Thursday, 25 November 2010

Are you up to the challenge?

2011 will be the four hundredth anniversary of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible. It wasn't the first translation into English -- most of the New Testament is nearly identical to William Tyndale's translation and there had been complete Bibles before it, such as the Geneva Bible. But for 300 years it became the nearly universal English translation. As language has changed, most of us prefer to use a more contemporary Version but the language of the Authorised Version has had a marked effect on English language and literature and its message, speaking of the work and teaching of Christ, has deeply influenced English civil society and revolutionised the lives of individuals.

To celebrate this 400th anniversary a very wide range of Christian organisations have united under the name "Biblefresh" to celebrate the event and raise the profile of the Bible today. One particular initiative is a challenge to read 100 Essential Readings (or E100 for short). Neil Griffiths, in his sermon on Bible Sunday, introduced the idea. Our challenge is for every member of the congregation to commit themselves to read these 100 readings in whichever Bible version they prefer. There are 50 readings from the Old Testament and 50 from the New, with the expectation that people will read five per week. Each five have a linked theme which can be picked up in Home Groups. On occasions, the current theme will also be considered in Sunday sermons. There is a very helpful accompanying booklet (photo).

We hope to start this in the first week of January 2011, so if you make New Year's resolutions, make yours E100. If going public helps you to keep a resolution, you can sign up on a special web page "wall." If you want to know more about E100 you can find them here.

For long-standing Christians this is an opportunity to rehearse their faith. For those younger in the Faith, this is a very good introduction.