Daily Archives: September 19, 2009

Learning the Bible in the Middle Ages

Duomo, Baptistery, and Campanile. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Duomo, Baptistery, and Campanile. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Cathedral (or Duomo) of Florence is of the Gothic style and dates to the 12th century A.D. The church, along with the baptistery, and the campanile (bell tower) have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bronze baptistery doors, often designated as the Gates of Paradise, was designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the early 1400s. The gates we see today are reproductions.

In the Middle Ages Bibles were not available to the common people. One of the ways the Bible was taught was through the stained glass windows, wood carvings, and cast works such as the doors of the baptistery. The panel in the photo below shows the Israelites crossing the Jordan, and the capture of Jericho (Joshua 3-6). Remember that for the Western World those were the Dark Ages.

Baptistery panel showing capture of Jeriocho. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Baptistery panel showing capture of Jeriocho. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

There is more that should be said about Florence, but we arrived in Rome last evening. Today and tomorrow will be filled with activity in Rome.

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