Monday, February 22, 2016

Mary Jones' Bible

One of the techniques we use at Bible Study, when we're stuck on a particular passage, is to read the verses in question from various translations of the Bible. Sometimes a change of word opens up a whole new avenue of thought.  
For example, we studied Eve two weeks ago and found these differences:
 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (King James Version)

The snake replied, “That's not true; you will not die. God said that because he knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.  ( Good News Bible)

“You certainly will not die!” the Shining One told the woman. “Even God knows that on the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you’ll become like God, knowing good and evil. (International Standard Version)

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.(New Living Translation)

The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

We take for granted our access to all these versions.  If we don't have them in hard copy, we can call them up on a smart phone or computer.  It was not always so.  Here is a homily from an anonymous contributor that serves to remind us that owning a Bible is a precious privilege.
When Mary Jones was born in Wales in 1784 there were not many Bibles in the country. Mary worked hard to learn to read and she wanted to read the Bible as she had heard so much about it in Chapel.
Mary longed for her own Bible and she saved her pennies for years. She earned them by doing chores for neighbours and babysitting their children.
In 1800 Mary walked 25 miles to Bala where she bought a Bible from Rev. T. Charles - then she walked back home rejoicing.
In 1802 Rev. Charles was at a meeting in London and told the story of Mary Jones. He said there was a need for a Society to supply Bibles for Wales. Another minister, Mr. Hughes, said “If for Wales, why not for the world?”
As a result another meeting was held in London on March 7, 1804 and the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed to translate, publish and distribute the Scriptures
In 1904 the branch societies in Canada came together to form the Canadian Bible Society as an arm of the British and Foreign Bible Society.

There are now Bible Societies in countries all around the world and portions of Scripture are available in over 2,883 languages. 

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