English Bible

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Though Shakespeare may be the
greatest glory of his age, he was
not its greatest influence. ... The
book of books for English men
was the Bible.... For every
Englishman who had read or seen
Shakespeare acted at the Globe,
there were hundreds who had
read or heard the Bible with close
attention as the word of God.
The Bible in English history may
be regarded as a ‘Renaissance’ of
Hebrew literature far more
widespread and more potent than
even the Classical Renaissance....
GEORGE MACAULAY
TREVELYN
1876-1962
20th century author and
scholar of English history.
–– “A Shortened History of
England”
Old English (pre-1066)
Middle English (1066-1500)
Early Modern English (1500-1800)
Modern English (1800-2013)
OLD ENGLISH (ANGLO-SAXON)
• Venerable Bede, translated Gospel of John,
finishing it the day he died (May 26, 735)
• Wessex Gospels (990 AD)
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum, si þin nama
gehalgod. To becume þin rice, gewurþe ðin willa, on
eorðan swa swa on heofonum. Urne gedæghwamlican
hlaf syle us todæg, and forgyf us ure gyltas, swa swa
we forgyfað urum gyltendum. And ne gelæd þu us on
costnunge, ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice.
Middle English (1066-1500)
John Wycliffe
1330-1384
• Oxford scholar and teacher
• Believed common man should be allowed to read the
Scriptures in his own vernacular.
“No man was so rude a scholar but that he might
learn the words of the Gospel according to his
simplicity.”
• Translated Bible from Latin into English 1382
• Constitutions of Oxford (1407/09) forbade creation/
ownership/reading of the English Bible
• Bones dug up, scattered across the River Swift 1428
• Only English Bible until the 16th century
Invention of the Printing Press 1455
CONSTITUTIONS OF OXFORD
(1409)
• Authored by Archbishop Thomas Arundel
• Imposed limits on religious discussions at universities
• Provided for monthly inquiry into students theological views
• Forbade reading, printing, memorizing of Wycliffe’s Bible
• Forbade reading any text not approved by Archbishop’s 12
hand-picked theologians
• Made it illegal to preach without a license
• Preachers forbidden to discuss sins of clergy
• Preachers forbidden to preach against the sacraments
• Discussions of religion outside universities forbidden
• Forbade translating Bible into English (even one verse!)
Gutenburg Press
1455 A.D.
• It took 170 calfskins or 300
sheepskins to make one
handwritten copy of the Bible.
• Scribes used 80 quills a day
• It took 1,000 years for “Rag
paper” to make its way from
China to Europe.
• Cost of “Rag paper” 1/6 that
of parchment
• By 1482: 50 printing presses
in Italy, 30 in Germany, 4 in
England
• 1480 Uni. of Cambridge stipulated only parchment books
accepted as security for loans.
EARLIEST SCRIPTURES PRINTED
IN ENGLISH
The Golden Legend
1483
• Compiled by Italian archbishop, Jacob de Voragine
(1230-1298)
• Printed in English by Caxton; later by Wynken de Worde
• Preceded the translation of Wm Tyndale by 42 years
• Originally a collection of Biblical and mythical stories.
Caxton added more Bible stories of heroes of faith.
• Contained many quotations from Scripture
Middle English (1066-1500)
Early Modern English (1500-1800)
Tyndale New Testament (1525/6)
Coverdale Bible (1535)
Matthew’s Bible (1537)
The Great Bible (1539-41)
Geneva Bible (1560)
Bishop’s Bible (1568)
Rhemes-Douay Bible (1582/1609)
King James Bible (1611)
William Tyndale Bible
Romans Chapter 1
As translated by Tyndale
1525 AD
October 6, 1536
“Lord,
“Father
of
the
“If
Godopen
spare
Thou
theBible”
king
English
my life,
ere
of England’s
many
years, I
eyes!”
will
cause a
boy that
driveth the
plow to know
more of the
Scripture
than thou
doest.”
Miles Coverdale Bible
• Oct. 4, 1535 AD
• First complete English Bible
• Translated from Luther’s
German and Jerome’s Latin
• Replaced offensive notes and
introductions of Tyndale
“Thou shalt not need to
be afraid of any bugges
by night” (Psalm 91:5)
• Translation of “Psalms” used in
“Book of Common Prayer” for
next 400 years (1549-1960)
• Separated Apocrypha from the
text of Scripture
Miles Coverdale Bible
• Made smooth “readability” a primary goal. Relied
on Tyndale’s Bible for accuracy of the text
• Dedicated to Henry VIII , mentioned Anne Boleyn
• When Henry VIII beheaded Anne Boleyn,
Coverdale’s Bible did not receive an official
“license”
• In 1537 was the first English Bible be
“licensed” by the king.
“In God’s name let it go abroad among our people”
• Printed the “Diglot” (1538) and the “Great Bible” (1539)
Matthew’s Bible
• Translation by John Rogers
Revision of the Tyndale
Bible
• “Licensed” by Henry VIII
for private reading
• 2nd complete English Bible
1537 AD
“Wife Beaters Bible”
• Many died for reading it
under Queen Mary (1555)!
John Rogers burned alive
• Became “primary version”
The Great Bible
• Editor: Coverdale (1539)
• Revision of Matthew’s
Bible
• “Great” because of size
(16 ½” x 11”)
• First Bible “authorized”
for public reading in the
churches.
• Chained to pulpit to
prevent theft
Geneva Bible
1560 A.D.
• Shakespear’s
Bible
• Revision
the Great Bible
Pilgrim’s of
Bible
First English
Bible
to have
• Many
Calvinistic
(antiverse numbers
Catholic)
notes
• First
English
Bible
to
Official
version
of the
be printed
in Roman type
Church
of Scotland
“Breeches Bible”
Wordspopular
supplied
in italics
• Most
version
for to
make50
it “readable”
next
years.
Bishop’s Bible
• 1568 A.D.
• “Queen Elizabeth’s Version”
• Revision of the Great Bible
• Published without Notes
• Did not equal the popularity
of the Geneva Bible
• Christopher Columbus Bible
Rhemes-Douay Bible
• Catholic translation, made
(primarily) by Gregory Martin
• New Testament – 1582;
Old Testament – 1609/1610
• Based on Latin Vulgate
• Copious notes supporting
Catholic doctrine
“Especially for the discoverie
of the corruptions of divers
late translations, and for
cleering the controversies in
religion”
• Revised in 1738 by Bishop
Challoner; in 1811 by
Thomas Haydock
King James Bible
• 1611 AD
read
•Became
Revision ofwidely
the Bishops
Bible, which
was a revision
because:
of the Great Bible, which
•was
Better
Greekof
& the
Hebrew
revision
manuscripts
Matthews
Bible, which was
revision
the Tyndale
Bible
•
Literaryofstyle
was
unsurpassed
• A team
of 54 scholars
No marginal notes
••‘Contemporary’
English
wasno
notpeers
a priority.
• It had
for 270
years
• Not “authorized”
by King
James
INTRODUCED
18
CLASSIC
PHRASES
WHY DO WE NEED NEW
TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE?
English is an ever-changing language. Words change
their meanings over time; new words are coined. Just as
1st century Christians needed the word of God in their
own vernacular, so does every generation.
Reading skills vary; translations need to match reading
skills of the readers.
The accuracy of faith and doctrine is tested and clarified
by reading a number of English versions
COMING NEXT
LIVING & ABIDING WORD OF GOD
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