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Lost Word

the search for truth

In freemasonry, the search for the lost word is essentially a search for truth.

Medieval craft guilds had always carefully guarded the secrets of their occupation. The transmission of this knowledge to the next generation was one of the main activites of the each guild. Encouraged by Franciscan friars, each craft guild presented a story from the Bible related to their occupation, which developed into the medieval mystery plays

The recovery of technology lost after the fall of Rome was of vital interest to these guilds. The development of new technolgy such as printing also occurred within the framework of these guilds.

During the 15th century the rediscovery of ancient writings encouraged scholars to learn Greek in order to discover the meaning of these lost words. The recovery of lost truth from ancient writings generated a popular interest in the search for hidden truth in nature.

As more people were able to read Greek and New Testaments in Greek were printed, there was a growing debate about the translation of the Bible into the language of the people. The idea of reading a text in the original language in which it was written and translating it into the language of the people focussed attention on Hebrew.

In regular freemasonry, the English Bible, translated from the orginal languages of Greek and Hebrew became the focus of attention in lodges. The most popular English Bible was the Geneva Bible, which was first printed in 1560 and had more than 160 editions being printed as late as 1644. This was the Bible of William Shakespeare, John Bunyan and the Puritans. It was the first Bible to be divided into verses.

The recovery of the lost word, which had been preserved in Hebrew characters and letters was possible because Christian and Jewish scholars were able to set aside their differences and work together on the task of translation.

The search for truth brings together people with different religious and political opinions in a common quest based on mutual respect.

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