|This is the Bible I inherited from my paternal grandfather Rev. Emil Stehlik.
|It was translated from the original languages and published in MDLXXXVII (1587) clandestinely by Unitas Fratrum (Moravian Church).
|It survived the period of harsh contrareformation (1621 - 1781) and while in hiding the title page and several pages of the foreword were damaged and painstakingly redrawn and rewritten.
|It is a study bible. It has substantial critical textual apparatus, translation notes and well chosen cross-references. And my ancestors used it for their bible study - there is substantial underlying and even written notes by several hands.
It is only the volume four of a six volume set - this one contains the prophetic books and when I preach on Isaiah or Habakuk I still sometimes look into it for exegetical insights of my ancestors (they can be illuminating).
This family Bible is our great treasure, in its form and shape is preserved an uneasy history of my ancestors but also their theological heritage - heritage of theological thinking and seeking. They clearly treasured their bibles, hiding them from confiscations, hiding them for diligent study. But as valuable as the bible can be, it is NOT the Word of God. Any bible only points towards the true Word of God, which became flesh. And that would be the theme of our worship this Sunday - the preexistent divine LOGOS which became flesh and is shaping nd reshaping the universe through light and life.