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The 1537 Matthew Bible: More Anglican than Not

When the sixteenth century dawned in England, there were laws prohibiting the translation of the Bible into English. It was illegal to even own or to read English Scriptures.1In 1401, under King Henry IV, parliament passed a statute called De haeretico comburendo, or On the burning of heretics, targeting Wycliffe’s followers, the Lollards. Then in 1408…

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O Come, Let Us Bowdlerize

The Venite, Psalm 95 (Psalm 94 in the Vulgate), has been part of daily prayer in the Western Church for at least fifteen centuries. It is prescribed for Matins in the Rule of St. Benedict. It was likely already in regular use, as can be seen from the Western Church’s retention of a Latin text…

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A Pastoral Letter from Thomas Ken

THE time of Lent now approaching, which has been anciently and very Christianly set apart, for penitential humiliation of Soul and Body, for Fasting and Weeping and Praying, all which you know are very frequently inculcated in Holy Scripture, as the most effectual means we can use, to avert those Judgments our sins have deserv’d;…

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Reflections and the Rest of the Story

Last month, I wrote “Saints, Structures, and Salvation,” a response to some questions posed to Anglicans on Quad Cities Anglican Radio (QCAR) by a Western Rite Orthodox priest, himself a former Anglican. At that time, several people expressed to me wonder at how the hosts of the show did not adequately answer the questions from…

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The Beauty of the Naked Word

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it…

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Lenten Treasure Hunting

Since I first began to observe the season of Lent, one of my favorite disciplines has been to find an edifying book or collection of writings from Church history to read as part of my devotions. Most years, I revisit a forty-day reading plan of the Church Fathers. That was one of my first introductions…

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Whether to Bless a Ring or its Wearer

The 1928 Book of Common Prayer for the United States, like all the traditional editions of the Book of Common Prayer, has the man put a ring on the woman’s hand. Unlike all its ancestor BCP editions, including the 1662, the 1928 explicitly adds the detail that the priest may say, before delivering the ring…

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A Trusted Tool for Studying the Scriptures

Methods of Bible Study. By W.H. Griffith Thomas. Dallas, TX: Gideon House Books, 2016. 89 pp. $6.99 (paper).   One of my favorite aspects of Anglicanism is our emphasis on the Scriptures. The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion insist on the Bible as our ultimate authority. The Book of Homilies begin with an exhortation to the importance…

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Septuagesima

It doesn’t seem fair – those laborers who worked all day in the hot sun received only as much as those who came in the last hour. The owner of the vineyard is too generous, and for one reason or the other, he is grossly unfair. In fact, he is unfair because he is too…

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The Center of Gravity in Cranmer’s Communion Liturgy

Where is the center of gravity in Cranmer’s Order for the Lord’s Supper (of 1552, Cranmer’s final version of the Communion liturgy) and to what extent does the 1928 American Prayer Book affect or move this center? Before beginning, let me clarify my approach. The following observations represent the thinking of someone steeped in the…

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