Early Christians didn’t have Bible as we know it

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Editor:

Re: “Reader sounds off on ancestry and Passion,” letter to editor, April 8, 2004:

Any good encyclopedia will report the following:

Our Lord and most apostles wrote no books of the Bible. Instead, they spread Christianity by preaching. So did the early priests, bishops and popes. Why? Most people couldn’t read. It wasn’t until the 300s AD when Christians could meet openly in the Roman Empire, that the Church fathers met and decided which books belongs in the Bible.

The apostles and martyrs didn’t have the Bible, but I’ll bet they’re “saved” anyway.

A Catholic named Gutenberg invented type in the 1400s. The first book he printed was the Bible, long before Luther and Calvin. Bibles were still not cheap and, until the 1800s, most people were illiterate, so they couldn’t misinterpret the Bible personally anyway.

Before printing, monks had to copy the Bible by hand. Protestants wouldn’t have the Bible if Catholic and Orthodox monks hadn’t spread it for 1,400 years.

Henry VIII started the Reformation in England because he was a lecher who wanted a divorce. Elizabeth and Cromwell also outlawed Catholics. James I, who ruled between Liz and Oliver, authorized the King James Bible. How were Catholics to blame for England’s “Bible crisis” when England was already Protestant?

Letter writer Russell May was a little right about the Huguenots. Many Americans of Huguenot blood were big slavers until Lincoln stopped it. May was also right about the confusion of some Catholics; they need to study their faith.

But May repeated the tired, false slurs and didn’t even condemn those priests who molested children and evil bishops who covered this up. Such clerics deserve to be burned at the stake.

Sadly, some Protestant ministers are also molesting children and there are openly homosexual Protestant bishops and clergy. There is less news coverage of these perversions only because there are fewer recoverable assets involved. Evil clerics in any Christian church are a threat to all Christians.

Mel Gibson based his Passion movie on the four gospels, not “Catholic mystics,” like May claimed. His movie took some artistic license, but was, in essence, true. I’m sure most Protestants, like me, reflected on how they needed to reform their lives, and this is why they support the movie, too.

There is only one way, God’s – and each religion should be a search for that way. Catholic teaching is that God judges us on how we follow His will, based on our understanding of it. An aborigine who follows the Golden Rule is more pleasing to God than a Christian who lives a life of adultery and extortion.

The Bible is helpful, but not mandatory for salvation. Only obedience to the Ten Commandments and Christ’s two commandments, repentance for sins and the blood redemption of Christ, are mandatory for salvation.

Kevin Sherlock

Akron, Ohio

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