I have a Geneva translation of the Bible. The language is very similar to the King James version, so I sometimes get some playful flak from friends who like more modern translations. But as with most things, I veer in the direction of “old-fashioned.”*
Yesterday, for the first time, I came across another reason to love my Geneva Bible. I had never noticed it before, but in the front of the Bible, the Geneva translators printed a poem reminding the Christian reader of the beauty, power, and wisdom that is found in the Scriptures. It was a testament to the devotion with which the Christians of the day viewed the Bible. It forced me to ponder how much it truly meant for people to own and read a Bible during a time when Bible translators were condemned and persecuted fir their efforts to bring the Bible to the common man. And it made me realize how much more I need to treasure and study my Bible.
I have re-posted it here in the hopes that it encourages you as much as it encourages me.
Here is the Spring where waters flow,
to quench our heat of sin:
Here is the Tree where truth doth grow,
to lead our lives therein:
Here is the Judge that stints the strife,
when men’s devices fail:
Here is the Bread that feeds the life,
that death cannot assail.
The tidings of Salvation dear,
comes to our ears from hence:
The fortress of our Faith is here,
and shield of our defence.
Then be not like the hog, that hath
a pearl at his desire,
And takes more pleasure of the trough
and wallowing in the mire.
Read not this book, in any case,
but with a single eye:
Read not, but first desire God’s grace,
to understand thereby.
Pray still in faith, with this respect,
to fructify therein,
That knowledge may bring this effect,
to mortify thy sin.
Then happy thou, in all thy life,
whatso to thee befalls:
Yea, double happy shalt thou be,
when God by death thee calls.
*To clarify, I don’t believe that any one translation is the definitive translation with all other translations are inferior. I often compare multiple translations (NIV, ESV, NAS, KJV, Geneva) together when I run into passages that I want to know more about.