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Oct. 16 in Christian History

Oct 16, 2009 02:47 PM EDT

1311 - The Council of Vienne was convened, called by Clement V. During its three sessions, the council suppressed the Knights Templars (the principal military-religious order of the Middle Ages).


1649 - The American colony of Maine passed legislation granting religious freedom to all its citizens, on condition that those of contrary religious persuasions behave acceptably.


1752 - Birth of Johann G. Eichhorn, German Old Testament scholar. Eichhorn was a pioneer in "higher criticism," which evaluated Scripture through literary analysis and historical evidence, rather than by the unquestioned authority of systematized religious tradition.


1789 - In Philadelphia, as the second general convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church closed, a church constitution had been adopted. Canons of the new denomination were ratified and a revised version of the "Book of Common Prayer" was authorized.


1812 - Death of Henry Martyn, Anglican missionary to Persia. During his short life of 31 years, he translated the New Testament into Hindustani, later into Arabic and Persian. He died at sea, while returning to England.


© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church