Power of the (local language) Word

We are continuing our discussion on the Articles of Religion (or “the Thirty-Nine Articles) in our discipleship group, and last week, we discussed Article 17, Predestination, which was predictably (no pun intended!) exciting.

After the discussion, as we are wont to do, we went down some bunny trails, and somehow ended up discussing a prayer that apparently some priests pray when someone is accepting Christ, that the person’s name is removed from the book of death and written in the book of life. I’ve never heard of this, and it launched a bit of a firestorm discussion.

I asked where this “book of death” is recorded in Scripture, and of course my student didn’t know where (because it’s not there). I pointed out that there’s only the book of life, and then we went to Revelation 20:11-15, and discussed the difference between ‘the books’ that hold the record of our lives and ‘the book of life,’ which records the names of those who are saved. More discussion ensued.

Then another student jumped in, and said, “Listen to that passage in Luganda; it brings it out clearly for me.” And she pulled out her phone (yes, there’s an app for that!), and read the passage in Luganda. Several of the other students nodded in agreement as she read and even emphasized words. As far as I can tell, the only ones in the group who couldn’t follow along were me and one of the Rwandan students.

As she read, and the Baganda not only followed along but participated in the reading, I marveled yet again at the power of the written Word. Of course, we all read Bibles that have been translated, and the Word is as powerful in English as it is in Hebrew and Greek. Even translated into a tongue I don’t know, there is power in the Word. And for that, I am immensely grateful.


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