In what year were Catholic laypeople allowed to start reading the bible?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Nuns were Not even permitted to have a Bible until the 1890s! That was only permitted then because so Many threatened to leave at the same time!

    Have the lay people ever really been allowed? A Catholic friend of mine bought herself a new Catholic Bible in 2002 and the Second Commandment was even Removed from it! It has Never taught the Second Commandment!

    A elderly couple that were married in 1952 had got a Catholic Bible as a wedding present. When the husband became too sick to stay home, they gave me this Bible because they did Not want to risk it going in the garbage when they died. Someone else bought me a modern Catholic Bible Not realizing it was Catholic then. I quickly noticed that the present one had more changes in it that the 1952 one!

    Since the Catholic religions Bible has so many changes, are anyone really being "Allowed to honestly read their Bible"?

  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    Well...there were "common language" Bibles produced (printed) by consent and approval of officials of the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1400s (in several different Italian dialects, and also a few other languages). I suppose that at least at that date it was already allowed.

    Charles the Great (Charlemagne) had a weekly Bible study with his friends, including a Roman Catholic bishop or archbishop (I can't remember which), and he was a "lay person". So: you could use that early date. (Note: I find this a remarkable contradiction in Charlemagne, a person infamous for his...sinful pursuits.)

    If we adopt the Catholic interpretation of history that the first book called "the Bible", the Latin Vulgate, was produced by the Roman Catholic Church, then we can date lay people being allowed to read the Bible to the date of that Bible (405 C.E.), as there almost certainly was no law forbidding lay people to read the Bible at that early date in Christianity since **the Bible was a brand-new thing**.

  • 6 years ago

    Catholics were never forbidden to read the Bible, as far as I know, it was never discouraged either. Before the printing press, and before the majority of people were literate, they had to pretty much rely on the Church to hear the Bible readings. This is why Catholic Mass is so rich with scripture, and nearly the entire 73 book Bible is read during Mass in a 3 year cycle. This is also why Catholic churches tended to have a lot of images, i.e. stained glass windows, statues and paintings that help bring to remembrance the stories of the Bible.

    Before the printing press, Bibles had to be tediously copied by monks and scribes who toiled away in monasteries and they were EXTREMELY costly... I think between tens of thousands of dollars and upwards of about a hundred thousand of dollars by today's equivalent. For this reason, only the churches, and nobility could afford a copy. The churches would sometimes have them chained to the pews or the altars so that no-one could make off with them and sell them for a fortune. The Catholic Church was also the first to start printing them on a printing press.

    As far as I know the Catholic Church has always encouraged Bible reading. I think part of the reason why many Catholics are behind our Protestant brethren when reading the Bible, is because Protestants tend to focus on the Bible as their main or one and only source of authority, and Catholics have the Bible, Apostolic Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as their sources of authority. It seems that because of the history of having to rely on the Church in the times of illiteracy and lack of Bibles, it sorta became part of the Catholic culture to not be as heavily steeped in individual study of the Bible, in contrast with the culture of Protestants who relied solely on the Bible and became a culture very steeped in Bible study.

    But it is a misconception that all Catholics do not read the Bible. Certainly there are probably many that don't, there are also many Catholics that do read their Bibles religiously and are very knowledgeable in Scripture.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    As far as I know it was never banned, it's a myth, only the reading of Protestant and bad translations of the bible were banned by the council of Trent. Augustine did recommend that the laity should not read the bible as they were likely to take it literally rather than metaphorically and that is what exactly happened. I'm an atheist not a Catholic, it's that I have a great dislike of this sort of malicious propaganda.

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  • gillie
    Lv 7
    6 years ago

    It's not a matter of allowing. Before the time of the printing press, Bibles were hand-copied and very expensive. Only the wealthy could own one, and in general only the wealthy and the clergy could read. Before the common people could read the Bible, literacy had to become widespread and Bibles had to become cheap enough for ordinary people to buy.

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