- Testing Times for Tyndale (Sept 23)
- Bibles in Bethlehem – Nov 23
|THE WORD FOR THE WORLD UK UPDATE – Oct 23|
FROM THE DESK OF STEVE LANCASTER, UK DIRECTOR
Bible Smuggling… into England! Last month I focussed on the testing times experienced by one of the most famous Bible translators of all time; William Tyndale. It’s hard to believe that his English translation cost him his life, thanks to the established church of the day! Tyndale was used by God back in the sixteenth century in a massive way, helping to bring a spiritual revival to this country with profound consequences. But Tyndale’s impact was only made possible because of the support he received behind the scenes. We’ve all heard of Tyndale, but how many of us have heard of Humphrey Monmouth? Whilst Tyndale gets at least 4,600 words on Wikipedia, Monmouth only gets 110! And yet it was thanks to this man that Tyndale’s New Testament was published and distributed so effectively in the UK. Monmouth was indeed a Gospel patron who enabled Tyndale to do his work.
You may remember that Tyndale had approached the Bishop of London seeking support for his translation work, but with that door firmly slammed in his face, God intervened and provided a ‘chance’ meeting with Monmouth, who was a wealthy member of the drapers company, and involved in the cloth industry. Despite the dangers involved, Monmouth gave lodging and support to Tyndale, and that financial backing continued after Tyndale had fled to Germany. In terms of getting copies of the ‘banned’ New Testament back into England, Monmouth later used his merchant ships to smuggle them across the channel, hidings copies in secret compartments and crates. Those New Testaments then made their way throughout the country, with people meeting in secret to read and study them. It was these precious books that became the fuse that lit the English Reformation!
And what was Monmouth’s reward? In 1528, because of his association with ‘the outlaw’ Tyndale, this wealthy Gospel Patron was arrested and charged on 24 counts, and imprisoned in a damp, dark cell in the Tower of London. One can only imagine what the conditions must have been like, but this was the price that Monmouth paid for helping to get the English New Testament published, printed and distributed. Thankfully he was released after 12 months, and lived to see full English Bible’s rolling off the printing presses, but he died in 1537, just a year before Henry VIII ordered that every parish church in the land should receive its own copy!
When God raises up preachers and missionaries to lead gospel movements, He also raises up Gospel patrons to come alongside and partner them in their work. Monmouth wasn’t content to be a spectator; he got involved, despite the cost. Monmouth’s contribution was no less spiritual and no less vital than that of Tyndale. And this remains true today! It can be easy to think that if we’re not involved in frontline ministry, then we’re not really contributing to gospel work, but the fact is that the frontline work can’t happen without people behind the scenes supporting that work. Tyndale couldn’t have done what he did without the support of Monmouth. In the same way, our Bible translators couldn’t do their work without people who support our projects. Thank you so much to those who act as Monmouth’s by supporting TWFTW!
|DIARY DATES: |
3rd-14th Oct: Leading Oak Hall Israel/Palestine trip
22nd Oct: Preaching (AM & PM) at Belvedere Chapel, Bexley Heath
29th Oct: Preaching at Warminster Baptist, Wiltshire (AM)
5th Nov: Hesket Newmarket Church (AM) & Castle Sowerby Chapel, Cumbria (PM)
PRAISE & PRAYER POINTS:
Praising God for a safe trip to Hermanus in South Africa for management meetings, and thanking God for our continued partnership with Seed Company.
Two of our three teams in a certain Asian country have resumed their work despite ongoing conflict in the area. We are told that the local government (mainly non-Christian) has committed to rebuild a number of destroyed churches!! One of our national leaders asks for continued prayer for our teams affected by the war in Sudan. There is still a lack of food, medicine, and safe shelter.
Preparations are underway for the launch of the Eastern Slovak Romani Bible – 10th December. We’re also thankful for our Arli & Chergash (Serbia/Croatia) community checkers who are reaching new people with the gospel even as they carry out their translation checks.
The UK Board is still seeking a treasurer for this part-time, voluntary role. Please pray that we would be led to the right person.
Thank you for your prayers.