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impoffible to tranflate the fcriptures into English; others, that it was not lawful for the people to have them in their mother tongue; others, that it would make them all heretics. They were difpleafed, likewife, becaufe Tyndal, like Wickliff, had interpreted the facred words, (see p. 10.) whofe meaning they wished to hide from the people; because, having appropriated thefe words to themselves, as long as they were not understood, the clergy were at liberty to affix to them any sense they pleased, for aggrandifing their own order. Wherefore, when they found that Tyndal, in his translation, had put the word senior for prieft, congregation for church, love for charity, repentance for penance, &c. they were fo enraged, that, by various constitutions, they condemned the whole of his tranflation as heretical, forbade the people to read it, made strict search after the copies of it, and all that they found they burnt publicly. But the more Tyndal's tranflation was condemned, the more it was fought after and read; infomuch that the Dutch booksellers printed four editions of it, before Tyndal thought fit to reprint it. Concerning these Dutch editions, it is to be observed, that as the editors did not understand the English language themselves, and had no person skilled in it to correct their preffes, three of their editions are extremely erroneous.
While the foreign bookfellers were making gain of Tyndal's labours, he was employed in tranflating the five books of Mofes into English, with an intention to publish them likewise. In this part of his work he was affifted by Myles Coverdale, a native of Yorkshire, and one of the Austin friars in Cambridge, who, being fufpected of herefy, had fled to the continent. Having finished his tranflation, Tyndal printed it at Malborrow (Marpurg), in the land of Heffe, in the year 1530. To each of the books of Mofes he prefixed a prologue, and on the margin placed notes, and added ten wooden cuts, representing the ark, the candlestick, &c. About this time, likewife, he tranflated the prophesy of Jonah, and some other books of scrip
In the year 1534, the Dutch booksellers having refolved to print a fourth edition of Tyndal's new teftament, they hired one George Joye, (a Bedfordshire man, bred in Peterhouse, Cambridge,) to correct the prefs. But as Joye tells us in his pre
face, He not only corrected the errors of the press; but when he came to fome dark fentences, having the Latin text by him, he made them plainer, and gave many words their native fignification, which they had not before. This edition was printed at Antwerp, in August 1534.
In November 1534, the papal dominion was abolished in England, and the king's fupremacy established by act of parliament; so that a way was opened for the reformation of religion, to the unspeakable advantage of the English nation.
This year, Tyndal published his new teftament a fecond time; because, in his former edition, as he acknowledges in the preface, There were many faults, which the lack of help, and oversight had occafioned. The title of this edition is, The Newe testament, diligently corrected, and printed in the year of our Lord 1534, in November. And at the end: Printed at Antwerp, by Marten Emperour. But the Dutch bookfellers had made fuch hafte, that, as was just now mentioned, their edition was published in Auguft, three months before Tyndal's.
It hath been. commonly said, that Tyndal made his translation of the new teftament from the Greek: but no fuch thing is said in the titles of any of the editions published by himself *, or by Joye. In the library of St. Paul's church, London, there is an edition with this title: The Newe teftament, diligently corrected and compared wyth the Greke, by William Tyndal, and finifhed in the yere of our Lord God 1534, in the moneth of November.
*If, as Lewis informs us, Tyndal tranflated an oration of Ifocrates, he must have had fome knowledge of the Greek but as that language was very little ftudied in thefe days, it may be doubted whether he understood it fo well as to be able to tranflate the new teftament from the Greek. The Hebrew being ftill lefs ftudied in England, it is generally believed, that neither he nor Coverdale understood that language. Befides, the fhort time they spent in finifhing their tranflations of the books of the old teftament, renders it more than probable that they did not make their tranflations from the Hebrew, but from the Latin bible. Perhaps they compared their translations with the originals. For, with a very flender knowledge of the languages, they may have done what Olivetan fays he did, when he made his French tranflation from the Hebrew. "On meeting with any difficult text, which he did not understand, or which he doubted of, he confulted the tranflations and commentaries of others, and took what he judged beft." (Simon, Crit. Hift. du V. T. L. ii. c. 24.) This, I fuppofe, is all that the learned men meant, who, in the title of the bible which they pullished in the year 1539, fay, they tranflated it truely after the verite of the Hebrew and Greek textes. See page 20.
But this edition was not published by Tyndal. For, in a later edition, mentioned by Lewis, which was printed in 1536, the title is, The Newe teftament, yet once agayne corrected by William Tindale. This, with other circumstances, to be mentioned afterwards, fhews, that Tyndal's tranflation was made from the vulgate Latin, as moft of the vernacular tranflations of the new teftament, made in that age, undoubtedly were.
Before Tyndal finished the printing of his fecond edition, in 1534, he was imprisoned in the castle of Antwerp, where he remained till he was ftrangled and burnt as an heretic, in the year 1536. Hall tells us, that after the publication of the first edition of his new teftament, Tyndal prosecuted his defign of tranflating the old teftament, with fuch diligence, that before he was put to death, he had finished his translation, not only of the pentateuch, and of Jonah, but of all the other books to Nehemiah. Thefe tranflations, according to Johnson, he made not from the Hebrew, but from the vulgate Latin; or, as the popish writers affirm, from Luther's German tranflation.
Tyndal's tranflation of the books of the old Teftament, to Nehemiah, together with his tranflation of Jonah, and of the books of the new teftament, make what is called Tyndal's bible.
COVERDALE'S BIBLE.-While Tyndal was in prison, the whole bible, tranflated into English, was finished at the prefs, in the year 1535, with a dedication to Henry VIII. fubfcribed by Myles Coverdale. In this dedication, Coverdale speaks with great bitterness against the bishop of Rome, and his ufurpations, and tells the king, that he took upon him to fet forth this fpecial tranflation, not as a checker, reprover, or defpifer of other men's tranflations, but lowly and faithfully following his interpreters, and that under correction. Of thefe, he faid, he made ufe of five different ones, who had rendered the fcriptures, not only into Latin, but alfo into Dutch. Here it is to be obferved, that Coverdale does not pretend that he made his translation from the originals; he only followed his interpreters, that is, other tranflators. And by calling his, a special tranflation, he wished to have it confidered as different from Tyndal's. Yet it is well known, that he adopted all Tyndal's tranflations, both of the old testament and of the new, with some small alterations. Only he omitted
Tyndal's prologues and notes, because they had given offence to the papifts. That Coverdale adopted Tyndal's translations, appears likewise from his faying in his preface, that Tyndal's helpers and companions would finish what Tyndal had left unfinished, and publish it in a better manner than himself had now done; referring to the books of the old teftament, and of the apocrypha, which Tyndal had not tranflated, but which Coverdale had now published. Thefe, therefore, are the only tranflations in this bible which are properly Coverdale's own; and joined with Tyndal's tranflations, are what hath been commonly called Coverdale's bible, or rather, Tyndal and Coverdale's tranflation. Soon after the publication of this bible, Cromwell, as vicargeneral to the king in matters ecclefiaftical, ordered a copy of it to be laid in the quire of each church, that every one, who pleased, might read it.
MATTHEW'S BIBLE.-In the year 1537, Richard Grafton and Edward Whytchurch, printers, published a fecond edition of Coverdale's bible, with Tyndal's prologues and notes. Because this bible was printed with German types, and was fuperintended by John Rogers, pastor of a church at Marbeck, in the dutchy of Wittemberg, Lewis thinks it was printed at Marbeck.-Rogers was educated at Cambridge, where, in 1525, he took the degree of bachelor of arts: then removing to Oxford, he was made a junior canon of Cardinal's college: after that, taking orders, he was appointed chaplain to the English factory at Antwerp; where, meeting with Tyndal, he was by him. made fenfible of the errors of popery. From Antwerp he went to Marbeck, and became paftor of a congregation there.
Before this edition of Coverdale's bible was finished, Tyndal was burnt as an heretic. Wherefore Rogers, fearing that the prefixing of Tyndal's name to it, might occafion its being ill received by the common people, he published it under the feigned name of Thomas Matthew, and dedicated it to Henry VIII. Bishop Bale fays, Rogers tranflated the bible from the beginning to the end, having recourfe to the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, and German copies. But Lewis fays this is evidently a mistake. For the bible called Matthew's, is not a new tranflation, but, as Wanley obferves, to the end of Chronicles it is VOL. I. с
Tyndal's, and from that to the end of the apocrypha, it is CoHe ought to have excepted Jonah, which is of Tyndal's translation, having his prologue prefixed to it. The translation of the new teftament is likewife Tyndal's, as are the prologues and notes. Farther, that the tranflation, which goes under the name of Matthew's, was not made from the originals, is evident from the title, which runs thus: The Bible, which is all the Holy Scripture, in which are contayned the Olde and Newe teftament, truelye and purelye tranflated into Englyfb: By Thomas Matthewe. This, which is commonly called Matthew's bible, was begun and finished under the patronage of archbishop Cranmer; for it was prefented by Grafton to him, and to the lord Cromwell; and Cromwell, at the archbishop's request, presented it to the king, who permitted it to be bought, and used by all persons without diftinction.-Rogers returned to England in Edward VI.'s time, and was made a prebendary of St. Paul's. But when Mary came to the throne, he was apprehended and condemned, under the name of Rogers, alias Matthew, for having published this translation of the bible under the name of Matthew. He was the first martyr in that reign.
HOLLYBUSHE'S NEW TESTAMENT.-It seems the papifts, about this time, to difcredit the English translations of the scriptures before mentioned, affirmed that they were contrary to the Latin bible, which was then used in the churches, and which, as the Rhemifh tranflators afterwards expreffed it, was confidered as truer than the original itself; by which they meant the copies of the Greek teftament then used. For in the year 1538, Coverdale, to fhew that his tranflation of the new teftament was not different from the common Latin bible, allowed one Johan Hollybushe, to print, in a column oppofite to the vulgate Latin, the English translation of the new teftament, which Coverdale had formerly set forth in his bible. This Hollybufhe published, while Coverdale was abroad, with the following title: The Newe Teftament, both in Latine and Englisbe, eche correspondent to the other, after the Vulgate text, communely called St. Jerome's, faithfully tranflated by Johan Hollybushe, anno 1538 *.
*To this edition Coverdale prefixed a dedication to Henry VIII. in which he takes notice of the reflections made on the translation of the bible in English, which he had published, as if be intended to pervert the scripture, and to condemn the commune tranflation