223 Venality or vitality?

Tattershall PerpThe traditional story of the English Reformation has been of a rotten, moribund, venal church, just waiting to be toppled by reformers, the pyre ignited by Luther’s teachings. But was the late medieval church really in such a rotten state?

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4 thoughts on “223 Venality or vitality?

  1. Hi David. I have been a loyal listener of yours for quite some time and truly enjoy your podcast. While recently listening to episode 223, you made a statement about the Bible being full of inconsistencies. I think what you meant to say was the Bible was full of “perceived” inconsistencies (in some people’s minds); right? Not trying to split hairs, just want to make sure I’m not confusing opinions with facts.
    Keep up the great work.

    1. Hi David – thanks; and yes, very happy indeed to accept your edit. I will go back and amend the file. Hope you keep enjoying it.

      1. David C, please do not accept the suggested edit. That both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament contain inconsistencies is blindingly obvious. This is not surprising, given that different writers at different times in different places wrote down stories they heard from different oral sources (and may have modified what they heard as they saw fit to do), so it is not surprising that some of these stories are inconsistent with one another. One place this is covered is https://www.historyinthebible.com/ . If you insert “perceived” into the sentence mentioned above, you probably should insert “perceived” into every other sentence in the podcast.

        By the way, great episode and great series on Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, and the Reformation!

    2. I’m not sure that’s fair.

      Ask any biblical scholar, and I mean believers who dedicate their lives to their own and other’s better understanding of all aspects of the Bible, which regardless of your opinion of it, has been so much a part of recent human history that it is extremely interesting to learn about!

      Ask any of those scholars, and they will happily admit there are inconsistencies in the bible. I’m not using that word as an insult, it’s just that – technically and in many places – the different Gospels do not entire agree with each other, even the synoptic ones.

      Inconsistencies doesn’t have to be a bad word unless you think that the gospels are 100% in agreement about 100% of the things written in them, which I can’t imagine happening if you simply line up the gospels and compare, there are aspects of the written testaments of the different writers of the books which were made canon in the bible which are not identical.

      For example with respect, and if you find any of these to be problematic, have my apologies and let me know, because i’ve tried pretty well to make sure all these things were part of the modern bible.

      So, about the Sabbath we have:

      “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” — Exodus 20:8

      Yet in Romans we have

      “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” — Romans 14:5

      We have the earth being permanent or not:

      “… the earth abideth for ever.” — Ecclesiastes 1:4

      Yet later we have

      “… the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” — 2’Peter 3:10

      I’m sure google will have lists of them or something.

      Anyway it shouldn’t shock anyone that a number of books written and/or preserved orally (and then written down) over many decades by different authors decades after the events described would not have a single difference between them! It’s not an attack on the bible, or at least it sure would be strange to have very esteemed believers who study such matters have conferences and seminars about the differences between the books of the bible, what might explain these differences, which of the gospels was written in which decades/centuries. They are helped sometimes in this by biblical archaeologists, who are looking around to see what kind of physical remnants of the past we might be lucky enough to find – one being a piece of Latin writing which, while damaged, managed to generate well deserved interest because it says “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea” (this was the role Pilate held from the Romans, a Prefect being sort of like a local governor, hard to explain). How interesting it could be to find more things from that period!

      Anyway, I hope that you will find this at least partly interesting. Dr.Bart Erhman (has 2 frickin degrees, super smart, one in new testament theology, and I cant recall the second, but I think its biblical textual analysis or something) has a podcast where he replies to people’s questions, a blog where he talks about bible stuff, and youtube stuff too!

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