« 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 Englisbe, that is to say, the content of all the holy scripture, bothe of the Olde and Newe testament, truly translated 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 tbe church. To obviate these false suggestions, he tells his majesty, be bas here set forth ibis commune translation in Latin, and also the English of it. Next he observes, concerning this present Latin text, forasmuch as it has been, and was yet so greatly corrupe, as be tboughe none other translation was, it were a godly and gracious dede, of tbey that have autborite, knowledge, and tyme, wolde, under his grace's corre&tion, examen it better, after the mooff ancient interpreters, and most true textes of other languages. Accordingly, in his epittle to the reader, speaking of the Latin text, he says, wherein, though in some places be used tbe honest and just libertye of a grammarian, as was needful for the reader's better understandynge ; yet, because he was lotheso Swerve from the text, (the vulgare Latin) be fo tempered his pen, that if the reader wolde, he might make plain conftruction of it, by obe English that fiandetb on the other side. Io 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 says, Inasmuch as the new testament wbich be had set forth in Englis before (namely in his bible), did so agree with the Laryn, be was hartely well content that the Latyn and it pulde be set together, (namely, by Hollyb fhe) provyded alwaye, tbat tbe corrector fulde followe ibe true copye of tbe Latyn in anye wyse, and to kepe she true and rigbe Englijhe of the same; and so doing, he was content to set bis name to it; and that so be did, trusting that, though be was out of the land, all foould be well. But when he bad perused this copie, be found, that, as it was disagreeable to bis former translation in English, (Tyndal's translation, which he had copied in his bible) so was not tbe true copye of the Latyn text observed, neither the Englijh fo correspondent to the same as it ought so be. Therefore he bad endeavoured himself to wede out tbe faults that were in ebe Latyn and Englis, &c. From these quotations, it is evident, that the trandation of the new testament which Coverdale allowed Hollybushe to print with the Latin text was the one which he had published in his bible; consequently it was Tyndal's translation. It is evident, likewise, that that tranflation was made from the vulgate, and in so literal a manner, that the reader might make plain coustruction of the Latin by the English. It is true Coverdale, in some places, currected the Latin text ; but it was only as a grammarian: and in these corrections he was careful to swerve as little as possible from his text. Wherefore Coverdale, having affifted Tyndal in making his translation, they followed one and the same method ; that is, both of them translated the scriptures from the vulgate; both of them trandated the vulgate literally; and both of them corrected the text of the vulgate as grammarians, making use of other translations for that purpose ; such as, for the old testament, the Septuagint, Luther's German version, and Muniter's Latin translation ; and for the new, Wick. liff's and Erasmus' versions, and what others they could find. C 2
study study this translation 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 patronised by Cranmer, who might appoint some learned men to assist Coverdale in correcting it. But whoever these excellent learned men were, it is certain that this is no new translation from the originals, but, as Lewis observes, a revisal only of Matthew's, that is, Kogers's edition, with some 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 translated, and inserted, in a smaller letter than the text, particularly the three verses in Pl. xiv. which were omitted by Coverdale and Matthew ; likewise the famous text, 1 John ch. v. 7. which Tyndal, in his new testament, (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 supply, in some measure, 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 tize than common, and in a large folio, with a fine emblematical frontispiece, said to be designed 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 epistles, gospels, and pfalms put into it, were all according to this translation ; and so they continued till the re: storation of Charles II. when the Epistles and gospels were inserted from king James's bible ; but the psalms 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 scripture, both of the Olde and Newe testament, with a prologe thereinto made by the Reverende Father in God, Thomas Archbyshop of Canterbury. On account of this prologue, and because Cranmer amended the translation in this edition, in some 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 verses of the Psalms, Proverbs, &c. which are not in the Hebrew, but which are translated from the vulgate, are printed in smaller letters, and the order of the Psalms 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 popilh party, making great complaints of the English trandations in general as heretical, an act of parliament passed in January 1542, prohibiting the reading of Tyndal and Coverdale's translation, in any church or open assembly within the kingdom. However, the king being resolved to have an English translation of the new testament, which should 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 translation of the new testament. Accordingly, each bishop had his part assigned to him. But Stokesly, bishop of London, refusing to execute his part, the design miscarried.
OF Tyndal and Coverdale's' translation of the bible, and of its revisions by Cranmer and others, many complaints were made, even by the protestants. B. Sandys wrote to abp. Parker, that the setters forth of this our common translation followed Munster too much *. And of the new testament 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 sentences in the original which it hath omitted; words not in the cwiginal which it hath superfluously added ; nay, he charged this translation even with errors in doctrine. The en.
* Sebastian Munfter was a learned protestant, well fkilled in the Hebrew language, and in rabbbinical learning. He published a Latin translation of the Hebrew bible at Ball, in the year 1534. And in 1546 he gave a second 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 useful for understanding the Hebrew language. Huet gives Munfter this commendation : He always adapted his fiyle to ibe Hebrew ; and at the fame i ime is not negleEt fub of the Latin, thowgb he be niet over atientive to the elegance of it. F. Simon preferred Munfier's version, both to Pagnin's gannation, and go that of Arias Muntanus.
couragers also of the Geneva edition represented this bible as ill translated, and falsely printed, and gave it the invidious name of a corrupted bible.
Henry VIII. dying in January 1546, was succeeded by his son Edward VI. in whose first parliament the above-mentioned ftatute was reversed. The gospels and epistles were now, for the first time, appointed to be read in English in the public fervice.
In 1550 an edition of the new testament was published, with this title, The Newe Testament, diligently translated by Myles Coverdale, and conferred with the transacyon of William Tyndal. Coverdale's translation here mentioned, seems to have been that which he published in the second edition of Hollybushe's new testa
GENEVA BIBLE. - Edward VI. dying in July 1553, was suc-. ceeded by Mary, who immediately restored the Popish service and facraments, and persecuted 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 some others fixed their residence at Geneva, where they employed themselves in making a translation of the bible. They began with the new testament, which they published in 1 2mo. printed with a small but beautiful letter, in 1557. This is the first printed edition of the new testament, in which the verses of the chapters are distinguished 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, some of them ftaid behind the res to complete their design. And having finished the old teftament, they published the whole bible at Geneva in 4to, in the year 1569, 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 version, made at Geneva fome time before. But he said this, perhaps, to disparage the work In this translation 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 scriptures. 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 strike off certain ceremonies. But this epistle giving offence, it was omitted in the subsequent editions.—The Geneva Bible was so universally 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. Calvinists, their translation and notes are calculated to support the doctrine and discipline of that party. For which reason, it was better esteemed at its first appearance than it hath been in later times.
THE BISHOPS BIBLE.--Queen Mary dying in November 1558, was succeeded by Elizabeth, who, treading in the steps of her brother Edward VI. suppressed the Romish superstition in all her dominions, and filled the fees with protestants. After this, abp. Matthew Parker, having represented to the queen that many churches either were without bibles, or had incorrect copies, she resolved that a revisal and correction of the former translation should be made, in order to publication. The archbishop, therefore, appointed some of the moft learned of the bishops and others to revise the bible commonly used, and to compare it with the originals : and to each of them he assigned a particular book of scripture, with directions not to vary from the former translation, except where it was not agreeable to the original ; and to add marginal notes for explaining the difficult texts ; reserving to himself the oversight of the whole. A revisal of the English bible, on the same plan, had been proposed by Cranmer, (see p. 21.) but the design did not take effect. Parker was more successful in his attempt. The persons employed by him performed their tasks with such cheerfulness, that the whole was ready for the press some time before the year 1568 : for in that year the bible of the bishops' revisal 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,