Refusal or ignorance of the Bible and the timeless wisdom of God’s Word, caused widespread death in the 13th century, we should learn a lesson from this and ensure we live in the Word of God and trusting completely in the Word of God
In the 14th Century Europe was ravaged by the Black Death, today known as bubonic plague, this disease was carried by fleas that resided on Black Rats. This disease killed an estimated 30 to 60 percent of European population, killing somewhere in the region of 100million people. This disease ravaged Europe from the 14th Century through to the 17th Century, including a major breakout in London, known as the great plague. I am particularly interested in this disease as growing up in England, my father often talked about a plaque that was present to his ancestors from the Monarchy. This plaque praised the fortitude of a family who when contracting the disease in their village Eyam in the 17th Century stayed in voluntary isolation to avoid spreading the disease. The entire family was killed by the disease, with the exception of the Mother, who buried her entire family and a son who was in the Royal Navy away at sea They survived and were awarded the plague in commemoration of thier families sacrifice in retaining the disease by remaining isolated.
The Catholic Church
This for me brings home the biblical ignorance of that time and the sheer devastation that this disease caused throughout England and the rest of Europe. This time in history was truly a dark one for Christians as the predominant church was the Roman Catholic church that had risen out of the ashes of the declining Roman Empire. The reason this was a dark time was that the Catholic Church forbid access to the Bible for laypeople, in fact any translation of the bible other than Latin or Hebrew and Greek were destroyed. Anyone studying the Bible or translating it into “common” languages was tortured and put to death. There are many famous accounts of this happening to martyred saints.
The irony is that maybe if the ban had not been in place then more people would have had access to the information available, reading Leviticus 15, you quickly draw some very interesting parallels between how the black death was final overcome and how God described the treatment of people with similar diseases to Moses. Leviticus was written somewhere between 1445BC and 500BC, but one thing is for sure this book of the bible was written a long time before the black death, somewhere between 1800 and 2700 years before. This for me shows a very important lesson about the Word of God, it shows that His word is timeless.
Also we can see that the Catholic church who did have access to the bible, failed to follow the Word of God in the treatment, cleansing and isolation described within Leviticus. The black death was so wide spread, not because of the rats and their little buddies but because when people died in cities like London their clothing was boxed and sent to sell in villages. Along with the clothes came the fleas that spread the disease. The fact is that my family tree was almost destroyed in the 16th century because people ignored the teachings in Leviticus, which states clearly that anything touched by people with discharge (discharging sores were the main symptom of the Black Death) should be considered unclean and washed of burned. The end of the Black Death came when people started to burn the dead and the clothes they wore, including isolation of those infected. Resulting outbreaks between the 14th and 17th cunturies were primarily a result of ignoring or not knowing the Word of God as laid down in Leviticus 15.