Archive for September, 2017
In my previous post I wrote about an upcoming exhibition at John Rylands Library on the Reformation. The exhibition, now open, marks the 500th anniversary for a happening that would become one of the most significant events in Church history.
Yesterday I visited the exhibition for the second time.
On arrival I was faced with an original handwritten letter by Martin Luther dated 1 January 1528. Written in German, the letter is very Christ centred. It shows a man who’s life was heavily under threat, unable to save himself and looking to Christ who remains the life and justification of the those who believe and trust in Him.
A translation is available and presents a very humble and spiritual man. It is a very touching letter.
Moving through the exhibition it is clear that the representatives of Rylands have portrayed the reformation properly. There is a 1539 ‘Great Bible’ and for the most part, the exhibition Focuses on the writings, influence and controversies of the following three distinct persons;
- Tyndale “Radical“
- Henry V111 “Rogue“
- Martin Luther “Renegade“
Here is a list of some of the displayed items and books.
William Tyndale features prominently and there is a Tyndale New Testament, printed in Antwerp, 1536. There is a copy of ‘The Obedience of a Christian Man and how Christian rulers ought to govern’ (Antwerp, 1528)
There is also an intriguing book “The Testament of Master William Tracie esquier expounded both by William Tyndal and John Frith’ (London, 1535)
Henry V111 rightly features and there is a fine decorated copy of a ‘Defense of the seven sacraments against Martin Luther” (London, 1521) and “The confutacyon of Tyndale’s answere” by Thomas More (London, 1533)
Also on display is a fine copy of “The Bible in Englishe“, known as the Great Bible (London, 1539)
This work was the first English Bible approved of by King Henry V111 and the New Testament contains the majority of Tyndale’s translation.
Martin Luther is very prominent with an original 15th century ‘indulgence‘ printed by Gutenberg at Mainz between 1454-1455. Luther’s reaction to this is displayed in his bold “Disputation on the power of indulgences” (Basel, 1517)
Other Luther books include ‘A treatise touching the liberty of a Christian‘ (1579 print) “On the Babylonian captivity of the Church” (Strasboug, 1520) and a Luther New Testament in German (Wittenberg, 1522) with an image of the ‘whore of Babylon‘ wearing the Pope’s Papal Tiara.
I like that one a lot!
October 31st 20017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Christians and people from all around the world are making ready to celebrate and remember this major turning point in the history of the Church.
In my opinion, John Rylands Library, Manchester has the greatest Biblical archive in Britain and holds some of the finest examples of 16th century printed Bibles anywhere in the world. As a contribution to this momentous and unique anniversary, Rylands library, Deansgate is holding an autumn Reformation exhibition starting on 7th September 2017 through to 4th March 2018.
According to the John Rylands website, the Reformation exhibition will focus upon central persons of the Reformation, Martin Luther, Henry V111 and William Tyndale and “will explore the early years of the upheaval and the roles of these three men, considering the war in print which had a lasting effect on the history of Europe through propaganda, words and ideas.”
Today, an awakening is happening, people all over are talking about reformation. Yet there are a number of false new reformations taking place, and the Church of England is jumping back into bed again with Rome, but there is also a true Reformation. Thus, I look unto Christ, in anticipation and expectation of what God is going to do and is doing in the future history of His people.
The exhibition is free and I will certainly be attending and no doubt re-attending.
It is upon us. It is ongoing. Now is the time!