At the end of the day and after all of the arguments
are presented concerning the Bible,
the fact remains that the battle over the Bible lies in a history of blood.
Yesterday, two preacher friends of mine along with our families went to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida. Thanks to a “Pastor Appreciation” discount, pastors and their wives received free admission. There were many interesting things to see and experience. The ownership of the park belongs to Trinity Broadcasting Network, whose charismatic doctrine and demeanor permeated the park- this I did not like.
What was most interesting was the Scriptorium, a museum that traces the history of the Bible. The museum contains many historic copies of the Word of God. Some of the oldest pieces date to 2000 B.C.
What I loved the most was the 1537 Matthew’s Bible, referred to often as the “Martyr’s Bible.” As I looked at that Bible, I saw a reddish tint on the pages (shown in the picture above). I wondered what that stain was, until the narrator explained that the stain on the pages was the actual blood of the owner wh0 at one time “illegally” owned a copy of the Word of God. It was quite a moving experience. As a matter of fact it was that Bible that moved a man so much to finance all of the relics the museum contains.
You see, what you have in your hands today not only tells the wondrous story of the blood of Christ that was shed to atone for our sins but also tells the story of a countless host of God’s servants whose blood was shed to get the Bible to the masses. I do not know the name of the man whose blood stained those pages; it may be knowable. Suffice it to say, God knows! I do not know the names of all the martyrs of all time who have given their lives for the Bible, but there is one thing I know: it is my turn to take the Old Book and preach, and preach it I will by God’s grace. It is my turn to defend the Bible, and defend it I will by God’s grace.
One of the last displays was of the ministry of John Bunyan. Bunyan was an English preacher who came under great persecution at the hands of the Church of England. He was confined to the Bedford jail for 11 years. The museum has the actual key that unlocked his prison cell. After seeing the key my brother-in-law said to me, “Would you go to jail for your faith?” I said, “I hope I would; if the Lord tarries, many of us will find out for sure.”
Love it, read it, memorize it, and protect it. It’s no ordinary book. It is the only book defended by life and limb, on whose pages the blood of men is seen.