Two years after Tyndale’s death, his English translation of the Bible began spreading the message of Jesus Christ throughout the British Empire.
In time its message reached all the way to a remote island in the South Pacific, which harbored sailors from the HMS Bounty. The famous mutiny of the Bounty inspired five motion pictures and numerous books. But more importantly, it led to a radical change on that tiny island.
In 1789, drunken sailors and mutineers, accompanied by several Tahitian women, fled to the deserted tropical paradise of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. The islanders soon degenerated into sexual promiscuity, debauchery, violence, and murder. Eventually the one male survivor, John Adams (alias Alexander Smith), 11 women, and 23 children were left. Ray Stedman tells what happened then:
As the last man living, Smith felt responsible to look after the women and fatherless children who remained. He regretted the sinfulness of his past, and knew he lacked the wisdom to care for the women and children. He needed guidance from beyond himself.
Looking through a sea-chest, Smith found a Bible. Over the next few weeks, he read it from cover to cover. Then he asked God to take control of his life. He also taught the women and children to read the Bible.(93)
As the Bible was read, taught and applied in people’s lives, it had a transforming impact on the entire island.
In 1808, the American whaling ship Topaz stopped at Pitcairn. The Americans were the first visitors to the island since the mutiny on the Bounty, eighteen years earlier. The sailors from the Topaz were astounded to find an orderly Christian society in which there was no crime, no disease, no alcoholism, no illiteracy.(94)
Tyndale’s translation of the Bible also reached a drunken slave trader named John Newton. After becoming a Christian, Newton was transformed from a slave trader to a slave liberator. Thankful for God’s forgiveness, he penned the song, Amazing Grace, and worked to free the very people he had enslaved. Newton’s changed life and desire to free slaves helped William Wilberforce convince Parliament in 1833 to abolish slavery in Great Britain.
Thirty years later, following England’s example, United States President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, granting freedom to all slaves. Crediting the Bible for his conviction, Lincoln stated,
In regard to this great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book.(95)
The Bible continues to transform the lives of those who take its words to heart. Its central theme is that God loves us so much that he gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, making it possible for us to have a personal relationship with him and live forever with God.(96)
If the Bible is true as Jesus and the apostles claimed, then its words need to be taken seriously. The evidence for its scientific, historical and prophetic accuracy provide compelling evidence that it is indeed true.
Whether you already believe the Bible is true, or still have doubts, we encourage you to read through its pages in order to draw your own conclusion. A good place to begin is the book of John in the New Testament. If you don’t already have a Bible, you can access it at the following link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+1-21&version=NCV
As you read through the Bible, think of it as is God’s living love letter to you, revealing his love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Most importantly, notice that Jesus desires a personal relationship with us, regardless of what we have done or thought. He said,
“I came to give life—life in all its fullness.”(97) (John 10:10b, NCV.)
Discover how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ at https://jesusonline.com/receive-jesus/relevant-today/unabridged/