Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. He had a little scroll open in his hand. … Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.” Revelation 10
The opening or giving of the little scroll, is the beginning of the events of the second interval period. This little scroll which is to prophesy
again, is obviously something written which had prophesied previously, but which had been closed. Now the little scroll was open again (vs 2). This event, the opening or giving of the little scroll, was to happen before the sounding of the seventh trumpet (vs 7), but the seventh trumpet was not sounded yet. When the little scroll is consumed in this interval, its taste in the mouth is sweet as honey, but once digested, will make the stomach bitter (vs 10).
This little scroll is the Bible. It had been translated into common Latin, not the elegant Latin of the scholars, by Jerome in 405, at the request of Pope Damasas I. Up until that time, there was a Greek translation of the Scriptures in use among the church whose first language was Greek, and a Latin translation, which was in Old Latin, and inconsistently translated from the Greek, in use among the Church whose first language was Latin, which was most people west of Greece.
The Vulgate, as Jerome’s version came to be known, put the Bible back into the tongue of the common people again. However, 405 was just at the time when the barbarian invasions were bringing about the Fall of Rome (476) and the beginning of the Dark Ages, when the light of civilization and learning was extinguished.
It wasn’t that Bibles were banned, at first, or even that education so that the Bible could be read was banned. It was that, for centuries following the Fall of Rome, a common person did not focus on education, or reading, but on farming, and survival. It came to be that only two classes of people could afford an education; that was the nobility, and the clergy. Among the nobility education was often considered superfluous; and among the clergy, the Bible came to be read less and less, for reasons we will next discuss.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 10: the little scroll, part two