On Sat, 18 Jun 2011 07:31:23 -0700 (PDT), in uk.politics.misc, Eunometic
Christianity is not so nor is Buddhism. It is quite flexible,
certainly once literacy and publishing liberated it from heirarchial
control by the churches.
How correct you are! In the times when few were literate, they had no
idea what the bible really said, but only had what they were *told* that
it said, to go on. Hence the priests and the clergy controlled what most
people believed and too often that was not had been written so many
Whether fable or not, I was always told that the first thing that the
Gutenberg press was used for was to print the KJV bible. That, coupled
with the new era of not uncommon literacy meant that people could actually
read it to determine if what they were being told was true.
More or less correct, the first printed english bible was in 1526 by
Tyndale not the definitive KJ version.
Tyndale showed up on Luther's doorstep in 1525, and by year's end had
translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale was fluent in eight
languages and is considered by many to be the primary architect of
today's English language. Already hunted because of the rumor spread
abroad that such a project was underway, inquisitors and bounty
hunters were on Tyndale's trail to abort the effort. God foiled their
plans, and in 1525/6 Tyndale printed the first English New Testament.
They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but
copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King
Henry VIII. The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution,
the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it
contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New
Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them
because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning
if caught in mere possession of Tyndale's forbidden books.
The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were
produced in the 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor,
scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe, (also spelled “Wycliff” &
“Wyclif”), was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the
teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to
the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and
his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe
produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the
scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was
the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated
by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that
44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up,
crushed, and scattered in the river!
Henry VIII was known as "Defender of the Faith" because he would draw
and quarter any English Lutherans. This continued even after he
formed the Church of England.
The Gutenberg Bible was in Latin.
The Luther Bible is a German Bible translation by Martin Luther, first
printed with both testaments in 1534.
On the other hand -- always one of those -- the koran protects itself from
interpretation by the average believer with passages saying that it is not
to be questioned and one in particular comes to mind (in sura 13) that
says the abode of the questioner is hellfire. Another says that to
question the koran leads to 'troubling' and unbelief. The koran also
claims in numerous places to be "clearly written", yet it is anything but
clear in many places and then it demands not to be questioned Their was a
period of mujtahid (islamic interpretation of the koran) prior to 1000 AD,
but most orthodox islamic scholars consider that door closed.