Help with a discussion

I’m meeting with an Evangelical hospise chaplain on Friday to discuss his “Bible Study for Catholics”, which I discovered at his site. I’m prepared to discuss any and all issues on his study (check it out at under “Letter to my Catholic Friends”). However, here’s the response I’m sending to one part of a recent e-mail to me. Let me know what you’d add to this, particularly the part about the burning of Protestant translators at the stake. Or did I handle it okay? I feel confident that I can call him to task on most of the study, but this is one issue where people like to cry revisionists history, so I want to have a solid and firm response for him when we meet:

Here’s the paragraph and my response:

Even the English Bible you enjoy cost many a Protestant
their lives. The Catholic Church fought and fought to keep the masses from reading the Word of God. Translators such as Tyndale, Wycliffe, Huss, etc. paid dearly for their work at translating the Bible (burned at stake, beheaded, etc.).

My response:

This is where I’d like to focus my attention, too. I’m teaching a weekly class right now showing where every Catholic doctrine can be found right in the pages of Scripture, so I believe that it very directly teaches Catholicism. I think, though, that this will circle back to a discussion over Scripture alone or Scripture + Tradition, so this is where we’ll probably have to start. We can talk about “keeping the masses from reading the Word of God”. Keep in mind, though, that even at that time period, almost the entire text of the Bible was read outloud at Mass in the course of a year (now it is on a three-year cycle), so that’s a pretty shabby way of keeping it hidden. Regarding the persecuted Protestants as well as the reference to the Inquisitions in your study, one of the things I’d like to look at are the views of many reformers (including Luther, Zwingli, Bullinger, and Calvin first and foremost), who ALSO favored capital punishment for heresy, as well as other sins, including pregnancy out of wedlock, adultery, dishonoring parents, blasphemy, etc. Was this a strictly Catholic quality, or a fact that heresy was punishable by the civil laws of the land (which were not separated from church at that time)? We can then move into examining mostly Protestant behavior during the witch trials of the same period, peasant uprisings and civil wars following Luther’s exit from the church, keeping in mind the many priests who were murdered and the church’s which were burned by the out-of-control rioters. I don’t think this makes Protestants bad people; it does show, as Christ predicted, that there would be sinners (grevious wolves, Judas’s) within his church (the point, here, is not that the Protestants are the grevious wolves, etc, but that anyone, even authority, who acts in the name of God to do evil is). I have more thoughts, but I’ll bring them to the discussion.

Thanks all,

During the Middle Ages, priests, monks, friars, and nuns (yes, nuns) would devote life times to copying the bible. It would take on average about 10 months of a person’s life to write the entire bible. In raw materials alone (it tooks over 420 deer skins alone to provide the parchment for ONE bible) it had cost an enormous sum (over $100k in today’s money) to produce a bible. Yet, there are cases, too numerous to count, of monasteries and priories given there last pennies (or would it have been pence?) to provide the materials to produce the Scriptures. These were available throughout kingdoms all over Europe and Asia. Priests and clergy were expected to know the Scriptures back and forth, and were tested on them by bishops.

In cases of war and destruction, these same monasteries and priories would go to great lengths, risking their lives to protect these Scriptures from pillagers and soldiers.

This doesn’t sound like a Church that desicrates the Scriptures, now does it?


I just finished reading a book called “In the Beginning” about the history of the KJV Bible. The author, an Evangelical Protestant, made the point that the problems that translators had was NOT with the Catholic church; it was with the government of England. They did indeed oppose the Bible in English, in either Catholic or Protestant editions.
I wish I had the book here to quote some more info, but I’m sure that it has to be on line someplace. It was very interesting.
(Excellent book, by the way–the whole history of English Bibles).
I guess my point is this: the pressure was not religious; it was political. There was also the fact that the Bible in Latin was readily available–though costly; but the fact was that only the rich were likely to learn to read, anyway. And if you did learn, you learned to read Latin & possibly French–not English, which was considered to be a low class language that was not good enough for the Bible to be translated into.

This link may help with the Bible history.

When I went to the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit last year I was offended by the little “historical” film they had about the Bible and the way they protrayed the Catholic Church. The next day I went looking for answers.

I like the book by Henry Graham (I think) called Where We Got The Bible. He does a particularly good job of discussing this time period, and devotes whole chapters to the discussion of people such as Tyndale, Wycliff, etc.

[quote=tkdnick]I like the book by Henry Graham (I think) called Where We Got The Bible. He does a particularly good job of discussing this time period, and devotes whole chapters to the discussion of people such as Tyndale, Wycliff, etc.

That’s exactly where I got the information for Post #2. Great Book!


While Protestants tell stories about oppression by Catholics, they neglect to mention the great Catholic holocaust, the Irish Potato Famine.

Protestant Cromwell marched on Ireland, determined to put an end to Catholic efforts to drive out the English Protestant invaders who seized their land. Cromwell zeroed-in on women and children, butchering approximately 1/3 of the population.

Cromwell’s invasion, plus two additional efforts to crush Irish opposition to the forcible theft of Irish lands by English Protestants, succeeded in completely subduing the Catholics.

Around 1800, the English overlords forced the Irish to become potato farmers. Approximately 3/4 of the Irish Catholic population was forced into cultivating potatoes, on lands they rented, but which they would have inherited from their ancestors, but for the English invasions.

In 1845, a sailor on a boat from America threw a rotten potato onto one of the Channel Islands. A spore from the blight afflicting the potato killed all of the potato crop on the Channel Islands. The blight jump from there to England. From England, it jumped to Ireland, and began destroying the partially-harvested Irish potato crop.

In 1846, the blight completely wiped out the Irish potato crop.

When, as a result, about one-third of the Irish Catholic potato farmers defaulted on their rent, the Protestant-ruled Parliament in London approved the famous “Four Pound Clause,” by which the Parliament imposed a tax of four English pounds on all potato “lazy beds” in Ireland one-quarter acre or less. The tax was shocking – the equivalent of about $4,000 today. The idea was to (a) raise famine relief money, but (b) tax the problem – the potato farming – out of existence.

Parliamentary records record discussions like, “But the Catholics! They’ll all be evicted! We can’t do that!” The Protestant majority squelched all opposition. The measure passed.

Within a year, virtually every man, woman and child among the Catholic potato farmers – including the 2/3s who never defaulted on their rent – was evicted, so that the potato beds could be destroyed and combined into huge farms, not taxed. Almost no money for famine relief was raised.

It is estimated that about 4 million Catholics were forced to leave their homes and sleep in the gutter. About 1.5 million Catholics died in Ireland. About 250,000 more died on the boats to America, from starvation-generated illnesses.

This was the heyday of the “soupers” – Protestant food kitchens which withheld relief until Catholics converted.

During this time, because no one in Parliament really cared about 4 million starving Catholics, Parliament sent English army units to Ireland to protect food *exports *from Ireland. Yup – during the Potato Famine, ther Protestant landlords of Ireland, and the Protestant Parliament in London, kept Ireland a net exporter of food. Starving Catholic farmers, seeing the wharves stacked with food for export out of Ireland, would charge the docks with sticks, to steal food for their starving wives and children. The Protestant-ruled English army units mowed them down with their rifles, again and again.

So, whenever someone starts talking about oppression of English Protestants by English Catholics, I ask them if they know about the murder of 1.75 million Irish Catholics by English Protestants.

[quote=awfulthings9]…Even the English Bible you enjoy cost many a Protestant their lives.

NOT TRUE! I use the NAB and it cost ZERO Protestant lives. I also use the AKJV and it cost Portestants their lives, of course it was Protestants that took those lives and NOT Catholics! King James FORCED his political version onto his subjects who often used the Geneva Bible which the King eventually stomped out, not the Catholics.

The Catholic Church fought and fought to keep the masses from reading the Word of God.

A COMPLETE LIE! The Catholic Church tried to keep unauthorized Bibles from being pruduced with herisey, like the later versions like the JW version or the Joseph Smith (Mormon) version, etc… The Catholic Church only tried to PRESERVE the truth in the Bible. By the way, hundreds of years ago most educated people read Latin. Bibles written in Latin could be read anywhere in the world and everyone could use one language to avoid translation problems. English was also a small backwater language in those days too.

Translators such as Tyndale, Wycliffe, Huss, etc. paid dearly for their work at translating the Bible (burned at stake, beheaded, etc.).

He complains about the splinter in our eye and ignoes the wooden beam in his? I think there are some pretty bad Protestant atrocities we can talk about too. It is best just to say that there are sinners in all denominations. One sinner does not make a denomination bad though. Just because one American murders an unborn child does that make all Americans murderers? Because one Baptist preacher is a child abuser does it make them all child abusers? By the way, before 1517 I seem to recall that the Protestants were still Catholic and they took part in whatever happened in those days too! It wasn’t Catholic against Protestant. It was Catholic against herisey! Protestants didn’t even exist yet.

This chaplain seems to apply a double standard. He is illogical and bias and ignores truth to reform history to his opinions.

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