OK, Happy Halloween too!
Today is truly a day to celebrate. It’s so much fun to see all the little kiddos dressed up in their halloween costumes, and I love to eat candy, so it doesn’t get much better than that…or does it? Actually…it does.
Today is also the day that protestants celebrate the Protestant Reformation because it was on October 31, 1517 that an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther (pictured above) nailed a document entitled 95 Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (pictured below) to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. This document spoke against the idea that people could pay their way (or pay to get a dead relative/friend) to heaven through “indulgences,” or payments the church was collecting to build St. Peter’s Basillica in Rome.
Luther had become strongly convicted over the years preceding the posting of the 95 Theses that there were certain practices in the church that were harming people’s spiritual growth, and he spoke against those. He was instrumental (along with the likes of William Tyndale and Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli) in bringing about something we often take for granted today: reading the Bible in the “vernacular” (the language of the people). For the majority of Church History (excepting the first few centuries when the Bible was mainly transmitted orally) the Bible was only available in Latin (throughout the Roman Empire), and priests, monks and nuns were really the only people who could read it.
However, Luther translated the Bible into German, and it became one of the first books to be printed and widely distributed on the Gutenberg Printing Press (pictured above). (It’s amazing how much history ties together!). William Tyndale translated the Bible into English at the cost of his life. Thanks to folks like these, we can now read the Bible in hundreds of languages (granted that we know those languages!) Thanks to these guys, we can take responsibility for our own spiritual growth through reading the Bible for ourselves and praying directly to God (Luther spoke strongly against the practice of needing a mediator, because the Bible makes clear that Jesus is “the only mediator between God and humans”).
On a bit of a side note, if you want to read a “vernacular” English translation of the Bible, I highly recommend the TNIV Bible. (There are lots of “versions”, and it is OK! Basically the Bible has to be translated from Hebrew–the Old Testament–and Greek–the New Testament–into English, or whatever other language. In the translation process there are often several choices of words or sentence structures that can be used, and that is where you find some of the big differences between versions). Anyways, the TNIV Bible was translated recently, so it used some of the latest translation resources available. They also have one particular version that is printed without the chapter and verse numbers, so it looks like a regular book. This is the one I read the most…I love the simplicity of it!
Now if you made it this far in the post, thanks for enduring my little history lesson! One of my passions is history, especially Christian history. I can honestly say that I love history!
Well, Happy Halloween and Happy Reformation Day everybody! And don’t forget about FREE SHIPPING in my shop until tomorrow morning (see the post below for details).