This weekend I started through the newer version of Foxe's Book of Martyrs. I've read the older versions in "Middle English" in the past, and thinking it's time to go back to it. I'm fine with using a dictionary if needed, the older/harder words are not a hinderance but a chance to grow in vocabulary.
That's something I have found in "new/updated" versions of old books--the language is dumbed down for our society that wants things easy. Our bibles are dumbed down into revisions that are in every day conversational English, our classic books are rewritten into conversational English, and that takes the original words and meanings out of them. It doesn't make us expand our understandings and our vocabulary, but instead drags the work down to our level. Why not bring ourselves UP to the mark?
Anyway, if you haven't read Foxe's Book of Martyrs, regardless of version, you really should. You'll see what the early church fathers, faithful women, and even children had to endure for their faith, for teaching the Gospel, for standing on the fundamentals of the Word, for simply having a copy of just one book of the Bible, or just admitting they were a Christian. What we call persecution here in the US is nothing compared to what the early Christians went through--only satan himself could think up such tortures. Sadly, with the people persecuted in the Middle East and communist countries, their stories are mirroring what happened to the early Christians. But our world is too much enthralled with the latest tv show or what is trending on facebook or twitter to pay attention.
Foxe's Book of Martyrs can be found free online to read, or you can purchase various updated versions usually inexpensively. Some libraries carry it--here ours does, but the library in the next city doesn't as it watered down its Christian section.
Foxe's Book of Martyrs on Gutenberg Project (Free)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs (Free)
Foxe's Book of Martyrs (Sacred Texts page--Free)
It is good to know what our forefathers went through, so that we may be aware and hold fast to our own faith should it be called out like theirs.
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