: Executions: it is amazing how they do not find a
: simple beheading not sufficient and they insist on
: making the convicted suffer by slow burning.
First it's astonishing how easily the death penalty was handed down. According to the Wikipedia, capital offenses included:
"being in the company of Gypsies for one month", "strong evidence of malice in a child aged 7–14 years of age" and "blacking the face or using a disguise whilst committing a crime".
Beheading was generally confined to nobles who had committed an act of treason. Commoners found guilty of treason were hanged, drawn, and quartered.
The Catholic church had decreed that the punishment for heresy be death by burning in the 12th century. The idea was apparently that there would be no body to be resurrected at the Second Coming.
In 1401 an act was passed in England under Henry IV that decreed that heretics would be executed by burning at the stake. This law was not repealed until 1559 under Elizabeth I. (Under her sister Mary I almost 300 Protestant heretics were burned at the stake.) As near as I can tell, Protestants slaughtered Catholics, but they generally did not burn them. Protestants burned witches.
Events around Tyndale are not easy
: to understand for me. On the one hand King is reading
: his translation but on the other hand wants him
: burned. I understood better after reading more on the
: internet but it is still very confusing since nobody
: is on one side completely or permanently.
I'm not really an expert on this, but I'll take a crack at it. The orthodox point of view of the Catholic church is that the priests, up to and including the Pope, interpret God's Word for everyone who is not a member of the clergy. The Catholic gains absolution from his sins by confessing to a priest and performing his penance. Catholics are more likely to pray to saints to intercede for them with God than to pray to God himself. Arguably, historically, they are not People of the Book like Jews, Protestants, and Muslims.
It may also be noted that many Catholic tenets, such as the existence of Purgatory, the intercession of saints, the near goddess-like status of the Virgin Mary, and the Papacy itself, are not found in Scripture. Therefore, the Catholic church opposed translating the Bible from Latin into vernacular languages, such as English.
Protestants tend to seek truth within the Bible itself, not from their clergy (although they of course look to clergy for assistance in interpreting difficult passages). Most Protestants, especially the fundamentalists, insist on Scriptural support for any theological assertion. Consequently, they do not believe in Purgatory, the intercession of saints, etc.
The insistence on translating the Bible into the vernacular came from Protestant reformers. The act of translating, possessing, and/or reading the Bible in English was seen as anti-Church and therefore heretical. But, of course, anyone, including the King, might well have been curious to read what is actually written in the Scriptures, which they had never read or heard except through the clergy.
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