Time Magazine Article dated 10/12/09 RE Catholic Church banning Scripture reading for "centuries"

Has anyone else read this article:


I’m particularly concerned about the following section:

“For centuries, the Catholic Church had banned the direct reading of Scripture. But the Protestant Reformation, combined with the printing press, brought vernacular Bibles to everyday readers. What Protestants discovered was a narrative that reminded them of their sense of subjugation by the church and appealed to their dreams of a Utopian New World.”

If I remember correctly, the Catholic Church did NOT ban the direct reading of Scripture for “centuries” and the banned Scriptures were only certain Bibles that contained heresy or gross errors. The article definitely gives the impression that it was ALL Scripture.

Also, wasn’t the printing press invented BEFORE the Protestant Reformation? The paragraph also says the Reformation was responsible for vernacular Bibles, which I don’t think it the case.

What are the facts?


Well, we all know Times “religious” writers for the most part have swilled deeply of the ‘revisionism’ of ‘scholars’. . .but the article is bunkum.

The Catholic Church in a particular time period (the 12th century) was plagued by the Albigensian heretics who made a false Bible. It was the FALSE Bible which was placed as a ‘forbidden’ book to read. . .not the ‘real’ Bible.

Bibles were rare (because A. Literacy itself was relatively rare particularly in certain areas and at certain times. B. Lacking the printing press, Bibles were hand copied, usually on vellum, often illustrated as well, and it could take a copyist a couple of YEARS to do an individual Bible.) Since Bibles were rare–and costly too–they were carefully guarded as the treasures they were in all senses of the word.

You know, it really isn’t hard to find out the truth. The ‘average Joe or Jane’ could go to the average library in little Podunk and (even WITHOUT a computer, with use of hard copies of books) be able to find out the truth as noted above.

It takes IMO a special kind of chutzpah or ‘gonzo’ journalist masquerading as a serious expert on the subject to come up with the bilge, claptrack and DRECK that represents the average “Time” article today. Shoddily “researched”, poorly written with a bias that is instantly apparent, smarmy, smug, and slick. . .that’s what passes for an ‘expert article’.

And yes, vernacular Bibles existed before “da Protestants”.

You know, my best friend is Protestant. . but she would find that article as loathsome as I do, and predicated on falsehood.

Of course to me the funniest (hah) part is that blip about the “Utopian New World”. You see, the author of “Utopia” was. . .wait for it. . .St. Thomas More.

You know. The one who was executed by that fine upstanding Henry VIII. Because Sir Thomas was a good staunch Catholic who refused to let Henry ‘get away’ with claiming to be “head of the Church in England”, knowing that only the Pope is head of the Church. . .(so much for the idea, too, of an ‘invisible’ Church. To St. Thomas, there was, and is, and will be only ONE Church. . .the Catholic Church.)

The irony in having the Protestants claim to ‘reform’ in the name of Utopia. . .

The printing press was invented by Gutenberg, or at least popularized and perfected by him. Some earlier prototypes in Asia and in Europe had existed before then but never been widely used. Gutenberg printed the Gutenberg Bible, which also happens to have been a Catholic Bible.

The poster above me is correct, Guttenburg invented the printing press and the first thing he printed was a Catholic bible - good peice of trivia that the first printed book ever was a Catholic bible :slight_smile:
Also, before Luther - there were already a number of translations of the bible into German by the Church. By the time he brought on the reformation, there were hundreds. There was no lack of scripture made available. Read an honest history on Luther…he was no saint. He called for the death of 100,000 peasants and speaking of Moses since the article is about Moses - Luther called Moses a devil! He distrusted the OT and actually called for the Jews to have their books taken from them. Seriously…this is the guy who history tries to claim wanted to make scripture available to everyone?

Good translations took time, especially before the printing press - very few people take this into account when insulting the Church.

As far as vernacular Bibles go, they existed LONG before the Reformation! Ever hear of the Latin Vulgate? The point was to get the Bible into Latin, which, at the time, was the vernacular. Isn’t American anti-Catholicism grand?

I found this on the Catholic church and the Bible:
Why does the Catholic Church discourage Bible reading when, according to the Apostle, ``All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach…[and] to instruct in justice’’? (2 Tim. 3:16).

If the Catholic Church discourages Bible reading, the Pope, the thousands of Catholic Bishops, and the many millions of Catholic lay people, are not aware of it. For the Popes have issued pastoral letters to the whole Church, called encyclicals, on the edifying effects of Bible reading. The Catholic Bible far outsells all other Christian Bibles worldwide. In fact, it has always been thus. The very first Christian Bible was produced by the Catholic Church–compiled by Catholic scholars of the 2nd and 3rd century and approved for general Christian use by the Catholic Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397). The very first printed Bible was produced under the auspices of the Catholic Church–printed by the Catholic inventor of the printing press, Johannes Gutenberg. And the very first Bible with chapters and numbered verses was produced by the Catholic Church–the work of Stephen Langton, Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury. It was this perennial Catholic devotion to the Bible which prompted Martin Luther–who certainly cannot be accused of Catholic favoritism–to write in his Commentary on St. John: ``We are compelled to concede to the Papists that they have the Word of God, that we received it from them, and that without them we should have no knowledge of it at all.’’
This might not exactly address your point, but gives some history of the Catholic church and the Bible.

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