Dear Devon and Caleb,
How are y’all doing? I miss you guys and I hope I can go down and visit y’all soon. I might come down for Father’s Day (just the day) but I’m still not sure.
Anyway, remember when I was down for the weekend and we watched that documentary about the coming forth of the King James Bible? (Caleb, I think you were in your room most of the time, but Devon you got most of it while you were awake) ;) It was all about how different translations of the Bible, like the Vulgate, John Wycliffe’s bible, Martin Luther’s German bible, etc. all led to the King James Bible as we know it today. All of these people were influential and we should be grateful for them and their contributions to get us the bible, but the person who I think we most have to thank for the Bible we have today is William Tyndale. He was the first one to translate the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible into English.
I could stop here and y’all would be like, “Yup. That’s pretty cool.” But guys, listen! Do you know how hard it is to translate something? I had to translate some stuff on my mission (more of it was interpreting) but here in Provo I volunteered at this place called Centro Hispano and every time I go there, all I’m asked to do is translate birth certificates and other important documents from Spanish to English. The first time I went, it took me probably two or three hours just to do one. And it wasn’t even to the bottom of the page! Then the lady who works there gave me one in French (which I don’t know, obviously) and said, “Good luck!” I managed to do it in an hour or two, but realize to do all of this I rely heavily on the internet. I have instant access to so much information from people who are experts, who have already done a thousand translations of this type of thing, and it still is a struggle.
So translating takes time and it’s hard. So what? Well, just imagine how long it would take me to get through Genesis. Yeah. It took him more than five years to do it, and he didn’t have this fancy thing called the internet, AND he was being hunted most of the time because apparently it wasn’t okay for the common man to be able to read the bible in his own language. Weird, right? That was what Tyndale wanted—for anyone and everyone to be able to study the word of God. He ended up dying for what he had done, and his last words were (if you remember from the movie) “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes!” Well, his prayer has been answered and essentially the whole world can read the Bible, but more importantly, we can have family and individual scripture study, we can learn of God’s will for us with such beautiful phrases like “consider the lilies of the field” (Matt. 6:28), in a Bible that is estimated to be 90% Tyndale’s translation.
Well, I love y’all. I suppose the best way for us to show our appreciation for Tyndale is by studying what he gave us and trying to live by it. I definitely need to work on that. I bet we all can.
Love from your favorite brother,