« AnteriorContinuar »
GREAT BIBLE.—In the year 1539, Grafton and Whytchurch published a new edition of the English bible, with the following title: The Byble in Englifbe, that is to fay, the content of all the holy fcripture, bothe of the Olde and Newe teflament, truly tranflated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by the dylygent studye of diverse excellent learned men, expert in the forfayde tonges. This is the first time any English translation of the bible was set forth as made after the verity of the originals. (See page 15. note.) Who the diverse excellent learned men were, by whose diligent
into Latyn, which coftumably is red in the church. To obviate these false suggestions, he tells his majesty, be bas here fet forth this commune translation in Latin, and also the English of it. Next he obferves, concerning this prefent Latin text, forafmuch as it has been, and was yet so greatly corrupt, as he thought none other tranflation was, it were a godly and gracious dede, yf they that have authorite, knowledge, and tyme, wolde, under his grace's correction, examen it better, after the mooft ancient interpreters, and most true textes of other languages. Accordingly, in his epittle to the reader, fpeaking of the Latin text, he fays, wherein, though in fome places be used the honeft and just libertye of a grammarian, as was needful for the reader's better understandynge; yet, because he was lothe to fwerve from the text, (the vulgate Latin) be fo tempered his pen, that if the reader wolde, he might make plain conftruction of it, by the English that ftandeth on the other fide. In 1539, Coverdale set forth a second edition of this new teftament, with a dedication to the lord Cromwell, in which, speaking of his inducement to publish the former edition, he fays, Inasmuch as the new teftament which be had fet forth in Englis before (namely in his bible), did so agree with the Latyn, be was hartely well content that the Latyn and it fulde be set together, (namely, by Hollybushe) provyded alwaye, that the corrector fulde followe the true copye of the Latyn in anye wyfe, and to kepe the true and right Englijbe of the fame; and so doing, he was content to fet bis name to it; and that so be did, trusting that, though be was out of the land, all should be well. But when he bad perused this copie, be found, that, as it was disagreeable to bis former translation in English, (Tyndal's tranflation, which he had copied in his bible) fo was not the true copye of the Latyn text obferved, neither the English so correspondent to the fame as it ought to be. Therefore he had endeavoured himself to wede out the faults that were in the Latyn and English, &c. From these quotations, it is evident, that the tranflation of the new teftament which Coverdale allowed Hollybushe to print with the Latin text was the one which he had published in his bible; confequently it was Tyndal's translation. It is evident, likewise, that that tranflation was made from the vulgate, and in fo literal a manner, that the reader might make plain construction of the Latin by the English. It is true Coverdale, in fome places, corrected the Latin text; but it was only as a grammarian: and in these corrections he was careful to fwerve as little as poffible from his text. Wherefore Coverdale, having affifted Tyndal in making his tranflation, they followed one and the fame method; that is, both of them tranflated the scriptures from the vulgate; both of them translated the vulgate literally; and both of them corrected the text of the vulgate as grammarians, making use of other tranflations for that purpofe; such as, for the old teftament, the Septuagint, Luther's German verfion, and Muniter's Latin tranflation; and for the new, Wickliff's and Erafmus' versions, and what others they could find.
study this tranflation was made, is not known. Johnson says, it was corrected by Coverdale. And from the splendid manner in which it was printed, Lewis conjectures that it was intended to be used in the churches, and was patronifed by Cranmer, who might appoint some learned men to affift Coverdale in correcting it. But whoever thefe excellent learned men were, it is certain that this is no new translation from the originals, but, as Lewis obferves, a revifal only of Matthew's, that is, Kogers's edition, with fome small alterations. However, to make it appear different, Matthew's name was omitted, as were Tyndal's prologues and notes, because they had been blamed as heretical and defamatory. In this edition, the additions to the Hebrew and Greek originals in the vulgate Latin, are tranflated, and inferted, in a smaller letter than the text, particularly the three verfes in Pf. xiv. which were omitted by Coverdale and Matthew; likewife the famous text, 1 John ch. v. 7. which Tyndal, in his new teftament, (published in 1526) had printed in small letters, to fhew that it was not then in the common Greek copies. Next, where the editors found various readings in the text, they prefixed a cross to the word. In the third place, to fupply, in fome meafure, the want of the notes, they placed on the margin, hands pointing to the texts which were supposed to condemn the errors of popery, that the reader might attend to them. This bible being printed with types of a greater fize than common, and in a large folio, with a fine emblematical frontifpiece, faid to be defigned by Hans Holben, and beautifully cut in wood, it was called The Great Bible.
When the liturgy was first compiled, in the reign of Edward VI. the epiftles, gofpels, and pfalms put into it, were all according to this tranflation; and fo they continued till the re storation of Charles II. when the Epiftles and gofpels were inferted from king James's bible; but the pfalms of the great bible were allowed to remain.
CRANMER'S BIBLE.-In 1540, another edition of the English bible was printed in folio, with this title: The Byble in Englishe; that is to fay, the content of al the holy fcripture, both of the Olde and Newe teftament, with a prologe thereinto made by the Reverende Father in God, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury. On account of this prologue, and because Cranmer amended the translation in
this edition, in fome places, with his own pen, it hath been called Cranmer's bible, though it is little different from the great bible. In this, as in the great bible, the verfes of the Pfalms, Proverbs, c. which are not in the Hebrew, but which are tranflated from the vulgate, are printed in fmaller letters, and the order of the Pfalms is different from that of the vulgate, being according to the Hebrew.
By Cranmer's influence with the king, a proclamation was issued, in May 1540, ordering this bible to be bought, and ́ placed in the churches. But the popish party, making great complaints of the English translations in general as heretical, an act of parliament paffed in January 1542, prohibiting the reading of Tyndal and Coverdale's tranflation, in any church or open affembly within the kingdom. However, the king being refolved to have an English translation of the new teftament, which fhould be authorised by the clergy, Cranmer, in a convocation which met in February 1542, required the bishops and clergy, in the king's name, to revise the tranflation of the new teftament. Accordingly, each bishop had his part affigned to him. But Stokefly, bishop of London, refusing to execute his part, the defign mifcarried.
Of Tyndal and Coverdale's tranflation of the bible, and of its revisions by Cranmer and others, many complaints were made, even by the proteftants. B. Sandys wrote to abp. Parker, that the fetters forth of this our common tranflation followed Munster too much*. And of the new teftament in the great bible, Laurence, a noted Greek scholar in that age, observed, that there are words which it hath not aptly translated; words and pieces of fentences in the original which it hath omitted; words not in the iginal which it hath fuperfluously added; nay, he charged this tranflation even with errors in doctrine. The en.
* Sebastian Munster was a learned proteftant, well skilled in the Hebrew language, and in rabbbinical learning. He published a Latin tranflation of the Hebrew bible at Ball, in the year 1534. And in 1546 he gave a fecond edition of it in two vols. folio, containing not only his Latin tranflation, but the Hebrew text with grammatical annotations, which F. Simon commends as ufeful for understanding the Hebrew language. Huet gives Munfter this commendation: He always adapted his ftyle to the Hebrew; and at the fame time is not neglectful of the Latin, though he be not over attentive to the elegance of it. F. Simon preferred Munfer's verfion, both to Pagnin's translation, and to that of Arias Montanus.
couragers also of the Geneva edition reprefented this bible as ill tranflated, and falfely printed, and gave it the invidious name of a corrupted bible.
Henry VIII. dying in January 1546, was fucceeded by his fon Edward VI. in whose first parliament the above-mentioned ftatute was reversed. The gospels and epiftles were now, for the first time, appointed to be read in English in the public fer
In 1550 an edition of the new teftament was published, with this title, The Newe Teftament, diligently tranflated by Myles Coverdale, and conferred with the tranflacyon of William Tyndal. Coverdale's tranflation here mentioned, feems to have been that which he published in the second edition of Hollybufhe's new testa
GENEVA BIBLE.-Edward VI. dying in July 1553, was fuc-. ceeded by Mary, who immediately restored the Popish service and facraments, and perfecuted the favourers of the reformation with such cruelty, that many of them fled into foreign countries; among whom was Coverdale, who, in Edward's reign, had returned to England, and had been made bishop of Exeter. He with fome others fixed their refidence at Geneva, where they employed themselves in making a tranflation of the bible. They began with the new teftament, which they published in 12mo. printed with a small but beautiful letter, in 1557. This is the first printed edition of the new teftament, in which the verfes of the chapters are diftinguished by numeral figures and breaks.
Strype, in his annals of the reformation, tells us, that the Geneva brethren, after publishing their new testament, proceeded to revise the old. But not having finished it when Elizabeth came to the throne, fome of them ftaid behind the reft to complete their defign. And having finished the old teftament, they publifhed the whole bible at Geneva in 4to, in the year 1560, printed by Rowland Hall. This is what is commonly called the Geneva Bible; concerning which F. Simon affirms, that it is only a translation of a French verfion, made at Geneva fome time before. But he said this, perhaps, to disparage the work. In this tranflation cuts are inferted, representing the garden of
Eden, Noah's ark, &c. They likewise added a variety of notes, with two tables; the one containing an interpretation of the names, and the other an account of the principal matters in the fcriptures. There is also an epistle to queen Elizabeth, in which they charge the English reformation with retaining the remains of popery, and exhort her to ftrike off certain ceremonies. But this epiftle giving offence, it was omitted in the subsequent editions. The Geneva Bible was fo univerfally used in private families, that there were above thirty editions of it in folio, 4to, and 8vo, printed from the year 1560 to the year 1616. The authors of this edition being all zealous. Calvinifts, their trans lation and notes are calculated to support the doctrine and difcipline of that party. For which reafon, it was better efteemed at its first appearance than it hath been in later times.
THE BISHOPS BIBLE.-Queen Mary dying in November 1558, was fucceeded by Elizabeth, who, treading in the steps of her brother Edward VI. fuppreffed the Romish superstition in all her dominions, and filled the fees with proteftants. After this, abp. Matthew Parker, having represented to the queen that many churches either were without bibles, or had incorrect copies, the refolved that a revifal and correction of the former translation should be made, in order to publication. The archbishop, therefore, appointed some of the most learned of the bishops and others to revife the bible commonly used, and to compare it with the originals; and to each of them he affigned a particular book of scripture, with directions not to vary from the former tranflation, except where it was not agreeable to the original; and to add marginal notes for explaining the difficult texts; referving to himself the oversight of the whole. A revifal of the English bible, on the fame plan, had been proposed by Cranmer, (see p. 21.) but the defign did not take effect. Parker was more fuccessful in his attempt. The perfons employed by him performed their talks with fuch cheerfulness, that the whole was ready for the prefs fome time before the year 1568: for in that year the bible of the bishops' revifal was printed in a very elegant manner, with a beautiful English letter, on a royal paper, in a large folio, by Richard Jugge, the queen's printer. In this edition, which contains the apocrypha,