At 05:56 AM 12/25/00 EST, you wrote:
>In a message dated 12/25/00 2:49:15 AM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask]
>> you are aware that we have church canons forbidding the study of the bible
>> by laity.
>Br. Alexis, could you expand on this? I've read the canon from the council of
>Trent (68?), where Catholics are not to develop interpretations of their own
>that differ from those of the Church. I actually found it confusing, because
>I can go to, say, the Jerome Bible Commentary and find that the Church
>doesn't necessarily have an official opinion on every single verse in the
>Bible. If there are further restrictions, I'd be interested in knowing their
>scope, and how they were implemented. Do you mean Catholics were forbidden to
>_read_ the Bible? If they were only forbidden to "study"it, where was the
>line drawn between reading and studying? When were these canons developed,
>and for how long were they in force?
I have never heard of a canon forbidding the study of the bible by the
laity: I have heard of disciplinary acts which condemn specific vernacular
translations, which either were very faulty (like that done by Pope Sixtus
V), or which advanced reinterpretations of Scripture for the sake of
justifying various new groups religious beliefs. As for a intentionally
faulty bible, the Church, which authored the NT and its particular
arrangement in the book knows as the Bible has always defended these
writings against anything that would destroy their historical objective
sense: I gues you could anachronistically call it a kind of copywrite
protection. But I am sure that various Rabbis have condemned faulty
translations of the Petatuch or Prophets for similar religious reasons.
As for private interpretation: this does not mean interpretation written
or authored by a individual person, but an interpretation that adds a novel
meaning to the text in disharmony with its historical objective sense. That
is why St. Jerome is praised for his commentaries by the Church.
As for canons' existence: I have never read a study; I've generally seen
mention to them in the period after the invention of printing; but not
every disciplinary act in this regard is a canon, "canon" as you may know
refers to a definitive disciplinary decision of a regional or general
council; which is usually the basis for the norms of canon law in the area
in the following period; but these too lapse. Few merely disciplinary
canons of Trent today would be held to be in force.
Generally reformation authors of the 17th and onwards played on the myth of
the Church not wanting Christians to read the bible; this was half true;
not wanting to read faulty editions; but to these reformers, their editions
were not faulty, even when a textual analysis showed otherwise. Some of the
popular translations of the Bible (Luther, K. James) are very poor
translations. Luther's has more than 3,000 errors and the KJ has more than
30,000. While the Vulgate of Jerome I have heard has somewhere between
>Why weren't there objections to Gutenberg printing all those Bibles and
>Psalters? Or why wasn't he ordered to limit sales to the clergy? Also, what
>disposition was to be made in the case of artists, who'd be expected to
>portray Biblical scenes and might be at a distinct disadvantage if they
>weren't allowed to read ("study") the stories they were illustrating? If
>Dante was forbidden to study the Bible, why is the Commedia filled with so
>many references to often obscure Biblical verses? And what does Dante mean
>by identifying the Bible as a reliable guide? It seems an odd thing to say if
>people were actually forbidden to study it.
All these things you cite are just more evidence against the reformation
myth of Catholics not reading the bible.
Sincerley in Christ,
Br. Alexis Bugnolo