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Friday, February 01, 2008

Only an a Licensed Attorney and Only in Latin to hoard and exploit a people

In 1380 John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor and theologian translated the Latin Vulgate into English, which was the only Bible available to him. He made dozens of hand written Bibles. He opposed the teaching of the Catholic Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. The Pope was so angry at him that 44 years after Wycliffe died, the Pope ordered his bones to be dug-up, crushed and scattered in a river. A follower of Wycliffe, John Hus, promoted his idea that people should be able to read the Bible in their own language. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415.

It was not until the Guttenberg Bible in Latin, published in 1456, (becoming the first Bible to be mass-produced) that ordinary people who could read Latin could learn what the Bible really said. In 1514, a Greek New Testament was printed. The Roman Catholic Church would allow its members to have a copy of only the Old Testament, while the Protestants included both the Old and New Testaments into their Bibles.

In the 1490’s Thomas Linacre, another Oxford professor learned Greek and compared a Greek version to the Latin Vulgate. He wrote in his diary, “Either this is not the Gospel….or we are not Christians.” The Latin had become so corrupt that it no longer followed the Gospel, yet the Church still killed anyone who read the scriptures in any language not Latin.

In 1516 the scholar Erasmus caused a Greek and Latin version to be printed as a parallel New Testament text. In 1522, a Polyglot Bible was published in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. Erasmus used this Bible to revise his later editions of the New Testament.

William Tyndale used the Polyglot Bible to translate into English from Hebrew, Greek and Latin, to print the New Testament in 1526 and the Old Testament in 1530. He is credited with printing the first English Bible. Tyndale's English prose was beautiful. He was a teacher of Shakespeare.

The Bishops burned every copy they could find. In 1534 Tyndale was killed by the Catholic Church for translating the Bible into English. He was strangled and burned at the stake. King Henry VII hid many copies of Tyndall’s Bible in his bedroom. Disciples of Tyndale continued his work and many versions were print. By 1580 the Catholic Church realized they had lost the battle for Latin only and approved use of the English language. By 1610 the Roman Church had its English Version.


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