On Friday September 23rd, 2022 after we took in the Natural Museum we headed across University Park to the River Cherwell and we found a bench dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien. The bench has seen better days and could use a sprucing up.
A few of our family are huge fans of Tolkien and his work.
We continued down the river path to a another path that led to South Parks Road and on to Parks Rd.
When we reached Broad we took a right to see if we could get into Balliol College.
Success! From the brochure we were handed we learned some interesting things about Balliol.
The current ‘Master’ of the college says, “Balliol is arguably the oldest college in Oxford, founded in 1263. It has stood on a single site (where you are now) longer than any other college in the English-speaking world. It has also over the centuries played a leading role in the intellectual life of the University and the public life of Britain and the wider world.”
This is the hallway that leads to the Chapel entrance.
A smaller chapel but one we could walk into and enjoy all the windows and other craftmanship.
An eagle lectern is a lectern made in the shape of an eagle on whose outstretched wings the Bible rests. Because it soars upward, the eagle is often used as symbol of Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension (lifting up) into Heaven. The eagle is also the symbol used to depict St John.
The eagle lectern was given to the College in about 1635 by Edward Wilson, a former Senior Fellow.
THE FLYING eagle is the symbol of John the Evangelist (see Revelation, ch 4, v 7) who proclaimed Christ as ‘the Word of God’ at the beginning of his Gospel. The flying eagle is thus a suitable emblem from which God’s word is read, reaching to the ends of the earth.
The present chapel is the third on the site and was built in 1857. The architect was William Butterfield, who also designed Keble College. Keble is the college we visited after Balliol so that post is yet to come.
This is a link to another post on Balliol College when we visited in 2014.
I was fascinated to read that John Wycliffe, first translator of the Bible into English, was Master of Balliol in 1360. Later on this day we saw this sign.
When we lived in Huntington Beach from 1975-1984 we attended Huntington Beach EVFree church and shared the Wycliffe Bible Translators office space on Sundays for extra Sunday School rooms. We also shared the parking lot. They are no longer at that location in Huntington Beach.
Here’s some history about Wycliffe Bible Translators:
In 1917 a missionary named William Cameron Townsend went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. But he was shocked when many people couldn’t understand the books. They spoke Cakchiquel, a language without a Bible. Cam believed everyone should understand the Bible, so he started a linguistics school (the Summer Institute of Linguistics, known today as SIL) that trained people to do Bible translation. The work continued to grow, and in 1942 Cam officially founded Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Over the following decades, Wycliffe celebrated many milestones — from the first translation completed in 1951, all the way to the 500th translation completed in 2000. Around the same time, Wycliffe adopted a new challenge — a goal of seeing a Bible translation project started in every language still needing one by 2025.