Nehemiah, Zechariah, I Peter
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
and caused them to understand the reading.
And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and
the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is
holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they
heard the words of the law.
The Fifteenth Century invention of the Printing Press
prepared the way for the restoration of God's Word to the common people. Before the Sixteenth
Century, the Bible was almost exclusively available only in the Latin Vulgate, which most
common folk could not read. The verse from Nehemiah above exhibits the most profound integration
with this theme.
The God-given impluse to translate the Bible so that it "gave the sense" to the common man and "caused
him to understand the reading" swept through all of Europe. The Sixteenth Century saw the translation
of the New Testament into German (1522), French (1523), English (1525), Italian (1562), Spanish (1556),
Swedish (1541) and Danish (1550). This information is from
Eerdman's Handbook of the History of Christianity (pg. 370).
The English trasnslation was the passion of William Tyndale ,
who reportedly vowed to a cleric that "If
God spare my life, ere many years pass, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know
more of the Scriptures than thou dost." Tyndale completed his English New Testament in 1525, and it
became the basis of the King James Bible which went on to be the most widely distributed form
of the Bible in all time.