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Lesson 7

From the start, Church scholars were influenced by Greek philosophy popularized by Aristotle and Plato. Developing Scholasticism, based on Aristotelian logic, they used the general revelation of God as revealed in nature, the special revelation acquired through scripture, along with the tradition and the dogmatic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church to derive accepted Christian doctrines. Growing in dominance, the Church ran most early schools. They homogenized Christianity with higher education within Medieval Europe, where students mostly memorized the works of venerated saints. Using no Bible quotes, famed educator Boethius wrote Opuscula sacra, focusing on theology only through analysis and logic. During the 1200’s, Aquinas explained transubstantiation by synthesizing the teachings of Aristotle with theology. The leaders of the reformation rejected the Scholasticism they were educated in and embraced Christian humanism, which is a philosophy emphasizing the potential importance and agency of every individual. Many modern scholars consider scholasticism to be constricting and narrow-minded, known for retarding intellectual development. Greek philosophy was still prevalent when Erasmus, who translated the Textus Receptus in the 1500’s, complemented reformation humanist John Colet, by declaring that when he listened to him it was like hearing Plato himself. Unable to read Latin and verify what they were told, most common people had no choice but to follow the instructions of the church. Those who led the charge of the reformation wanted to bring about a change by translating the Bible into common languages and let the people read it for themselves. Unwilling to relinquish their control over scripture, the official church turned most of the early reformers into martyrs. Starting a Counter-Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church produced its own English version, based on the Latin Vulgate, of the Old and New Testament, publishing it as the Douay–Rheims Bible in 1609. Two years later when the KJV Bible, which was translated from many sources, was published, it received a greater audience due to its readability and promotion as the Church of England’s authorized Bible. Bringing the words of God to the people in their native tongue worldwide has taken the work of many translators. Having unbiased source material and research is vital in relating God’s true intentions. How do you decide what translations to follow in your Christian walk? Do you know their source materials origins?

Proverbs 9:9-12 International Children’s Bible
9 Teach a wise man, and he will become even wiser. Teach a good man, and he will learn even more. 10 “Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord. And understanding begins with knowing God, the Holy One. 11 If you live wisely, you will live a long time. Wisdom will add years to your life. 12 The wise person is rewarded by his wisdom. But a person who makes fun of wisdom will suffer for it.”

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