The Magna Carta and Rights of the Church

On June 15, 1215, King John signed the Magna Carta—in effect, a royal guarantee of the rights of the Church. “We have granted to God, and by this our present Charter have confirmed for us and our heirs forever, that the English Church shall be free.” But did you know that Stephen Langton, a scholar at the University of Paris who became the archbishop of Canterbury and helped author the Magna Carta, also played a significant part in the history of the Bible? Today, we easily quote from chapters in the Bible, but it wasn’t until the early 13th century, when Stephen Langton helped separate the Bible into chapters, that the “system” in use today made quoting “chapter and verse” possible.

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