Posted by: Hugh Griffiths | January 3, 2006

Turning point in English history

One the joys of the Christmas and New Year break is the time to read. One of the books bought for me this year was Dark Fire by C.J Sansom, a thriller set in the period of the English reformation. Apart from being a compelling story told at a a gripping pace, it was fascinating to read about some of the turmoil that surrounded Henry’s break from Rome.

What was interesting was the various characters’ views about whether the ordinary man (and, in particular, the ordinary woman) should have access to read the Bible in English. Consider these excerpts:

‘Not just apprentices… even silly little women fancy they can read the Bible now and understand God’s word’ he laughed

The king plans to restrict Bible-reading to heads of households. I’d restrict it further – I’d only permit it for the clergy.’

‘God’s word is for all to read. The Bible brings us from error to truth, to the presence of Jesus Christ’

Perhaps today we take for granted the opportunity to read and Scripture in our own language and personally own a copy of God’s word that we can take and study at any time. Yet reading this reminder of our own painful history made me grateful for the work of the reformers, men like Coverdale and Tyndale who made personal access to God’s word possible.



  1. Excellent. I see you are entering the world of blogging. Good on you. I myself keep on thinking I’d like to start blogging then chicken out when I start to wonder what I would right about. However you have inspired me.

    Concerning translation of the bible I did study Latin for one year at School so perhaps I might have coped;)

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