Why Christians Were Denied Access to Their Bible for 1,000 Years

By : Psychologist; Journalist; College Professor

Huff Post: The Council of Nicaea called by the Emperor Constantine met in 325 C.E. to establish a unified Catholic Church. At that point no universally sanctioned Scriptures or Christian Bible existed. Various churches and officials adopted different texts and gospels. That’s why the Council of Hippo sanctioned 27 books for the New Testament in 393 C.E. Four years later the Council of Cartage confirmed the same 27 books as the authoritative Scriptures of the Church.

Wouldn’t you assume that the newly established Church would want its devotees to immerse themselves in the sanctioned New Testament, especially since the Church went to great lengths to eliminate competing Gospels? And wouldn’t the best way of spreading the “good news” be to ensure that every Christian had direct access to the Bible?

That’s not what happened. The Church actually discouraged the populace from reading the Bible on their own — a policy that intensified through the Middle Ages and later, with the addition of a prohibition forbidding translation of the Bible into native languages.

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2 replies

  1. Jesus was a Jewish Prophet, after all

    One of the sentence from this article reads:

    If Christians had access to the Bible in its entirety, not only the limited editions that the clergy presented, they might have noticed what leaped out at me: The word “Jew” appears 202 times in the New Testament, with 82 of these citations in the Gospels.

    So, after all, Jesus was a Jewish Prophet, as is said in the Holy Quran:

    And remember when Jesus, son of Mary, said, ‘O children of Israel, surely I am Allah’s Messenger unto you, fulfilling that which is before me of the Torah, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger who will come after me. His name will be Ahmad.’ And when he came to them with clear proofs, they said, ‘This is clear enchantment.’ (Al Quran 61:7)

  2. One must also consider that during the Middle Ages most people could not read anyway. If this be the case, why prohibit something that can’t be done anyway? The only Bible the people got back then was what was read in the Mass, and then in Latin. Today, most Western households contain numerous Bibles that are rarely read, and this without any prohibition. Today the facts about the Bible are escalating and people are looking elsewhere for answers. A disunified church makes taking the Bible seriously almost impossible. Islam has its divisions as well, but the Quran still reads the way it did when Mohammad lived.

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