No announcement yet.

Emotions of Another Time and Place

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Emotions of Another Time and Place

    Email from Glen:

    Glen B Smith
    To:lou newton

    Fri, Jul 3 at 11:49 PM

    Emotions of Another Time and Place

    To comprehend an idea, rather than just to describe details about it, requires getting the feel of those learning about the ideal at the time and at the location. Of the documentary The Civil War by Ken Burns it has often been said that the film not only taught about the war but also gave the viewers the experience of feeling what it was like for those fighting and living during the war. The same has been said of Alex Haley's Roots. Comprehension of ideas and times requires feeling the emotions along with the details. For studious Christians, the story of the English language Bible may be familiar, but to comprehend what it meant to English speaking people we must share the emotions. Such is imagined below.

    In some obscure gathering place for the common peasant, just to hear the Bible read in English by an itinerant 15th century Lollard preacher would have brought on wonderment and euphoria. If by some fortunate act of God, a Lollard preacher spent time with a family, either while ministering or hiding from the authorities, and to have the preacher's English Bible actual under ones roof would have been felt as a divine blessing. For the peasant to have the English Bible read under his roof that would have been like having the windows of heaven opened and the divine light of divine revelation enter his home. Each of these Bibles or what portion the Lollard preacher carried in his possession were hand copied pages of the Wycliffe translation.

    Perhaps, in such situations the peasants memorized some portion of the English scripture read to them. Without vellum, the Lollard preacher might write a verse on a strip of old cloth as a gift to the host family for their hospitality. From this scrawled verse the family could learn to recognize the first letter or the color of the cloth and use the inscription on the tattered cloth as a mnemonic device to recall the verse. It is possible that such families, even though they did not read, would have a number of verses from the English Bible scrawled on strips of rags, rolled up like tiny scrolls and hidden in a basket until the days end when the family gather around the table to speak the verses they had learned. That the word of the Lord could be spoken and kept in their homes was a holy and honored blessing.

    The vellum upon which the preachers' Bible were written was itself expensive. Coping by a scribe was time consuming and therefore, also expensive. The Roman Catholic Church officials and local officials sought out all who had an English Bible translation, even single verses, who were then burned at the stake and their Bibles or strips of cloth burned with them.

    For that which we have little consideration, our personal English translations of the Bible, five hundred years ago, Englishmen risked their lives to possess Bible verses scrawled on strips of rags – even though they could not read.

    What do we feel when we gaze upon our Bibles? Tomorrow, many will feel very patriotic gazing upon the flag with their hands placed over their hearts and have no such emotion about English translations of the Bible somewhere under their roofs.

    03 July 2020 the old scribe