Medieval approach to the Bible

The Vulgate Bible (382-384 CE) was the inspired true word of God in an incomprehensible Latin, the language of the educated people.  The biblical texts appeared in scarce manuscript form in the Middle Ages.  Few people had access to read the Bible, because most were illiterate.  Most people were content to glean the Bible stories from paintings, stain glass windows, passion plays, and preaching.  There was never any question as to its interpretation since the educated Church leaders, who had studied the Bible, pronounced what the correct traditional understanding of the Bible was.

They do not listen to the warning (Jer 6:9-6:11)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Glean thoroughly

As a vine

The remnant of Israel.

Like a grape-gatherer,

Pass your hand again

Over its branches.’

To whom shall I speak?

To whom shall I give warning?

Who might hear?

See!

Their ears are closed

Their ears are uncircumcised.

They cannot listen.

See!

The word of Yahweh is to them

As an object of scorn.

They take no pleasure in it.

But I am full of the wrath of Yahweh.

I am weary of holding it in.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, says that they should glean the vineyards looking for those grapes of the holy remnant of Israel. They should go behind the pickers to find these precious grapes. Who was going to listen to these warnings from Yahweh? Their ears were closed like uncircumcised ears. They could not listen. The word of Yahweh had become an object of scorn. They did not take any pleasure in the word of God. The wrath of God could not be held in any longer.

Job thought that God was too busy for the poor (Job 24:1-24:9)

“Why are times not kept by the Almighty Shaddai?

Why do those who know him never see his days?

The wicked remove landmarks.

They seize flocks and pasture them.

They drive away the donkey of the orphan.

They take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

They thrust the needy off the road.

The poor of the earth all hide themselves.

Like wild asses in the desert

They go out to their toil.

They scavenge in the wasteland food for their young.

They reap in a field not their own.

They glean in the vineyard of the wicked.

They lie all night naked,

Without clothing.

They have no covering in the cold.

They are wet with the rain of the mountains.

They cling to the rock for want of shelter.”

Job seemed to imply that God was too busy to care about the poor. Job contrasted the ways of the rich and the poor. The day of the Lord never seemed to come. Instead the wicked remove landmarks or steal land, steal flocks, drive away with donkeys and oxen. They were stealing property from others. The poor are sent into hiding. They have to scavenge for their children’s food, work in other people’s fields, and glean or pick up the left over harvest items in the vineyard. They have no clothing to protect them from the cold and the wet. Their housing was rocks and caves.