Getting the Word Out

by | Aug 31, 2006 | Blogs, The Strang Report

We still face the challenge of getting the Bible to those who need it.

This month’s cover story about those who have been martyred for helping make the Bible available to the common man means a lot to me personally. That’s because I am the direct descendant of a man who was martyred for translating the Bible—John Rogers. He was the first English Protestant martyr to be executed by Queen Mary I of England.


I read in a family history that my grandmother was one of Rogers’ descendants. I knew nothing about him, so when I was in England, I did some research at the British museum. I learned that, after William Tyndale was martyred in 1536, Rogers carried on the work Tyndale had begun of translating the Bible into English.


At that time, Bible translating was dangerous because the church didn’t want people to be able to read Scripture for themselves. It had to be carried out in secret. For this reason, Rogers published his work under the name Thomas Matthew.


His translation was called the Matthew’s Bible. I have a copy of one page framed in my office. I like to tell visitors he is my most famous ancestor—and that my roots in Christian publishing go back to him.


Though I might like to brag, what happened to Rogers was no bragging matter. According to an 1887 edition of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, his wife and 11 children met him as he walked to his death on February 4, 1555. All he had to do to preserve his life was recant his beliefs, but he refused, saying, “That which I have preached I will seal with my blood.”


Fast-forward 440 years to the early 1990s when I first visited communist China with missionary Dennis Balcombe. I was asked to smuggle some Bibles into the country in my luggage because so few were available for the fast-growing church there.
I put about 500 copies into two large suitcases. But when we went through security, the authorities opened my bags, and I was arrested. I was detained for a few hours while the authorities decided what to do with me.


Finally, I was released, but my Bibles were confiscated. Balcombe said the guards would resell them on the black market, so they would end up in the hands of someone who wanted the Word of God. But the experience showed me two things: I could see firsthand that the Bible was not wanted by the authorities in China, and I could identify with the suffering church.


The incident also made me so angry that when I wrote about it in Charisma (July 1993), I raised enough money to print 50,000 copies of the Bible in China to replace the 500 that were confiscated. That’s a hundredfold increase.


Interestingly, this “Ink and Blood” issue of Charisma will be handed out at the first Charisma Book Expo, to take place in Atlanta from Sept. 27-30. It’s said that the Christian products industry is about only one book. And though today we enjoy enormous freedom and have a plethora of Bible translations and editions, we still face the challenge of getting the Bible and other good Christian materials into the hands of those who need them.


The Bible isn’t able to change lives unless people actually read it. By encouraging those who make the Bible available through retail stores, we are encouraging more Bible reading and literacy in our culture.


I hope you can attend the Charisma Book Expo. It’s open to the public. And though it’s a trade show, we believe you will be ministered to by the authors and musicians who will be there, including Martha Munizzi, Zachery Tims and John Bevere. (Learn more at www.charismabookexpo.com.) For the first time, we are using Streaming Faith to cover all the general sessions, so you can log on and be ministered to no matter where you are in the world.


To read Foxe’s original account about John Rogers, as well as my column on being arrested in China, go to www.charismamag .com/Bible. At this site you will also find our daily Bible-reading program to help you read through the Bible in a year. I hope you’ll use it in your devotional time—because “getting the Word out” is one of the most important things we can do.


Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. To read past columns in Charisma by Stephen Strang, log on at www.charismamag.com/strang.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Pin It on Pinterest