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about the english version of the bible, " bible wars, from PBS

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Messenger: Ras power Sent: 10/23/2008 5:57:31 PM
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Today, speakers of English take for granted many phrases from the King James Bible -- from "let there be light" to the word "scapegoat" -- that were the work of an intrepid 16th-century translator who met not with acclaim but with years of exile, and eventually lost his life.

But this translator, William Tyndale -- who was burned at the stake on October 6, 1536 -- was no lone renegade. Rather, he was a pivotal transitional figure, his work a step toward bringing direct experience of the Bible to a reading public.

The film BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE explores the lives and lasting influence of three major figures in the translation and propagation of the English Bible: the 14th-century theologian, politician, and reformer John Wycliffe; Tyndale; and Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury under Henry VIII and advisor to the king through the period that saw the split with Rome and the creation of the Anglican Church.

The translation of the Bible into the vulgar -- the language of everyday people -- was a key element in the series of reforms within the Catholic Church that eventually resulted in what we know as the Protestant Reformation.

In the 14th century, the Roman Catholic Church was Western Europe's undisputed religious authority; and its central rituals -- the Mass and Communion -- the only legitimate pathway to salvation. The pope and the clergy held enormous power, and secular authorities looked to the Church for legitimation. Key to the Church's power was the fact that its rituals were conducted in Latin, a language inaccessible to the uneducated faithful. The public was completely dependent on the priesthood for access to salvation -- only through mysterious rituals conducted in an unfamiliar tongue could they conduct their spiritual lives.

John Wycliffe, born around 1320, was a prominent theologian at Oxford University and a leading ecclesiastical politician in the dark period of English history following the decimation of Europe's population by the Black Plague. He became convinced through his own scholarship that Scripture itself, rather than the Mass, should be seen as the source of Christian authority.

Wycliffe's notion that the Bible should be translated into the common tongue for the edification of all believers was a radical innovation, and one that spawned a movement. Working outside of the Church, translators eventually produced perhaps hundreds of so-called "Wycliffe Bibles," translated and hand-copied from the Latin. It is not clear that Wycliffe himself produced any translations into English, so they are more properly known as "Wycliffite" Bibles.

With or without Wycliffe's active involvement, the English Bible became part of an underground movement that became known as Lollardy and continued to spread after Wycliffe's death in 1384. It worried Church authorities enough that by 1407 the English translation was denounced as unauthorized, and translating or using translated Bibles was defined as heresy -- a crime for which the punishment was death by burning. In 1415 Wycliffe himself was denounced, posthumously, as a heretic. His body was exhumed and burned in 1428. Wycliffite Bibles, even after the ban, were produced in great numbers, and the 250 or so that now remain are the largest surviving body of medieval English texts. But the time was not yet right for the Bible to exist publicly in the common tongue.




William Tyndale translated the Bible while in exile.



Over the next century, however, life in England and in Europe would change radically. As the Renaissance got under way on the Continent, scholars began to rediscover Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of Scripture, and their work would spark a new series of translations even as the propagation of the printing press made possible the mass-production of books.

Perhaps the most influential publication of the early 16th century was the Dutch theologian Desiderius Erasmus's 1515 edition of the Greek New Testament, which included a new Latin translation. The translation -- which was printed and circulated widely among educated Christians across Europe -- made possible Martin Luther's 1522 publication of a new translation into German, which became perhaps the key text in the Reformation.

In England, William Tyndale, who was Luther's contemporary, set about creating an authoritative English translation of the Bible from the original texts. Tyndale worked in a harsher political environment than Luther faced on the Continent (the German authorities did not censure the reformers, while Tyndale clashed with and was reprimanded by English Catholic leaders) and eventually left England for Europe, most likely Germany, in 1524 in order to continue his work.

The version of the Bible that Tyndale completed in exile became one of the most influential works of literature in the English language, full of phrases that entered the popular lexicon and defined what we know as the voice of the scriptures. His translation was at once a major work of creative poetry and a radical reinterpretation of the sacred texts, challenging by interpretation the authority of the Catholic hierarchy, redefining "priests" as "elders" and the "Church" as a "congregation."

In 1526 Tyndale published his New Testament in a portable edition. First published in Cologne and Worms, and eventually smuggled into England in large numbers from Antwerp (where Tyndale found refuge during the late 1520s), it became a best-seller, popularized by itinerant preachers who recited Tyndale's words despite the fact that they risked burning at the stake.




Puritans who were not satisfied with the Anglican Church left England and settled in the American colonies, bringing with them the King James version of the Bible.



In 1535, the authorities finally caught up with Tyndale; he was imprisoned for more than a year in Brussels before being burned at the stake (given his popularity, he was mercifully strangled before the flames were lit). His words had taken root in England, but it would take a political upheaval to bring the Bible to the English people.

Ironically enough, that transformation came even as Tyndale languished in prison. In 1534, Henry VIII, without male heirs and unable to obtain a divorce from the pope so as to marry again, finally resorted to the bold step of assuming control of the English Church. Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, became the architect of the new church doctrine - and, heavily influenced by Luther, he envisioned a very different English Church, which would include some of the ideas pioneered by the German Reformation.

For Cranmer, distribution of an English Bible was key to establishing a reformist church in his country. He issued an English Bible, printed in Antwerp -- though known popularly as the "Matthew Bible," it combined Tyndale's New Testament with elements of an Old Testament translation done by Myles Coverdale -- and followed that with an official English Bible and, under Edward VI's reign, an English liturgy, the Book of Common Prayer.

The birth of the English church was not easy. A period of religious conflict ensued, and the church that began to emerge, though it included English-language texts, preserved the hierarchy of the Catholic Church -- it remained an episcopal church, administered by bishops.

In fact, Catholics came back to power under Edward's sister Mary, and in 1556, Cranmer, like Tyndale before him, was burned at the stake. But as England swung between Catholicism and Anglicanism, the idea of a Bible in the common tongue had taken hold. It flourished in multiple versions. The Geneva Bible (the choice of the growing Puritan movement, which sought a return to a purist, poor church modeled after that of the time of Christ), the Doway Catholic English Bible, and the official Anglican Bishop's Bible fought for the minds and spirits of English citizens.

King James of Scotland, who came to power in 1603, called the Hampton Court Conference in order to work out a compromise with English Puritans and to unite the feuding religious factions. The outcome was the commissioning of a new authorized version of the Bible (published in 1611) that would satisfy all parties; the version became known as the King James Bible. Much of the language used hearkens back to Tyndale's translation. This new Bible made Tyndale's words central to Protestantism in the English-speaking world thereafter.

Those Puritans who were not satisfied with the compromise (they accepted the new translation, but could not accept the structure of the Anglican Church) left England, settling in the American colonies but bringing with them the King James version of the Bible. Its language -- and with it the words and ideas of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, and the other pioneering translators of Scripture -- would be woven into the fabric of the new nation.


> Examine the Clues and Evidence









Published in April 2007
SECRETS OF THE DEAD is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York.
2007 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved



Messenger: Ras power Sent: 10/23/2008 5:58:54 PM
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Lori Anne Ferrell, Professor of early modern history and English at Claremont Graduate University



Lori Anne Ferrell, who currently holds a joint appointment in early modern history and English at Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California, came to the study of the texts of Tudor and Stuart England as a second career. Before entering academia in the late 1980s, Dr. Ferrell worked as a registered nurse at Yale University, where she later completed her Ph.D., and whose press is publishing her book on the English Bible. She talked to SECRETS OF THE DEAD about the social and political context of the events discussed in BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE, and about the "foreign country" that is our past.

Q. To contemporary viewers, it may seem strange to hear about just how politically important the interpretation of Scripture was in 14th-century Europe. Is it possible to explain just how intertwined what we now consider the separate spheres of politics and religion were during the period -- from the 14th to the 16th century -- that this film focuses on?

A. The simplest answer here is that, in the medieval West, these two spheres were not at all separate. They made up a mostly seamless whole, which means that, in a way, medieval people were less obviously pious at certain times but were entirely so on a daily basis.

But, then again, whenever politics and religion are fused, the spiritual trumps the secular, just about every time. The pope's headship of spiritual causes (which extended to his secular powers in the papal states) was a universal leadership (the boundaries of which comprised what we'd call "Western Christendom"), whereas kings and emperors -- who often claimed that they held their worldly power through divine right -- were heads of smaller locales within that "Western Christendom."

Q. Can you illuminate the circumstances surrounding Wycliffe's turn to endorsing direct access to the Bible? Wycliffe had been an establishment figure and an ecclesiastical politician of some prominence, so it's somewhat surprising that he would become a figure so disliked by that establishment that his body would eventually be exhumed and burned. How did his ideas develop?

A. Wycliffe was an establishment clergyman -- and establishment clergymen in this period often came into conflict with their bosses in the Church (often the issue with the overly educated, I'd say). Thing is, Wycliffe based his sense of ultimate Christian authority on the words of the Bible rather than the authority of not only the pope but also the entire succession of popes and Church councils that had adjudicated Christian orthodoxy through generations of human decision making and authoritative doctrinal pronouncements since the early centuries of the Christian era.

To advocate a sacred text (a collection of words, really, as set down in orthodox and material form since the 4th century in a book called "the Bible") as the source of authority rather than the pope and Church tradition was Wycliffe's remarkable contribution to the pre-Reformation era. He was no proto-Protestant (I happen to disagree with the many scholars who believe he was, as I think it's impossible to be "proto" anything before the fact in historical reckoning) but instead a radical medieval. As that alone, he did plenty.

The reason I resist this characterization is that the claim has this way of advocating Protestant "orthodoxy," as in: if Protestants have a past that can be traced through ideas that are passed from generation to generation, then they have a past distinct from the Roman Church, a kind of continuity that came from always resisting what the church of Western Christendom represented. And that's simply not true. In so many ways, especially in issues of church authority, what became Protestantism was of the same opinion as the Catholic Church on more issues than not. They simply differed on what defined that authoritative church -- Protestants claimed "the Bible only" (although they really couldn't live that out; it's an impossible claim -- they needed institutional structure and history as well as a text) whereas the Roman Catholic Church claimed its long-standing historical tradition (a powerful claim indeed) plus the Bible.

Q. To a layperson, looking at salvation as coming via the text rather than the church seems the essence of Protestantism. Wycliffe does seem, if not to be a proto-Protestant, at least to anticipate the Reformation in important ways.

A. I think that makes sense, as long as we remember that "anticipate" is something we discern from this side of the historical divide, not their side.

Historically and theologically speaking, even 16th-century Protestants thought salvation was a process that was a compatible, in fact desirable and necessary, part of Church membership -- mainstream Protestants persecuted radical and underground sects like the Anabaptists, often with stunning (to us) ferocity and cruelty. English Protestants, for example, would not, indeed could not, envision a world where people weren't required to go to a state church, one into which people were baptized at birth (the defining marker of required membership in that age; no one had a "choice").

Wycliffe's followers might have wanted a Bible in English, but they could not possibly have foreseen the Protestant Reformation -- their minds would not have conceived it. Thus they are medievals with a radical idea, not prophets of a coming age.

Q. I can see that Wycliffe would have had a very different notion of what he was up to, but exactly how did he see himself as standing in relationship to Christianity in general and the Church in particular?

A. My sense is that he was an educated contrarian -- the Church was full of those in every age before (and, I'd guess, after) the Reformation. And the pre-Reformation Church was actually pretty good at listening and responding to new ideas at the time -- for example, mendicant monasticism (like the newly instituted Franciscans or Dominicans), sacramental-practice proposals, proposals for instituting holy days like Corpus Christi. What made folks like Wycliffe (or Luther) renegades was the Church's rejection of them and their ideas -- not theirs of the Church and its ideas. They wanted change, and in such a rapidly changing time as the late medieval era, you could argue they had no reason to think their ideas wouldn't get a fair hearing ... until they didn't.

Q. Wycliffe's translation was not a lone effort. Can you tell us more about the men who were involved in translating the "Wycliffe" Bibles? And is there any estimate of how many were produced?

A. We're pretty sure Wycliffe didn't translate a thing -- that's why we now call the Bibles "Wycliffite Bibles" rather than "Wycliffe Bibles." My sense has always been that Wycliffe was more interested in "the Bible" than "the English Bible" and thought out his religious ideas in Latin to the very end.

We don't know how many men and women were involved, how many owned the Bibles, nor how many actually read them. The actual number may be dismayingly small. What we do have is about 250 extant copies of these illicit texts -- either in whole or in part (mostly in part). That might seem small, but, given each manuscript is an original, handmade, unreproduceable product in this age before the printing press, it's actually huge. This abundance of extant material evidence also means that Wycliffite Bibles are by far the largest example of medieval literature in English that we have -- which may well mean that historians overestimate the range and power and influence of the Wycliffite (or "Lollard") movement, simply because of this preponderance of material evidence.

Q. How did Wycliffe's ideas spread despite the ban on his work? Who were the disseminators of Lollard beliefs? Were these ideas passed on through families? Were there Lollard congregations? And how widespread was literacy in medieval England?

A. I think historians tend not to think of the powerful materiality of books as objects, which carry both a symbolic and an actual weight that extends beyond content. And so I would say that Wycliffe's best idea (most of his other ones were inaccessible to most ordinary people, the vast majority of whom were illiterate in either Latin or English in this age) was disseminated by lived experience: through seeing (or hearing read) Bibles in the English language. These objects remained behind after Wycliffe and Lollardy died out, powerful reminders of vernacular Christianity.

"Lollardy" has become the name for a scattered and piecemeal phenomenon, different between localities and often just individual -- I would not claim (although some historians do) that something called "Lollardy" could ever have been considered an organized movement. Any group of people meeting together for the purpose of producing or reading an illegal English Bible would have been prosecuted if found out, which makes it hard for us to measure the extent of local Lollard practices. Just like Wycliffe was no proto-Protestant, then, Lollards were not (in my estimation) proto-Protestants either. We can't draw the transmission with any accuracy.

You know, it has been a common practice for historians of Protestantism to find its origins before the Reformation. This is probably because Christianity itself is rooted in a historical moment in the first century of the Common Era, and so anything emerging after the apostolic age is suspect as heretical. So we need to remember that even Protestants in the 16th century did not claim they were "Protestants" (they had no idea what they'd end up being called, of course, as they were in the middle of something rather than recording it as historians) but only better Christians.

So as for me, I think they were very brave and often very singular, or regionally isolated, although they were not all poor or powerless -- the Bible in English was probably the most electrifying thing about their practice; otherwise their derring-do centered on conducting the same sorts of sacramental rituals, except without permission (thrilling enough, from a legal point of view, but not radically different).

Q. If the power and influence of the Lollards is overstated, how did the interest in a direct connection with the Bible (I hesitate to call it proto-Reformation or proto-Protestantism) persist in England in the years between Wycliffe and Tyndale? (It seems that by Tyndale's time there was the advantage of an active printing industry and obviously a very active Protestant movement in continental Europe.) Is there just no way to study this?

A. Probably simpler to say there's no way of stating it responsibly. One just ends up making sweeping generalizations -- which I love to do. Here's mine: the English are, and have always been, word-besotted, as in English-word-besotted, which is why their Renaissance was made out of neither paint nor music, but out of the glorious stuff of drama and poetry. A Bible in everyday language appealed to this precociously literate kingdom (the literacy rate was not high by our standards, but it was enormous by European ones from the same period) and the idea of this essential text in the vernacular was a congenial one in a country where the vernacular had been a literary language much longer than had the vernaculars of other cultures.

Q. Though he was a key participant in Henry VIII's turn to a rather pragmatic Protestantism, Thomas Cranmer somehow became a legitimate leader of the English Reformation. Can you tell us more about his background, and about what might have inspired his turn from belief in an episcopal church to a dedication to direct experience of the Bible?

A. I'd argue that Cranmer's overall contribution was not pragmatic, but literary and inspirational (through the lasting beauties of the English Book of Common Prayer). Like all earlier 16th-century "Protestants" (remember my warning earlier), Cranmer was trained in the Catholic priesthood. Luther's ideas, among others, would have had a powerful impact -- as would those of reforming Catholic humanists like Desiderius Erasmus.

Under Henry VIII, Cranmer practiced a canny sort of realpolitik (the only way to survive, to tell the truth) but it's pretty clear the new ideas from the Continent were a great influence on him.

Of course, again this issue of historical retrofit comes in to mess up our take on this. What was emerging in the early 16th century was called "evangelicalism" by its proponents, and could easily have been seen as a reforming movement the Catholic Church would contain. In fact, many of the reforms proposed by early 16th-century "evangelicals" were taken up at the Council of Trent and subsequently espoused by the Roman papacy. It does seem clear, however, that Cranmer needed the liberating religious atmosphere established in the reign of Edward VI to allow his ideas freer expression. So he spans the two generations of thought.

Q. Would it be wrong to use the word "fundamentalism" in describing the Puritan movement? The Puritans are often seen as advocates for religious freedom, which was apparently far from the case. ...

A. Yes, I think it would be wrong, as it is such an anachronism. No one in the 16th century would have advocated religious freedom; going to church was not optional and only the most radical (and thus hounded and discredited) Christians would have argued that people could have a choice about how to worship God. In terms of biblical "inerrancy" (another problematically anachronistic term, or at least one that is way too loaded in this day and age), everyone in the 16th century was a fundamentalist; in terms of the rejection of Roman Catholicism for a religion based upon the Bible, Puritans were pretty much like all Protestants in England -- just more impatient for further reforms (they wanted all traces of Catholicism erased from the English church, including its episcopal structures and material appearances) and increasingly vocal about it.

As for me, I tend not to draw strong connections between a disparate historical phenomenon like Puritanism (of which there are many forms in the period I study) and current events. The past, even "our" past, is pretty much a foreign country, in my opinion; we invade and domesticate it at our peril, and historians do best to be a bit humble and respectful in its presence. That this country was founded (at least in the Northeast) by fierce advocates of the freedom to make people worship in ways the English government would not approve is a fact that always gives me pause, however.








Resources About this Episode




Messenger: Ras power Sent: 10/23/2008 6:00:23 PM
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When Henry VIII assumed control of the Church in England in the 1530s, he brought to the breaking point ongoing tensions between Europe's religious and secular leaders.



What, exactly, made possible the translation of the Bible into the language of the common men and women of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries? How, in a Europe dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, did the Reformation emerge that would question the very foundations of the Church? The answers to those questions are complex, but we can identify a few changes -- in political thought, in scholarship, and in technology -- that helped make possible the events chronicled in BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE.

POLITICS

When Henry VIII assumed control of the Church in England in the 1530s, he brought to the breaking point ongoing tensions between Europe's religious and secular leaders that had been going on at least since the leaders of the nation-states of Europe began to consolidate power in the late medieval period, and in many ways since the Church's establishment in the 4th century.

Though no one living in Europe in the 14th or 15th century would have quite understood our notions of the separation of church and state -- there was simply no clear distinction between the two in pre-Reformation Europe -- there was certainly ongoing conflict between secular and ecclesiastical authority. While kings certainly appealed to divine right to defend their own authority, the papacy sought to assert its authority in the temporal sphere: imposing taxes, acting as a sort of supreme court in hearing appeals from the courts of the Christian states of Europe, and appointing bishops and priests.

In England, legal maneuvers to assert the precedence of the secular government were proceeding in earnest as early as the mid-14th century. Parliament began to assert English independence in various ways, turning over the power of appointing Church officials within England to the king, following up over the next two centuries with a series of moves against Rome's authority to collect taxes and decide legal matters. Similar maneuverings took place in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Secular leaders in no way questioned the spiritual authority of the Church; rather, they sought to define a separate political sphere.

John Wycliffe became prominent as a negotiator with Rome on behalf of England in the 1360s; before he had publicly stated his reformist opinions on the organization of the Church or the translation of the Bible, he had already thought seriously about the relationship between the Church's spiritual authority and the authority of secular governments, and had to some degree become suspicious of the Church's power from a political perspective.

It would, of course, be difficult to say whether Wycliffe's (or any other reformer's, for that matter) theological positions had roots in his political experience, but it is clear that he had developed his theories on popular access to the Bible in an era that saw that Church as an institution whose political authority was not unlimited. By the early 16th century, Thomas Cranmer -- who was even more embroiled in secular politics -- would negotiate the same issues as he brought a new Church into being in an even more fraught environment.




The Renaissance produced an explosion in scholarship and research, as well as a new class of educated laypeople alongside the educated clerics of the Church.



LEARNING AND SOCIETY

As the medieval period waned and what we now refer to as the Renaissance was taking hold in Europe, a major transformation was happening in the minds of Europe. An explosion in scholarship and research was producing a flood of new and rediscovered information, even while a more literate society was evolving, producing a new class of educated laypeople alongside the educated clerics of the Church.

The new merchant economy -- the beginnings of modern capitalism -- and the new, stronger centralized governments of Europe demanded literate administrators, and by the close of the 15th century dozens of colleges and universities had opened across Northern Europe, joining the traditional centers of Christian education. The universities and the new class of educated laypeople became a strong force in the emergence of "humanism" -- the rediscovery of classical texts and the search for authentic original texts to replace what was seen, in retrospect, as mistranslation of important works, including the Bible, by medieval translators.

The influence of increased scholarship is easy to see in the developments traced in BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE. Rediscovery of the original Greek and Hebrew scriptures, largely unknown in Europe since the beginnings of the Church, sparked a wave of new translations of the Old and New Testaments. Desiderius Erasmus, a Dutch humanist thinker, completed a highly influential new translation of the Bible into Latin, based on research into newly rediscovered Greek manuscripts.

Erasmus was certainly no Protestant (and maintained neutrality in the debates between Reformation scholars and representatives of the Church that followed the publication of his work), but saw himself as correcting errors in previous translations and providing a text closer to the intention of the original Church. Still, Erasmus's translation provided Martin Luther and William Tyndale with the Rosetta Stone they needed -- an authoritative text in both the original Greek and the scholarly Latin -- to make further translations into the common tongues of the day.

And as these new translations were made available, an increasingly literature-hungry public was emerging to read them, all spurred along by a major advance in communications technology.




The invention of a commercially viable printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 transformed the production of books from an academic and monastic pursuit into an industrial activity.



TECHNOLOGY

In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg, a former goldsmith in Mainz, Germany, developed a commercially viable printing press, transforming the production of books from an academic and monastic pursuit into an industrial activity. The impact of Gutenberg's invention is difficult to comprehend; the effect on European intellectual life can only be compared to the effect of television, and even that comparison cannot capture a transition from a society where the circulation of information was extremely difficult to one in which a more or less free flow of ideas was not just a possibility but a certainty, even given censorship and the threat of death for heretics.

Erasmus's authoritative edition, and the translations of Luther, Tyndale, and the others across Europe who were working to interpret the original texts, were able to circulate and gain audience in a way that simply was not available to the underground translators of Wycliffe's time.

Writers and translators were able not only to distribute their work but also to find audiences. Literacy rates were certainly not high in the 15th and 16th centuries (probably 10 percent or less), but a lay educated population had begun to emerge, especially in the urban centers of Northern Europe, and these readers were hungry for books, and not just for officially sanctioned texts. And those who did not themselves read -- the emerging urban proletariat, for example -- were eager to be read to, in their own languages.

In England, smuggled Protestant Bibles from Antwerp and other publishing and trading centers became best-sellers. (In urban Europe, especially the cities of Germany and the Low Countries, where local governments were powerful enough to operate independently of Catholic Church authority, Protestant communities took hold.) These new texts, easily distributed, reproducible, and portable (Tyndale intentionally sized his edition of the New Testament for personal use, which also made it easy to smuggle alongside the masses of legitimate books being imported into England from the Continent).

These changes in everyday life -- in technology, intellectual life, and politics -- cannot be said to prefigure Protestantism, but they did set the stage for the massive transformation wrought by the Reformation in the religious life of Europe.


> Read an interview with Lori Anne Ferrell




Messenger: Ras power Sent: 10/23/2008 10:45:49 PM
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Is the Bible just a collection of myths and legends, or is it the inspired word of God? Many assume that modern scholarship has discredited the Bible, but the facts of history and the discoveries of archaeology confirm its contents to be true! The Bible recounts the past with amazing accuracy and it predicts the future like no other book! Most of the world has been misled and misinformed about the Bible. You need to understand the truth and how it can affect your life!


Messenger: FarI-Sight Sent: 10/23/2008 10:46:13 PM
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Black Heart of Perfect Peace of Love to each and everyone,


Francis Bacon, a freemason/illuminati who also founded the Rosicrucians Order, who is also the son of Queen Elzabeth I and Earl of Leceister, who is also in reality William Shakespeare, is the boy who did help King James edit the bible and put in lots of masonic imagery and symbology along with a Shakespearian theme to the bible.

Rastafari and Iriginal People ( Ithiopians ), as Emmanuel I say, watch your Self when you read the Bible, it is filled with symbology, right and wrong mixed up and one must read with overstanding.

Hail the Most I Lion King Haile I Selassie I JAH Rastafari
Moa Anbessa

HOLY EMMANUEL I SELASSIE I JAH RASTAFARI


Messenger: Ras power Sent: 10/24/2008 7:27:38 PM
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the bible explains it self, eg

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth (daniel 7v17)

and the symbols are of jah, so his people will overstand, as parrables in time of christ


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