October 31 Should be Bible Appreciation Day

Thanks to


“While the world’s children appreciate candy and playing dress up, we Christians ought to appreciate those who shed their blood in order for us to hold the Bible.

If only Wycliffe, Hus, and Tyndale could have seen a vision of my iPhone as they were being killed for their hard work! They would have seen the dozens of translations I hold in my Bible gateway app, or my Logos app, that allows me to have access to so many tools, including the ability to parse Greek words at the drop of a hat!

I think it is proper for us to spend a little time tomorrow thanking God for His Word, and for emboldening men and women to be willing to die for the sake of the possibility to hold our Bibles.

It is also imperative that you realize the ramifications of their actions. The Roman Catholic Church hates the fact that you have your Bible.

They made that very clear when they dug up John Wycliffe’s bones in order to burn them and scatter them in the river Swift. His Bible translation left such an impact that the Roman Catholic Church needed to make a public statement about their hatred for him.

They proved that again when they burned Jan Hus for translating the Bible into Czech. The story goes that they were so excited about his death that hundreds of prostitutes made their way to his execution, and hundreds died while partying in the local lake.

They kept their tradition strong when they killed William Tyndale for his English translation work by strangling him and then burning his body. If it were up to the Roman Catholic Church we would all be biblically illiterate buying our way to heaven through indulgences.

I think it’s appropriate today to thank the Lord for the Bible that you hold in your hand.

As you consider the Bible (or Bibles) you get to hold, I pray that the following three things are true about you. These three men died so that you would do three things.

Read it.

Men and women died while translating it because they wanted you to read it. It isn’t enough to go to a church that preaches it or to spend time with others who read it. You need to be the one who regularly reads it. May the Word of God be more important to you than the clothes you wear and the water you drink!

May Psalm 119:97

be true in your life!

“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

Share it.

Men and women died so that you would share the Bible with others. Give the Bible away to people; but, most importantly, talk about it with others. You can show gratefulness to God for the Bible you have by talking about it with the people around you. Their sin is vast, but they cannot see it unless God opens their eyes through His Word. He has made it so that only His Word can open their eyes, and only through His messengers faithfully sharing that Word with others.

“May you always remember Romans 10:17


“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. ”

Support it.

Find men and women who are giving their lives to Bible translation and support them. If you don’t have much money, consider praying for them. Most of them are risking their lives for the sake of Bible translation. There is a room at the Bible museum here in D.C. that shows all of the different languages around the world with a full Bible. Sadly, less than half of the world’s languages have a full Bible in their language! The work that Wycliffe, Huss and Tyndale started is by no means complete, so consider giving your life away for the sake of bringing the Bible to the unreached!

May we be spurred on to do what Psalm 96:3

calls us to do!

“Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.”

Every year on Reformation Day, we have an incredible opportunity to remember God’s incomprehensible grace in allowing us to know Him. We should be in hell, and yet through His marvelous grace, He gave us men and women whom He transformed through His Word. Men and women who were willing to suffer for our sake, so that we, too, might experience the transforming work of His word. This is our day to be thankful, and this is our day to renew our commitment to read it, share it, and support it.

Happy Reformation Day!

The Story of the Maccabees

I am working on little booklet telling the Christmas story from a Jewish- Christian Scriptural Perspective and including the Feast of Lights, aka Hannukah, spoken of in the Gospel of John. I thought you might find this extra Biblical historical reading of interest to gain an understanding of the meaning of Hannukah beyond it being thought of as the Jewish Christmas, or receiving eight days of presents and eating potato pancakes. It is a rich and dramatic history of the zeal of the Jewish true believers for God, His purposes, plans and His Word.

Often in recent years I have thought that without Hannukah, Christmas would not be possible. For Yeshua Ha’moshiach, our LORD Jesus Christ to fulfill the Law perfectly, which He did, He had to be presented at the Temple so that He could be dedicated, be circumcised on the eighth day, and also so Simeon and Anna could bless Him who were awaiting the Messiah. The Maccabees had won back the Temple from the Greeks who had thoroughly defiled God’s holy sanctuary and reconsecreated it. The story is a wonderful knitting together of the whole Biblical context of His incarnation.
May you be blessed this Hannukah and Christmas season by His Presence and with many opportunities to share the truth of the King of kings, our Messiah Yeshua Ha’moshiach, our LORD Jesus Christ, King of kings, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.
Joy to the World!! Through the One and only source of Joy, Immanuel.
Praying you have much love and joy this holy season,
James and Elizabeth Stephens

Here is an excellent reading of the Book of Maccabees. There are three parts.

Here’s a link to my Hannukah playlist. Hope it works if you’re interested.

The Fall of Jericho

While studying the accuracy of the Biblical narrative regarding the destruction of Jericho, I consulted Pfeiffer’s Biblical World which catalogues archaeological finds which are pertinent in studying the truth of the Bible. At first I was disappointed as the evidence presented by Garstang’s interpretation which at first seemed to confirm the accuracy was seemingly later disproven as to the timing of the battle by Kenyon, a French archaeologist who worked at the Jericho sitr from 1952-1958. Pfeiffer’s book was published in 1972 and is a reference book consulted by many pastors, teachers, and theologians. However, archaeology is actively uncovering new clues and overturning old theories. Such is the fascinating case of Dr. Bryant Woods confirming evidence which overturns Kenyon’s earlier findings. Here’s the link:

Watch “Secrets of the Bible: The Fall of Jericho with Dr. Bryant Wood” on YouTube