Monday, October 27, 2008

Bible Myth #43: Catholics chained Bibles to the pulpit

Did you know that the Catholic Church chained bibles down so no one could use them except the priests? This way they could keep lay people from reading it and were able to invent all sorts of traditions that had nothing to do with the Bible.

Using that logic, then all universities of the time also must have had a conspiracy going on since they also chained down heir books. Do you think Oxford was trying to keep people from learning science by chaining down their books? Maybe there was another reason.

Before the printing press, books were rare and extraordinarily expensive. It cost three years’ wages to get a bible before the printing press. That’s about the cost of a house today. Do you leave a couple years’ paychecks sitting on the back table?

Not only did the Church, and Oxford, not want their expensive books to walk off, but they also wanted them to be available. Each church needed a Bible for readings. Each church had the Bible available for viewing by the public (those few who could read). They didn’t have library cards so you could check it out and bring it back later. They only had one copy so it had to stay right where it was so everyone got to use it.

The common argument, that the Bible was chained down so priests could stop people from having access to it is the opposite of the truth. It was simply a custom of the time; and I would’ve done the same thing.

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