Pope Innocent III and bible translation

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NaphtaliPress

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I have come a across a reference to Pope Innocent III and his prohibiting of Bible translation. Schaff says the following:

“Down to the very end of its history, the mediaeval Church gave no official encouragement to the circulation of the Bible among the laity. On the contrary, it uniformly set itself against it. In 1199 Innocent III., writing to the diocese of Metz where the Scriptures were being used by heretics, declared that as by the old law, the beast touching the holy mount was to be stoned to death, so simple and uneducated men were not to touch the Bible or venture to preach its doctrines” (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 6.723).

He references Migne, CCXIV:695 sq. Anyone know what specific work that is and if it has been translated. I had a rough time trying to locate the specific Migne volume on Google books. Is this a pretty famous remark?
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
This is a reference to Jacques Paul Migne's Patrologia Latina. Vol. CCXIV is not available on Google Books (there is a list of all PL works (and select others) which are available on Google Books here), nor has this work been translated into English, to my knowledge.

There is a general reference to Innocent III's letter in a Catholic Encyclopedia article on "Scripture":

The second document belongs to the time of the Waldensian and Albigensian heresies. The Bishop of Metz had written to Innocent III that there existed in his diocese a perfect frenzy for the Bible in the vernacular. In 1199 the pope replied that in general the desire to read the Scriptures was praiseworthy, but that the practice was dangerous for the simple and unlearned ("Epist., II, cxli; Hurter, "Gesch. des. Papstes Innocent III", Hamburg, 1842, IV, 501 sqq.).

The specific quote concerning the beast which touched the holy mount needing to be stoned, is referred to also in Herzog and Bomberger's The Protestant Theological and Ecclesiastical Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 398, which can be viewed here.
 

DTK

Puritan Board Junior
I have come a across a reference to Pope Innocent III and his prohibiting of Bible translation. Schaff says the following:

“Down to the very end of its history, the mediaeval Church gave no official encouragement to the circulation of the Bible among the laity. On the contrary, it uniformly set itself against it. In 1199 Innocent III., writing to the diocese of Metz where the Scriptures were being used by heretics, declared that as by the old law, the beast touching the holy mount was to be stoned to death, so simple and uneducated men were not to touch the Bible or venture to preach its doctrines” (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 6.723).

He references Migne, CCXIV:695 sq. Anyone know what specific work that is and if it has been translated. I had a rough time trying to locate the specific Migne volume on Google books. Is this a pretty famous remark?

Chris,

This text of Innocent III is from his Constitutions, and is partially quoted and translated on pp. 399-400 of Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), #1605-1606. In his work Versions of Sacred Scripture, Pius VII quotes Innocent III as saying...
In truth the secret mysteries of faith are not to be exposed to all everywhere, since they cannot be understood by all everywhere, but only by those who can grasp them with the intellect of faith. Therefore, to the more simple the Apostle says “I gave you milk to drink as unto little ones in Christ, not meat” [I Cor 3:2]. For solid food is for the elders, as he said: “We speak wisdom...among the perfect” [I Cor. 2:6]; “for I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified” [I Cor. 2:2]. For so great is the depth of Divine Scripture that not only the simple and the unlettered, but even the learned and the prudent are not fully able to explore the understanding of it. Therefore, Scripture says that many “searching have failed in their search” [Ps. 63:7]. So it was rightly stated of old in the divine law, that even the beast which touched the mountain should be stoned” [Heb. 12:20; Exod. 19:12], lest, indeed, any simple and ignorant person should presume to reach the sublimity of Sacred Scripture, or to preach it to others. For it is written: Seek not the things that are too high for thee [Ecclus. 3:22]. Therefore the Apostle warns “not to be more wise than it behooveth to be wise, but to be wise unto sobriety” [Rom. 12:3]. See Henry Denzinger, Enchiridion Symbolorum, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, trans. Roy J. Deferrari, Thirtieth Ed. (Powers Lake: Marian House, published in 1954 by Herder & Co., Freiburg), # 1605-1606, p. 399-400.

Innocent III, Latin text in Migne: Arcana vero fidei sacramenta non sunt passim omnibus exponenda, cum non passim ab omnibus possint intelligi, sed eis tantum qui ea fideli possunt concipere intellectu. Propter quod simplicioribus inquit Apostolus: Quasi parvulis in Christo lac potum dedi vobis, non escam (I Cor. III, 2). Majorum est enim solidus cibus, sicut aliis ipse dicebat: Sapientiam loquimur inter perfectos; inter vos autem nihil judicavi me scire nisi Jesum Christum, et hunc crucifixum (I Cor. II, 2). Tanta est enim divinae Scripturae profunditas, ut non solum simplices et illitterati, sed etiam prudentes et docti non plene sufficiant ad ipsius intelligentiam indagandam. Propter quod dicit Scriptura: Quia multi defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio (Psal. LXIII, 7). Unde recte fuit olim in lege divina statutum ut bestia, quae montem tetigerit, lapidetur; ne videlicet simplex aliquis et indoctus praesumat ad sublimitatem Scripturae sacrae pertingere, vel eam aliis praedicare. Scriptum est enim: Altiora te ne quaesieris (Eccli. III, 22). Propter quod dicit Apostolus: Non plus sapere quam oporteat sapere, sed sapere ad sobrietatem (Rom. XII, 3). Migne Patrologia Latina, Reg. II, Epistola 141, Cum ex injuncto PL 214:696C-D.

DTK
 
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