Once, just once during those years, there had been a brief reminder that in the medieval world, the dangers of hysteria were never absent.
One Easter in Paris, a Jew he knew slightly, not an especially pleasant fellow, was suddenly arrested. The crime of which he was accused was serious, however, for he was accused of desecrating the Host.
A poor woman from a nearby parish claimed that she had brought a wafer to him from her church and that he had attacked it with a knife. Was it the truth?Who knew? But within days the story had grown. The wafer had run with blood. The blood had filled a bath. Then the wafer had flown about the house. Then the Savior Himself had appeared to the Jew’s terrified family. People often had visions, and they were often believed. In this case, a court had found the fellow guilty and, this being a religious crime, he’d been executed.
Jacob had shaken his head at the folly of it all, but he had not been astonished. One must be careful, very careful, that was all.
(Paris, Edward Rutherfurd, page 116)
FOR THE RECORD. The above is an example of why Jesus Christ instructed his followers to pray, first and foremost, for the sanctification of God’s most holy divine name. (Matthew 6:9) True, God does not need true Christians to defend His name, but because of the events that resulted in the prophecy recorded at Genesis 3:15, and also the presumptuous challenge, recorded in the book of Job chapter 1, Jehovah God allows true Christians to express their concern for His divine name: His reputation. Without an accurate understanding of Genesis 3:15, Job chapter 1, and Matthew 6:9 (and 10), it is impossible to really grasp an accurate and complete understanding of God’s Word the Holy Bible. I cannot adequately express this so vital thought as can my brothers, Jehovah’s visible organization, which they do so very well (Matthew 24:45). (As an aside, my sisters do not feel left out when I write “my brothers”. They do not suffer feelings of insecurity or inferiority. My sisters are secure in their positions within Jehovah’s divine arrangement, an arrangement which no court in any nation has the authority to in any way change. I write under inspiration from, and with authority from, Jehovah God. cc all Mormon barristers)
“YOU must pray, then, this way:+
‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name+ be sanctified.*+
[sanctified footnotes:] [*:] Or, “be held sacred; be treated as holy.” Gr., ha·gi·a·stheʹto; Lat., sanc·ti·fi·ceʹtur; J17,18 (Heb.), yith·qad·dashʹ, “let be sanctified.” See Ex 29:43 ftn, “Sanctified.”
[+:] Ezekiel 36:23
23 ‘And I shall certainly sanctify my great name,which was being profaned among the nations, which YOU profaned in the midst of them; and the nations will have to know that I am Jehovah,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, ‘when I am sanctified among YOU before their eyes.
23 And I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’
[Additional Translations:] https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/
Definition of profane
1: to treat (something sacred) with abuse, irreverence, or contempt : desecrate
2: to debase by a wrong, unworthy, or vulgar use
Payback’s a breeze.
BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S HOSPITAL
abase, bastardize, canker, cheapen, corrupt, debauch, degrade, demean, demoralize, deprave, deteriorate, lessen, pervert, poison, debase, prostitute, subvert, vitiate, warp
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/profane [emphasis added]
Definition of prostitute
1: to offer indiscriminately for sexual intercourse especially for money
2: to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes : debase prostitute one’s talents
A person, usually a woman, given to indiscriminate lewdness; specifically, a woman who offers herself indiscriminately for sexual intercourse for hire; a harlot. The Hebrew word for prostitute is zoh·nahʹ, while its Greek equivalent is porʹne.
Under the Law. The law that God gave to Israel commanded: “Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, in order that the land may not commit prostitution and the land actually be filled with loose morals.” (Le 19:29) Adultery was prohibited by the seventh commandment (Ex 20:14; De 5:18); the penalty was death for both parties. (Le 20:10) The girl found guilty of having married under the false pretense of virginity was to be put to death. (De 22:13-21) The engaged girl who committed fornication with another man was considered the same as an adulterous wife, and she was put to death. (De 22:23, 24) The single girl who committed fornication was to be married to the man who seduced her unless the father refused to permit the marriage.
For these and other reasons, prostitutes in Israel were, doubtless with few exceptions, foreign women. The Proverbs repeatedly warn against the “strange woman” and the “foreign woman” who would entice a man to commit immorality.
A priest was forbidden by the Law to marry a prostitute, and the daughter of a priest who committed prostitution was to be put to death and afterward burned in the fire. (Le 21:7,9, 14) The ‘hire of a prostitute’ was not to be received as a contribution at Jehovah’s sanctuary, because prostitutes were detestable in Jehovah’s sight.
It was the case of two prostitutes, handled in a wise and understanding way, that greatly strengthened the faith of the people in Solomon as the fitting successor of David to the throne of Israel. Probably the case had been one upon which the judges of the lower court could not decide, and it was referred, therefore, to the king. (De 1:17; 17:8-11; 1Sa 8:20) These women may have been prostitutes, not in a commercial sense, but women who had committed fornication, either Jewish women or, quite possibly, women of foreign descent.
Temple Prostitutes. Temple prostitutes constituted a prominent feature of false religion. The historian Herodotus (I, 199) reports the “foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land once in her life to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger.” Temple prostitutes were also connected with the worship of Baal, Ashtoreth, and other gods and goddesses worshiped in Canaan and elsewhere.
‘The Way to Death.’ King Solomon, in the seventh chapter of Proverbs, describes a scene that he observed, illustrating the workings of the prostitute and the results to those who are ensnared by her. He speaks of a young man passing along the street near a prostitute’s house, at the approach of night. Solomon describes the young man as “in want of heart,” lacking discernment or good sense. (See HEART.) The woman, dressed in the immodest manner of a prostitute, is lying in wait and approaches him. She has smooth lips and fair speech, but her actual disposition is boisterous and stubborn; she is cunning of heart. This prostitute puts on a display of being righteous by saying that she had made communion sacrifices that very day (implying that there would be food on which to feast, inasmuch as the offerer regularly took part of the communion sacrifice for himself and his family).
Now that the young man is enticed to this point, Solomon shows, he is irresistibly drawn into sin with her, throwing all good sense to the wind, going ahead ‘like a bull to the slaughter,’ as a man who is in fetters and cannot escape the discipline he will get. “Until,” says Solomon, “an arrow cleaves open his liver,” that is, until he gets the wound that causes death, both spiritually and physically, for not only has he exposed his body to death-dealing sexually transmitted disease (in advanced cases of syphilis, bacterial organisms overwhelm the liver), but also “he has not known that it involves his very soul.” His entire being and his life are seriously affected, and he has sinned seriously against God. Solomon concludes his account saying: “The ways to Sheol her house is; they are descending to the interior rooms of death.”
‘Destroys valuable things.’ The proverb says: “A man that is loving wisdom makes his father rejoice, but he that is having companionship with prostitutes destroys valuable things.” (Pr 29:3) First of all, he destroys his relationship with God, the most valuable possession; then he brings reproach upon his family and destroys family relationships. As another proverb warns, such a man ‘gives to others his dignity and his years to what is cruel; strangers take their fill of his power, and the things he got by pain come to be in the house of a foreigner.’
The wise man therefore counsels: “Do not desire her [the foreign woman’s] prettiness in your heart, . . . because in behalf of a woman prostitute one comes down to a round loaf of bread; but as regards another man’s wife, she hunts even for a precious soul.” (Pr 6:24-26) This may mean that a man in Israel, by his association with a prostitute, squandered his substance and was reduced to poverty (compare 1Sa 2:36; Lu 15:30), but the man who committed adultery with another man’s wife was losing his soul (under the Law death was the penalty for adultery). Or, the entire passage may be referring to the adulterous wife as a prostitute.
The concluding verses of the chapter (Pr 6:29-35) say: “[As to] anyone having relations with the wife of his fellowman, no one touching her will remain unpunishable. People do not despise a thief just because he commits thievery to fill his soul when he is hungry. But, when found, he will make it good with seven times as much; all the valuables of his house he will give. Anyone committing adultery with a woman is in want of heart; he that does it is bringing his own soul to ruin. A plague and dishonor he will find, and his reproach itself will not be wiped out. For the rage of an able-bodied man is jealousy, and he will not show compassion in the day of vengeance. He will have no consideration for any sort of ransom, neither will he show willingness, no matter how large you make the present.”
The meaning of Proverbs 6:30-35 may be that men do not look down greatly on a thief who steals to satisfy hunger; they understand his action to an extent. Nevertheless, if caught, he is made to restore with ‘interest’ what he stole (this was especially so under the Law [Ex 22:1, 3, 4]; “seven times” may be used in the proverb to indicate that he is made to pay the penalty to the fullest extent). But the adulterer can make no restitution for his sin; his reproach, which is great, remains, and in no way can he ransom or buy himself off from the punishment he deserves.
If a Christian who is a member of the spiritual body of Christ has relations with a prostitute or commits fornication, he is taking a member of the Christ away and making it the member of a harlot, joining himself to a prostitute as one body. He is thereby sinning against his own body as regards its being ‘a member of Christ.’
Must Forsake Such Practice to Be Saved. There is hope for those who are prostitutes if they turn away from the detestable practice and exercise faith in the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The apostle wrote to the Christians at Corinth, reminding them that some of them were fornicators and adulterers but that they had forsaken that course and had been washed clean and declared righteous in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (1Co 6:9-11) Many of the harlots in Israel showed themselves to have better hearts than the religious leaders. These women, viewed with scorn by the scribes and Pharisees, humbly accepted the preaching of John the Baptizer, and Jesus used them as an example to the religious leaders, saying: “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and the harlots are going ahead of you into the kingdom of God.”
Rahab. Rahab is an example of a prostitute who expressed faith in God and was counted righteous. (Jas 2:25) Men sent by Joshua to spy out Jericho lodged at Rahab’s house. (Jos 2:1) It would not be reasonable to assume that they did so for immoral purposes. As to their motive, Professors C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, in Commentary on the Old Testament remark: “Their entering the house of such a person would not excite so much suspicion. Moreover, the situation of her house against or upon the town wall was one which facilitated escape. But the Lord so guided the course of the spies, that they found in this sinner the very person who was the most suitable for their purpose, and upon whose heart the tidings of the miracles wrought by the living God on behalf of Israel had made such an impression, that she not only informed the spies of the despondency of the Canaanites, but, with believing trust in the power of the God of Israel, concealed the spies from all the inquiries of her countrymen, though at the greatest risk to herself.” (1973, Vol. II, Joshua, p. 34) In view of God’s statement that Israel was to drive out the Canaanites because of their immoral practices and in view also of God’s blessing on the conquest of Jericho and upon Rahab herself, it would be entirely unreasonable to assume that the spies committed immorality with Rahab or that she continued her practice of prostitution afterward.
Figurative Use. A person, a nation, or a congregation of persons dedicated to God who make alliances with the world or who turn to the worship of false gods are called in the Bible “prostitutes.” Such was the nation of Israel. Israel was seduced into having “immoral intercourse” with foreign gods and, just as an unfaithful wife would seek out other men, she looked to foreign nations for security and salvation from her enemies instead of looking to her “husbandly owner,” Jehovah God. (Isa 54:5, 6) Moreover, Jerusalem became so debased in her unfaithfulness that she went beyond the usual custom of prostitutes, as the prophet Ezekiel was inspired to say: “To all prostitutes they are accustomed to give a present, but you
(INSIGHT on the Scriptures, Jehovah’s visible organization’s Watchtower Online Library, https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200003566, some of the Mormon CIA-DIA-FBI agents who’re pretending to be Jehovah’s Witnesses gave me permission to post this information, cc all Mormon barristers)
BABYLON THE GREAT
Among John’s visions recorded in the book of Revelation appear pronouncements of judgment against “Babylon the Great,” as well as a description of her and of her downfall.
In Revelation 17:3-5, Babylon the Great is described as a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, richly adorned, and sitting upon a scarlet-colored wild beast having seven heads and ten horns. Upon her forehead a name is written, “a mystery: ‘Babylon the Great, the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth.’” She is also depicted as sitting on “many waters” representing “peoples and crowds and nations and tongues.”
The luxury and the dominion attributed to Babylon the Great do not allow for simply equating her with the literal city of Babylon in Mesopotamia. After ancient Babylon fell to Cyrus the Persian in 539 B.C.E., it lost its position as a dominant world power, its captives, including the Jews, being freed. Although the city continued to exist even beyond the days of the apostles, and hence existed in John’s day, it was no longer a city of world importance, and it eventually fell into decay and utter ruin. Thus, Babylon the Great must be viewed as a symbolic city, one of which the literal city of Babylon was the prototype. Because the ancient city gives the mystic city its name, it is helpful to consider briefly the outstanding features of Babylon on the Euphrates, features that provide clues as to the identity of the symbolic city of John’s vision.
Characteristics of Ancient Babylon. The founding of the city of Babylon on the Plains of Shinar was concurrent with the attempt at building the Tower of Babel. (Ge 11:2-9) The popular cause to be advanced by the tower and city construction was, not the exaltation of God’s name, but that the builders might “make a celebrated name” for themselves. The ziggurat towers uncovered not only in the ruins of ancient Babylon but elsewhere in Mesopotamia would seem to confirm the essentially religious nature of the original tower, whatever its form or style. The decisive action taken by Jehovah God to overthrow the temple construction clearly condemns it as of a false religious origin. Whereas the Hebrew name given the city, Babel, means “Confusion,” the Sumerian name (Ka-dingir-ra) and the Akkadian name (Bab-ilu) both mean “Gate of God.” Thus the remaining inhabitants of the city altered the form of its name to avoid the original condemnatory sense, but the new or substitute form still identified the city with religion.
The Bible lists Babel first when giving the ‘beginning of Nimrod’s kingdom.’ (Ge 10:8-10) Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures the ancient city of Babylon is featured prominently as the longtime enemy of Jehovah God and his people.
Though Babylon became the capital of a political empire in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.E., it was outstandingly prominent during its entire history as a religious center from which religious influence radiated in many directions.
Professor Morris Jastrow, Jr., in his work The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (1898, pp. 699-701), says regarding this: “In the ancient world, prior to the rise of Christianity, Egypt, Persia, and Greece felt the influence of the Babylonian religion. . . . In Persia, the Mithra cult reveals the unmistakable influence of Babylonian conceptions; and if it be recalled what a degree of importance the mysteries connected with this cult acquired among the Romans, another link will be added connecting the ramifications of ancient culture with the civilization of the Euphrates Valley.” In conclusion he refers to “the profound impression made upon the ancient world by the remarkable manifestations of religious thought in Babylonia and by the religious activity that prevailed in that region.”
Babylon’s religious influence is traced eastward to India in the book New Light on the Most Ancient East, by archaeologist V. Childe (1957, p. 185). Among other points he states: “The swastika and the cross, common on stamps and plaques, were religious or magical symbols as in Babylonia and Elam in the earliest prehistoric period, but preserve that character also in modern India as elsewhere.” Thus, ancient Babylon’s religious influence spread out to many peoples and nations, much farther and with greater potency and endurance than did her political strength.
Like mystic Babylon, the ancient city of Babylon, in effect, sat on the waters, located, as it was, astride the Euphrates River and having various canals and water-filled moats. (Jer 51:1,13; Re 17:1, 15) These waters served as a defense to the city, and they provided the thoroughfares upon which ships brought wealth and luxuries from many sources. Notably, the water of the Euphrates is depicted as drying up prior to Babylon the Great’s experiencing the wrath of divine judgment.
Distinguishing Features of Mystic Babylon. The symbolic woman bearing the name Babylon the Great is “the great city that has a kingdom over the kings of the earth,” a kingdom that allows her, in effect, to sit on “peoples and crowds and nations and tongues.” (Re 17:1, 15, 18) A kingdom over other kingdoms and nations is what is defined as an “empire.” Babylon the Great places herself above earthly kings, exercising power and influence over them. She rides the symbolic seven-headed beast, beasts being used elsewhere in the Bible as symbols of political world powers.
Some scholars assume that Babylon the Great is a political empire, either Babylon or Rome. We have already seen that Babylon as a political empire had long since ceased to exist when John received his prophetic vision. As to Rome, the nature of its political rule does not harmonize with the description of Babylon the Great’s course and her methods of dominating. She is a harlot, committing fornication with the kings of the earth, making them drunk with the wine of her fornication, misleading the nations by her “spiritistic practice.” (Re 17:1, 2; 18:3, 23) Rome’s dominion, by contrast, was gained and maintained by its ironlike military might and its firm application of Roman law among its provinces and colonies. Recognizing this fact, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible says: “It is not sufficient to identify Rome and Babylon. Babylon embraces more than one empire or culture. It is defined rather by dominant idolatries than by geographical or temporal boundaries. Babylon is coextensive with the kingdom of that beast which has corrupted and enslaved mankind, and whom the Lamb must conquer (Rev. 17:14) if mankind is to be freed.”
The symbol of a harlot or a fornicatrix is used frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures. The nation of Israel was warned against entering into covenant relations with the nations of Canaan because this would lead them to commit “immoral intercourse [“play the harlot,” RS] with their gods.” (Ex 34:12-16) Both Israel and Judah apostatized from the true worship of Jehovah God and were condemned by him as having engaged in harlotry, prostituting themselves to the political nations and their gods. (Isa 1:21; Jer 3:6-10, 13; Eze 16:15-17, 28, 29, 38; Ho 6:10; 7:11; 8:9, 10) It may be noted here that God was not viewing Israel or Judah as mere political entities entering into relations with other political governments. Instead God reprimanded them on the basis of their being in a sacred covenant with him, hence responsible to be a holy people devoted to him and his pure worship.
A similar usage of this figure is found in the Christian Greek Scriptures. The Christian congregation is likened to a virgin espoused to Christ as her Head and King. (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:22-27) The disciple James warned Christians against committing spiritual adultery through friendship with the world. (Jas 4:4; compare Joh 15:19.) The fornications of Babylon the Great and her “daughters” are of a similar nature and not some unique exception. (The term “daughters” at times is employed in the Bible to refer to the suburbs or surrounding towns of a city or metropolis, as the “dependent towns” [literally, “daughters” in Hebrew] of Samaria and Sodom; see Eze 16:46-48.)
An additional significant factor is that when Babylon the Great goes down under the devastating attack of the ten horns of the symbolic wild beast, her fall is mourned by her companions in fornication, the kings of the earth, and also by the merchants and shippers who dealt with her in supplying luxurious commodities and gorgeous fineries. While these political and commercial representatives survive her desolation, notably no religious representatives are depicted as still on the scene to share in mourning her downfall. (Re 17:16, 17; 18:9-19) The kings of the earth are shown as having judgment executed upon them sometime after mystic Babylon’s annihilation, and their destruction comes, not from the “ten horns,” but from the sword of the King of kings, the Word of God.
A further distinguishing characteristic of Babylon the Great is her drunkenness, she being pictured as “drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” (Re 17:4, 6; 18:24; 19:1, 2) She thus is the spiritual counterpart of the ancient city of Babylon, expressing the same enmity toward the true people of God. Significantly, it was to the charge of religious leaders that Jesus laid the responsibility for “all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah.” While those words were addressed to religious leaders from among Jesus’ own race, the Jewish nation, and while persecution against Jesus’ followers was particularly intense from that sector for a time, history shows that thereafter the opposition to genuine Christianity came from other sources (the Jews themselves suffering considerable persecution).
All the above factors are significant, and they must all be considered in arriving at a true picture of symbolic Babylon the Great and what it represents.
(INSIGHT on the Scriptures, Jehovah’s visible organization’s Watchtower Online Library, https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200000531, some of the Mormon CIA-DIA-FBI agents who’re pretending to be Jehovah’s Witnesses gave me permission to post this information, with added emphasis. cc all Mormon barristers)[Mormon computer gremlins deleted the links:]
They Tried to Keep God’s Word From the Masses
AS TIME passed, efforts were made to translate the Bible into the languages that people commonly spoke. Few could read the Bible in the Hebrew or Greek in which it was written. Most of us would have difficulty understanding God’s Word if today it were available only in ancient forms of those languages.
Almost 300 years before Jesus lived on earth, work began on translating the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek. That translation is known as the Greek Septuagint. Some 700 years later, Jerome produced a famous translation known as the Vulgate. This was a rendering of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into Latin, which was the common tongue of the Roman Empire of that time.
Later, Latin began to fade as a common language. Only the well-educated maintained familiarity with Latin, and the Catholic Church resisted efforts to translate the Bible into other languages. Religious leaders argued that Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were the only suitable Bible languages.*
Church Divisions and Bible Translation
In the ninth century C.E., Methodius and Cyril, Thessalonian missionaries acting on behalf of the Eastern Church in Byzantium, promoted the use of Slavic as a church language. Their goal was to enable the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, who understood neither Greek nor Latin, to learn about God in their own language.
These missionaries, however, met with fierce opposition from German priests, who sought to impose Latin as a defense against the expanding influence of Byzantine Christianity. Clearly, politics were more important to them than people’s religious education. Increasing tensions between the Western and Eastern branches of Christendom led to the division between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy in 1054.
The Fight Against Bible Translation
Roman Catholicism eventually came to view Latin as a holy language. Thus, in response to the request made in 1079 by Vratislaus, duke of Bohemia, seeking permission to use Slavonic in local church services, Pope Gregory VII wrote: “We cannot in any way grant this petition.” Why not?
“It is evident to those who consider the matter carefully,” said Gregory, “that it has pleased God to make Holy Scripture obscure in certain places lest, if it were perfectly clear to all, it might be vulgarized and subjected to disrespect or be so misunderstood by people of limited intelligence as to lead them into error.”
The common people were given severely limited access to the Bible, and it had to stay that way. This stand afforded the clergy power over the masses. They did not want the common people dabbling in areas they considered to be their own domain.
In 1199, Pope Innocent III wrote concerning “heretics” who had translated the Bible into French and dared to discuss it among themselves. To them, Innocent applied Jesus’ words: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) What was his reasoning in this matter? “That no simple and unlearned man presumes to concern himself with the sublimity of sacred Scripture, or to preach it to others.” Those who resisted the pope’s order were often delivered to inquisitors who had them tortured into making confessions. Those who refused to recant were burned alive.
During the long battle fought over possession of the Bible and the reading of it, Pope Innocent’s letter was often appealed to for support in forbidding use of the Bible and its translation into other languages. Soon after his decree, the burning of Bibles in the vernacular began, as did the burning of some of their owners. In the centuries that followed, the bishops and rulers of Catholic Europe used all possible means to ensure that the ban imposed by Pope Innocent III was observed.
The Catholic hierarchy certainly knew that many of its teachings were based, not on the Bible, but on church tradition. Doubtless, this is one of the reasons for their reluctance to allow their faithful to have access to the Bible. By reading it, people would become aware of the incompatibility between their church doctrine and Scripture.
Effects of the Reformation
The arrival of Protestantism transformed Europe’s religious landscape. Martin Luther’s attempts to reform the Catholic Church and his eventual break with it in 1521 were based essentially on his understanding of Scripture. So when that break was complete, Luther, a gifted translator, endeavored to make the Bible available to the public.
Luther’s translation into German and its wide distribution got the attention of the Roman Catholic Church, which felt that Luther’s Bible ought to be offset by one accepted by the church. Two such translations in the German language soon appeared. But then, in 1546, less than 25 years later, the Roman Catholic Council of Trent, in effect, placed any printing of religious literature, including translations of the Bible, under the control of the church.
The Council of Trent decreed “that henceforth sacred Scripture . . . be printed in the most correct manner possible; and that it shall not be lawful for any one to print, or cause to be printed, any books whatever on sacred matters without the name of the author; or in future to sell them, or even to possess them, unless they shall have been first examined and approved of by the [local bishop].”
In 1559, Pope Paul IV published the first index of books prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church. It forbade possession of Bible translations in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, as well as some in Latin. Any who wanted to read the Bible were told to obtain written permission from bishops or inquisitors—not an appealing prospect for those who wanted to remain above suspicion of heresy.
People who dared to possess or distribute Bibles in the common languages of their region had to contend with the ire of the Catholic Church. Many were arrested, burned at the stake, roasted on spits, sentenced to life in prison, or sent to the galleys. Confiscated Bibles were burned. Indeed, Catholic priests continued to confiscate and burn Bibles well into the 20th century.
This is not to say that Protestantism has been a real friend and defender of the Bible. In the 18th and 19th centuries, some Protestant theologians championed techniques of study that came to be known as higher criticism. In time, many people accepted teachings influenced by Darwinian theories that life was not created but somehow appeared by chance and evolved without a Creator.
Theologians, and even many clergymen, taught that the Bible is largely based on legend and myth. As a result, it is not uncommon today to hear Protestant clergymen, as well as many of their parishioners, disavow the Bible, saying it is unhistorical.
Perhaps you have noted attitudes critical of the Bible’s authenticity, and maybe you are surprised at the attempts that were made to destroy it in centuries past. The attacks, however, failed. The Bible has survived them all!
Why It Has Survived
True, many have loved the Bible and have been willing to lay down their lives to defend it. The key to its survival, however, lies in a force greater than human love. The simple reason for the survival of the Bible is that all those who contributed to the writings that make up the Bible wrote under inspiration by God.—Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25.
Reading and applying what the Bible teaches will enable us to improve our lives, health, and family life. God wants the Bible to survive and to be translated into as many languages as possible so that all can have the opportunity to learn to love him, to serve him, and eventually to enjoy his eternal blessings. Surely, that is what we all want!
Jesus, in prayer to his heavenly Father, said: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) The Bible—the Scriptures Jesus read and taught—is God’s means of providing answers to the questions that sincere people ask.
You are warmly encouraged to learn more about God’s message to mankind as found in the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses, the distributors of this magazine, would be happy to help you.*
(Awake! magazine, Jehovah’s visible organization;’s Watchtower Online Library, https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102011443, posted here with permission from some of the Mormon CIA-DIA-FBI agents who’re pretending to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, cc all Mormon barristers)
FOR THE RECORD. The “Crusaders” used the Roman military invention “holy” cross to plunder, in the name of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, People who profess to be Christians killing other people who profess to be Christians (World Wars I and II), is NOT persecution of Christians. I write under inspiration from and with authority from the true God, Jehovah. cc all Mormon barristers
Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Many Christian denominations consider the interpretations and doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be heretical. Some religious leaders have accused Jehovah’s Witnesses of being a cult. According to law professor Archibald Cox, in the United States, Jehovah’s Witnesses were “the principal victims of religious persecution … they began to attract attention and provoke repression in the 1930s, when their proselytizing and numbers rapidly increased.”
Political and religious animosity against Jehovah’s Witnesses has at times led to mob action and government oppression in various countries, including Cuba, the United States, Canada, Singapore, and Nazi Germany. The religion’s doctrine of political neutrality has led to imprisonment of members who refused conscription (for example in Britain during World War II and afterwards during the period of compulsory national service).
During the World Wars, Jehovah’s Witnesses were targeted in the United States, Canada, and many other countries for their refusal to serve in the military or help with war efforts. In Canada, Jehovah’s Witnesses were interned in camps along with political dissidents and people of Japanese and Chinese descent. Activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses have previously been banned in the Soviet Union and in Spain, partly due to their refusal to perform military service. Their religious activities are currently banned or restricted in some countries, for example in Singapore, China, Vietnam, Russia and many Islamic states.
4 Additional reading