“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” – Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
In 1891 a young and enterprising Cambridge university graduate, George Pilkington, a gifted missionary to Uganda, decided to translate the Bible into the first local language here, Luganda. Well received, in 1895 he translated the whole of the Bible into Luganda. It is said, “He sold 1,100 copies of the Bible in just 12 months…The translated scriptures were sold as far as eastern Congo. The demand for the books was so high, that sometimes the supply could not keep up. As soon as a new consignment made it to Uganda, through the long journey by sea and the perilous trek from the coast, all the books would be bought.”
From these humble beginnings today the Bible has been translated into 14 Ugandan languages and also Braille. Around the world the Bible is the most translated book into over 700 languages. It is also the bestselling book of all time. It has been found the “Bible far outsold any other book, with a whopping 3.9 billion copies sold over the last 50 years.”
Perhaps we might ask why the demand for the Bible has been so high across all cultures. The simple truth is that this is the irresistible Word of God!
The Bible is the revealed truth of God’s plan for salvation of all mankind. And because of its power to change life there has been a long and protracted history to censor it from getting into the hands of common people. Until the reformation in 1500s it was heretical to be found reading the Bible in your local language.
We should therefore consider ourselves much privileged that we have free access to the Bible, which we can also enjoy in most of our local languages. Let us never hesitate to partake of all its blessings and spread the beautiful message of God’s wonderful plan, for all “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
Prayer for today: Lord father God of creation and earth, I thank you for your rich Word as revealed in the Bible, and knowing how countless many laid down their lives that I may have free access to it, I pray ever to be enriched by its message of salvation and gladly share it to all!