Saturday, 10 May 2014 00:00

The Bounty's Bible

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Overview

The English ship Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh, journeyed to the South Pacific in 1787 to collect plants and breadfruit tree. Sailors signed on gladly, considering the voyage a trip to paradise.

Having no second-in-command, Captain Bligh appointed his young friend Fletcher Christian to the post.

The Bounty stayed in Tahiti six months, and the sailors, led by happy-go-lucky Fletcher Christian, enjoyed paradise to the full. When the time came for departure, some of the men wanted to stay behind with their island girls.

Three men, trying to desert were flogged. The mood on ship darkened, and on April 1789, Fletcher Christian staged the most famous mutiny in history. Bligh and his supporters were set adrift in an overloaded lifeboat which they miraculously navigated 3,700 miles (5,954 km) to Timor.

The mutineers aboard the Bounty immediately began quarrelling about what to do next. Christian returned to Tahiti, where he left some of the mutineers, kidnapped some women, took some slaves, and travelled with the remaining crew a thousand miles to uninhabited Pitcairn Island. There the little group quickly unravelled. They distilled whiskey from a native plant. Drunkenness and fighting marked their colony. Disease and murder eventually took the lives of all the men except for one, Alexander Smith, who found himself the only man on the island, surrounded by an assortment of women and children.

Then an amazing change occurred. Smith found the Bounty's neglected Bible. As he read it, he took its message to heart, then began instructing the little community. He taught the colonists the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that twenty years later, in 1808, when the ship Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder—and mutiny.

Years later, the Bible fell into the hands of a visiting whaler who brought it to America, but in 1950, it was returned to the island. It is now on display in the church in Pitcairn as a monument to its transforming message.

Discover the life transforming message in the Bible. Read it everyday and discover the God of the Bible.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalm 119:9

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Let the Word of God guide your life.

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