Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Way Back Wednesday

Erasmus is not a household name even among Christians, but it should be.  When we study why our churches are what they are today, one of the most profound impacts upon the Church that still reverberates today is that which came from the Protestant Reformation.  Men began to PROTEST the sinful practices of the clergy and the unbiblical teachings that had gripped the Church for so long.  They weren't of the mind to just make noise either.  They wanted to REFORM the errant practices and teachings.  It is important for us to note that these were not disputes over the color of the carpet, or are enough programs offered to keep the people entertained.  These men would have scoffed at most of the reasons people give for church hopping today.  Instead, these men were concerned about the gravest of matters since the errors affected souls for eternity.  Teachings of error like praying to dead saints, worshipping icons, sale of indulgences(purchasing the forgiveness of sins/salvation with cash) and priests who had mistresses.  When Erasmus began his challenges to the status quo, he was not very well accepted. 

He wrote "a satire titled, The Praise of Folly, which poked fun at the errors of Christian Europe.  For example, Erasmus reminded his readers that Peter said to the Lord, 'We have left everything for you.' But Folly boasts that, thanks to her influence, 'there is scarcely any kind of people who live more at their ease' than the successors of the apostles.
Erasmus also wrote a new translation of the Bible.  He compiled the best manuscripts and corrected the errors of the Latin Vulgate that had been the Bible of the Church for many years.  He added notes as well that showed the errors that had been embraced by the Church.  You might say he wrote a study Bible though it was so much more than that.  Publishing the new translation would be another thing though and Erasmus eventually came up with a "brilliant" idea.  On February 1, 1516, Erasmus dedicated his New Testament to Pope Leo X.  Pope Leo had given his word that he would not harm Erasmus.  This new text stoked the fires of reform as men like Martin Luther and  William Tyndale began to find their voices as well. 
500 years ago this week, Erasmus began to equip the Reformers to Protest the errors of the Catholic(Universal) Church and he did that by giving them a new translation of the Bible that exposed the darkness that had begun to fill the Church.
Source:  Christianity(dot)com

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