By David Norton
A historical past of the English Bible as Literature (revised and condensed from the author's acclaimed background of the Bible as Literature CUP, 1993) explores years of spiritual and literary principles. At its center is the tale of ways the King James Bible went from being mocked as English writing to being "unsurpassed within the complete variety of literature." It reports the Bible translators, writers comparable to Milton and Bunyan who contributed lots to our experience of the Bible, and a desirable diversity of critics and commentators.
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Additional resources for A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of the Bible as Literature)
In parliament the archbishop ‘asked members individually whether without scandal, error and manifest oﬀence of Christ’s faithful they voted to retain the Great Bible in the English speech. The majority resolved that the said Bible could not be retained until ﬁrst duly purged and examined side by side with the [Latin] Bible commonly read in the English Church’. The work went into committee, and the last one hears of it is a list of Latin words which Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, ‘desired for their germane and native meaning and for the majesty of their matter might be retained as far as possible in their own nature or be turned into English speech as closely as possible’ (Pollard, p.
By this thou mayest perceive what spiritual edifying cometh of godly Psalms and songs of God’s word, and what inconvenience followeth the corrupt ballads of this vain world. (p. ) Coverdale seems to have loved such songs. He writes in his preface to the Apocrypha in his ﬁrst Bible of ‘the prayer of Azarias, and the sweet song that he and his two fellows sung in the ﬁre’, and notes that he has included such songs in part ‘for their sakes also that love such sweet songs of thanksgiving’ (Mozley, Coverdale, p.
The point is clear in what is eﬀectively Tyndale’s ﬁrst draft of this epistle, the prologue to the unique copy of his NT. There he beseeches those that are better seen in the tongues than I, and that have higher gifts of grace to interpret the sense of the Scripture and meaning of the spirit than I . . if they perceive in any places that I have not attained the very sense of the tongue, or meaning of the Scripture, or have not given the right English word, that they put to their hands to amend it.
A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of the Bible as Literature) by David Norton