return to England), he went
first to Cologne, France, and then Worms, Germany. What crime had
this "evil" man committed? Of what rebellious act of treason was he
guilty? He dared to translate and then print the New Testament in
the English language!
In England in the 1520's (indeed, throughout Europe during the
Middle Ages), unless you were literate in Hebrew, Greek or Latin,
reading the Bible for yourself was impossible. You had to rely upon
what the Roman Catholic clergy said the Bible contained. You would
not have been able to study the Bible for yourself to discern the
truth for yourself - much less be free to practice what you learned
therein. Rome ruled with an iron hand.
The Catholic Church did not want nor permit a wide transmission of
the Bible and its contents. When Tyndale's NT was published in
Worms, 6,000 copies were shipped back to England. Medieval historian
William Manchester reports, "To the bishop of London this was an
intolerable, metastasizing heresy. He bought up all that were for
sale and publicly burned them at St. Paul's Cross. But the
archbishop of Canterbury was dissatisfied; his spies told him that
many remained in private hands. Protestant peers with country houses
were loaning them out, like public libraries. Assembling his
bishops, the archbishop declared that tracking them down was
essential - each was placing souls in jeopardy - and so, on his
instructions, dioceses organized posses, searching the homes of
known literates, and offered rewards to informers - sending out the
alarm to keep Christ's revealed word from those who worshiped him"
(A World Lit Only By Fire, 204-205).
Tyndale was eventually arrested and imprisoned for sixteen months in
the castle of Vilvorde, near Brussels. In 1536, after being tried
and convicted for heresy he was publicly executed, being tied to a
stake, strangled to death, and then his corpse burned.
As we consider Tyndale's struggle and sacrifice to provide the
common Englishman with readable, discernable scriptures, we are made
to thank God for the daily ease and convenience with which we can
open the Bible and study it for ourselves. We are made to cherish
the privilege that is ours to pour over the divine text, understand
it, reflect upon it, think over it so as to bring our hearts and
lives into harmony with it, as well as also teach it to others (Eph.
5:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Tim. 2:2).
If you have been neglecting to read, learn and live God's word,
please remember the good fortune you have: education and access -
the abundant opportunity to read and know God's word. To not drink
deeply from its well is to squander a precious blessing (cf. Jas.
The next time you pick up your Bible and read it, remember the
sacrifices of countless others who have made that simple act
possible. But above all, remember the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave
His life on the cross and was then resurrected from the dead so that
you know the truth, abide in His word and thus be freed from your
sin (Jno. 8:31-36; 1:1-3, 14-18).
- Via The Beacon, August 18, 2019
Every fact of history is established in the same way. An event
occurs. Those who observe it leave some sort of testimony of the
event: a drawing or photograph, a marker, a monument, a written
record, etc. People in subsequent generations view that testimony
and therefore believe the event occurred.
That is why we believe in Jesus. His life and teachings were
documented by witnesses; primarily, the apostles. Jesus told them,
“. . . and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts
The apostles were witnesses of what they saw: Jesus’ good works and
miracles (Acts 10:38-39). They were witnesses of what they heard
(Acts 22:15). They were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:32;
3:15; 5:32), the event that He pointed to time and again as the
ultimate proof of who He was. (None of the apostles claimed to have
seen Jesus actually emerge from the tomb, but they ate and drank
with Him after He arose [Acts 10:41].) They were even witnesses of
things that Jesus revealed after His ascension back to heaven (Acts
There is no reason to question the credibility of the apostles’
testimony. They were in a position to see what they recorded. Their
testimony did not bring fame or fortune; to the contrary, they were
treated “as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things” (1
People today speak of “witnessing” in a loose sense of telling what
they believe. When the apostles witnessed, they were telling what
they had seen and heard.
Peter wrote, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but
we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and
glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him
by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am
well-pleased’— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from
heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter
John added, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what
we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with
our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested,
and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life,
which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen
and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have
fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father,
and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3).
— Via Pathlights, October 13, 2019
1. Who was Moses’ servant?
2. Who was Ruth’s sister-in-law?
3. On what day did God create the fish and the birds?
4. What was the bronze serpent called?
5. Who was the first child born?
6. Who is known for his rash vow?
7. What name was assigned to Daniel?
8. To where was the ship heading that Jonah had boarded?
9. Who is spoken of as being “mighty in the Scriptures”?
10. Whom does the Bible speak of as “abounding with deeds of
11. Who was a seller of purple fabrics?
12. In what city did Eutychus fall from a window?
13, Prior to Italy, where had Paul been imprisoned for a little more
than 2 years?
14. What was Barnabas’ real name?
Answers: 1) Exodus 24:13 2) Ruth 1:4 3) Genesis
1:20-23 4) 2 Kings 18:4 5) Genesis 4:1-2 6) Judges
11:30-31 7) Daniel 1:7 8) Jonah 1:3 9) Acts
18:24 10) Acts 9:36 11) Acts 16:14 12) Acts
20:6-9 13) Acts 25:4; Acts 24:27 14) Acts 4:36
News & Notes
Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Mary
Ruth Corley Allen who passed away Friday evening. She was 88
and survived by many — including 13 grandchildren, 33 great
grandchildren, and 10 great-great grandchildren.
Myrna Jordan continues to slowly heal from her shingles.
Also for prayer: Shirley Davis, Melotine Davis, A.J. & Pat
Joyner, Bud Montero, the Medlocks, Jan Bartlett, Joyce
Rittenhouse, Jim Lively, Rick Cuthbertson, Rex & Frankie
Hadley, and Brandon Mullis.
WordPress version of this week's bulletin:
Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how
faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John
8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of
sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal.
3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if
not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00
a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
(Older version of Gospel Observer website without
pictures, but back to March 1990)