The Pulpit


Welcome to five minutes in churches hosted by Dr Stephen Nicholson where we take a little break from the presence to go exploring the past travel back in time as we look the people events, and even the places that have shaped the story, of Christianity this is our story. Family, history let's get started. Welcome back to another episode of five minutes in Church history on this episode. We're going to talk about a thing and church history. We say this is. person places and events and things well. Let's talk about a thing and the thing I wanNA. Talk to you about is the pulpit word pulpit actually comes from the Latin directly from the Latin pulpit Tim is the Latin word it means platform or staging. And one of the earliest references to the pulpit comes from an epistle letter from CIPRIAN right around two fifty ad and here's what Ciprian says. He's recounting an event that happened in a church in. He says when this man beloved brethren came to us with such condescension of the Lord. Illustrious by the testimony, and to wonder of the very man who had persecuted him, what else behooved to be done except that he should be placed on the pulpit. That is on the tribunal of the, Church. That resting on the loftiness of a higher station. And conspicuous to the whole people for the brightness of his honor, he should read the precepts and Gospel of the Lord, which he so bravely and faithfully follows, let the voice that has confessed the Lord daily be heard in those things which the Lord spoke well. Let's unpack this. This was a gentleman who had been persecuted, and he comes into the Church and he is. Up to the pulpit it's purposefully elevated so that it could be seen by the whole people, and it's also a place where the word of God the precepts that of course would be the law to reference probably to the Old Testament and the gospel of the Lord a reference to the New Testament where the word of God could be publicly read for the people of God. So that's one of the earliest references to the pope, as we move through church history, and we find these pulpits in construction early churches, especially in the three, hundred, four hundred, as we move into the Medieval era, the pulpit get set aside for the alternate all becomes about the mass so when you go into some of these great European cathedrals or even cathedrals here in the. The United States or elsewhere. You will see that at the center of that Cathedral. Your eyes are drawn to an elevated platform, but what is on that elevated platform is an alter off to the side. There's a lectern or two lectures on either side where the text is read. Perhaps from one in a homily is given from another, the reformers of course changed all that. And they restored the pulpit a back to its central place. In fact. Many of them would have. The pulpit placed not at the beginning of the rectangle. You know if you think of a nave as a rectangle on one of the the shorter ends were could face the whole rectangle, but many of these, especially in the reformation churches, the pulpit would be placed somewhere in the middle of the long side of the rectangle, and it was usually built into the side of one of the pillars are the columns that would support that massive structure with that ceiling and roof that stretched up into the heavens. And so you'd literally have to ascend into the pulpit climb steps sometimes they were circular, a round pillar, and you would enter into the pulpit and here again just like Cyprian's quote. You're on a raised platform above the people, so you could be seen in her. But it also represented the idea that people come into. To literally sit under or stand under the case in some of those reformed churches. The teaching of the word of God and hear the word preached from a pulpit. So there it is the pulpit a very crucial thing in the history of the church, a Latin Word Hope Tim, and you can find it in a church near you, well, that's the pulpits and I'm Steve. Nichols thanks for listening. To five minutes in churches. For more information or to listen to past episodes, please visit five minutes in Church history

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