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New book tells the story of the secularization of Sacred Scripture

A review of The Decline and Fall of Sacred Scripture: How the Bible Became a Secular Book (Emmaus Road Publishing), by Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker.

(Image: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash.com)

Those of us who have studied theology will at some point have encountered liberal, modernist biblical scholars who treats the Bible as an entirely human creation, no different from the mythical literature of the ancient Greeks. Such scholars disregard or explains away miracles and makes a sharp distinction between the ‘Jesus of history’ and the ‘Christ of faith’, the ‘historical Jesus’ being a mere man whose ‘ethical teaching’ somehow just happens to agree with the latest leftist shibboleth. Such figures dominate the theology departments of many of today’s universities.

In this enlightening book, Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker trace the history of how we got to this point. They chronicle the development of what has become known as the ‘historical-critical’ method of biblical scholarship. It is generally believed that this began with the Enlightenment. However, the authors argue that it has its origins much earlier in the 14th century, with its roots set in the attempt to exert state control over the Church.

Supporting state over church

The 14th century was the century of the Avignon papacy, under which the popes were effectively controlled by the kings of France. That era ended with the Great Schism, in which rival popes reigned—one in Rome and another in Avignon with the monarchs of Europe supporting one or the other depending on their political interests. The century also saw one of the many power struggles between the pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, with the emperor seizing Rome and installing an anti-pope.

In this context, with the Church heavily compromised in many ways, it was inevitable that certain thinkers would look elsewhere for inspiration. The first thinker the authors turn is the Italian scholar and politician Marsilius of Padua (c. 1275-c. 1342), who wrote his Defensor Pacis in support of the emperor against the pope. Marsilius, say Hahn and Wiker, was the ‘great secularizer of political philosophy’:

As the title of his Defensor Pacis (Defender of Peace) indicates, he believed that earthly political peace is the highest goal…and so the state must keep the papacy from upsetting “the tranquility or peace of civil regimes.” The Church, and the pope in particular, cannot be allowed to quote the Bible against secular power.

Marsilius went beyond the caesaropapism of the Byzantine empire, reviving a pagan notion held by certain ancient philosophers,

that there is only one life, life in this material world, and therefore the supernatural claims of all religions are false and belief in them mere superstition. However, if these religious beliefs are properly understood and used by clever philosophers, they can be very helpful political instruments of thoroughly secular political rulers.

Thus the Bible must become a tool in the hands of civil authorities and any disputes on its meaning settled by ‘human legislators’ or clergy appointed by these legislators. Marsilius cited the Gospel injunction to ‘Render unto Caesar’ and St Paul’s teaching about submission to rulers to support his position. The authors state of Marsilius’s philosophy:

We need to understand Marsilius’s revolution very clearly as secular. Affirming that there is only one life in this material world, Marsilius set out a new political philosophy that…jettisoned the concern for the soul and focused only on bodily nourishment and comfort, and the peace to enjoy them…This purposeful stunting of political life to mere bodily existence marks the beginning of modern philosophy’s entirely materialistic foundation, and modern political philosophy’s entirely secular aims.

The irony of this secular revolution in thinking is that it would be adopted by sincere religious reformers with a desire to bring about positive change in the Church. In England, John Wycliffe preached that the clergy should not own property and that therefore the state should forcibly disinvest the church of its wealth. But Wycliffe would reject the later Protestant doctrine that each man may interpret the Bible for himself.

Martin Luther took this revolution several steps further. Like Wycliffe, Luther believed the state should force the Church to reform and asserted (using Romans 13:1–4 and 1 Peter 2:13–15) that everybody, including the pope, should be subject to political rulers. But Luther also added the doctrine of the ‘priesthood of all believers’ arguing based on 1 Peter 2:9 that by virtue of our baptism we are all “truly priests, bishops, and popes”—doing away with the specific character of the ordained priesthood.

This had three serious consequences. First, political rulers could now unite political power with scriptural authority, becoming both king and pope, using of the Bible as a political tool of the state. Second, others would take Luther’s reforms further, leading to a splintering of Protestantism into countless sects. Third, since all now had access to the Bible and the right to interpret it, a peasant uprising occurred claiming biblical inspiration with the peasants refusing to renounce any demands unless “it is proved to be against the word of God by a clear explanation of the Scripture.” The first of these consequences would become most manifest in the England of Henry VIII.

Hahn and Wiker discuss the various Bible translations that emerged following the Reformation and debunk the claim that the Church opposed the study of the Bible in its original languages prior to this time. The Complutensian Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros was produced some years before the Reformation. One result of the Reformation was that different religious factions adopted their own translations. Thus, the Douay-Rheims became the Catholic Bible, Anglicans had the King James version, while Calvinists favored the Geneva Bible.

Expelling the supernatural

The English Civil War of the 17th century was, according to the authors, an earth-shattering event as far as Biblical interpretation was concerned. It was from this conflict and its long aftermath that new and radical ways of interpreting the Bible emerged. The mushrooming of strange and fanatical sects such as Ranters, Diggers and others following the civil war, each with its own unique biblical interpretation, caused many to believe in “the deep necessity of the political sovereign controlling the interpretation of the Bible for the sake of civil peace”. This was the line of thinking propagated by Thomas Hobbes.

According to Hobbes, the sovereign must have complete control over religion. There must be one sovereign, with one religion completely under his control. The purpose of miracles is to boost the power of sovereigns; the sovereign must determine the canon of scripture and even the nature of God himself. That the sovereign must have absolute authority over the Bible, Hobbes insisted, is a doctrine that comes from the Bible itself. Hobbes envisioned Moses as a civil sovereign and made him the prototype of the political sovereign who controls every aspect of religion.

Hobbes’s scriptural interpretation involved a denial of supernatural elements, paralleling later historical-critical writing. Hahn and Wiker give examples of this:

(In) Hobbes’s extensive, politicized exegesis, the Spirit of God moving upon the waters in Genesis 1:2 actually meant “Wind,” which as a material cause was doing “God’s work.” In Genesis 41:38, Spirit of God was a metaphor for wisdom in Joseph, and in Exodus 28:3, where God instructed Moses “to speak to the wise of heart, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom” to make Aaron’s garments, it only meant a certain kind of skill displayed in a particular type of artisanship… Turning to the New Testament, Hobbes informed the reader that when St. Paul (in Romans 8:9) used the term “Spirit of Christ,” he did not mean “thereby the Ghost of Christ, but a submission to his doctrine.” And finally, when the text referred to Jesus himself as full of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, these “may be understood, for Zeal to doe the work for which hee was sent by God the Father.”

The authors conclude of Hobbes:

…in Hobbes’s thought we find all of the following: Marsilius’s complete reduction of politics to the goods of the body, the complete Marsilian subordination of the church and Scripture to the state (via a declaration of sola scriptura), and the ancient pagan belief revived by Averroes and Marsilius that religion is a purely political instrument invented by the wise to rule the masses…Wycliffe’s subordination of the English national church to the English state, as affirmed by the actual practices of Henry VIII; Machiavelli’s complete denial of good and evil as the foundation for political reasoning, and his atheism as well.

Contemporary with Hobbes but writing in the Netherlands was Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677), whose writings were a massive leap forward for what would later become the historical-critical method of biblical exegesis. Like Hobbes, Spinoza stripped the biblical text of supernatural elements. He regarded the Bible as a book written for the less intelligent members of society that could only be properly interpreted by those with a sophisticated historical mind:

Rather than the Bible being inspired by the Holy Spirit, it was, Spinoza asserted, written in accordance with the “spirit of the plebs,” appealing to their unscientific imagination,” focusing on “only very simple matters, which can be perceived even by the slowest.”

Natural explanations replaced miracles and even Jesus himself was presented as a man teaching a double truth to an ignorant populace:

Jesus knowing sub-rational capacities of his audience, “accommodated himself to the mental cast of the populace”—that is, “to the mental cast of the plebs.” He may have spoken of demons for those foolish enough to believe in them, but in this condescension, his only goal was “teaching moral lessons” to those incapable of rational thought.

The authors go on to show the link between Spinoza’s thought and that of the Enlightenment and the so-called ‘higher criticism’ leading ultimately to our modern predicament, with scholars such as the best-selling author and New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman (b. 1955) callomg for a reopening of the canon of scripture.

While thinkers such as Spinoza thought that the Bible could act as a moral prop to an otherwise secular society, that has in fact not been the result. As the authors conclude:

The morality derived from secularized culture and the morality derived from the Bible do not share common ground, as our current, extremely heated debates about abortion, infanticide, eugenics, homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and transgenderism make clear. Evidently, the subtraction of the doctrinal aspects of Christianity result, after several generations, in the substitution of secular morality for Christian morality. The fundamental differences between the two now divide our society far more deeply, vividly, and intractably than previous disputes among rival Christian parties. Needless to say, historical-critical scholarship, in undermining doctrine, has contributed mightily to the cultural substitution of secular morality for Christian morality

The authors do a good job linking the various scholars and thinkers from the 14th century to our day and illustrating their relevance in the history of biblical scholarship. By focusing on many of the key philosophers and religious figures of the last 700 years, the book also serves as a good introductory history of Western thought since the early Renaissance. It also contains a useful list of recommended books about the Bible written by believing biblical scholars.

The Decline and Fall of Sacred Scripture: How the Bible Became a Secular Book
by Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker
Emmaus Road Publishing, 2021
Hardcover, 296 pages


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About Piers Shepherd 7 Articles
Piers Shepherd is a freelance writer based in London, England. He has had articles published in the Catholic Herald, Christian Order and the Catholic Medical Quarterly among others. He obtained an MA in Theology and Christian Ministry from the Franciscan University of Steubenville and currently works as a researcher for a trust defending traditional marriage and family in the UK.

17 Comments

  1. Enlightenment to Modernity
    Modernity without God at its center
    Mode of frog in earthly bog
    Ogre creating its own accord
    Demigod in a philosophy of fog
    Errant display shown to all standing tall
    Right and wrong long forgone
    Know all is my creed me you must believe
    Initiation be your own creation
    Time to muse our own self-made God we choose

    Modernity with God at its center
    Mode of Truth frogs we do not let loose
    Monstress claim we put to shame
    Manmade Page we remove from the stage
    Naughty boy now not so coy
    Right and wrong the Truth is our song
    Humility is our creed we do not deceive
    Initiation we are God’s creation
    Inspiration takes us to our destination

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Thanks dear brother Kevin – nicely put!

      “. . Truth is our song
      Humility is our creed we do not deceive
      Initiation we are God’s creation
      Inspiration takes us to our destination.”

      “The Counselor, The Holy Spirit, whom The Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

      With about a dozen different Holy Bibles, some excellent Greek-interlinear-English New Testaments, and many works of exegesis and commentary, one still requires obedience to The Father, intimacy with Jesus Christ, and infilling by The Holy Spirit, to enter that sweet zone where The Holy Trinity opens our minds and hearts to the life-changing, earth-shattering power of God’s Word, so graciously given to us.

      Without the Divine Context, freely opened to obedient, humble, persevering seekers, we will not understand God’s instructions and specific call on each of our lives. Or worse, we will grasp a perverted and ungodly interpretation. This has happened from the start and still happens all the time today among both Catholics and Protestants.

      The idea that our 1.3 billion Catholics, clerics and lay, share a pure and undistorted interpretation of the Holy Bible is massively misinformed. Within the Church there is at least as much diversity and heretical eisegesis (willful misinterpretation) of sacred scripture as is found among all of the Protestant denominations. Probably more.

      The magisterial, St JP II, Catechism of the Catholic Church is founded on over 3,500 quotes from the miraculous New Testament. If only Catholic leaders and lay actually read the CCC with faith, we would indeed have something biblically holy and life-changing to be proud of. King Jesus Christ please here our prayers for this . . .

      Meanwhile, let’s suspend all uncharitable criticisms of other Christians and, together with them, lovingly seek for more of Jesus’: “PEACE I bequeath to you, MY OWN PEACE I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is My gift to you.” (John 14:27)

      Blessings on all who love and obey King Jesus Christ, from Marty

      • Thank you, brother Martin, for your insightful comment “the miraculous New Testament” Yes it is miraculous as The Gospels contain the ‘living’, Word of God which is supernatural and radial, it cannot be misunderstood by anyone approaching his Word (Will) with honesty, it’s beauty (Truth) cannot help but inspire integrity, no matter of what religion, race, creed, state of being you are or belong to. Leading to the promise of His gift of the knowable living reality of The Holy Spirit. Who can only be received in humility (St Bernard-Humility a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is abases himself) before our Father in heaven, as righteous fear is the beginning of Wisdom, as it transforms the heart

        John 12:48 “The one who rejects me and does not accept my words has a judge; the word I have spoken will judge him at the last day”

        Blessing to you also Marty
        kevin your brother
        In Christ

  2. We read: “Hahn and Wiker discuss the various Bible translations that emerged following the Reformation and debunk the claim that the Church opposed the study of the Bible in its original languages prior to this time.”

    About translations prior to the Reformation, a few years ago I ran across an interesting book in the back of a used book store: Leicester Buckingham, “The Bible in the Middle Ages” (London: Thomas Cautley Newby, 1853). In the modern languages, and before the first Protestant version was issued from the press, six hundred twenty-six complete or partial editions of the Bible were “published” by the Church, and of these one hundred ninety-eight were in the language of the laity (one thing lacking was mass production via the printing press).

    Too summarize, here we go…

    By the 2nd Century translations of scripture already had been made in the vernacular—from the Greek to Latin for those Western Christians who did not understand the original Greek. The most common was the Old Latin, or Itala. Of the complete translations, a Gothic version is dated in the 4th Century, still near the same time that St. Jerome in the East translated his Vulgate from Greek to Latin.

    A sampling of either partial or complete and mostly early translations are in Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, Italian (1500), Cyrilic (9th Century and which first required Sts. Cyril and Methodius to invent a Slavic written script), German (980) Armenian (4th and 13th Century), Icelandic (1297), French (807 under Charlemagne, others in the 15th and early 16th Centuries), Russian (New Testament, 10th Century), Flemish (1210), Polish and Bohemian (six editions beginning in 1478), Italian (1471), Spanish (1478 and 1515), and Slavonick (early 16th century).

    Between the invention of printing and Luther’s extolled German version, early complete German editions after 1462 were numerous, with five editions at Mentz, fifteen at Augsburg, and others at Wittenburg, Nuremburg and Strasburg.

    The vast majority of other translations or copies no longer exist due either to religious wars, invasions and the pillaging of the Reformation, all adding to a cumulative loss of monasteries, libraries and manuscripts. Over the centuries these self-inflicted European losses must rank alongside the historic devastations of Constantinople by the crusaders and the Library at Alexandria to the Saracens.

  3. We believe that theological liberalism and it offspring “Relativism” is the result of rejection of the divine authority of Sacred Scripture. The question is: IS the Bible God’s Word or the Bible CONTAINS God’s Word? Up until the Age of Enlightenment no one publicly declared that the Bible isn’t God’s Word. They did not question Divine inspiration. Christendom both Catholic and Protestant embraced Sacred Scripture as the very Word of God.

  4. The “Decline and Fall…” is a flawless exposition on what amounts to the origin of our present condition in both Church and society. A clarion call to wake up and answer the question of whether the faith even exists any longer in what claims to be the theological academy.
    This work is a concise presentation of the same theme found in “Politicizing the Bible” also by Hahn and Wiker. While far longer it does amounts to a user friendly doctoral course examining a core facet of modern intellectual history. Enriching!
    When you put down either of these works you will find many unarticulated questions most thoughtful people entertain well answered. Hopefully our episcopate will pick them up — and wake up. They do provide to a clarion call for self-reflection.
    When the Son of Man returns will He find any faith upon the earth?

  5. The priest giving the Commencement Address at a son’s graduation from College –
    “Christ’s first recorded words in Scripture were ‘Change your mind and believe the Gospel’. Sure didn’t sound like “Repent!” to me.

  6. A favorite quote of mine is “A little citadel of nobility threatened by an immense barbarism,” from Harold C. Goddard.

    “The Decline and Fall of Sacred Scripture: How the Bible Became a Secular Book,” the title of this book by Hahn and Wiker, seems to me to be a little odd and troubling.

    The title suggests that the Bible HAS become a secular book, and that there HAS been a decline and fall of Sacred Scripture.

    I wonder why the authors or the publisher framed the matter in that way in the title.

    That title seems so defeatist, like the heretics and haters of eternal truth have won, and all that the authors could do is record this victory of the bad guys and the defeat of the good guys.

    Why not rather a title such as:

    “The Unholy War on the Holy Scriptures Waged by Wolves Within the Church Masquerading as Sheep and Shepherds.”

    Maybe Hahn and Wiker (who I regard as Good Guys) do feel defeated, do feel demoralized, do feel surrounded on all sides by the enemy, and do feel their hopes fading?

    I would just say to Hahn and Wiker, if they are feeling demoralized: stand up and cheer up. No one harms God. No one lays a hand on God. Christ has suffered (and, as best as I can understand it, still suffers for and with us), and yet He is also completely invincible at all times. God wins.

    But anyone in this dark, fallen, deceptive world who is endeavoring sincerely to stand with God and His Righteousness will always be in the minority. Just ask Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Just as St. Francis of Assisi praying alone in front of a crucifix in the abandoned chapel of San Damiano.

    Professor Harold C. Goddard, in a book about literature that he wrote during the dark times of Hitler and the Second World War, wrote something that, in spirit, seems to apply to this situation:

    “The greatest poetry has always depicted the world as a little citadel of nobility threatened by an immense barbarism, a flickering candle surrounded by infinite night.”

    • I’ve not yet read the book, but I think you are either reading too much into the title or, better, interpreting it in the worst possible light. The authors, I’m certain, are not admitting any sort of defeat. Rather (and I say this based on my own studies of modern Scripture scholarship) are simply stating fact: the Bible, for many people (including numerous Christians) is an uninspired, secular book, to be used for this social project or that political purpose. Acknowledging this is not an agreement, nor an endorsement.

  7. For every man with the true Faith the Holy Writ, the Bible, never can become a Secular Book.
    One must first understand what the definition of the Bible is.
    It is Bible or it isn’t.
    The same can be said about the Church.
    It is the Church or it isn’t.
    This is really not difficult to comprehend.

    What Evil one with his minions for long time already is doing, is to try selling us some ‘volume of books’ which were CREATED by man through their badly translation of the Holy Bible. Intentionally or in some cases less so, perhaps even wanting to do a useful work, but in the end it turned out not to be the Holy Bible but a hoax.

    Allow me to say this clearly, suchlike translation-creations are not the Sacred Biblia at all.

    The only official Bible of the one and only Holy Catholic Church is Latina Vulgate (Sixto-Clementina).

    P.S. The semi-official post-conciliar “Neo-Vulgate” translations with ecumenical autocastration, are nothing more than other man-made creations already mentioned above.

    • Auto-WHAT!? You are incorrect regarding the official nature of the Neo Vulgate. It is NOT “semi” official. If you read the title page, it bases its authority on that of the Second Vatican II and of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. The Clementine edition (the OT of which relies heavily on the Septuagint) has hosts of critical errors, but corrected in the Neo Vulgate through the proper use of modern scientific linguistic scholarship. The Word of God, in its totality, remains intact–even if individual clauses or phrases are not accurate.

      • You say that Latin-Vulgate Sixto-Clementine Bible “has hosts of critical errors which has been corrected in neo-vulgate creation”?
        What ones see some things as a corrections, others calls it a sabotage.
        Take your time and do some research. It is not difficult, in these digital days, to simply compare chapters and passages of Vulgate and neo-vulgate.
        But let’s first see what the Council of Trent had to say regarding the Latin Vulgate Bible:
        “[This] sacred and holy Synod—considering that no small utility may accrue to the Church of God, if it be made known which out of all the Latin editions, now in circulation, of the sacred books, is to be held as AUTHENTIC [and thus authoritative] —ordains and declares, that the said old and vulgate edition, which, by the lengthened usage of so many years, has been approved of in the Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic; and that no one is to dare, or presume to reject it under any pretext whatever.” [Decree Concerning the Edition and Use of the Sacred Books, 1546].
        Concerning the neo-vulgate creations the “Scripturarum Thesaurus” from 1979 stated:
        “However in our own time the Second Vatican Council, while confirming the respect given to that edition which people call the Vulgate (Const. Dei Verbum, n. 22) and while striving zealously so that the understanding of the Psalter in the Liturgy of the Hours might be made easier, decreed that the successfully initiated work of revising it “should be terminated as soon as possible. It shall take into account the style of Christian Latinity as well as the entire tradition of the Latin Church” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 91).
        Our predecessor of recent memory, Paul VI, was moved by all these considerations to set up even before the end of the same Council, that is on 29 November 1965, a special Pontifical Commission whose task it would be to carry out the command of the same General Council and to revise all the books of Sacred Scripture so that the Church might be enriched with a Latin edition which advancing biblical studies demanded and which might serve especially in the Liturgy.
        In realizing this revision, “the old text of the Vulgate edition was taken into consideration word for word, namely, whenever the original texts are accurately rendered, such as they are found in modern critical editions; however the text was prudently improved, whenever it departs from them or interprets them less correctly. For this reason Christian biblical Latinity was used so that a just evaluation of tradition might be properly combined with the legitimate demands of critical science prevailing in these times” (cf. Address of Paul VI, 23 December 1966; A.A.S. LIX, 1967, pp. 53 ff.)
        . . .
        These things being so, by virtue of this Letter we declare the New Vulgate edition of the Holy Bible as “typical” and we promulgate it to be used especially in the sacred Liturgy but also as suitable for other things, as we have said.
        Finally we decree that this Constitution of ours be firm and forever efficacious and be scrupulously observed by all concerned, notwithstanding any obstacles whatsoever.”

        Compare now the texts from Vulgate Douay-Rheims versus many other modernist neo-vulgate versions and try to explain to me what it means for you the “corrections of errors” or any other improvement of Latin Vulgate you’ve found in neo-vulgate creations.

        1. Book of Judith, chapter 13 (Douay-Rheims)
        (http://www.drbo.org/drl/chapter/18013.htm)
        The verses 13. 21-31 in modern neo-vulgate versions are simply deleted.
        NABRE
        (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judith+13&version=NABRE)
        NRSVCE, RSVCE, NCB
        As in some other versions there is no Book of Judith at all.
        KJV, NASB, etc.
        In the introduction of the books on Tobias, Judith and Esther in my Hard Copy Bible, “Jerusalem Bible”, where btw. in the same Chapter 13. of the Book of Judith remains only 20 lines, the following is stated:

        “These three books came very late in the canon of the Scriptures. Tobias and Judith’s books do not belong to the Hebrew Bible, so (because of that, they said) Protestants do not regard them as canonical.
        The Catholic Church accepted them, in the patristic times, and considered them deuterocanonical books. They are often read and used, and they entered the canon of the Western Church in 382. The Eastern Church admits them to canonical books from the Constantinople parliament 692.
        . . .
        Judith’s book is a history of the victory of the chosen people over the enemies won by merit of a woman.
        This skillfully composed work has common lines with the apocalyptic way of writing.”
        The Nebuchadnezzar’s servant Holoferno is the manifestation of the evil forces; Judith, whose name means “Jew”, represents the divine side identified with the by God chosen people.
        It seemed that this side was condemned to destruction, but God overcomes trough the hands of a feeble but faithful woman, and the holy people ascend to Jerusalem.
        The book has common features with Daniel, Ezekiel, and Joel. Events take place in the Ezrelon valley, near which St. John, according to Rev. 16:16, will put an eschatological battle on Armageddon.
        Although the victory is Judith’s award for her prayers and extremely conscientious observance of legal regulations on purity, the book however, has a general character:
        The salvation of Jerusalem is guaranteed in Betulia, in that Samaria, which the “righteous” members of the narrow-minded Judaism so hated.
        . . .
        The book was written in Palestine, around the middle of the 2nd century BC, in a climate of national and religious fervor motivated by the Maccabees rebellion.”

        2. Book of Tobias – chapter 6, chapter 8, chapter 12 – (Douay-Rheims) (http://www.drbo.org/drl/chapter/17006.htm) (http://www.drbo.org/drl/chapter/17008.htm) (http://www.drbo.org/drl/chapter/17012.htm)
        Tobit 12,13 (DRBO): “Et quia acceptus eras Deo, necesse fuit ut tentatio probaret te.” (And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.) – Check all other neo-vulgate versions on this verse.
        Do we not know that now even the prayer of our Lord “Our Father” couldn’t remain as it is and always was. Because, they say, God would never let us to be proved by temptation?

        Tobit 6,16-17 (DRBO): “Tunc angelus Raphael dixit ei: Audi me, et ostendam tibi qui sunt, quibus praevalere potest daemonium. Hi namque qui coniugium ita suscipiunt, ut Deum a se et a sua mente excludant, et suae libidini ita vacent, sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus — habet potestatem daemonium super eos.” (“Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will shew thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power.”)
        For Christian understanding of marriages, the Old Testament Book of Tobit is extremely important. Especially those warnings given by Archangel Rafael to Tobit 6, 16-17, and Tobit 6, 22.

        Another important point came from those words from Tob 6, 22, which in the Vulgate are:
        “accipies virginem cum timore Domini, amore filiorum magis quam libidine ductus” (“thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children [offspring] than for lust”)
        This places from Tobit are cited by the Catechism of the Council of Trent in the chapter about marriage (when talking about the reasons why men and women enter into the sacrament of marriage), and remarks:
        “Atque una etiam haec causa fuit cur Deus ab initio matrimonium instituerit. Quare fit ut illorum sit scelus gravissimum, qui matrimonio iuncti, medicamentis vel conceptum impediunt vel partum abigunt: haec enim homicidarum impia conspiratio existimanda sit.” (“And this is also one reason why God established from the beginning the marriage. For this reason, it is the most difficult crime of those who, together in marriage, are preventing conception, or doing abortion: this should be considered as evil conspiracy of the killers.”)
        It is worth repeating here again the purpose of marriage according to the Code of Canon Law from 1917 (Can. 1013 § 1):
        “Matrimonii finis primarius est procreatio atque educatio prolis; secundarius mutuum adiutorium et remedium concupiscentiae.” ( “The first purpose of marriage is procreation and raising children; second, the mutual help of a spouses, and a cure against the lust.”)
        The modernists (especially Cardinal Suenens) took a real war against this doctrine, at the Second Vatican Council. Unfortunately, the progressives have partly succeeded in putting some ambiguity into some documents.
        A result of this is the new Code of Canon Law which came in 1983., which has mixed purposes of marriage, so that puts an abstract concept of “common good of the spouses” in front of the procreation and raising children!
        Compare this chapters of Book of Tobias from Vulgate with neo-vulgate and see how much is deleted or heavily changed for some certain purpose.

        There is much more to be shown here, concerning the psalms too, but also the books of the New Testament (e.g. John 5.4). And I am not talking here only about English translation of Latin Vulgate vs English neo-vulgate versions, but the same grave errors and worse I found in neo-vulgate Dutch and Croatian versions too. How more newfangled neo-vulgate version, how more errors it contains. There are even some modern “Catholic” Bible (of course neo-vulgate) versions in Croatian where all seven Deutero-Canonical books are completely missing!

        PS. Did you know that the page COLLABORATORS ON THE REVISED NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE 1986 (New American Bible) includes, among the four members of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee, Most Rev. Theodore E. McCarrick, D.D.
        The page COLLABORATORS ON THE OLD TESTAMENT OF THE NEW AMERICAN BIBLE 2010 lists all the members of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine. The Subcommittee on the Translation of the Scripture Text has five members. The chairman was Most Rev. Arthur J, Serratelli. Also a member was Justin Cardinal Rigali. In addition, there was Most Rev. Blaise Cupich.

        They pretend it’s about language, but in reality it’s about content.

        “Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good. From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5, 19-22)

  8. Thank God that we live in times when the Mercy of God is revealed more brightly , esp. in the Twin Devotions and related writings of The Diary and the Divine Will , even as books such as above also help to narrate the effects of the rebellion of our self will –

    https://www.ltdw.org/newsletter-subscription—publication-orders.html

    The interest and support of the various bibilcal scholars to converge , to thus bring forth the Oneness as the Sun Rise of the Divine Will , including through the upcoming Synod , to also help dispel unneeded fears – St.Josaphat too would joyfully bless us all in same . 🙂

  9. Excellent historical account on the development of thought on secularization affecting Church and State. Although not necessarily historical practice [tension between sovereign and Church a given by nature of competitive authority]. In addition to Hahn and Wiker “The morality derived from secularized culture and the morality derived from the Bible do not share common ground” may be attributed to the phenomenon of a general deterioration of Christian faith in the West.
    Henry VIII’s proclamation of sovereignty acknowledged by Hahn and Wiker [not to exclude Luther’s importance] inclusive of the church in England set the tone in tandem with Lutheranism for secularization in Protestant nations, whereas Catholics retained greater ecclesial authority Spain, France, Poland, Portugal, Kingdom of Savoy, Papal States.
    What is missing in the Hahn Wiker thesis is arguably the greatest impact toward systematized secularization, the French Revolution. Jacobins Voltaire, Rousseau, Marat, Robespierre, Condorcet, Brissot, Vergniaud, Fauchet, and Freemasons developed the antichristian secularist political philosophy that undergirded the more comprehensive theories of Karl Marx. Ideas spread by reading books, most effectively by imposition of the sword. Islam and in the West Napoleon Bonaparte. Metternich’s grand holding schemata was destined for collapse due to secularist foment within realized in Nationalism. All the nationalist movements Germany, Italy, Spain 20th cent, Greece [except Poland with its historical church state affinity] were secular ideologies.
    This writer’s thesis is that the adaptation of secularist morality [immorality in Christianity] and polity is essentially an interior spiritual phenomenon apostasis in nature. Today’s Antichrist Tsunami can only be reversed by interior conversion to Christ. If not by Christ.

    • “Machiavelli’s complete denial of good and evil as the foundation for political reasoning, and his atheism as well” (Hahn Wiker). Hahn Wiker ‘exploit’ the essence of politicizing the Bible in Machiavelli’s atheism. His advice to the Prince was to employ religion to consolidate his power. Not as an irrefutable guide rather as a universal means to elicit respect, gain fealty. Whether politicians throughout the centuries were familiar with the Prince the virtual natural tendency has been to practice its tenets. Distinction between pretense and faith regularly diminish with access to mammon.

    • In review of Shepherds’s article on the subject matter of Hahn and Wiker’s scientific study my comments fail to address the secularization of sacred scripture [the French Revolution in particular] and are as relevant to the subject as the scrawlings of any illiterate.

  10. What would have happened if Hobbes and Spinoza had been executed early for propagating heresy? History would have been much different. The reason that they weren’t was due the heresiarch Martin Luther.

    Every single work of Thomas Hobbes is on the Index of Forbidden Books and Baruch Spinoza has one there.

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  1. New book tells the story of the secularization of Sacred Scripture – Via Nova Media
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