In its relationship with the Bible, religious society of the late Middle Ages existed in a kind of self-contradiction, and this was one of the decisive factors driving the Protestant Reformation. On the one hand, the Church hierarchy jealously guarded the clerical privilege of studying and interpreting the Holy Scriptures; on the other hand, translations of the Bible into the vernacular were being widely printed and circulated among the laity.
The book of the people: the laity were reading the scriptures before 1517
Luther at 500
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