Lecterns in Christianity
Christian priests and noteworthy spokesmen would read passages from the Bible to public crowds. There is no set date on how early the lecterns, in their primitive form, were used. However, the history of the public speaking platform for scripture readings is vast. And it covers centuries of human and cultural development. Their infancy is placed long before the start of the AD eras.
Given the time of their production, lecterns would often be built from stone or wood. This is still the case today, although it is also true that brass lecterns have been a common feature at various periods. Interestingly, even the early lecterns used the tilted surface that shields scripts and other items from the audience.
Lecterns have continued to play an important role in Christianity throughout the centuries. Churches and cathedrals have used lecterns during readings and religious talks for centuries. They were commonly fixed to one spot throughout the ages. However, portable versions have been a fairly common feature since the 20th century.
Aesthetically, lecterns often depict an eagle as a link to John the Apostle. Meanwhile, some churches boast a second lectern in the center of the choir. Sermons and ceremonies, however, often take place at the pulpit rather than a lectern.
Still, the importance of lecterns to Christian teachings throughout the centuries is undeniable.
Lecterns In JudaismChristianity isn’t the only religion to have used lecterns and podiums for several centuries. Judaism has often utilized them for reading scriptures. Not least because public speakers would struggle to hold the Torah scrolls. This is why the lecterns often found in synagogues throughout the ages have been wider than the Christian counterparts.
Other Religious Lecterns
A raised bimah platform is often elevated, establishing the reader as the central focus at all times. The etymology of this term comes from ancient Greek ‘bema’, which translates to ‘raised platform’. This further underlines that podiums dat back centuries, well into the B.C years. The Jewish lecterns are often made from wood, as has been an ongoing tradition for many generations.
Variations of lecterns have also been used by Buddhist priests and Islamic teachers. In one shape or another, lecterns have been a crucial item for religious studies across the globe for so long that nobody can even put an exact date on it.