Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Early Bibles

I had planned to write about the virtue of hope today, but it looks as if that might be put on the back burner. I had time to post a few comments at lunch, but now I need to get back to real life. Hopefully, I can write more this evening.

I'm putting my comments and Candy's here for reference, as comments are not archived on her site. Although Candy did not post all of my comments, she was very polite about it.

They hid their Bibles inside of the lining of their jackets.

They might have smuggled Bibles in wooden barrels, but the manuscripts for that time period were huge! It would be impossible to fit more than Philemon, Jude, or other short letters inside a cloak (jackets weren't worn at that time).

The common language of that time would have been either Latin or Greek, for those who could read. --Kelly

I also submitted this comment separately, because I was pretty sure she wouldn't post it:

The Catholic church didn't come into existence until about 300 years later.

I'm curious, if you don't think the Catholic Church came into existence until close to the year 400, then how do you explain the writings of the early Christians which had so many Catholic elements?

For example, Ignatius of Antioch and Polycarp both mention being part of the Catholic church, and they wrote in the 100s. They also write about Jesus being physically present in the Eucharist, actually using the word Eucharist, as well as priests and bishops, and other elements that you would consider Catholic.

It is easy to find these writings online. They are usually referred to as the Apostolic Fathers or Early Church Fathers.

I'm not actually aware of any early Christian writings which don't contain at least some Catholic elements, but if you have run across some references to them in your research, then please let me know so I can look them up. --Kelly

Candy replies to the first comment, and declines the second:

Kelly, they weren't carring around scrolls and stone tablets. They were carrying around the Bible, translated into Latin (NOT Jeromes' Vulgate, which came years later, and is seriously corrupted). Bibles were very small - the Latin was handwritten, and was in VERY small print.

Many of the common pre-wycliffe Bibles were so small, that once could almost fit it in the back pocket of a pair of Jeans.

The Bibles were made small, partially for the purpose of hiding them from those who wished to burn the Bibles.

pre-wycliffite Bibles are in several museums - some of those Bibles were TINY. Many Wycliffite Bibles were very small as well.

BTW, they didn't necessariy have both old and new testaments on these missionary journeys. Sometimes it was the Gospels and some of the writings of Paul. The O.T. was always available in the major Synagoges. Meanwhile, all of the Bible could be read from people who had it, and shared it, like the Vaudois and others.

Bible memorization was a major theme then as well. Whole books of the Bible were commited to heart, recited to crowds, and then those crowds commited it to heart.

I responded:

Kelly, they weren't carring around scrolls and stone tablets. . .Bibles were very small - the Latin was handwritten, and was in VERY small print.

I'm not sure what you mean by stone tablets, because that is an entirely different time period. But the Bible wasn't put into bound book form (called a codex) until the 400s. If the Bible was spread prior to that time, then it would have been in scrolls, and made of parchment or vellum.

The print may be small, and without spaces between words, but it still took up a lot of space. Vellum doesn't fold into a small book very easily, either.

pre-wycliffite Bibles are in several museums - some of those Bibles were TINY. Many Wycliffite Bibles were very small as well.

What exactly do you mean by pre-wycliffite Bible? Anything before the 14th century? Do you remember any of the museums offhand, because a lot of museums have their collections online now. I've just never seen anything from that time period, Bible or not, that wasn't enormous.

For example, the Codex Sinaiticus is available for online viewing here:

I realize you feel that it is a corrupt manuscript, but other manuscripts would have used the same materials, and taken up approximately the same amount of space. --Kelly

Kelly, I don't have the time to get into a full discussion of Bible history here on my blog with you - as that would require that I answer you fairly quickly, instead of when I have time.

Therefore, I extend this invitation to you... If you truly with to discuss this, then let me know, and I'll email you, and we can discuss it via email, where we don't have to answer each other right away, but answer when we have the time.

My final response:
I really appreciate that Candy! Thank you so much for the answer. Please e-mail at your convenience. --Kelly

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Elena said...

Having done this with Candy before myself, let me predict how this is going to go.

You will make good points. She will ignore them. She will answer to minor points. She will try to challenge you and then will back off when you handle that aptly.

After a few exchanges she will give her "this is pointless" sign off and the discussion will pretty much be over.

I hope I'm wrong. We'll see.

Kelly said...

I don't know if she'll ever even get around to e-mailing me.

But hey, she let me post a little, and she was made a legitimate excuse rather than accuse me of sending her hate mail. I consider that progress.