by Charissa Veal
CLEVELAND, Ga., (TMNews) –Dr. Harold Rawlings of the Rawlings Foundation in Florence, Ky., presented his “Trial by Fire” presentation on the history of the English Bible in Truett-McConnell College’s chapel service, November 13.
“We are blessed living here in America because we have access to the Word of God,” Rawlings said. “Did you realize that there are 32 countries in the world where the Bible is a restricted book? So we’re blessed. But sometimes that blessing can turn into a curse because we begin to take the Bible for granted.”
Rawlings brought a portion of his collection of old Bibles, which is one of the oldest collections in the world, to TMC’s chapel service. Nearly every event he referenced in history was represented by an antique Bible on stage. His history ranged from when John Wycliff worked to accomplish the first translation of the Bible from Latin to English, to the Geneva Bible, the first personal sized Bible and the first Bible to include numbered verses and study notes.
Commenting on the English Bible’s survival, Rawlings noted that “God reserves His word. In spite of all the changes of kings and queens and the difficulties and the burnings and the persecutions, through it all, God’s Word lives on. Isaiah 40:8 says, ‘The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.'”
To conclude, Rawlings told a story of a pastor who handed out Bibles in a former Soviet Union country. When they finished passing out all the Bibles in their possession, a woman asked to hold the empty box which contained the Bibles. Moved by this display of respect, Rawlings said: “I’m afraid that if we’re not careful, we will lose that sense of honor and respect for the word of God….Don’t be so busy that you neglect this book called the Holy Bible. Begin to read it every day. Meditate upon it. Memorize it. Live according to its principles. It will change your life.”
Charissa Veal is a senior English major and a student writer for the college.
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