(Note: text not in line with pictures like usual.)Today Dad, Thomas, Mike and I drove to Orlando to go to the Holy Land Experience. It's a small park that basically is a witness of Christ to the Jews. It was pretty amazing. They have a huge model replica of Jerusalem in 66AD. The best part though, which I'm going to tell about first, was the Scriptorium. The Scriptorium was a walk through museum of sorts that has a ton of replicas that were donated to the Holy Land Experience. There were tablets from Babylon with writing about King Nebuchadnezzar, there were scrolls from the Library at Alexandria in Egypt, there were scrolls of books of the Bible, including a beautifully decorated scroll of Esther. As you walk through the museum, it takes you through a different period in history where the Word of God has been brought through time and history and has been preserved so all could hear the Gospel of Christ. There were Greek copies of the New Testament (in Greek of course) dating back to 100 AD.
They had a very early edition of the Vulgate, which was the Latin translation of the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew. There were books there that were over a thousand years old ~ it was absolutely incredible and moving. There were many times that I had to hold back tears. The way that the Lord has preserved His Word is just . . . well, indescribable. But there's more . . . There were early editions of the Wyclif Gospels (I can't remember the exact date, but it was around 1382). John Wyclif was a priest of the English church who translated the Latin Bible into English so that the English people could read the Bible for themselves. This enacted a law which equated Bible reading with heresy that was punishable by death (the English clergy enacted this law.) And the Holy Land Experience has an early edition of that Bible! You can't go through history and how the Bible came to be as a book today without talking about Gutenberg and the printing press, since the first book printed was a Bible. On display they had a Gutenberg Bible.
I don't think it was the first one, but Johannes Gutenberg spent two years printing a collection of 210 copies, which I think this Bible is one of, probably printed in the late 1400's. On display was also what I thought one of the most powerful symbols of martyrdom for Christ ~ a copy of the blood stained Marytr's Bible. It was a Matthew's Bible from 1537. William Tyndale worked in Germany to print English Bibles to smuggle into England, since printing (and probably distrubuting them) was considered heretical by the church of England. Tyndale was executed within 10 years of starting his work in Germany.
His last words were "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." Three years later King Henry VIII ordered that every church in England have a copy of the Bible in English (as opposed to Latin, which the common man could not read). Tyndale's Bible (since he translated from the original Greek and Latin), became the basis for the King James Bible, first published in 1611. They also had a second edition Tyndale New Testament that was printed in Antwerp in 1534 was display. Absolutely incredible . . . Moving on through the tour, you are taken to the jail cell of John Bunyan. He was imprisoned for 12 years for not conforming with the church of England.
He was a minister but refused to be ordained by the church of England. Rather than agree and have his freedom (and be with his wife and four children), he stayed in prison because he believed that it was more important to be odedient to the Scripture than to be free. While in prison, he wrote several books, including the Pilgrim's Progress, which they had an early edition of. They also had early editions of Justification, The Holy War and Advice to Suffers. There books were printed in the late 1600's. Moving on in the tour you are taken in to the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London where Charles Spurgeon preached.
On display were copies of Lectures to My Students, The Soul Winner and An All-Around Ministry, as well as hand written letters written by the famous pastor. These dated to the late 1800's. On display also was a copy of the Geneva Bible, presumably the one brought to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. They also had on display the first Bible printed in America. It also happened to be the first Bible printed for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel to the Native Americans. John Eliot spent 12 years translating this Bible in Algonquian.
The Finale of walking through the Scriptorium was oil painting of various figures from the Bible: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Saul, David, Isaiah, Mary, Peter, Paul. While the curtain rose to reveal the painting, a voice read from Scripture. Joshua 1:8, 2 Tim 3:16-17, John 1:1-3 were among the verses quoted. And above, the ten commandments were illuminated and read allowed. The purpose was to say that no man was able to keep them, we were sinful and in need of a Savior: Jesus Christ. What was also so great was at the very end of the tour before you exited, having just seen how the Bible has been passed down from generation to generation and the people who paid for it with their freedom and their lives, they challenged you (us) with what you are going to do with your time and your freedom to own and read the Living Word of God. Are you going to be odediant is basically what they were asking. It really makes you think that nothing really else matters in this world, except the Great Commission and preaching the Word. There are a lot of people who don't know. I have felt called to missions before, and it was one of the reasons that I chose Mike as a husband, he said he also felt called to missions. I feel that calling renewed. I feel, however, that I do lack the courage, so that is my prayer request now. I don't see the mission field as a far off land anymore though, I see it right here in the US. It really is where ever the Lord calls us.
***Normally I write things in chronological order, but I was so excited about writing about the Scriptorium and wanted to get it all out before I forgot things. You are absolutely forbidden from taking any pictures, even with a cell phone, inside, so I didn't get any pictures. I do wish I had brought a small notebook to write down specifics dates and the names of all the books, manuscripts and scrolls they had on display.***
So more about the Holy Land Experience.
As you can see from the pictures, basically, you are walking through Israel. It rained on and off all day (hence the overcast sky.) The underlying theme throughout the entire thing is that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. He came to fulfill the prophesies, He lived, He died for our sins and He rose again from the dead. What a witness to those who don't believe! I think especially to the Jews. They go through how the prophesies were fulfilled, not just with Scripture, but historically as well. If anyone who reads my blog ever comes to central/south Florida, they have got to come here. It's actually just about 10 minutes from Disney.
We did stop to get some food. I love that there were verses everywhere throughout the park. This verse (Psalm 42:2), was just outside the little cafe, over looking a water fountain.
Well, I must go for now. We have company over for New Year's Celebration and all that. I guess this is my last blog for the 2007.
So farewell 2007, hello 2008. I am looking forward to the New Year! :D
Signing off for 2007 ~ Good Bye from Florida ~ see you in Oklahoma on Friday! :D Love to you all! :D