Mack Holt on How Huguenots Read their Bibles

Professor Mack Holt will give two lectures on his work on “How Huguenots Read their Bibles in Sixteenth-Century France.” On March 12 he was the featured speaker of the Spring 2016 meeting of the Huguenot Society of Virginia, meeting in Alexandria. Then on April 20 he will give the Leverett Memorial Lecture for the Department of History at Marymount University, Arlington, VA. The title of his lecture is “Reading the Bible in Sixteenth-Century France.”

Both talks are based on an ongoing book project of collecting readers’ markings and marginalia from nearly 400 French Bibles published in the sixteenth century (1530-1600). Professor Holt has found that readers were much more interested in the Old Testament than the New Testament, that the passages of most interest were not very theologically significant in the sixteenth century but were popular more for their human interest, such as the stories of Noah’s ark and Abraham’s circumcision. The practices of the reading the Bible were remarkably similar for both Protestants and Catholics.