September 05, 2010

Members of The Moravian Unity believed that all Christians had both the right and the duty to read and interpret the scriptures for themselves. Not surprisingly the Moravians were the first Protestant Church to publish a Bible translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into a native tongue. This significant work of scholarship was called the Kralitz Bible.

During the Counter-Reformation the Roman Catholic authorities in Moravia and Bohemia confiscated and burned all of these Bibles that they could find. However, thanks to the ingenuity of the Moravian women, quite a few were preserved. How did they do it? When the authorities came to call at homes to confiscate the Kralitz Bible, housewives placed the scriptures in a baked loaf of bread! Bread for the table, used to preserve "the Bread of Life." This was a remarkable piece of ingenuity by the dedicated and committed women of God. Those strong Moravian women of faith knew the value of the word of life and so the Holy Spirit guided them to preserve the Word as the Bread of Life. It is said that several copies of the Kralitz Bible which were so preserved are periodically displayed in the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

What a remarkable thing it would be if more men and women would hide the Word of God in our hearts, so that it becomes the Bread of Life. The Moravian Church needs to be infected with the Word of God, so that we can affect the lives of others, with the Bread of Life. In the process, we will be able to announce like the Psalmists, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”(Ps.119:105)

Love of the scriptures carried an additional benefit for our ancestors. Since members of The Unity were eager for their own children to be able to read the Bible, they became educational pioneers, publishing many other books besides. During the years 1505-1510, a total number of sixty books were published in Bohemia. More impressive still, fifty of them came from presses owned by The Unity. Can God not do with us now, what he did with them then?