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Bible-Burners (build it yourself bibles)
New Oxford Review ^ | February 2004 | Dwight Longenecker

Posted on 03/16/2006 5:51:01 AM PST by NYer

Tales continue to circulate about how the Catholic Church opposed translating the Bible into the vernacular. But the Church has never opposed that. After all, the Vulgate was originally translated by St. Jerome to make the Bible available in the vernacular of the day, Latin, which continued to be the lingua franca of educated Europe up to the late 18th century and beyond. Nor were the Reformers the first to translate the Bible into more modern European languages. The Catholic Church approved of Gutenberg's German Bible in 1455. The first printed Flemish edition came out in 1477. Two Italian versions of the Bible were printed in 1471, and a Catalan version came out in 1478. A Polish Bible was translated in 1516, and the earliest English version was published in 1525. Most of these were editions of the entire Bible. Individual books had appeared in the vernacular centuries earlier. The first English-language Gospel of John, for example, was translated by the Venerable Bede into Anglo-Saxon in the year 735.

The Church didn't object to William Tyndale's translating the Bible into English. Rather, she objected to the Protestant notes and Protestant bias that accompanied the translation. Tyndale's translation came complete with prologue and footnotes condemning Church doctrines and teachings. Even King Henry VIII in 1531 condemned the Tyndale Bible as a corruption of Scripture. In the words of King Henry's advisors: "the translation of the Scripture corrupted by William Tyndale should be utterly expelled, rejected, and put away out of the hands of the people…."

Protestant Bishop Tunstall of London declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale's Bible. Tyndale translated the term Baptism into "washing," Scripture into "writing," Holy Ghost into "Holy Wind," bishop into "overseer," priest into "elder," deacon into "minister," heresy into "choice," martyr into "witness," etc. In his footnotes, Tyndale referred to the occupant of the Chair of Peter as "that great idol, the whore of Babylon, the anti-Christ of Rome."

The Catholic response was not to burn the Bible, but to burn Tyndale's Bible. This was an age when making your own version of the Bible seemed to be all the rage. The Reformers cut out the Deuterocanonical Books, Luther wanted to get rid of the Epistle of James as well as Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation because they didn't agree with his theory of justification. The Reformers themselves fought about which version of the Bible was best. Zwingli said of Luther's German version of the Bible, "Thou corruptest the word of God, O Luther; thou art seen to be a manifest corrupter of the holy scripture; how much are we ashamed of thee…!" To which Luther politely answered, "Zwinglians are fools, asses and deceivers." At the same time Molinaeus, the French Reformed theologian, complained that Calvin "uses violence to the letter of the gospel, and besides this, adds to the text."

The Protestant Reformers may have been revolutionaries, but their revolution was extremist, not unlike that of the Taliban. This is exemplified by their zeal for destruction. Catholics burnt some Bibles, but the Protestants burned books on a scale that makes the Catholic fires look like the odd candle flame. In England, when the monasteries were suppressed, their libraries were most often destroyed as well. So the vast monastic libraries of religious texts encompassing many ancient, rare, and hand-copied Catholic Bibles were put to the flames. In 1544 in the Anglican controlled sections of Ireland, the Reformers put an immense number of ancient books, including Vulgate Bibles, onto the bonfires as they ransacked the monasteries and their libraries. In an effort to reduce the Catholic Irish to ignorance, King Henry VIII decreed that in Ireland the possession of a manuscript on any subject whatsoever (including sacred Scripture) should incur the death penalty.

King Henry VIII even burnt the Protestant Bibles of Tyndale, Coverdale, and Matthew, with the Catholic Latin Vulgate helping to feed the fires.

In 1582 The Rheims Catholic New Testament in English was issued. This Catholic version, with its accompanying notes, aroused the fiercest opposition in Protestant England. Queen Elizabeth ordered searches to seek out, confiscate, and destroy every copy. If a priest was found in possession of it, he was imprisoned. The Bible-burning wasn't limited to England. In 1522 Calvin had as many copies as could be found of the Servetus Bible burned, and later Calvin had Michael Servetus himself burned at the stake for being a Unitarian.

Sadly, the destruction was not limited to the burning of Bibles. Sixteenth-century England and Ireland witnessed the most monumental pillage of sacred property and destruction of Christian architecture, art, and craftwork the world has ever seen. In England between the winter of 1537 and spring 1540 over 318 monasteries and convents were destroyed. Parish churches were ransacked. Beautiful paintings and carvings were smashed. Sacred vestments and altar hangings with rich embroidery were confiscated and recycled into curtains and clothes. Vessels of the altar were stolen, melted down, and sold. The Protestants destroyed a religious heritage with the zeal and fury of terrorists, and what was left by the iconoclasts during the reign of Henry VIII was smashed further during the Puritan regime of Oliver Cromwell.

In France the Calvinists, in one year alone (1561), according to one of their own estimates, "murdered 4,000 priests, monks and nuns, expelled or maltreated 12,000 nuns, sacked 20,000 churches, and destroyed 2,000 monasteries" with their priceless libraries, Bibles, and works of art. The rare manuscript collection of the ancient monastery of Cluny was irreparably lost, along with many others.

Living in England, as I do, the legacy of this mindless destruction by anti-Catholic forces is present everywhere. A map of the countryside marks countless bare ruins of medieval monasteries, abbeys, and convents. Visit the medieval parish church in any village and you will notice the empty niches, the whitewashed walls, the side chapels turned into store-rooms, the stained-glass windows once riotous with pictures of the saints and stories from Scripture, now merely plain glass windows. The iconoclasm was followed by a campaign which, for three hundred years, continued to persecute Catholics relentlessly, while it concealed the destructive fury of the Protestant forces and continued to paint the Catholic Church as the incarnation of evil.

The final irony is that the very forces that pulled down and smashed the images of the saints in the medieval churches soon filled those same churches with carved memorial stones and statues of the rich and famous of their day. The figures of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints and angels are now replaced by figures of English military heroes, prime ministers, and forgotten landed aristocrats. The church which exemplifies this most is Westminster Abbey. Any Catholic visitor to London will be amazed at how this once proud Benedictine Abbey has been turned into a museum of English civil heroes. At every turn one finds statues of statesmen, kings, and politicians, while the heroes of the Christian faith are relegated to the margins.

Time does not heal all wounds. Terrible and violent events cannot simply be forgotten. Telling ourselves that certain things never happened is a lie. Saying that they don't matter now after so many years is another form of the same lie. Terrible events need to be faced, acknowledged, repented of, and forgiven. The violent events and terrible persecution of both Catholics and Protestants can only be put right through repentance and mutual forgiveness.

Catholics must own up to their own faults and sins of the past. In the Jubilee Year, Pope John Paul II took an amazing step forward with his historic mea culpa for the sins of Catholics. On Ash Wednesday in the year 2000 he led the Catholic Church in a public act of repentance. However, this admission of guilt and act of repentance has been met here in England and throughout the Protestant world with stony silence. Not one Protestant leader has offered a similar corporate examination of the past. Isn't it time that the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Queen of England took the lead as international Protestant leaders, and offered their own reassessment of the past? If they did so, maybe others would follow and the process of healing could begin.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion; History; Mainline Protestant; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: bible; calvin; deuterocanonical; luther; scripture; tyndale; vulgate; zwingli
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To: Gamecock

In order to establish a pattern of "papish" abuses before the widespread massacres of nuns and priests, your source relies on identifying Albigensians as Reformed Christians, since the Catholic Church did use violence to suppress the Albigensian movement.

This is quite a desperate tactic, very surprising to me, since the Albigensians' beliefs are so anti-Christian that they are not even referred to as a heresy by the Catholic Church, but an apostasy. The closest comparison the Albigensians have to a modern cult is that of Wahabbism, but even that does not approach the fanatical zealotry of the Albi, who commended people starving themselves to death as the only sure way of earning salvation.

Nonetheless, the Catholic Church was concerned that the suppression of such heresies and apostasies by secular authorities, falsely claiming clerical authority, was dangerous to Christianity. Attempts at selectively blessing certain kings (Holy Roman Emporers, such as Charlemagne) while excluding their rivals was only marginally successful, and bred disloyalty among those kings who would not be so blessed. Further, Kings regularly claimed "divine right," in defiance of the Church's lack of blessing.

Hence, the Inquisition was founded. Unfortunately, Protestant sources such as yours conflate the Inquisition with precisely the barbaric practices it was intended to prevent.

The Inquisition was charged with a difficult task; it represented the Church, so it had to be a sense of forgiveness, redemption, and charity; yet it also had to be effective at suppressing revolt, to maintain credibility with the kings and to fulfill its basic functions.

Whereas secular authorities imprisoned and killed with very little evidence, often on assertions they were "defending the faith," the Inquisition looked to the bible for rules of conducting a trial, introducing such notions as corroborative evidence, concurrence of witnesses, etc. It also found that torture was widely used by kings as a means of terrifying their population, rather than intelligence-gathering. Therefore, sustained torture, although very common among Protestant movements, even in the American colonies was forbidden; Inquisitors realized if an accused terrorist didn't talk in the first fifteen minutes, he wasn't going to talk; they successfully implemented practices recognizing this.

Tragedies such as Bartholomew's Massacre (wildly exaggerated in many sources) demonstrate not the sadism of the Inquisition, but that a desperate public found the Catholic Church's official actions wholly inadequate, and took matters into their own hands.


41 posted on 03/16/2006 8:53:14 AM PST by dangus
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To: bremenboy

Ah, the tragedies of misunderstood dyslexia.

(No, no, no, Mr. Collins, the bread becomes GOD!)

Are you suggesting that the corruption behavior of a civil authority in 1538 somehow justifies the slaughter of thousands of nuns by another corrupt civil authority a century later? As you point out, the dog was not hung under Church law, since church law doesn't apply to dogs. He was hung under civil law.


42 posted on 03/16/2006 9:01:03 AM PST by dangus
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To: sanormal

>> Thankfully, Christianity was able to seperate politics from theology (not morality from theology). America is the result of this division and has prospered from it. <<

America was an attempt to see if religious distinctions could be brushed under the rug and the religious values held in common could alone be sufficient for maintaining a state. We'll see how long it works for. So far, in the 5,000-year history of Yahvistic governance, America's secularism has survived for about 200 years. Fortunately, the truly brilliant concept behind America's governance isn't merely ecumenism, but self-correction. As Europe's radical-secular ecumenism falters, we'll see if ours is made more resilient by our self-corrective mechanisms.


43 posted on 03/16/2006 9:06:46 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus
The dog wasn't hung the dog was set to fire

maybe that how we got the word Hot Dog
44 posted on 03/16/2006 9:08:45 AM PST by bremenboy (if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God)
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To: dangus; Gamecock

>> introducing such notions as corroborative evidence <<

You might ask, "Where does the bible establish such legal principles as corroborative evidence?" In the book of Daniel, there is a passage of three men who conspire and rape a young woman of great virtue. Fearing consequences, they conspire to accuse HER of trying to seduce THEM. Alone to face three accusers, Mosaic law seems certain to condemn the woman.

Using interrogation tactics that seem straight from "Law and Order," Daniel is able to establish to establish the falseness of their testimony, nullify the authority of their claims, vindicate the woman, and prosecute the offenders.

Protestants accept most of the Book of Daniel as cannonical and authoritative. But for some strange reason, this story seems to have been very threatening to the "reformers," who frequently denounced it. I wonder why.


45 posted on 03/16/2006 9:15:46 AM PST by dangus
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To: aimhigh
You wrote: "The whole article is Catholic revisionism.... It's not surprising to see Catholics rewrite the Inquisition."

Dear aimhigh. I re-read this article just to make sure my mind wan't playing tricks on me, and sure enough: it isn't about the Inquisition. The Inquisition is not mentioned, not even once, nor is it alluded to.

Would you care to list things that DO appear in this article which you think are factually untrue?

46 posted on 03/16/2006 9:21:59 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All.)
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To: bremenboy; NYer

Actually, as I read this carefully, it is a perfect example of the wicked defamation of the Body of Christ practiced by so-called "reformers."

While I am unfamiliar with Bremenboy's case, his explanation of it yields sufficient detail to exonerate the Church from this wicked deed. He plainly notes that the man was NOT excommunicated for his offense. This plainly indicates that the man was the victim of the State, not the Church.

It is standard operation procedure for all enemies of Christianity to blame Christianity for the actions of civil leaders. We see that today in the Middle East, where Catholic Priests in retaliation for President Bush and agnostic and Lutheran cartoonists. In the "reformation," and, on this thread, today, brutal massacres of nuns and priests were justified because of the actions of kings.

The irony is that in 1538, the King of England was none other than Henry VIII. By this time, King Henry, one of the history's most notoriously violent, anti-Catholic maniacs, had already divorced his first wife and MURDERED his 2nd, and COMMITTED FULL APOSTASY by proclaiming himself de-facto Pope over England.

Yet this bizarre little tale of Mr. Collins, so insignificant among the horrors of his day, is remembered to this day...


47 posted on 03/16/2006 9:32:22 AM PST by dangus
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To: NYer

Face it, the Church is wrong no matter what, just ask half the posters on this thread.

Oh, how these people hate authentic Christianity in favor of their own perversions. 'Tis no wonder our society is in the shape it's in.


48 posted on 03/16/2006 9:34:57 AM PST by markomalley (Vivat Iesus!)
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To: Pyro7480
***If you want to bring up executions, how about the Martyrs of England? ****

I am not the one who brought up executions that was in the article that was posted that you read

***As I mentioned earlier in the thread, the Church couldn't execute anyone. It was the state that did this. **

If I recall my U.S History. One of the main reason people left England to come here was to get away from all the religious persecution. In England there was very little difference between the church and the state just depended on who the King or queen was at the time. First it was the Catholic Church then the church of England then the Catholic church then the Church of England this was the reason behind the separation of Church and State in our bill of Restriction's

as far as the church of england repenting for the sins of killing catholics I think it would be a good idea to do as the catholics have done but I think that would be like me saying I am sorry for slavery or the Holocaust I wasn't there I didn't do or support and of it.
49 posted on 03/16/2006 9:38:46 AM PST by bremenboy (if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God)
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To: Pyro7480
***If you want to bring up executions, how about the Martyrs of England? ****

I am not the one who brought up executions that was in the article that was posted that you read

***As I mentioned earlier in the thread, the Church couldn't execute anyone. It was the state that did this. **

If I recall my U.S History. One of the main reason people left England to come here was to get away from all the religious persecution. In England there was very little difference between the church and the state just depended on who the King or queen was at the time. First it was the Catholic Church then the church of England then the Catholic church then the Church of England this was the reason behind the separation of Church and State in our bill of Restriction's

as far as the church of england repenting for the sins of killing catholics I think it would be a good idea to do as the catholics have done but I think that would be like me saying I am sorry for slavery or the Holocaust I wasn't there I didn't do or support and of it.
50 posted on 03/16/2006 9:38:52 AM PST by bremenboy (if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God)
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To: aimhigh

More revisionism? Where's your proof of this claim?


51 posted on 03/16/2006 9:39:51 AM PST by Romish_Papist (St. Jude, pray for my lost cause. St. Rita, pray for my impossible situation.)
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To: bremenboy
sorry for double post must have had finger spasm
52 posted on 03/16/2006 9:40:45 AM PST by bremenboy (if any man speak let him speak as the oracles of God)
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To: Campion; Iscool; Gamecock; NYer
Ladies and gentleman.

It is Lent. Not really the right time to start or engage in dirt throwing matches.

As for the religious wars of the Reformation, I have yet to find an "innocent" side in them. The upper German elector princes were more concerned with the politics of the Holy Roman Empire than any theology. They used Luther to achieve that goal. Likewise, the Papacy of the time was more angry with the princes (at first) than with Luther.

Politics, more than theology, was the driving force.

Having said that, these circular firing squads accomplish little other than taking our eyes off Christ on turning to our own selves.
53 posted on 03/16/2006 9:51:16 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum

Amen.


54 posted on 03/16/2006 10:03:48 AM PST by Jaded (The troof shall set you free, but lying to yourself turns you French.)
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To: aimhigh
The whole article is Catholic revisionism. The Nazis try to deny the Holocost. Turkey denies the Death march. It's not surprising to see Catholics rewrite the Inquisition.

Yeah, and Coulter is trying to rewrite the McCarthy era and conservative pundits are trying to rewrite the eighties rather than recognize the official line that it was the decade of greed.

55 posted on 03/16/2006 10:33:03 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: bahblahbah
"Conveniently has no 'organized' church" Ya know, with comments like these no wonder there were a lot of anti-Catholicism in the early days of America.

I find it's pretty common today as well.

56 posted on 03/16/2006 10:34:22 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: Campion
There were "organized" (I think he means "established") churches in most of the U.S. in the early days,

No. I meant organized, apparently I didn't explain myself clearly enough. England could have an establishment church because there was an organized church. Secularism is seen as an official ideology of the US government and gets away with it BECAUSE there is no Church of Secular Humanism. If there were, conservatives could point out that the establishment is endorsing that church. But because its merely an ideology, liberals honestly feel that they have the right to impose their ideology on all public and some private institutions. Unitarianism doesn't count.

57 posted on 03/16/2006 10:41:39 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: dangus
In the book of Daniel, there is a passage of three men who conspire and rape a young woman of great virtue. Fearing consequences, they conspire to accuse HER of trying to seduce THEM. Alone to face three accusers, Mosaic law seems certain to condemn the woman.

Which part of the Apocrypha are you looking at? None of this appears in my Bible. That said, corraborative evidence can be found elsewhere in the Bible.

"One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." Deuteronomy 19:15

If one was able to prove that witnesses were lying, the penalties for false accusation were stiff:

"If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse a man of a crime, the two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother.You must purge the evil from among you." Deutoronomy 19:16-19

So, according to Mosaic law, there should have been an investigation into the testimony anyway and those three men should have been put to death.

58 posted on 03/16/2006 10:44:04 AM PST by Seņor Zorro ("The ability to speak does not make you intelligent"--Qui-Gon Jinn)
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To: Gamecock
It seems only fair that we look at both sides of the issue.

I think you meant to say, the other side of the issue as you only posted one side, not both.

59 posted on 03/16/2006 10:45:55 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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To: sanormal
The religious ideas of the Reformation accompanied political actions and had political consequences.

Thankfully, Christianity was able to seperate politics from theology (not morality from theology). America is the result of this division and has prospered from it.

It prospered when men thought that they should serve God and the state should serve men, now too many people believe that both God and men should serve the state. "Ask not...."

60 posted on 03/16/2006 10:51:02 AM PST by TradicalRC (No longer to the right of the Pope...)
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