Foxe's Book of Martyrs- History?

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Glen Seeker, Jun 11, 2003.

  1. Glen Seeker

    Glen Seeker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many people here have read this book and take it as "gospel." I've read the book and found it to be something like a Chick novel. Anything Protestant is inspired and holy and anything Catholic is evil and of the devil.

    I wrote to CRI and asked their opinion of whether or not they thought the book was reliable.

    Here are some qotes from their return letter to me.

    CRI is not a Catholic site or organization so noone can say that they are biased towards the Catholic Church.

    They say read it as an inspirational book but not as an actual account of events which took place at the time yet many here seem to cling to it as shining pillar of truth.

    Is that because it paints a picture of the 'evil' Catholic Church which many already have in their minds? After all, it is easier to hate a church we perceive as 'evil' than to hate one which just teaches something different from our own particular sect or denom.

    [ June 11, 2003, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: Glen Seeker ]
     
  2. A_Christian

    A_Christian
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2003
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    They seem very honest in their appraisal.
     
  3. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    I claim no intense knowledge of this book, having never read it, but have only read quips and quotes from here or there. However, what has been presented to me, by other Protestants, deems itself not as history because the language employed is not scholarly language, but adjective-filled language used to excite the emotions. Nothing wrong with that for a spiritual memoir, but something very wrong with that in a history book. History must provide both sides of the argument without pinning one side or the other as the protagonist/antagonist, because to do so presents a bias.

    Further, as a personal commentary, I might add that most Baptists on this board claim that they are not Protestants (as Foxe was), so I'm not sure why they identify with him so. I could be wrong, but I thought the whole English-Catholic incidents were between (predominantly) Roman Catholics and the Church of England.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  4. Lorelei

    Lorelei
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://www.amacominc.com/~lorelei/mgsm.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    It could be for several reasons. I do not identify myself only with people who share the same title. There could be some similiar beliefs in which they identify with him or it could be that Baptists identify with the persecution that they went through.

    I have not read the book, just offering some thoughts as to why people do not have to be aligned denominationaly to identify with one another in certain areas. It by no means would imply that they upheld every doctrine or belief the man had.




    I think it is subjective to say that many people here "take it as gospel." I know that no baptist would take anything other than the Bible as gospel.

    Assuming that all motives are out of hate and ingorance? Could it be that your understanding of us and our stances against the church are skewed by your own personal prejudices?

    I think the catholic church is evil because it teaches something different, it's different from what the inspired Word of God says to be true. I do not need Foxes Book of Martyrs to remind me of that.

    ~Lorelei

    [ June 11, 2003, 07:29 PM: Message edited by: Lorelei ]
     
  5. GraceSaves

    GraceSaves
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    2,631
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lorelei,

    Two things. The second quote there is not from me, but Glen, as was the "gospel" reference.

    But, as a side note, when he said "gospel," I'm quite sure he meant that they take it as the truth, without question. Quotes have been used here before that suggest that the poster believes the book to contain only factual information.

    God bless,

    Grant
     
  6. Lorelei

    Lorelei
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://www.amacominc.com/~lorelei/mgsm.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    GraceSaves,

    I apologize for misquoting and I have edited my post to fix the mistake. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    I still would not say they take it as "truth without question." They may "believe" it to be true, but that doesn't mean they will stand behind it no matter how high the evidence is stacked up against it. If they choose to believe the book until has been proven false, that is hardly the same thing as believing it "no matter what."

    This statement does not disprove that there were "Protestant Martyrs", nor does it show hard evidence that though historical evidence was not his main objective, that he made up the whole thing and that nothing in the book is true. To still believe the book from this weak statement is hardly equating the book as gospel.

    ~Lorelei
     
  7. SolaScriptura in 2003

    SolaScriptura in 2003
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    398
    Likes Received:
    0
    Foxe uses the same charged language whether talking about Catholics persecuted by the Roman empire or Protestants persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church. It's not a bias so much as his style. He used the phrase "neither age nor sex was spared" a bit much in my opinion.
     
  8. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2001
    Messages:
    4,005
    Likes Received:
    0
    Or Baptists persecuted by the protestants for that matter
     
  9. Glen Seeker

    Glen Seeker
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    0
    Speaking of Baptists persecuted by Protestants, is there any record or have there been any studies of how many Baptists the followers of Luther, Calvin, and the Church of England killed as opposed to how many the Catholics did?
     
  10. Bible-boy

    Bible-boy
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2002
    Messages:
    4,254
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well..

    I can't cite specific numbers; however, the magisterial reformers (Luther, Zwingli, Calvin etc.) and the Catholic Church all killed the Anabaptists. They were not safe anywhere in the early to mid-16th century. Finally, they found a safe place in the Low Countries when the kings and rulers there became more open to religious freedom. I have read some church history books that say millions of Anabaptists were killed at the hands of both protestant and catholic churchmen.

    [ June 12, 2003, 03:38 AM: Message edited by: BibleboyII ]
     
  11. Lorelei

    Lorelei
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://www.amacominc.com/~lorelei/mgsm.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    What would it matter? Anyone killed for expressing their freedom to choose what they believe is an atrocity and should be condemned. The "Who killed more people" argument doesn't make one more evil then the other, it only makes one evil "more successful" then the other.

    Murder is murder and it should be acknowledged for what it was.

    ~Lorelei
     
  12. Frank

    Frank
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,441
    Likes Received:
    0
    God does not endorse evil behavior. The attempt to somehow lesssen the sinfulness of sin because a man " wrote it" is quit ironic in the case of all denominations. These groups hold to their creeds and articles of faith based on the fact a man " wrote it." If Foxe can make a mistake, how about the councils, synods, conventions, magisterium and their proclamations of faith? If they make mistakes, why have them in the first place? And, who authorized them? Is there a lesson here?
     
  13. Kurt Lining

    Kurt Lining
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    In regards to "Acts and Monuments" ( Foxe's Book of Martyrs ) and the Protestant persecution of Anabaptist and other Baptistic groups; it it evident that Foxe's Book of Martyrs is historically biased to the Protestant perspective.

    The last section of the book (chapter XI) gives a sizeable amount of material concerning the martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Edward VI, Henry VIII, and Mary. According to Foxe, Cranmer "had read Luther's books, and was zealously attached to the glorious cause of the reformation." However, he opposed the "six bloody articles" of Henry VIII, was "accused in parliament," and "committed to the Tower." In 1554, one year after Edward's death, he was moved from the Tower to Oxford "to dispute with some select persons od both universities." However, according to Foxe, their "words were misconstrued," making their "fate...fixed." Afterwards, the "papists" used "gentle methods" to coax Cranmer to recant. The effect worked, and "he was induced to sign the following recantation:

    'I, Thomas Cranmer, late archbishop of Canterbury, do renounce, abhor, detest all manner of heresies and errors of Luther and Zuinglius...I acknowledge the bishop of Rome to be supreme head on earth...and Christ's vicar...I believe and worship in the sacrament of the altar...I believe and hold as the universal church holdeth, and the church of Rome judgeth and determineth...'"

    This heavily troubled his conscience, and although he had recanted, Mary still wished for his death. When he was sentenced to be burned, he recanted his recantation, praying to God for forgiveness and preaching to the crowd. His well known statement concerned the hand which signed the recantation: "...a writing contrary to the truth, which here I renounce and refuse, as written with my hand indeed...And forasmuch as my hand hath offended, it shall be first be punished, for when I come to the fire it shall be first burned." He did so and in the fire often said "this unworthy right hand."

    The overall portrayal of Archbishop Cranmer by John Foxe is that of a noble martyr who sucumbed to human frailty and later repented and died with honour. However, some material has been omitted.

    According to John T. Christian, in his book, A History of the Baptists, Vol. 1 , Thomas Cranmer was involved in the persecution of Baptists.

    In 1550 (17 years after Cranmer was made Archbishop, according to Foxe) Baptists Henry Hart and Humphrey Middleton were thrown into prison. Middleton even warned the Archbishop:
    "Well, reverend sir, pass what sentence you think fit upon us; but that you may not say that you were forewarned. I testify that your turn will be next." This happened when Cranmer was arrested, according to Christian.

    Also, Christian is fairly confident that Cranmer translated a letter from John Calvin to Lord Protector Somerset, in which Calvin advised that "Anabaptists and reactionists should be alike put to death...These altogether deserve to be well punished by the sword, seeing that they do conspire against God, who had set him in his royal seat." After this letter was received, two Baptists were burnt: Joan of Kent, "a pious and worthy woman" and George van Pare, "a man of most wonderful strict life." Details of these events can be found on pages 198-99 of John Christian's book.

    It may be concluded (although this is only one incident) that if many such incidents do exist, it is possible that Foxe's Book of Martyrs may be written from a solely Protestant and not Baptist perspective, and that some evidence to the persecution of Baptists by Protestants was either not known to John Foxe or deliberately ommitted by him. I myself had studied church history before I became a Baptist by conviction, was familiar with Cranmer via Foxe's Book of Martyrs , and was aghast when I read the documentation by Christian. Often, history is dependent upon its writer and is skewed to his own bias - such may Foxe's Book of Martyrs be the situation here.
     
  14. Ray Berrian

    Ray Berrian
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    5,178
    Likes Received:
    0
    No destroying of life/murder has the blessing of God even when contending for the true faith. This is true of both Protestants and Catholics.

    I would say, however, if these human tragedies did not occur, then why did Pope John Paul make an official statement as to his personal regret that in centuries past were true?

    The Apostle John says in chapter 3:15 that no one who murders another person has ever known Jesus and has never experienced everlasting life. This points to the fact that not everyone who claims the name of Christ is really saved, not even some leaders of the Reformation. Otherwise, we have to make allowances for these crazed people.
     
  15. Kathryn

    Kathryn
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Pope apologizing for the sins of Catholics through the centuries does not mean that everything ever written about Catholics and the Church is true.

    God Bless
     
  16. Lorelei

    Lorelei
    Expand Collapse
    <img src ="http://www.amacominc.com/~lorelei/mgsm.

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    2,045
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anyone know where I can find the "official apology" at?

    ~Lorelei
     
  17. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2002
    Messages:
    10,988
    Likes Received:
    79
    Foxe's Book of Martyrs is one of my favorite books. Bloody Mary was horrible.

    But I would not take the evaluation of CRI. Walter Martin's family and most of the staff under Walter Martin have turned against CRI. I do not understand the details, but one can find it on the internet.

    I especially like the story of Saint Lawrence who, as you know, was ordered to turn over the treasury of the local church to the Roman emperor. He brought in with him three paupers in rags and said that these poor souls were the true treasury of the Christian Church. Saint Lawrence was burned to death for that remark.
     

Share This Page

Loading...