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In the Beginning Was the WordThe Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783$
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Mark A. Noll

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190263980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190263980.001.0001

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(p.22) Prelude
In the Beginning Was the Word

Mark A. Noll

Oxford University Press

The Prelude starts by explaining how Martin Luther first came across the Bible and read through the Latin Vulgate copy that was held in the library of the University of Erfurt. This was an event that proved to be an important catalyst in history. The Prelude then presents the historical context for that time and introduces the background to the story of this book. It looks at how seventeenth-century Americans were to receive conflicting ideas about scriptural authority from Europe, namely, the Bible under Christendom (high Anglicanism), the Bible over Christendom (moderate Puritanism), and the Bible against Christendom via the Anabaptists, the enthusiasts, and the Quakers. The book, the Prelude states, then aims to trace the history of the Bible in American history from this point.

Keywords:   Bible, Martin Luther, Christendom, Quakers, religion, American history

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