17 March 2019
I cannot deny it. There are some difficult chunks of Scripture which are not easily read. Our reading group found that out especially in Leviticus and Numbers. There are some hard questions raised about the nature of God, his punitive and sometimes violent actions.
This is the Old Testament which not only provides a solid foundation for the New but also a foil for the glory of Christ’s gospel of grace. The Law was important to Jesus. He didn’t come to abolish it but to fulfil it. Logic is enriched by emotion. Law cannot stand on its own. Grace abounds.
Both Old and New are essential reading. Hence our project – and the project of the Scottish Bible Society which has pledged ‘to provide 600 million people with access to God’s Word in their heart language’.
We had the Renaissance and the keen interest in learning other languages and translating texts from one language into another. We had the extraordinary missionary endeavour of the nineteenth century and the goal to take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
We had the twentieth century with its enormous advancements in technology – and still there are 600 million people in the world who do not have access to the Word of God in their native tongue. And astonishingly, there are 3,988 languages for which there are no written scriptures!
Of course, the provision of Bibles is one thing, reading them and understanding the words they contain is quite another. Just look at Scotland. We used to be called ‘The People of the Book’. Which book? People may readily ask that now. The book of life, life in all its fullness!