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Joe Maxwell: Martyred for the Message

The act of making Scripture available in the language of local readers remains a challenge and opportunity today. Many “governments” in the 21st century discourage local language Bibles. Scripture creates problems for national dictators and the local shaman alike.

Bibles in an “outlaw” dialect foster regional identities and allegiances, perhaps against the policy of a central government. If people are studying their Bibles, their moral and intellectual powers are also increasing. Again, this could lead to conflict with a local “chieftain” or national leader who wants to push a different agenda.

History teaches us that repressive regimes, communist, fascist or cultist, first eliminate the Christian missionaries and teachers in a region. Christian doctrine encourages more moral strength and intellectual capability than tyrants or demons want to face. Once the Bibles and Bible teachers are gone, the darkness falls.


Blood and Ink

Tyndale’s willingness to make sacrifices to publish Scripture cannot be over-emphasized. Modern Christians need to get Bibles and Bible teachers into places of darkness. There is the risk of persecution and perhaps martyrdom. “No Cross, No Crown.”

The words of Jesus are often written in red to emphasize His sacrifice for us. What isn’t always seen is the sacrifice of men like Tyndale and countless other Bible translators. These courageous souls use their enormous intellectual powers and relentless dedication to God, to make Scripture available to everyone.

Maxwell’s call for more Bibles and Bible carriers in the world is just as important today as it was for Tyndale. The world needs men and women who are willing to pour their own sweat and tears into the Bible inkwell. And some saints may give that ultimate ingredient, their own blood, to make Salvation accessible to the lost.

Reviewed by Kirk Hunt



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Category: Church History, Spring 2007

About the Author: Kirk Wesley Hunt, MBA, is part of Tucson Church International in Tucson Arizona. He is the author of Soldiers Of The Kingdom: Reclaiming the World for God (CadreMen Press, 2002) and Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals for Gospel Champions (CadreMen Press, 2015). He publishes a weekly devotional at:

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