If you want to understand – The prohibition against reading The Bible


Bible Reading By The Laity, Restrictions On.

I. The Ancient Church

It is indisputable that in Apostolic times the Old Testament was commonly read (John v, 47; Acts viii, 28; xvii, 11; II Tim. iii, 15). Roman Catholics admit that this reading was not restricted in the first centuries, in spite of its abuse by Gnostics and other heretics. On the contrary, the reading of Scripture was urged (Justin Martyr, xliv, ANF, i, 177-178; Jerome, Adv. libros Rufini, i, 9, NPNF, 2d ser., iii, 487); and Pamphilus, the friend of Eusebius, kept copies of Scripture to furnish to those who desired them. Chrysostom attached considerable importance to the reading of Scripture on the part of the laity and denounced the error that it was to be permitted only to monks and priests (De Lazaro concio, iii, MPG, xlviii, 992; Hom. ii in Matt., MPG, lvii, 30, NPNF, 2d ser., x, 13). He insisted upon access being given to the entire Bible, or at least to the New Testament (Hom. ix in Col., MPG, lxii, 361, NPNF, xiii, 301). The women also, who were always at home, were diligently to read the Bible (Hom. xxxv on Gen. xii, MPG, liii, 323). Jerome recommended the reading and studying of Scripture on the part of the women (Epist., cxxviii, 3, MPL, xxii, 1098, NPNF, 2d ser., vi, 259; Epist., lxxix, 9, MPG, xxii, 730-731, NPNF, 2d ser., vi, 167). The translations of the Bible, Augustine considered a blessed means of propagating the Word of God among the nations (De doctr. christ., ii, 5, NPNF, 1st ser., ii, 536); Gregory I recommended the reading of the Bible without placing any limitations on it (Hom. iii in Ezek., MPL, lxxvi, 968). . .

Read more at Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Alexander Gardner, American born Scotland - Abraham Lincoln and his second son Thomas Tad, Google Art Project

President Lincoln and Thanksgiving Day

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Colossians 4:2

NKJV

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving…


Proclamation of Thanksgiving

“The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November ‘as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.’ According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.”

Alexander Gardner, American born in Scotland - Abraham Lincoln and his second son Thomas Tad, Google Art Project

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

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Historical insights – President John Adams

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File:Official Presidential portrait of John Adams (by John Trumbull, circa 1792).jpg

Official Presidential portrait of John Adams by John Trumbull

While our Country remains untainted with the Principles and manners, which are now producing desolation in so many Parts of the World: while the [Country] continues Sincere and incapable of insidious and impious Policy: We shall have the Strongest Reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned Us by Providence. But should the People of America, once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another and towards foreign nations, which assumes the Language of Justice and moderation while it is practicing Iniquity and Extravagance; and displays in the most captivating manner the charming Pictures of Candour frankness & sincerity while it is rioting in rapine and Insolence: this Country will be the most miserable Habitation in the World. Because We have no Government armed with Power capable of contending with human Passions unbridled by morality and Religion. Avarice, Ambition, Revenge or Galantry, would break the strongest Cords of our Constitution as a Whale goes through a Net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other

John Adams

John Adams to the Massachusetts Militia, 11 October 1798

National Archive – Founders Online

HT: Sherry, quotes and notes and opinions, Thoughts on the State of our Culture and the 2016 Election. Sherry posted two James White videos in which White references John Adams’s view.

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History brief – The Geneva Bible

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The Geneva Bible

“Their next publication was The Geneva Bible translated by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Lawrence Humphrey, Miles Coverdale (former Bishop of Exeter), Christopher Goodman and Thomas Sampson. It is based on the Great Bible for the Old Testament and on Whittingham’s revision of William Tyndale’s (1534) edition of the New Testament.  The scholars who produced the Geneva Bible had access to the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts including Theodore Beza’s Codex.  The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to be illustrated, annotated and divided into verses. Italics denoted which words were added to clarify the text. There were more than 140 editions of the Geneva Bible between 1560 and 1644. It was the Geneva Bible that those on the Mayflower took to America in 1620. Its printing in Geneva was overseen and financed by wealthy merchant, from Exeter, John Bodley, who was the father of Thomas Bodley who set up the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The printer was Rowland Hall. Bodley named his printing works back in London ‘The Halfe Eagle and Keye’ after the arms of Geneva and borrowed its motto ‘Post tenebras lux’ (“After darkness, I hope for Light” from Job 17.12).”
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Old Waldensian Paths

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Pope Francis Remakes the Vatican, more comments on the National Geographic article

 

 

In September, the pope will visit the U.S. He is scheduled to address both the UN and a joint session of Congress. He is a king of sorts, a fact which many Christians do not realize or choose to forget, even after all we’ve suffered under papal rule.

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I’ve finished reading the article about Francis I in this month’s National Geographic. It’s obvious that Robert Draper (text) and Dave Yoder (photos) admire him. They portray him as a man at home in the world, among all kinds of people, and “a saint” who washes the feet of the poor. This prevalent view of him reinforces the need to pray concerning his visit and ongoing influence. 

The article highlights the following statement he made in a homily delivered on October 19, 2014, at the beatification ceremony of Pope Paul VI:

“God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways.”

This statement raises lots of questions. Was he paving the way for sweeping change in the Roman Catholic Church? For an even greater focus on its ecumenical agenda? Or was it simply a reflection of his smooth and disarming style?

Innocent III, the pope who called for the crusade against the Albigensians, early Bible Christians who lived in southern France

The article reinforces what is hard to miss about him. He makes off-the-cuff remarks, and formal pronouncements, that are astonishing. And in his interactions, he is polished and fluent while maintaining an appearance of humility, openness, and frankness.

So, he isn’t someone to believe you can manage. He is a king, and a popular one with a masterful understanding of how to win friends and influence others. According to one of those interviewed, despite his unstudied appearance all that he does is purposeful – he is a player of “chess”.

He can be witty, as this remark shows,

When the new archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Mario Poli, commented to Francis during a visit to Vatican City about how remarkable it was to see his once dour friend with an omnipresent smile, the pope considered those words carefully, as he always does.

Then Francis, no doubt smiling, said, “It’s very entertaining to be pope.”

And self-effacing, as in this response to a question about gay priests,

“Who am I to judge?’

The author’s selection of quotes paints him as charming and larger than life, someone who may be able to lead the troubled institution of Roman Catholicism toward a brighter future.  

“Two years ago,” says Father Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit and a senior analyst at the National Catholic Reporter, “if you asked anybody on the street, ‘What’s the Catholic Church for and against?’ you would’ve gotten, ‘It’s against gay marriage, against birth control’ – all this stuff. Now if you ask people, they’ll say, ‘Oh, the pope – he’s the guy who loves the poor and doesn’t live in a palace.’ That’s an extraordinary achievement for such an old institution. I jokingly say that Harvard Business School could use him to teach rebranding. And politicians in Washington would kill for his approval rating.” 

The authors show him as a man who will hold the line but be an innovator who will forge ahead, feeling the heartbeat of this world and in sync with contemporary morals and views.

“He won’t change doctrine,” insists de la Serna, his Argentine friend. “What he will do is return the church to its true doctrine – the one it has forgotten, the one that puts man back in the center. For too long, the church put sin in the center. By putting the suffering of man, and his relationship with God, back in the center, these harsh attitudes toward homosexuality, divorce, and other things will start to change.”

His popularity is shown to be stellar.

In 2013, the year he was elected, three times as many visitors flocked to Vatican City as in the year before…

When Francis appears in St. Peter’s Square, the cacophony of the crowd crescendos. People become frantic to get him to stop, hoisting banners, photos, rosaries, children to be blessed. Pilgrims come early to claim a prominent spot and wait for hours, though Roman summers can be brutally hot and bright, and winters cold and wet. People often respond to Francis with the intimacy they would a beloved relative, unseen for years; men and women sometimes weep openly, overwhelmed by his presence. 

The authors’ portrait of Francis I (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) passes over his personal history, the history of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), and the history of the papal antagonism toward Biblical Christianity. It perpetuates the error that whatever the pope gives his benediction to is therefore blessed. And from reading the article and studying its glossy timeline, you might think that the Reformation and Counter-Reformation had never happened.