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The Inquisition


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The Inquisition

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  • Dr. Hammond, thank you for courageously sharing this TRUTH. What a shame that this Gloriously suffered history is not taught in every protestant church. Things would be much different if we paid attention to the cost that was paid for truths we now hold to be "self-evident"...
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  • Your anti-Catholic bias is blinding you to a proper understanding and grasp of the Inquisition, the same way many anti-Catholics are blinded in their understanding about the Crusades. If you can be so clear with regards to the Crusades why not the Inquisition?

    Here is a primer
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The Inquisition

  1. 1. What Every Christian Should Know About The Inquisition
  2. 2. What Every Christian Should Know About The Inquisition
  3. 3. One of the re-occurring accusations against Christianity is that Christians are responsible for: "The Inquisition!"
  4. 4. Frequently, while trying to love one’s neighbour and share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Christians receive some tirade against "The Church" and "The Inquisition!"
  5. 5. The Inquisition is used as some kind of general-purpose club with which to bludgeon Evangelical Christians.
  6. 6. On one occasion while I was being interviewed on a national secular radio programme, on the publication of my book: Biblical Principles for Africa, the first caller attacked me and my new book over something that the book doesn't even deal with - she claimed that Christians were responsible for “the Inquisition” which “burned thousands of witches!”
  7. 7. The Anti-Christian Inquisition When I finally had the chance to respond to this emotional outburst, I had to point out that the vast majority burned at the stake by the Spanish Inquisition were not witches at all, but Protestant believers.
  8. 8. Should one study the court records of the inquisitors it becomes very clear that the inquisitors were by no means Christians at all.
  9. 9. They would vindictively condemn to death Christians who believed in, who translated, or who taught, the Holy Scriptures.
  10. 10. Often the inquisitors contemptuously tossed the victim’s Bible into the fire to be burned with the martyr.
  11. 11. The Inquisition occurred at a time of blatant corruption, when priesthoods, bishoprics and even papal seats were bought and sold. There were many ungodly men dominating all levels of leadership in the medieval Roman church.
  12. 12. Far from the Inquisition being Christians persecuting non-Christians, the reality is that it was the very opposite. The Inquisition was an anti-Christian persecution of Protestant believers.
  13. 13. The Judas Factor The church has never been perfect. Even amongst the twelve Apostles there was a Judas Iscariot who betrayed Christ. Yet it would not be fair to make Judas a representative of the twelve Apostles!
  14. 14. The total record of the church needs to be examined, and the good far outweighs the bad. Besides of which the Christian Faith is centered in Christ, not in Christians.
  15. 15. When someone brings up the question of evil perpetrated in God’s Name, we need to first examine whether the people involved were true Christians or not.
  16. 16. Our Lord Jesus Christ made it abundantly clear: "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name and done many wonders in Your Name….
  17. 17. and then I will declare to them,! I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness" Matthew 7: 21-23
  18. 18. Our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear that some people are truly part of His Church. The elect are all those who are regenerated by His Holy Spirit. However, not all of those in the larger, visible church are members of the true, invisible Church of Christ.
  19. 19. The Lord warned that there would be weeds among the wheat and goats amongst His sheep. Many who claim to be Christians are not Christians at all.
  20. 20. Anyone who has read Foxes Book of Martyrs, or similar historical records of the cruel persecutions endured by the Waldensians, the Huguenots and other Protestant Reformers, will know that the Inquisition was anti-Christian.
  21. 21. When people bring up the Inquisition we need to ask them: what do they actually know about the Inquisition? Seldom has the individual done any research on the matter at all. The Spanish Inquisition began in the year AD 1233. This is almost 300 years before the Protestant Reformation. The Historical Facts
  22. 22. So, Protestants had no part in the Inquisition except as victims. Bible-believing, Evangelical Protestants were often on the receiving end of the Inquisition, tortured and killed for their beliefs.
  23. 23. This included tens of thousands of Waldensian Christians tortured and murdered in the most brutal ways
  24. 24. and the Lollards of England, the field workers of the Reformation, who were mercilessly persecuted.
  25. 25. After the Council of Valencia placed the Bible on The Index of Forbidden Books, in 1229, the papacy viciously persecuted the Waldensians. Bible Banned
  26. 26. The hostility of the inquisitors to the Bible is clearly seen in their pronouncements such as in the condemnation of English Bible translator, Professor John Wycliffe of Oxford University:
  27. 27. "Pestilent and most wretched John Wycliffe, of damnable memory ... crowned his wickedness by translating the Scriptures into the mother tongue!"
  28. 28. Catholic historian Henry Knighton wrote: “John Wycliffe translated the Gospel from Latin into the English…made it the property of the masses and common to all and…even to women…and so the pearl of the Gospel is thrown before swine and trodden under foot and what is meant to be the jewel of the clergy has been turned into the jest of the laity…has become common…”
  29. 29. A synod of clergy in 1408 decreed: “It is dangerous…to translate the text of Holy Scripture from one language into another…we decree and ordain that no- one shall in future translate on his authority any text of Scripture into the English tongue or into any other tongue, by way of book, booklet or treatise.
  30. 30. Nor shall any man read, in public or in private, this kind of book, booklet or treatise, now recently composed in the time of the said John Wycliffe …under penalty of the greater excommunication.”
  31. 31. Similarly, the Inquisition condemned the Professor of Prague University, John Hus to be burned alive, for his Reformation works.
  32. 32. On one day in 1519 seven men and women in Coventry were burned alive by the Inquisition for the crime of teaching their children: The Lords Prayer, The Ten Commandments and The Apostles Creed - in English!
  33. 33. The English Reformer, William Tyndale, was burned at the stake in Belgium for the crime of having translated the Bible into the English language.
  34. 34. GOD’S OUTLAW William Tyndale was a gifted scholar, a graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge Universities. It was at Cambridge that Tyndale was introduced to the writings of Luther and Zwingli.
  35. 35. Tyndale earned his M.A. at Oxford then he was ordained into the ministry, served as a chaplain and tutor and dedicated his life to the translation of the Scriptures from the original Hebrew and Greek languages.
  36. 36. Tyndale was shocked by the ignorance of the Bible prevalent amongst the clergy. To one such cleric he declared: “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spares my life, before many years pass I will make it possible for the boy who drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you do.”
  37. 37. Failing to obtain any ecclesiastical approval for his proposed translation, Tyndale went into exile to Germany. As he described it “not only was there no room in my lord of London’s palace to translate the New Testament, but also that there was no place to do it in all England.”
  38. 38. Tyndale sailed in 1524 for Germany, never to return to his homeland. In Hamburg he worked on the New Testament, which was ready for printing by the following year. As the pages began to roll off the press in Cologne, soldiers of the Holy Roman Empire raided the printing press. Tyndale fled with as many of the pages as had so far been printed. Only one incomplete copy of this Cologne New Testament edition survives.
  39. 39. Tyndale moved to Worms where the complete New Testament was published the following year (1526). Of the 6000 copies printed, only 2 of this edition have survived.
  40. 40. Not only did the first printed edition of the English New Testament need to be produced in Germany, but they had to be smuggled into England. There the bishops did all they could to seek them out and destroy them. The Bishop of London, Cuthbert Tunstall, preached against the translation of the New Testament into English and had copies of Tyndale’s New Testaments ceremonially burned at St. Paul’s.
  41. 41. BETRAYAL AND BURNING In 1535 Tyndale was betrayed by a fellow Englishman, Henry Phillips, who gained his confidence only to treacherously arrange for his arrest. Tyndale was taken to the state prison in the castle of Vilvorde, near Brussels.
  42. 42. For 500 days, Tyndale suffered in a cold , dark and damp dungeon and then
  43. 43. on 6 October, 1536, he was taken to a stake where he was garrotted and burned. His last reported words were: “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.”
  44. 44. TYNDALE’S DYING PRAYER ANSWERED The Lord did indeed answer the dying prayer of Tyndale in the most remarkable way. By this time there was an Archbishop of Canterbury (Thomas Cranmer) and a Vicar General (Thomas Cromwell) both of whom were committed to the Protestant cause.
  45. 45. They persuaded King Henry to approve the publication of the Coverdale translation. By 1539 every parish church in England was required to make a copy of this English Bible available to all of its parishioners.
  46. 46. And so in this way Tyndale’s dying prayer was spectacularly answered. The sudden, unprecedented countrywide access to the Scriptures created widespread excitement. Just in the lifetime of William Shakespeare, 2 million Bibles were sold throughout the British Isles. About 90% of Tyndale’s wording passed on into the King James Version of the Bible.
  47. 47. Anne Askew was born during the reign of King Henry VIII to an honoured knight, Sir William Askew.
  48. 48. Anne was described as “attractive in form and faith”, a beautiful and high-spirited young woman, well educated, with unusual gifts, and “very pious.” Her father arranged that she should be married to the son of a friend, Thomas Kyme, to whom her deceased sister had originally been promised.
  49. 49. Anne endeavored to be a faithful wife, and bore her husband two children. However, despite an initially happy marriage, her husband, Kyme, threw her out of the home because of her Protestant Faith.
  50. 50. Anne had acquired a copy of the English Bible and had studied it enthusiastically. She abandoned her formal Catholic religion for the life- changing Protestant Faith in a personal Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Her enthusiastic witness drew the attention of the priests who warned her husband about her “sedition.” When challenged she confessed that she was no longer a Romanist, but “a daughter of the Reformation”. At this, her husband threw her out of the home. However, he acknowledge that he had never known a more devout woman than Anne.
  51. 51. In 1545, Anne was examined by the Inquisition concerning her beliefs. Her answers were full of wisdom and quotes from the Holy Scriptures, and she often out-maneuvered the inquisitors pointing out the contradictions in their own position. This only served to enrage them more. Lord Bonner was determined to see her burned for heresy.
  52. 52. Thomas Wriothesley, the lord Chancellor of England, was determined to crush the Reformation. He summoned her before the council and subjected her to an examination that lasted five hours. One of the council, Mr. Paget, challenged Anne: “How can you avoid the very words of Christ, take, eat, this is My Body which is broken for you?” Thomas Wriothesley
  53. 53. Anne answered: “Christ’s meaning in that passage is similar to the meaning of those other places of Scripture, ‘ ‘I am the door’, I am the vine’. ‘Behold the Lamb of God.’ ‘That rock was Christ.’ And other such references to Himself. We are not in these texts to take Christ for the material thing which He is signified by, for then we will make Him a door, a vine, a lamb, a stone, quite contrary to the Holy Ghost’s meaning. All these indeed signify Christ, even as the bread signifies His body in that place.”
  54. 54. She was charged and imprisoned in Newgate Prison. Her enemies were determined to see her burn. On 28 June, she was taken to Guild Hall to be examined again by the council. She was taunted with being a heretic. She responded that she had done nothing for which the Law of God required her death. When asked directly if she denied the doctrine of Transubstantiation, that the sacrament of the Eucharist was the actual body and blood of Christ, Anne responded
  55. 55. : “God is a spirit, not a wafer cake. He is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth { John 4:24 } and not by the impious superstitious homage paid to a wafer converted, by popish jugglery, into a god.” That very day, 28 June, the council condemned Anne Askew to be burned to death at the stake.
  56. 56. However, before that sentence was to be carried out, Lord Wriothesley ordered her to be stretched on the rack. As the levers were turned and the torture began, Anne remained silent. Wriothesley was so angered by his lack of success that he ordered the torture to be increased. Then the officer of the rack was so moved by the sight of this pious woman enduring such torture in silence, he refused to intensify the torture.
  57. 57. Wriothesley himself grabbed the levers and mercilessly stretched her body until her joints were pulled asunder and her bones were broken. Yet, despite the intense sufferings, all the cruelties of her enemies failed to change the patience sweetness of Anne’s Christian demeanor.
  58. 58. When the day of her execution arrived, Anne was so crippled as a result of her tortures on the rack that she had to be carried in a chair to the stake. One who witnessed her death wrote: “She had an angel’s countenance and a smiling face.” She was offered one last chance at a pardon if she would renounce the doctrines of the Reformation and embrace Catholicism. This she boldly refused
  59. 59. . “I believe all those Scriptures to be true which He hath confirmed with His most precious blood. Yea, and, as St. Paul sayeth, those Scriptures are sufficient for our learning and salvation that Christ hath left here with us; so that I believe we need no unwritten verities with which to rule His Church.”
  60. 60. All who witnessed her noble martyrdom were impressed and inspired by the courage of this beautiful woman who gladly gave her life for Christ of one as the truest and purest witnesses of the Gospel of the Christian Church.
  61. 61. Protestants were tortured and burned at the stake as "heretics" in Spain, Italy, France, England and Scotland.
  62. 62. Yet the Dutch Protestants suffered even worse persecutions at the hands of the Catholic Inquisition.
  63. 63. Under King Phillip II of Spain, more than 18,000 Protestants were executed in the Netherlands. In an attempt to force them to confess to "heresy", both men and women were mercilessly tortured.
  64. 64. Excommunicating Holland At that time, Spain was the most powerful country in the world. Holland was occupied by Spain. In 1566, Phillip II issued a proclamation demanding that all his subjects accept the decrees made by the Council of Trent.
  65. 65. Early in 1567, to crush the flourishing Protestant Faith in Holland, Phillip sent in the Duke of Alva, who unleashed a reign of terror upon the Dutch Protestants.
  66. 66. In 1568 the Inquisition condemned all three million inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as "heretics".
  67. 67. Under the courageous leadership of William Prince of Orange, the Dutch Protestants rose up in resistance against the oppression of Catholic Spain.
  68. 68. Prince William the Silent and his brave Dutch resistance fighters became the inspiration of Protestants world wide, particularly in England.
  69. 69. Born 2 July 1489, in Nottinghamshire, Thomas Cranmer studied for the priesthood at Cambridge University. He was ordained as a priest and threw himself into his further studies, becoming an outstanding theologian.
  70. 70. In 1520, he joined some scholars who met regularly to discuss Luther’s theological Reform on the continent. This group was dubbed “Little Germany.” William Tyndale, who would later give his life translating the Bible into English, was also part of this theological discussion group, along with Cranmer. By 1525, Cranmer was praying for the abolition of Papal power in England.
  71. 71. THE TIME FOR REFORM With the accession to the throne of the young Edward VI in 1547, Cranmer’s time had arrived. He immediately began to transform the Church of England into a decidedly Protestant church. In 1547, Cranmer published his: “Book of Homilies” which required the clergy to preach sermons emphasizing Reformed doctrines. In 1549, he published the first “Book of Common Prayer” which was revised in 1552 by a second edition, which was more clearly Protestant.
  72. 72. In 1553, Cranmer produced The 42 Articles as the doctrinal statements that moved the Church of England even more towards a Reformed, Calvinist direction. These were later revised into The 39 Articles, which under Queen Elizabeth became the official foundational statement of the Church of England worldwide. By Thomas Cranmer’s immense learning, ecclesiastical authority and hard work, he dominated the religious revolution, which propelled England into the Reformed Camp.
  73. 73. Bloody Mary’s Reign of Terror
  74. 74. PERSECUTION UNDER BLOODY MARY With Queen Mary’s accession, Stephen Gardiner was appointed Chancellor and Reginald Pole became the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Parliament repealed the Reformation Acts of Henry VIII and Edward VI and reintroduced the Heresy Laws. Bloody Mary then began a relentless campaign against the Protestants. Along with the Reformers Nicholas Ridley, The Bishop of London, and Hugh Latimer, The Bishop of Worcester, Cranmer was arrested and moved to Oxford in March 1554 to stand trial.
  75. 75. Queen Mary was a fervent Catholic and determined to force England back to Catholicism. Bloody Mary began a relentless campaign against the Protestants.
  76. 76. Her cousin, Lady Jane Grey, was beheaded for refusing to renounce her Protestant Faith.
  77. 77. Prominent Reformers, Protestant Bishops and Bible translators were burned at the stake. For five tragic years Bloody Mary sought to bludgeon the people of England back to Rome.
  78. 78. The Spanish Connection
  79. 79. Mary’s marriage to Phillip II, a member of the powerful Hapsburg family and brother of Ferdinand, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, endangered not only the Protestant Reformation, but the very independence of England. Phillip II was soon to become King of Spain, and he was a fanatical enemy of Protestantism. Phillip II had made it known that his goal was to conquer the world for Spain and the Roman Church.
  80. 80. Foxes Book of Martyrs records the condemnation of prominent Protestant preacher, Reformer and Bible translator, John Rogers, who was burned at the stake, January 1555.
  81. 81. Asked by the inquisitor to recant his beliefs, Rogers replied that what he had preached from the pulpit he would seal now with his blood. "Then thou art an heretic!" exclaimed the inquisitor. "That shall be known on the Day of Judgement," replied Rogers.
  82. 82. "Well, I will never pray for you", said his judge. "I will pray for you", responded Rogers. As he walked to the stake in Smithfield, Rogers sang the Psalms.
  83. 83. At his trial, Bishop Ridley was urged to reject his Protestant Faith. His reply: "As for the doctrine which I have taught, my conscience assureth me that it is sound and according to God's Word ... in confirmation thereof I seal the same with my blood."
  84. 84. THE OXFORD MARTYRS On 16 October 1555, just outside the walls of Balliol College, Oxford, a stout stake had been driven into the ground with fagots of firewood piled high at its base. Two men were led out and fastened to the stake by a single chain bound around both their waists.
  85. 85. The older man was Hugh Latimer, the Bishop of Worcester, one of the most powerful preachers of his day, and the other Nicolas Ridley, the Bishop of London, respected as one of the finest theologians in England.
  86. 86. More wood was carried and piled up around their feet. Then it was set alight. As the wood kindled and the flames began to rise, Bishop Latimer encouraged his companion:
  87. 87. “Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.” Hundreds in the crowd watching the burning of these bishops wept openly.
  88. 88. CONDEMNED The vindictiveness of Queen Mary and Cardinal Pole was also seen in how they wanted to humiliate and punish Archbishop Cranmer for all the havoc he had wrecked upon Catholicism by promoting the Reformation in England. They determined that he must be burned at the stake – after making a public rejection of the Protestant faith.
  89. 89. IMPRISONMENT and TORTURE Cranmer was subjected to a long and tedious trial after debilitating, enfeebling mental torture, isolation and physically exhausting imprisonment.
  90. 90. On the morning of 21 March 1556, Cranmer was escorted from his cell amidst fierce rain and dark skies. The weather forced the formalities preceeding the burning to be moved indoors, to St. Mary’s Church. There Cranmer was forced to stand, in ragged threadbare clothes, before the pulpit, while Henry Cole spoke of Cranmer’s “crimes” and the need for his death.
  91. 91. CRANMER’S COURAGEOUS CONFESSION Cranmer was then invited to “openly express the true and undoubted profession of your faith.”Cranmer took off his cap, thanked the people for their prayers and exhorted them in four points: To care less for this world and more for the next, to obey their sovereigns out of the fear of God, to do good to all people and to be concerned for the poor.
  92. 92. Then he declared: “As I am come to the last end of my life, whereupon hangeth all my life past and all my life to come…I shall therefore declare unto you my very faith, how I believe, without any colour or dissimulation.” He then recited The Nicene Creed. The Creed of Nicea 325 A.D. We believe in one God, the Father All-sovereign, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, and the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all the ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, through whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from the heavens, and was made flesh of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man, and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and ascended into the heavens, and sits on the right hand of the Father, and comes again with glory to judge living and dead, of whose kingdom there shall be no end: And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Life-giver, that proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and Son is worshipped together and glorified together, who spoke through the prophets: In one holy catholic and apostolic church: We acknowledge one baptism unto remission of sins. We look for a resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come.
  93. 93. As loud rumblings spread through the shocked congregation, Cranmer declared: “as for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ’s enemy and Anti-Christ, with all his false doctrines. And as for the sacrament…” At this, Cranmer was, being heckled and interjected, ordered to stop. However, he continued: “Teacheth so true a doctrine of the sacrament that it shall stand at the Last Day before the Judgment!” Cranmer was silenced at this point and dragged from the stage.
  94. 94. But the Friars did not have to pull him to the stake, because Cranmer rushed to the stake, giving his captors a hard time keeping up with him. In front of the stake Cranmer knelt on the bare ground and prayed. Then he clasped the hands of friends who stood nearby and bade them farewell.
  95. 95. STEADFAST AT THE END He was bound to the stake with a steel band around his waist. As the fire was kindled and the flames leapt up, Cranmer stretched out his right arm and held his hand in the flame stating: “This hand hath offended.” He continued to hold his hand out until it had been burned to a stump.
  96. 96. His last words were: “ Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” He then collapsed and was consumed in the flames. His courage and steadfastness at the end inspired Protestants in England . As one historian put it: “His fame has been brightened by the fire that consumed him.”
  97. 97. The end result of Mary’s attempts to return England to Catholicism were rather to convince the vast majority of Englishmen in the resolution and determination never again to succumb to such tyranny, superstition, and intolerance. By trying to exterminate the Reformation, Bloody Mary had only succeeded in entrenching it.
  98. 98. Phillip II became the husband of Mary and the King of England in 1554. In 1556 he became officially King of Spain. However, by God’s grace, the marriage was fruitless and Mary died without having conceived a child.
  99. 99. A Ruined Realm
  100. 100. Bloody Mary ended her days in great agony, and fever and mental derangement. The death of Bloody Mary on 17 November 1558 was an occasion of great public rejoicing in England. The country was ravaged by pestilence and sickened by the sight of countless grey-haired men of God being callously burned at the stake for “heresy.” During Mary’s short five-year reign the country had been ruined.
  101. 101. Blaming The Victims Anyone attempting to blame Christians for the Inquisition is obviously ignorant of the historical record. It is an utter distortion to blame the victims for the tortures and murders, which were inflicted upon them.
  102. 102. So, the next time non-Christians attempt to blame believers for the Inquisition, point out to them that in reality the Inquisition was an anti-Christian persecution of Protestant believers.
  103. 103. “Woe to those who call evil good; and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness..." Isaiah 5:20
  104. 104. REFORMATION SOCIETY PO Box 74 Newlands, 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: Web:
  105. 105. FRONTLINE FELLOWSHIP PO Box 74 Newlands, 7725 Cape Town South Africa E-mail: Web: