Name: "The Bible"

Date:  0 - 1000 , 1926 - 1950

Location:  Europe , Russia and Central Asia



Artist: Various

Confronting Bodies: Church

Date of Action: Various

Specific Location: Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, England, USSR.

Description of Artwork: The sacred scriptures of Judaism and Christianity, divided into three sections:The Hebrew Bible or Old Testament is canonical to both Jews and Christians; the Intertestamental literature including what is sometimes called Apocrypha; and the New Testament cannonical in Christianity only. The Bible contains religious ideas shared by both Jews and Christians. The one called God, the Creator of all that exists. The unity of all mankind; a Convenant people to serve God's will toward all nations; the individual's sacred right to be protected from abuse, exploitation or neglect by the rich and powerful or by society itself; and the future as God's time in which his rule will be fully established.

Description of Incident: 553 Italy-Rome : Emperor Justinian issued a decree commanding exclusive use of the Greek and Latin version of the "Bible" and forbidding the "Midrash", but accepting the Hebrew exposition of the Old Testament. 1409 England : The Synod of Canterbury at St.Paul's, London, issued a decree forbidding the translation of the Scripture from one tongue to another, and the reading of a translation later than that of John Wycliffe under penalty of excommunication, unless special license be obtained. 1525-1526 : The New Testament, partly translated by William Tyndale, was printed at Cologne, as it was violently opposed by the clergy in England. 1538 France-Paris : Regnault, famous printer of English books was seized by the Inquisition while printing the "great" Bible for Cromwell. 1551 Spain : The Inquisitorial Index of Valentia forbade Bibles in Spanish or any other vernacular. 1554 The Inquisitorial Index of Valladolid listed 103 editions of the Bible condemned because of errors and heresies to suppression, correction or cancellation. 1555 England : A proclamation by Queen Mary commanded "that no manners of persons presume to bring into this real any messages., books, paper, etc. in the name of Martin Luther, John Calvin, Miles Coverdale, Erasmus, Tyndale etc. or any like books containing false doctrines against the Catholic faith". 1560 Switzerland : The Geneva or "Breeches Bible" went into 140 editions between 1560 and 1644, although it was forbidden in the churches. 1611 England : Copyright in the King James Version rests perpetually in the Crown. Permission to reprint has been given to Oxford, Cambridge, Eyre & Spottiswoode and William Collins. 1624 Germany : The Bible translated by Martin Luther in 1534 which had been the most widely read book in the country was condemned to flames by Papal authority. 1631 England : In the edition of 1,000 copies of the Bible printed by R. Barker and assigns of Peter Bill the word "not" was omitted from the seventh commandment. 1900 Italy-Rome : Pope Leo XIII decreed that translations of the Bible in the vernacular were permitted only if approved by the Holy See. 1926 Soviet Union : Official directions to libraries stated "The section on religion must obtain solely anti-religious books. Religiously dogmatic books such as the Gospel, the Koran, the Talmud, etc. must be left in the large libraries, but removed from smaller ones".

Results of Incident: 1525-1526 : The sheets of 6,000 copies of the Testament were smuggled into England where they were publicly burned by the dignitaries of the Church, thus becoming the first printed book to be banned in England. 1535 : The Old and New Testaments translated by Miles Coverdale were the first complete Bible to be printed in English. Not being licensed by the Church or State, it had to be printed on the Continent. 1538 France-Paris : Regnault was imprisoned and the sheets of the "great" Bible for Cromwell were destroyed. 1611 England : Because of the Crown copyright, no authorized Bible in English was printed in what is now the United States until after the Revolution. 1631 England : The printers were heavily fined and the edition so vigorously suppressed that few copies have survived. It was named the "Wicked Bible". 1926 Soviet Union : Import of the Bible not permitted. 1956 Soviet Union : The Bible published after a lapse of 38 years.

Source: Banned Books 387 B.C. to 1978 A.D., by Anne Lyon Haight, and Chandler B. Grannis, R.R. Bowker Co, 1978.

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