I Should Blog On Constantine More

Some of the most common search hits for my blog come from searches about Constantine, and they usually land on my review of Constantine’s Bible. Apparently Constantine is all the rage. Sometimes the search terms are pretty normal like "constantine and the bible" or "constantine’s influence on christianity". These are very worthy topics of study. Other times I get queries by people who have been told some really silly stuff about Constantine and how he supposedly created Christianity. Here are two. And now I’ll answer them here so the next person who searches can get a straight answer.

"constantine handed out first bibles" - Ummm...no. We have manuscripts from before Constantine. Seriously. And we have manuscripts after Constantine. And here’s the really important part: they are very, very, very, very, similar. No, Constantine did not create the Bible and hand it out.

"a picture of paul constantine who put the bible together" - I am not entirely sure what this is supposed to mean, but clearly Constantine is putting the Bible together and his first name is Paul. Actually, his first name is Flavius. And do note what I said above about the other query. Constantine did not really put the Bible together. It was actually forming up towards where it is now by that time. Sure there were some debates, but it seems that the orthodox bishops were largely in agreement already.

So, I think I need to blog about Constantine more. But, to do that, I would need to learn more about Constantine :). The questions of him creating the Bible or rewriting the Bible are easy to answer, not because I know a lot about Constantine, but because I know something of the early church (though I’m constantly learning new things). There is always more to study...


Chuck Grantham 2008-03-12 03:09:49

Do a post on Constantine making Jesus God. That will get your visitor numbers WAY up, I bet. Of course they’ll be disappointed when you say he didn’t and no, the vote was not close, but medicine isn’t supposed to taste good.

As for Constantine’s Bible, I was hoping for an in-depth discussion of our early mnauscripts and those famous fifty bibles Constantine ordered up.

Eric 2008-03-12 11:06:49

I wonder how much we really know about those 50 copies. Some people have hypothesized that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are two of them, but I’ve argued elsewhere (don’t remember at the moment) that though one of them may be, both of the probably aren’t. In my first post in the Ignatius Ephesians series I am doing I did bring up that the divinity of Jesus wasn’t created during Constantine’s time. But I made the mistake of referring to Nicea and not Constantine, so it probably won’t get as many hits :)