prehistory of English translations
[the printed Bible], God will spread His word; a spring of pure truth
shall flow from it; like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance,
and cause a light hithertofore unknown to shine among men."
would be more consistent that we called [the Bible] the word of a demon
than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to
corrupt and brutalize mankind."
Introduction to the prehistory of the English Bible
A modern English translation
of the Bible costs anywhere between two dollars and two hundred dollars.
It can also be read free on
the internet. Yet the highest price for a Bible is negligible when
compared to the many lives it cost to translate it into English.
The Bible was actually
banned at one time by certain religious leaders who claimed to follow Christ.
Needless to say, the Bible does not advocate banning itself, nor does it
demand the death of those who read it (as was once a penalty imposed).The
explanation is utterly fascinating, but far from quick.
The proceeding History
sections will skim the last 2,000 years to hopefully provide you a basic
understanding of the Bible's role in the historical events such as the Crusades,
Inquisitions, and Reformations. By reviewing these ancient times and events,
you will see why the Bible was so highly esteemed by the courageous men
and women who sacrificed their lives to establish the English translation.
Introduction to the Crusades and the Inquisitions.
In short, the death
sentences for reading the Bible and similar atrocities were an outgrowth
of the Inquisitions. The
Inquisitions were an outgrowth of the Crusades,
and the Crusades were a product of many forces. One of those forces which
will be discussed was
the relationship between the ancient Church of Rome and both its religious
and secular counterparts of the day.
Many people associate
the Crusades and Inquisitions with the Bible and Christianity. This is understandable.
Certain persons within one of the most influential religious institutions
of medieval times, the pre-Reformation Church of Rome (or Roman Catholic
Church), claimed to exalt Christ yet had involvement in starting those affairs.
However, to blame the
terrible atrocities of the Crusades and Inquisitions on the Bible or the
Bible's teachings is to err, as the aforementioned penalty for reading the
Bible should suggest. Because certain religious leaders killed people for
trying to learn what the Bible actually said, the Bible itself can be added
to the long list of victims of the atrocities of those dark ages.
1.3 Introduction to Catholicism and Protestantism
If all these historical
elements behind the English-reading Bible were not complex enough, conflicting
perspectives going on over latter eras coalesce into the so-called Christian
divisions of Catholicism and Protestantism. These divisions arose partly
as a matter of biblical interpretation.
There are not two types of Scripture - Catholic and Protestant, nor two
types of Christianity, nor more than one way to become justified before
anyone has any doubts of this, please read
What is the gospel?
you are part of a Catholic denomination, or a Protestant one, or none
at all, the denominational classification of your beliefs has nothing
to do with whether or not you are truly in the kingdom of God and will
The sections herein
will only partially reveal the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Do not presume that a formal or complete argument between the two is being
made, or that theology was the only force that shaped ensuing events. Also
be aware that this author favors the position of Protestantism. While
Catholicism and Protestantism both revere Jesus and the Bible, important
differences nonetheless exist and a few will be pointed out.
Clearly there are persons
outside of Christianity who say they remain so because of the heinous criminal
events of the Crusades and Inquisitions. These are events which are inseparably
tied to specific popes of the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church. The
murder and tortures these popes sanctioned were not done by biblical directive,
nor is it even likely those popes would have so justified them. Rather,
certain popes' actions were based upon what they inferred to be divine favor
bestowed uniquely upon them by God.
Because modern Catholicism's
own historians now refer to these popes as anti-popes, their mention
herein should not be considered an outsider's vilification of the papal
office. Recalling unbiblical acts by certain ancient church officials should
not be viewed as a general indictment against the reformed Catholic Church
or Christian Catholics, and neither is it justification for any ungodliness
upon the part of their Protestant counterparts.
NEXT: The spread of Christianity
bigoted, intolerant, and judgmental?