In 1608 King James I ordered a team of 50 scholars to translate the Bible into English. Until this time the authorities had usually frowned on making the Bible available in anything but Latin or Greek and most translators were persecuted or even martyred. In 1611 King James had copies of the new translation he had commissioned placed in every Parish Church in England so that for the first time ever most ordinary people could hear the Bible in their own language. Next year (2011) therefore is the four hundredth anniversary of what we now know as the Authorised or King James Version of the Bible.
Of course our language is constantly evolving and since then there have been at least 28 more translations of the Bible into English and we can all choose to read it in a version which suits us. Most of the churches and Christian organisations are doing special activities to celebrate 400 years of freedom to read the Bible under the overall title of BibleFresh. We, at Christ Church, would like to have some Bible-based discussion groups. Would you like to host a group in your house for a series of 5 or 6 weeks? Would you like to lead a group? Do you have any burning questions that you would like to discuss? If you answer yes to any of these questions please fill in a form in the foyer and give it to Helen or Carol Spencer by the end of the year
Here are some suggestions to get you thinking.
• Does the Bible have anything to say about reproductive science e.g. test tube babies; egg donation etc.?
• Christianity and other world religions e.g. Islam, Hinduism etc.
• What is worship and why do we do it?
• The Bible and evolution.
• Martyrdom in Christianity and Islam.
• Christians and ‘the right to die’.
• Particular Bible passages or books which are difficult to understand.
• Christians and money.
• What is all the fuss about women bishops in the Church of England?
The United Reformed Church Vision for Life Initiative have designated 2011 ‘The Year of Evangelism. Perhaps the questions ‘What is evangelism?’ and ‘What is witnessing?’ ‘Is there a difference?’ Or something else in this area might also be suitable for our discussion groups.