Once Upon a Time – Weekly Inspiring Image

Once upon a time, on a small island far away, a man named John wanted to be able to read the Bible in the language of his village marketplace. He didn’t like that only highly educated people could read the Bible in Latin. Although his mother tongue was considered poor and vulgar, John believed that the good news of the Gospel should be available to ‘poor’ and ‘vulgar’ people as well. He was labelled as a rebel, yet he and his friends were the first to translate the Bible into the language that we now call English.

This story is told and re-told in village meetings, during celebration feasts and around camp fires all over the world. Still today, this very day, people around the world share this same vision as John: to be able to read the Bible in their own language.

The Wycliffe Global Alliance takes their name from this ‘rebel’ – John Wycliffe – because they also believe that all people should be able to hear from God in the language that they know best. Seven hundred years and counting, Bible translation is an immense vision, and it will take all of us working together to complete it. What part can you play?

Photo & Words: Elyse Patten


  1. I read this post on US election day… and was so struck by the fact that this man wasn’t elected, nor even a recognized world leader. Yet what a difference he made in the world.

  2. Thanks Melody. I know right! One other thing I found interesting about him was that he was a person of great privilege. He WAS highly educated (an Oxford scholar) and COULD read the Bible in Latin. But he sacrificed this life of privilege and what was “expected of him” to advocate for the rights of the poor. He was just one person who didn’t like what he saw in his society and threw away his comfortable life to do something about it.

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