Fun Facts from Church History

luther5It was on the third of June, 1535 that Luther commenced his very impressive, very detailed lectures on Genesis.  Here’s how he began-

THE first chapter is written in the simplest language; yet it contains matters of the utmost importance and very difficult to understand. It was for this reason, as St. Jerome asserts, that among the Hebrews it was forbidden for anyone under thirty to read the chapter or to expound it for others. They wanted one to have a good knowledge of the entire Scripture before getting to this chapter. Not even with this practice, however, did the Jewish Rabbis achieve anything worthwhile; for in their commentaries men twice thirty and even older prattle most childishly about these extremely important matters.

Until now there has not been anyone in the church either who has explained everything in the chapter with adequate skill. The commentators, with their sundry, different, and countless questions, have so confused everything in the chapter as to make it clear enough that God has reserved His exalted wisdom and the correct understanding of this chapter for Himself alone, although He has left with us this general knowledge that the world had a beginning and that it was created by God out of nothing. This general knowledge is clearly drawn from the text. As to particulars, however, there are differences of opinion about very many things, and countless questions are raised at one point or another.

People are still misreading Genesis.  Perhaps not allowing anyone under 30 to read it or especially to attempt to expound it is a good idea.  And certainly no one should be allowed to expound it without theological training. It’s lack of proper skill-set which allows ignorance to flourish and false explanation to abound.

3 thoughts on “Fun Facts from Church History

  1. Perhaps, since the order of books in the Bible is not “inspired” (that I know of…) we should transfer the book of Genesis to where Zacharias is… or even to where the “maps” are… then people who believe in reading three chapters, starting in Genesis, every year, would have a fighting chance of acquiring context before they read about “matters of the utmost importance”.

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