*** This is a rough transcript of today’s show ***
It is the 23rd of June 2021. Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org, I’m Dan van Voorhis.
What do we do when there is too much information?
Printing Revolution (late 15th/early 16th, Press Revolution (late 19th/ Early 20th), and the Internet (early 21st century)
How do we distinguish good from bad, wheat from chaff?
How do the authors do that for you?
1. Use of words like “real” “true” “uncovered” “revealed”
2. Or an appeal to the wickedness of your enemy (see Martyrologies)
3. Or miraculous stories!
It was on the 23rd of June in 1626 that a large codfish was caught and taken to an outdoor market to be dressed. It was a large codfish and it was later confirmed by Joseph Mede of Christ College that upon opening the large fish they found something “in the depth of the mawe of the fish”.
It was a small thin book, wrapped in a sailcloth. It was covered in a gelatinous material and stunk. Professor Mead wrote:
“I saw all with mine own eyes, the fish, the maw, the piece of sailcloth, the book … only I saw not the opening of the fish, which not many did, being upon the fish-woman’s stall in the market, who first cut off his head, to which the maw was hanging, and seeming much stuffed with somewhat, it was searched, and all found as aforesaid.”
These were reportedly three treatises written by John Frith!
A martyr from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (a dissenter, taught in opposition to the Catholic Church on the issue of the Lord’s Supper and Purgatory).
The book was reprinted as:
Vox piscis: or, the book fish contayning three treatises which were found in the belly of a cod-fish in Cambridge market
This was important because King Charles I was on the throne and despite him affirming his father’s Protestant faith many believed that he was angling to being Catholicism back to the British Isles (something for which he would lose his head in about 20 years).
The story might be true.
The story seems to not be true.
Regardless, the story tells us something about the panic over Catholicism and the need to elevate Protestant works.
And it occurred when old Prof Mead came across a cod in a Cambridge fish market on this the 23rd of June in 1626
The last word for today is from an Old Testament prophet who might feel at home with this story. This is from the prophet Jonah
"I called to the LORD, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and thou didst hear my voice.
 For thou didst cast me into the deep,
into the heart of the seas,
and the flood was round about me;
all thy waves and thy billows
passed over me.
 Then I said, `I am cast out
from thy presence;
how shall I again look
upon thy holy temple?'
 The waters closed in over me,
the deep was round about me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
 at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
whose bars closed upon me for ever;
yet thou didst bring up my life from the Pit,
O LORD my God.
This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 23rd of June 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.
The show is produced by a man whose favorite book about a fish is Moby Dick and his favorite book within a fish is the Vox Pisces. He is Christopher Gillespie.
The show is written and read by a man who doesn’t want books in his fish but wants his fish for breakfast. I am Dan van Voorhis.
You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.