Skip to main content

Full text of "Lectures on Bible revision"

See other formats


3fram tl^F Eibraru of 

tl|^ JCibraru of 
Prinrrtott Sllfwingtral S^tmxnuv^ 



auitf) an appeuBi;: 


SAMUEL NEWTH, m.a, d.d., 




\All rights r:sci-vei.L'\ 


The following work is especially intended for Sunday-school 
and Bible-class teachers, and for such others as from any cause 
may be unable to consult many books or to read lengthened 
treatises. It has seemed to me to be of great importance that 
those who are engaged in the responsible service of teaching 
the young, and to whom the Bible is the constant source of 
appeal, should be able both to take up an intelligent position 
in regard to the new revision of the English Scriptures, and to 
meet the various enquiries that will be made respecting it by 
those about them. I have therefore endeavoured to provide 
for their use, in a compendious form, a survey of the general 
argument for revision, and of the facts which exhibit the 
present duty of Christian men in relation thereto. In the 
execution of this purpose it has been necessary to direct 
attention to the chief stages in the growth of the English 
Bible, but this has been done only so far as seemed to be 
requisite for the illustration of the main argument. Those 
who may desire to study this part of the subject more at length 
are referred to the full and interesting volumes of Dr. Eadie, or to 
the convenient manuals published by Dr. Moulton and by Dr. 
Stoughton. Such as may wish to investigate more minutely 
the internal history of the Authorized Version will find Dr. 


"Westcott's General View of the History of the English Bible a 
most trustworthy and invaluable guide. 

In the Appendix I have brought together the prologues or 
prefaces to the chief historical editions of the English Bible. 
Some of these are not of easy access to ordinary readers, while 
all are of deep and lasting interest. They will abundantly repay 
a careful perusal. The reader will thereby, more readily than 
in any other way, come into personal contact with the noble 
men to whose self-denying labours our country and the world 
are so deeply indebted ; will learn Avhat was the spirit which 
animated them, and what were the aims and methods of 
their toil ; and, in addition to much wise instruction respecting 
the study of the word of God, will learn how the deepest love 
and reverence for the Bible are not only tolerant of changes in 
its outward form, but will indeed imperatively demand them 
whenever needed for the more faithful exhibition of the truth 
it enshrines. 

It has formed no part of my piirpose either to exhibit or tv. 
justify the changes which have been made in the revision in 
which I have had the honour and the responsibility of sharing. 
The former will best be learnt from the perusal of the Eevised 
Version itself; the latter it would be unbecoming in me to 
undertake. The ultimate decision respecting them must rest 
upon the concurrent judgment of the wisest and most learned ; 
and they who are the most competent to judge will be the least 
hasty in giving judgment, for they best know how difficult 
and delicate is the translator's task, and how manifold, and 
sometimes how subtle, are the various considerations which 
determine his rendering. Xor indeed \vould any such attempt 
be possible within the the limits I have here assigned to my- 
self. To be properly done it w^ould require an appeal to special 


learning which I have no right to assume in my readers, and to 
habits of scholarly investigation which I may not presuppose. 
To the bulk of my readers the one justification for the changes 
they will discover in the Eevised New Testament must 
practically rest in the fact that those who have for more 
than ten years conscientiously and diligently laboured in this 
matter, and who have with such anxious care revised and re- 
revised their work, have been constrained to the conclusion that 
in this way they would most faithfully and clearly present the 
sense of the sacred Word. May He whose word it is graciously 
accept their service, and deign to use it for His glory. 

New College, 
Jp7'il2Q, 18S1. 





























(b.) tyn dale's prologues 

(C.) COVERDALE's prologue TO HIS BIBLE OF 1535 

(D.) preface- to THE GENEVAN BIBLE. 1560 

(E.) preface to THE BISHOPS' BIBLE.' 1568 . 


(g.) THE REVISERS OF 1568 .... 

(h.) THE REVISERS OF 1611 .... 






There are probably devout persons not a few in whose minds 
the mere suggestion of a Eevision of the Scriptures arouses a 
feeling of mingled pain and surprise. In that Bible which they 
received from their fathers in the trustful confidence of child- 
hood, they have heard the voice of God speaking to their souls. 
Xot from any testimony given to them by others, but from their 
own lengthened and varied experience of it, they know it to be 
the Father's gift unto His children. It has quickened, guided, 
and strengthened them, as no human words had ever done, 
answering the deepest cravings of their nature, stimulating them 
to endeavours after a nobler life, and enkindling within them 
the confidence of a sure and blessed hope. That it is from 
heaven, and not from men, they know, not because of what has 
been told them, but from what they themselves have seen and 
learnt; and they need no further evidence of its inspiration 
than the fact that it has opened their eyes to a knowledge of 
themselves, and to a perception of the loveliness of Christ. 
That any should dare to meddle with a book so precious and so 
honoured, seems to them a sacrilegious act, and a Eevision of 
the Holy Scriptures is to them a presumptuous attemjDt to 
improve upon the handiwork of God. 



Li this feeling there is much with which every Cliristian man 
will warmly sympathize ; but there is in it also something that 
calls for correction and instruction. There is need here, as 
elsewhere, of careful thought and self-discipline, lest, by con- 
founding things that differ, we transfer our reverence for what 
is God-given and divine to what is only human, and therefore 
fallible. A little consideration will suffice to show that, in such 
a matter as this, it is peculiarly important to distinguish between 
substance and form, between what is essential and permanent 
and what is accidental and variable. By the substance of the 
Bible we mean the statements which, in various ways and 
diverse manners, it presents to our thoughts ; the precepts and 
the promises, the liistories and the prophecies, the doctrines and 
the prayers, the truths about God and about man, through 
which our minds are instructed, our consciences enlightened, 
and our hearts established by grace. By the form of the Bible, 
we mean the signs or sounds by which the various statements 
contained in the Bible are presented to us, and which are, as it 
were, the channel through which the truths it teaches are 
conveyed to our minds. It wiU be obvious upon the least 
consideration, that the kind and degree of reverence which it is 
right to entertain towards the form of Scripture, is verj' different 
from that which it behoves us to cherish for the substance of 
Scripture. Respecting the latter, it is fitting to watch with all 
jealousy that no man add unto it or take from it : it is precious 
for its own sake. Xot so, however, with the former ; its worth 
is not in itself, but only in that which it enshrines. The two 
sentences — 

" This is a faithful sayhig, and worthy of all acceptation, that 
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," 

" Gwir yw'r gair ac yn haeddu pob derbyniad, ddyfod Crist 
lesu i'r byd i gadw pochaduriaid," 

are very different in form, whether judged by the eye or the ear, 
and yet the truth conveyed by the former to an Englishman, or 


by the latter to a Welshman, is essentially the same. And 
although one who had learnt to prize that truth under either of 
the forms here given would naturally cherish also the very 
words by which it had been taught him, his reverence for the 
truth would impel him to adopt the other form in preference 
whenever that might be the better instrument for conveying it 
to another. Changes, therefore, in the form of Scripture may 
be laAvful and right. 

Moreover, as a matter of history, the form of Scripture has, 
from the very beginning, been passing through a continued 
succession of changes, and with this fact it is most important 
that the Bible student should familiarize himself. These 
changes may be arranged under two general classes. 

One class of changes has arisen out of the perishable nature 
of the documents, of which the Bible at the first consisted. 

It is scarcely needful to state that we do not now possess the 
original copies of any of the books of the Old or the ]^ew 
Testament. Even while these were still in existence it was 
necessary to transcribe them in order that many persons in many 
places might possess and read them. In the work of transcrip- 
tion, however careful the transcriber might have been, errors of 
various kinds necessarily arose ; some from mistaking one letter 
for another ; some from failure of memory, if the scribe were 
writing from dictation ; and some from occasional oversight, if 
he were writing from a copy before him ; some from momentary 
lapses of attention, when his hand wrote on without his 
guidance ; and some from an attempt to correct a real or fancied 
error in the work of his predecessor. If any of my readers 
will make an experiment by copying a passage of some length 
from any printed book, and then hand over his manuscript to a 
friend with a request to copy it, and afterwards pass on the 
copy so made to a third, and so on in succession through a list 
of ten or a dozen persons, each copying the manuscript of the 
one before him in the list, he will, on comparing the last with 


tlie printed ])Ook, have a vivid and interesting illustration of 
the number and kind of variations that arise iii the process of 
transcription. In the case, therefore, of even very early copies 
of any of the books of the Scriptures, some sort of revision 
would become necessary, and the deeper the reverence for the 
book, the more obligatory would the duty of making such a 
revision be felt to be, and the more earnestly and readily would 
it be undertaken. So long as the original copies were in 
existence and accessible this work of revision would be com- 
paratively easy and simple. It would call only for the ability 
to make careful and patient comparison. But when the originals 
could no longer be appealed to, and when, moreover, successive 
transcription had gone on through many generations, the work 
would become much more complex and difficult, calling for 
much knowledge and much persevering research, for a mind 
skilled in the appreciation of evidence, and able to judge 
calmly between conflicting testimony. At the same time, the 
need for revision would to some extent be greater than before. 
I say to some extent, because the natural multiplication of 
errors arising from successive transcription through many 
centuries, has in the case of the Scriptures been very largely 
checked. The special reverence felt for this book beyond other 
books led to the exercise of special care in the preparation of 
Biblical manuscripts, and special precautions were taken to 
guard them as far as possible from any variation. Owing to 
these and other causes a larger measure of uniformity is found 
in the later than in the earlier manuscripts now extant. 

A second class of changes in the form of the Scriptures has 
arisen from the natural growth and development of language. 

The earliest Bible of wliich Ave have any historical knowledge 
was in the form of a roll, made probably of skins, containing 
the five books of Moses, and written in the Hebrew language. 
This was described as " the Book of the Law of the Lord given 
by Moses" (2 Chron. xxxiv. 14) ; more briefly as -'the Book of 


the Law of Moses" (Joshua viii. 31 ; 2 Kings xiv. 6 ; Neh. viii. 
1), or as "the Book of the Law of God" (Neh. viii. 8); and 
more briefly still as "the Book of the Law " (2 Kings xxii. 8), 
or as "the Book of Moses." (Ezra vi. 18 ; Mark xii. 26.) Two 
other collections of sacred books were subsequently added, 
known respectively as the Prophets and the Holy Writings, 
the former comprising Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, 
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets; the latter 
comprising the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the Song of Solomon, 
Euth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Daniel, Ezra, iS'ehemiah, and 
Chronicles. It is in this order, we may note in passing, that 
the books of the Old Testament are still arranged in our Hebrew 

Before the completion of the canon of the Old Testament 
the language of the Jews began to exhibit evidences of change, 
and through their intercourse with the various peoples of Meso- 
potamia (or Aram) the later books show a distinct tendency 
towards Aramaic forms and idioms. This tendency, already 
apparent at the time of the return from the Captivity, was ac- 
celerated by the political events which followed. During the 
hundred and eighty years and more which intervened between 
the Eestoration of the Temple, b.c. 516, and the overthrow of 
Darius Codomannus, b.c. 331, Judaea was a portion of that 
province of the Persian empire, in which the Ai'amaic was the 
prevalent dialect. The ancient Hebrew gradually ceased to be 
the language of the Jews in common life, and, before the time 
of our Lord, had been supplanted by the language of their 
Eastern neighbours. 

With the decline of the Hebrew language there arose amongst 
the Jews the class of men known as Scribes, whose primary 
function was that of preparing copies of the Scriptures, and of 
guarding the sacred text from the intrusion of errors. Owing 
to their great zeal for the preservation of the letter of Scripture, 
and to their natural tendency to hold fast to the honour and 


influence which their special knowledge and skill gave to them, 
they did not, when Hebrew ceased to be intelligible to the 
common people, set themselves to the task of giving them the 
Bible in a form which they could understand ; but, magnifying 
their office overmuch, assumed the position of authoritative 
teachers and expounders of the Law. Scholars might still study 
for themselves the ancient liible, but for the people at large the 
form which the Scriptures now practically assumed was that of 
the spoken utterances of the Scribes. 

How imperfect and unsatisfactory this must have been is 
obvious ; and the more so as these teachers did not content 
themselves with simi:)ly rendering the ancient text into a familiar 
form, but intermingled with it a mass of human traditions that 
obscured and sometimes contradicted its meaning. It would 
have been a great gain for the people of Judaea if their regard 
for the outward form of their Scriptures had been less extreme 
and more eidightened, and if competent men amongst them had 
ventured so to revise the ancient books that their fellow country- 
men might read in their own tongue the wonderful works and 
words of God. 

This wiser course was adopted in that larger Judaea which lay 
outside of Palestine. The Jews scattered through Asia Minor, 
Syria, and Egypt, and other parts of the empii-e of Alexander 
and his successors, were less rigidly conservative than were the 
residents of Judaea, and for their use a translation into Greek 
was made in the latter part of the third century before Christ. 
This is the version known as the Septuagint.^ It is probaljle, 
both on general grounds and from internal evidence, that the 
Pentateuch was the portion first translated, and that subse- 
quently, though after no very long interval of time, the otlier 

^ From the Latin for seventy, this being the supposed number of tlie 
translators. It is referred to as the translation of the Seventy Elders so 
early as the middle of the second centuiy. See Justin l^Iartyr, Dialogue 
with Trypho, c. 68. 


portions were translated also. It is quite certain that the whole 
was in circulation in the middle of the second century before 
Christ. Various tales respecting the origin of this translation 
got spread abroad. ^ These are largely due to the vivid imagina- 
tion of their authors. They may, however, be taken as evidence 
of the high esteem in which this version was held ; and we shall 
probably not err in concluding from them that Alexandria was the 
city in which it originated. During, then, the two centuries that 
preceded the Advent, the Bible, as used by the great majority of 
its readers in various parts of the world, had assumed an entirely 
different form from that in which it at first appeared. It was 
in Greek, and not in Hebrew, and it included several additional 
works; those, namely, which are now called collectively the 
Apocrypha. The use of this translation amongst the extra- 
Palestinian Jews contributed largely to the spread of Chris- 
tianity ; and to many amongst the earliest Christian churches, 
and for many generations, it was still the form under which 
they studied the books of the Old Testament. 

At the time of our Lord and His Apostles, Greek was the 
language which most widely prevailed through the Eoman 
Empire. It was the ordinary language of intercourse amongst 
all the peoples that had formerly been subjugated by Grecian 
arms, and was read and spoken by many in Rome itself. It 
was in this language, and not in the sacred language of the 
ancient Church, that the books of the New Testament were 
written ; and the lesson was thereby emphatically taught us that 
the Bible was for man, and not man for the Bible; that the 
form was subordinate to the substance, and should be so modi- 

^ See Philo Judseus, Life of Moses, book ii. Josephus, Antiquities, xii. 
ii. 5, 11, 12, 14. Eusebius, EccL Hist., v. 8. Josephus states that the 
translation was made by seventy-two elders in seventy-two days. The 
stoiy as given in Eusebius is, that the seventy elders were placed apart in 
seventy ditlerent cells, that each translated the entire Scriptures, and that 
the seventy translations wlien compared wore found to agree to a word. 


fied, as occasions occur, that it may best minister to the spiritual 
wants of mankind. 

As years passed on Christianity spread into the rural parts of 
the districts already occupied, where Greek was but little known, 
and into new regions beyond, where that language had never 
prevailed. Tliis called for further changes in the form of Scrip- 
ture, and in the second century of our era both the Old and 
New Testaments were translated for the use of the numerous 
Christians in Northern and Eastern Syria into that form of 
Aramaic which is known as Syiiac. This language — the Syro- 
Aramaic — differs by dialectic peculiarities from the Palestinian 
Aramaic. In its earliest forms, however, we have probably the 
nearest representation we can now hope to obtain of the native 
language of the people amongst whom our Lord lived and 

About the same time also the Scriptures began to be trans- 
lated into Latin for the use of the Churches of North Africa, 
and there is good reason for believing that in the last quarter of 
the second century the entire Scriptures in Latin were largely cir- 
culated throughout that region. This was what is termed the Old 
Latin version. It was the Bible as possessed and used by 
Tertullian and Cyprian, and subsequently, in a revised form, by 
Augustine. In the Old Testament this version was made, not 
from Hebrew, but from the Greek of the Septuagint, and so was 
but the translation of a translation. 

From Africa this Bible passed into Italy. Here a certain 
rudeness of style, arising from its provincial origin, awakened 
ere long a desire to secure a version that should be at once more 
accurate and more grateful to Italian ears. Various attempts at 
a revision of the Latin were consequently made. One of these, 
known as the Itala, or the Italic version, is highly commended 
by Augustine. In the year a.d. 383, Damasus, the then 
Bishop of Rome, troubled by the manifold variations that 
existed between diHerent copies of the Latin Scriptures then in 


circulation, used his influence with one of the greatest scholars 
of the age, Eusebius Hieronymus, to undertake the laborious 
and responsible task of a thorough revision of the Latin text. 
Hieronymus, or, as he is commonly termed, Jerome, at once set 
himself to the task, and his revised New Testament appeared 
in A.D. 385. He also once and again revised the Old Latin 
version of the Book of Psalms, and subsequently the remaining 
books of the Old Testament, carefully comparing them with the 
Greek of the Septuagint, from which they had been derived. 
In A.D. 389, when in his sixtieth year, he entered upon the 
further task of a new translation of the books of the Old 
Testament from the original Hebrew, and completed it in the 
year a.d. 404. Out of the various labours of Jerome arose the 
Bible which is commonly known as the Vulgate. Jerome's 
translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew was not 
made at the instance of any ecclesiastical authority, and the old 
prejudice in favour of the Septuagint led many still to cling to 
the earlier version. Only very gradually did the new transla- 
tion make its way; and not until the time of Gregory the 
Great, at the close of the sixth century, did it receive the ex- 
plicit sanction of the head of the Eoman Church. ^ In the case 
of the Psalter, the old translation was never superseded. 

The Yulgate is thus a composite work. It contains (1) 
Jerome's translation from the Hebrew of all the books of the 
Old Testament, except the Psalms ; (2) Jerome's revision of the 
Old Latin version of the Psalms, that version being, as stated 
above, made from the Septuagint ; (3) the Old Latin version of 

^ And this lie gave, not by any formal enactment, but by using Jerome's 
translation as the basis of his own Exposition of the Book of Job. (See 
Gregory's Letter to Leandcr, fonning the preface to that work.) The old 
vei-sion of the Psalms retained its ground apparently from its close con- 
nection Avith the music of the Church. From a like cause the old version of 
the English Psalms, which in fact was made from the Latin of the Vulgate, 
retains its place in the Psalter of the Prayer Book. It should however be 
noted that it is but the translation of the translation of a translation. 


the Apocrypha unrevised, save in the books of Judith and 
Tobit ; (4) Jerome's revised New Testament, which in the 
Gospels was very careful and complete, and might almost be 
termed a new translation, though he himself repudiated any 
such claim. 

During many centuries the Vulgate was the only form in 
which the Bible was accessible to the people of Western 
Euroi)e, and it was the Bible from which in turn the earliest 
Bibles of our own and other countries were immediately derived. 
It will thus be seen that the history of the Bible has from the 
beginning been a liistory of revision. Only so could they who 
loved the Bible fulfil the trust committed to them ; only so 
could the Bible be a Bible for mankind. 



The English Eible, more than any other of the forms in which 
the Scriptures have been used by Christian men, has been a 
growth. It is not the production of one man, or of one epoch. 
It has come down to us through a long series of transformations, 
and it is the result of the continuous endeavours of a succession 
of earnest labourers to give to their fellow-countrymen a faithful 
rej)resentation of the word of God, 

At what date, and by whom, the Scriptures were first set 
forth in a form wdiich was intelligible to the people of this 
country is not kno^vn. In the earliest period respecting which 
we have any clear information, the Latin Vulgate was the Bible 
of the clergy and of public worship. Some portions only 
were rendered into the language of the common people. Few 
of them probably were able to read, and this may explain why 
it was that the Psalms were especially selected for translation. 
They coidd be more readily committed to memory, and be more 
easily wedded to music. But whatever the reason, the Psalter 
is the earliest English Bible of which we have any definite 
knowledge. It was translated quite early in the eighth century, 
both by Aldhelm, sometime Abbot of Malmesbury, but at his 
death, in a.d. 709,^ Bishop of Sherborne, and by Guthlac,^ 

^ Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a.d, 709. 

2 " I have seen a book at Crowland Abbey, which is kept there for a 
relic. The book is called Saint Guthlake's Psalter, and I weene verily 


the hermit of Croyland, wlio died a.d. 714.^ A few years later, 
A.D. 735, tlie Venerable Bede translated the gospel of John, 
dying, as related in the touching narrative of his disciple Cuth- 
bert, in the very act of completing it. In the following century 
King Alfred greatly encouraged the work of translation, and it 
is to this period that we are probably to attribute those Anglo- 
Saxon gospels which have come down to us.^ Towards the 
close of the tenth century, or early in the eleventh, the first 
seven books of the Old Testament were partly translated and 
partly epitomised by zElfric, Archbishop of Canterbury. A verse 
from each of these two last-mentioned works will show of what 
sort was the form of these early English Bibles, and will at the 
same time illustrate one of the causes which from time to time 
have rendered the task of revision an imperative duty. 
The Anglo-Saxon gospel presents Matthew v. 3 thus : 
" Eadige sind ^a gastlican ]}earfan, for^am hyra ys heofena 

that it is a copy of the same that the king did translate ; for it is neither 
Englisli, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, nor Dutch, but something sounding to 
our English ; and as I have perceived since the time I Avas last there, 
being at Antwerp, the Saxon tongue doth sound likewise, and it is to 
ours partly agreeable." The answer of John Lambert to the twenty- 
sixth of the Articles laid against liim. (FoxE, Acts and Monuments, vol. 
V. p. 213.) 

^ The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, a.d. 699, and a.d. 714. 

2 Many of the clergy were probably at this time unable to interpret 
the Latin Bibles used in the Church services. Several MSS. exist which 
have an English translation (gloss) inserted between the lines by writers 
of the ninth or tenth centuries. One of these, the "Lindisfarne 
Gospels," now in the British Museum, is a most richly-adorned MS. It 
was written by one bishop of Lindisfarne, and ornamented by another, 
and was encased in jewelled covers. Over cacli Latin word is written its 
equivalent in English (Anglo-Saxon). This, as is explained by a note at 
tlie end, was done hy one " Aldred, the priest," and, as his handwriting 
shows, in the tenth century. It cannot be sujiposed that this was done 
for the benefit of ordinary readers. So valued a MS. would not be likely 
to come into any other hands than those of the clergy or the monks. 


And in i^lfric's Heptateiicli, Genesis xliii. 29 reads : 

" Da josep geseali his gemeddredan brojjor beniamin Jja cwaej) 
he, is jjis se cnapa ]je ge me foresaedon and eft he cwae]? god 
gemilt sige ]je snnu min," 

In the course of time our language gradually changed from 
the form exhibited in these quotations to that seen in the 
writings of Chaucer and Wycliffe. During the earlier part of 
this transition period the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Scriptures 
continued in use ; but towards the middle part they seem to have 
become partially unintelligible, and attempts were consequently 
made to give the Scriptures to the people in the new form of 
language then prevalent, and which is known as the Early 
English. It has been asserted that the entire Scrij)tures were 
issued in this form; but for this there is no satisfactory evi- 
dence. We have certain knowledge only of a poetical version 
of the Psalms (the '' Ormulum "), written about the close of 
the twelfth century ; of a poetical narration of the principal 
events recorded in Genesis and Exodus, written about the 
middle of the thirteenth century ; and of two prose verses of 
the Psalms, both belonging to the early part of the fourteenth 
century, one by William de Schorham, vicar of Chart-Sutton, 
in Kent, and the other by Richard Rolle, of Hampole, near 
Doncaster. In the version of the former the first two verses of 
Psalm i. are thus given : 

"Blessed be the man that ged nougt in the counseil of 
wicked : ne stode nougt in the waie of singeres, ne sat noujt 
in fals jugement. Ac hijs wylle was in the wylle of oure Lord ; 
and he schal thenche in hijs lawe both dage and nygt." 

The year 1382 is the earliest date at which it can with any 
confidence be affirmed that the entire Scriptures existed in the 
English language. ^ During several years previous to this date 

^ There is no direct evidence for the existence at an earlier date of any 
translation of the entire Scriptures into any form of English. In an 


AVyclifFe and his associates had in various ways been workin^^ 
towards the accomplishment of this result. But it was with 
some measure of secrecy, as of men who apprehended danger 
from the attempt. This renders it difficult to determine with 
precision the date when the work was completed, and what 
was the part which each of the joint labourers had in the com- 
mon task. It is beyond controversy that the chief place of 
honour is due to John Wycliffe. His name is so closely and 
constantly associated with this Bible by those who refer to it in 
the times immediately succeeding, as to put it beyond all doubt 
that it is to his influence our country is mainly indebted for 
this unspeakable boon. The translation of the iXew Testament 
was probably in whole or in large part the work of Wycliffe 
himself. That of the Old Testament, down to the twentieth 
verse of the third chapter of Baruch, is credibly assigned, upon 
the authority of a MS. in the Bodleian library, to jS^icholas de 
Hereford, one of the leaders of the Lollard party in Oxford. 
It is probable that this Bible was somewhat hurriedly com- 
pleted, and that either the translators were prevented by 
circumstances from reviewing their work before issuing it, or, 
with the natural eagerness of men engaged in a first attempt, 
they did not allow themselves time for doing so. Possibly also 
they may themselves have regarded it but as a sort of first draft 
of their work, and the variations they had found to exist in 
tlieir copies of the Vulgate had revealed to them the need of 

interesting tract (commonly assigned to the earlier part of the fifteenth 
century, and printed Ijy Foxe in the ^first edition of his Acts mid, Monn- 
'iiicnts, 1563), entitled, " A Compendious Old Treatise, sho^ving how tliat 
we ought to have the Scripture in English." It is stated, " Also a man 
of London, whose name was Wyring, liad a Bible in English, of northern 
speech, which was seen of many men, and it seemed to be two hundred 
years old." (FoxE, Acts and Monuments^ vol. iv. p. 674.) It cannot, 
however, be inferred from this statement that the volume referred to was 
a complete Bible. 


further labour before they could satisfactorily complete the task 
they had undertaken. 

WyclifFe died in December, 1384 ; but either before his death, 
or shortly afterward, a revision of this work was commenced 
by one of his most intimate friends, John Purvey, who, having 
resided with Wycliffe during the latter part of his life, may be 
reasonably credited with acting herein under a full knowledge 
of the wishes and aims of his honoured teacher. 

The course pursued by Purvey, as described by himself in his 
prologue,^ is interesting and instructive, setting forth, as it does, 
most distinctly the main lines upon which any work of Biblical 
revision must proceed. His first step was to collect old copies 
of the Vulgate, and the works of learned men who had ex- 
pounded and translated the same; and then, by examination 
and comparison, to remove as far as he could the errors which 
in various ways had crept into the Latin text. His second step 
was to study afresh the text so revised, and endeavour to arrive 
at a correct apprehension of its general meaning. His third 
was to consult the best authorities within his reach for the ex- 
planation of obscure terms, and of specially difficult passages. 
His fourth was to translate as clearly as possible, and then 
submit the same to the joint correction of competent persons ; 
or, to use his own words, " to translate as clearly as he could to 
the sentence, and to have many good fellows, and cunning, at 
the correcting of the translation." By the co-operation of this 
band of skilful helpers the work was completed about the year 
1388, and copies of it were rapidly multiplied.- It became, in 
fact, the accepted form of the Wycliffite version. 

^ See Appendix A. 

2 As many as one Imndred and fifty manuscripts, containing the whole 
or x^arts of Purvey's Bible, are still in existence, and the majority of these 
were ^vritten within forty years from the time of its completion. — 
FoRSHALL and Madden, Wycliffite Versions of the Holy Bible, Preface, 
p. xxxiii. 


By a comparison of the two verses of Psalm i., given above, 
with the forms in which they appeared in the two Wycliffe 
Bibles, the reader will be able in some degree to estimate the 
growth of our language, and will also understand how pains- 
taking and reverent was the care taken by these " faithful men " 
that in this sacred work they might oifer of their very best. 

In the earlier Wycliffe version the verses read thus : 

" Blisful the man that went not awei in the counseil of un- 
pitouse, and in the wei off sinful stod not, and in the chajer of 
pestilence sat not. But in the lawe of the Lord his wil ; and in 
the lawe of hym he shal sweteli thenke dai and nygt." 

In Purvey's revised version they read : 

" Blessid /6' the man that gede not in the councel of wickid 
men ; and stood not in the weie of synneris, and sat not in the 
chaier of pestilence. But his wille is in the lawe of the Lord ; 
and he schal bithenke in the lawe of hym dai and nyjt." 

This Bible, so long as it remained in use as the Bible of 
English people, existed, it should be remembered, only in a 
manuscript form.^ The chief point, however, to be noticed here 
is, that with all its excellences, and unspeakable as was its worth, 
it was but the translation of a translation. Neither Wycliffe 
nor his associates had access to the Hebrew original of the Old 
Testament ; and although some copies of the Greek "New Testa- 
ment w^ere then to be found in England, there is no reason to 
believe that Purvey or his friends were able to make any use of 
them. They were, indeed, aware that the Latin of the common 
text did not always faithfully represent the Hebrew ; but their 
knowledge of this fact was second-hand, gathered chiefly from 

^ No portion of the Wycliffe Bible was iJiinted until 1731, when the 
New Testament, in the later of its forms, was publislied bj'- the Rev. John 
Lewis, of Margate. This was reprinted in 1810, under the editorship of 
the Rev. Heniy Baber. The complete Bible was not printed till so 
recently as 1850, in the splendid vohnnes issued from the University press 
of Oxford, and edited by the Rev. J. Forshall and Rev. F. Madden. 


the commentaries of JJ^icholas de Lyra, a writer whose works 
were held in high repute by Bible students in that age. They 
did not, therefore, venture to correct these places, but contented 
themselves with noting in the margin, " What the Ebru hath, 
and how it is undurstondun." This, Purvey states, he has done 
most frequently in the Psalter, which "of alle oure bokis 
discordith most fro Ebru." 

The third stage m the growth of the English Scriptures is 
brought before us by the interesting series of printed Bibles that 
issued from the printing press in the reign of Henry VIIL 

After the death of Wycliffe the efforts of the Popish party to 
crush the Lollards had increased in violence, and various enact- 
ments were passed proscribing the use of the Bible which bore 
his name. An act, passed in the second parliament of Henry V., 
went still further, and declared that all who read the Scriptures 
in their native tongue should forfeit land, cattle, life, and goods, 
they and their heirs for ever. JN'otwithstanding these repressive 
measures, copies of the Wycliffe Bible were still made and read 
in secret. This could be done oidy with great risk and difficidty, 
and none but persons of s^rme wealth could afford the expense 
of a complete copy. Those in humbler positions deemed them- 
selves happy if they could secure a single book, or even a few 
leaves. Moreover, through the growing changes of the language, 
many passages were becoming very obscure to ordinary readers. 
During the hundred years which followed after the issumg of 
the law just referred to, two important events had haj^pened ; 
namely, the invention of printing,^ and the German Keformation. 

^ The first work known to have been printed with moveable metal type 
is the Latin Bible, issued from the press of John Gutenberg at lilaintz, 
1450-55. This Bible is sometimes refen-ed to as the Mazarin Bible, from 
the accidental circumstance that a copy of it was found about the middle 
of last century in Cardinal Mazarin's library at Paiis. (Hallam, Literature 
of Europe, vol. i. p. 210.) With more propriety it may be called the 
Gutenberg Bible. 



Both of these had a large influence in stimulating the friends of 
the Bible to new efforts in revising it for popular use. 

The leader of this movement in our own country was William 
Tyndale, who, in the year 1525, printed on the Continent, 
whither he had been driven by the opposition which beset him 
at home, the first edition of his New Testament, translated from 
the Greek. A second and revised edition, "dylygently corrected 
and compared with the Greke," was printed at Antwerp, and 
published in November, 1534 ; and a third and final edition was 
published in the early part of 1535, in the May of which year 
he was arrested and committed to the castle of Vilvorde, near 
Brussels. Of other parts of the Scriptures Tyndale was able to 
publish only the Pentateuch (1530 or 1531) and the book of 
Jonah (1534). On the sixth day of October, 1536, he was led 
to the stake. He was there strangled and his body burnt. 

Just twelve months before the martpdom of Tyndale, the 
first printed edition of the entire Scriptures in the English 
language was issued from the press of Jacob van Meteren, at 
Antwerp. The privilege and honour of accomplishing this 
memorable work belongs to Miles Coverdale, at that time a poor 
scholar, dependent upon the patronage of Thomas Cromwell and 
others, though subsequently, for a short period in the reign of 
Edward VL, Bishop of Exeter. The first edition of his Bible 
was "prynted in the year of our Lord MDXXXV., and fynished 
the fourthe day of October." Coverdale had been moved to the 
undertaking by his own deep sense of the needs of his country, 
and by the earnest appeals addressed to him by others. Tlirough 
his modesty of disposition, and his lowly estimate of his own 
abilities, he would have declined the task, but the urgency of 
his friends prevailed. The expenses also of the preparation and 
publication of the work were met by the liberality of some of 
them. In his prologue he says, " It was neither my labour nor 
desire to have this work put in my hand; nevertheless it grieved 
me that other nations should be more plenteously provided for 


with the Scripture in their mother tongue than we ; therefore, 
when I was instantly required, though I could not do as well as 
I would, I thought it my duty to do my best, and that with a 
good Avill ;"i and in the dedication to the king, prefixed to some 
of the copies, he says, "As the Holy Ghost moved other men 
to do the cost hereof, so was I boldened in God to labour in the 
same." According to the statement on the title-page this was 
not a translation made from the original texts,^ but was faith- 
fully and truly translated out of the Douche and Latyn in to 
Englishe." In the dedication he states that he had, "with a 
clear conscience purely and faithfully translated this out of five 
sundry interpreters," and in his prologue he explains further, 
that to help him in his work he had used " sundry translations, 
not only in Latin, but also of the Dutch interpreters;" and he 
is careful, further, to explain that he did not "set forth this 
special translation" " as a reprover and despiser of other men's 
translations," but " lowly and faithfully have I followed mine 
interpreters, and that imder correction." The five interpreters 
to whom Coverdale thus refers were probably the Vulgate, the 
Latin version of Pagninus, Luther's translation, the Zurich 
Bible, and Tyndale's iSTew Testament and Pentateuch. Though 
the volume was dedicated to the king, and though Coverdale 
was backed by powerful patrons, this Bible was not published 
with a royal license. jS'o direct attempt, however, was made to 
suppress it. In the folio \ving year (1536) it was virtually con- 
demned by the members of Convocation, who prayed the king 
that he would " grant unto his subjects of the laity the reading 

^ See Appendix C. 

2 Mr. Blunt, in his article "English Bible," in the Encyclopoedia 
Britannica, maintains tliat Coverdale translated directly from the Hebrew 
and Greek. But in order to this he has, first, forcibly to set aside the 
statement on the title-page as "placed there by mistake," and then to 
represent Coverdale as including the Hebrew and Greek originals in tlie 
same category as Latin, German, and English translations, and as describ- 
ing them all as "five interpreters" from which he had translated. 


of the Bible in the English tongue, and that a new translation 
of it be made for that end and purpose." But notwithstanding 
tliis two new editions of Coverdale's Bible were printed in London 
in 1537, and on the title-page of both of these there appeared 
the words, " Set forth with the kynge's nioost gracious licence." 
In the same year, 1537, and probably in the earlier part of 
it, there was issued in London another Bible, which also bore 
upon its title-page the inscription, " Set forth with the kinge's 
most gracyous lycence."^ This Bible, commonly known as 
Matthew's Bible, was, it is now generally believed, prepared for 
the press by John Rogers, who suffered martyrdom at Smithfield, 
under the Marian persecution. In the 'New Testament and 
Pentateuch he agrees substantially witli Tyndale's version. Of 
the other books of the Old Testament, a portion is obviously 
taken from Coverdale , the remaining part, Joshua to Chronicles, 
has been thought with good reason to be the work of Tyndale. 
It is known that Tyndale, after the publication of his Penta- 
teuch, continued to labour at the translation of the Old Testa- 
ment. In a letter written during his imprisonment he prays to 
be allowed to have his Hebrew Bible, and his Hebrew grammar 
and dictionary ; and it is by no means unlikely that the residts 

^ This license seems to have been obtained from the king b}'' Cromwell 
at Cranmer's suggestion. (See Cranmer's Letter to Cromwell, August 4th, 
1537. Remains omcL Letters, p. 344. Parker Society.) In this letter 
Cranmer thus expresses his opinion of the book : ' 'And as for the transla- 
tion, as far as I have read thereof I like it better than any other 
translation heretofore made ; yet not doubting but that there may be and 
will be found some fault therein, as you know no man ever did or can do 
so well, but it may be from time to time amended. And forasmuch as 
the book is dedicated unto the king's grace, and also great pains and 
labour taken in setting forth of the same : I pray you, my lord, that you 
will exhibit the book unto the king's highness, and to obtain of his gi-ace, 
if you can, a license that the same may be sold and read of every person, 
without danger of any act, proclamation, or ordinance, heretofore granted 
to the contrary, until such time as we bishops shall set forth a better 
translation, wliich I think \vill not be till a day after doomsday." 


of liis studies were committed to the care of Eogers. If tliis 
surmise be correct, then this Bible may be viewed as a compila- 
tion, two-thirds of it being due to Tyndale, and one-third to 
Coverdale. A sufficient reason for the adoption of the assumed 
name of Thomas Matthew is thus suppHed, since Rogers could 
not claim the work as his own, and Tyndale's name would have 
arrayed against it the opposition both of the king and of the 
Romish party. 

Both of the last mentioned Bibles were open to certain 
obvious objections. Coverdale's, in that it was derived from 
German and Latin versions ; and Matthew's, in that it was in 
part only made from the original texts. Matthew's also was 
accompanied by a considerable number of critical and explana- 
tory notes, many of which were of a decided anti-papal cast. 
Accordingly, at the instigation and under the patronage of 
Thomas Cromwell, Coverdale set himself to revise his former 
work with the aid of the valuable contribution supplied to him 
in Matthew's Bible. The printing of this new Bible was com- 
pleted in April, 1539, and from the circumstance that it was 
printed in the largest folio then used, 15 inches by 9, it was, 
and is, commonly described as the Great Bible. In the title- 
page it is declared to be '^ truly translated, after the veryte of 
the Hebrue and Greke textes by ye dylygent studye of dyuerse 
excellent learned men, expert in the forsayde tonges."^ By this, 
it is now tolerably certain, we are to understand, not that 
several living scholars took part with Coverdale in the prepara- 
tion of the volume, but that he availed himself of the published 
writings of men skilled in the ancient lanojuages, who had 

1 The full title is, ''The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the content 
of all the holy scrypture, bothe of the olde and newe testament, truly 
translated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes by y^ dylygent 
studye of dyuerse excellent learned men, expert in the forsayde tongues. 
Prynted by Rychard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, Cum privilegio 
ad imprimendum solum. 1539." 


translated and expounded the Hebrew and Greek texts of the 
Scriptures. His chief guides were Sebastian Munster for the 
Old Testament, and Erasmus for the New. The Bible appeared 
without notes, and had no dedication.^ 

In the same year (1539) there appeared also the Bible ^ edited 
by Kicliard Taverner, formerly of Cardinal College (now Christ 
Church), Oxford, afterwards of the Inner Temple, and more 
recently Clerk of the Signet to the King.-^ It may be briefly 

^ Tliis was more than compensated by the remarkable and interesting 
engraving, said to be designed by Hans Holbein, which formed the title- 
page. Herein the king is flattered to his heart's content. On the top of 
the engraving the king on his knees and uncrowned is addressed by our 
Lord in the words, " I have found a man after mine ovm heart, who shall 
fulfil all my will." Below this the king on his throne distributes books 
labelled " Verbum Dei," the Word of God, to the clergy ^vith his right 
hand, to Cromwell and others with the left. Lower down on the right of 
the page is the figure of Cromwell distributing the books to the laity, and 
on the left that of Cranmer distributing it to the clergy. At the bottom 
of the page is a crowd of people of all sorts and conditions, some crying 
out in Latin, " Fivat Bex," others in English, "God save the king." 

2 With the title, "The Most Sacred Bible, which is the Holy Sciipture, 
conteyning the old & new testament translated into English, & newly 
recognised with great diligence after most faythful exemx)lars, by Rychard 
Taverner. Harken thou heuen, & thou earth gyve eare : for the Lorde 
speaketh. Esaic i. Printed at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the 
Sonne by John Byddell, for Thomas Barthlet. Cum privilegio ad im- 
primendum solum M.D. XXXIX. 

3 In Fox, Acts and Monuments, v. 428, amongst the names of "godly 
brethren at Oxford" suspected of heresy, and compelled to do public 
penance, mention is made of "Taverner the musician," of " Friswide 
College (Frideswede, now Christ Church) ; and again, v. 423, Anthony 
Dalaber says, "I stode at the quier door and heard ]\Iaster Taverner 
play." Dr. Eadie, The English Bible, i. 343, assumes that the reference 
in this last passage is to Richard Taverner ; but far more probably the 
reference is to John Taverner, who, according to Wood, A thence Orcon- 
iensis, i. 124, was "sometime organist of Cardinal College." I find no 
other foundation than these doubtful passages for the statement made by 
Westcott, History of the English Bible, ed. 2, p. 85, and by Eadie, 
loc. cit., that Richard Taverner was one of those who suffered persecution 
upon the first circulation of Tyndale's Xew Testament. 


described as a revised edition of Matthew's Bible. Taverner 
had some reputation as a Greek scholar, but his work is very 
unequaUy executed, and before the formidable competition of 
the Great Bible it soon sank into obscurit}-. After its first year 
of issue this Bible seems to have been only once reprinted in its 
entirety; namely, in 1549.1 

Not content with what he had already done, Coverdale 
persevered in the revision and re-revision of his work. A 
second edition was issued in April, 1540, to which was prefixed 
a prologue by Cramner,^ and its title contained the ^ words, 
" This is the Byble apoynted to the use of the churches."^ Two 
other editions appeared in the same year, and three in the 
following year.3 (The edition of April,' 1540, seems, however, 
to have been regarded as a sort of standard edition.) This Bible 
was the Bible read in churches in the reign of Edward VI., and 
in the early part of the reign of Elizabeth. 

Hence it will be seen that of the four principal Bibles pub- 
lished in the reign of Heniy YIIL, namely, Tyndale's New 
Testament and Pentateuch, Coverdale's Bible, Matthew's Bible, 
and the Great Bible, the last three form a group of closely 
related versions, of which Tyndale's is the common parent, and 
the rest successively derived therefrom. And it is very note- 
worthy that these Bibles are mainly the result of the patient 
and devoted labours of two men only. The work done by such 
men as Eogers and Taverner, however important, is altogether 
of a subordinate kind. William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale 

1 See Cotton. Editions of the English Bible, p. 21. 

2 From this circumstance the Great Bible is often, but improperly, 
called Cramner's Bible. "The Prologue or Preface made by Thomas 
Cranmer sometime Archbishop of Canterbury," is prefixed to many 
Bibles, to some editions of the Genevan, and to the Bishops. 

■^ The dates of these editions, as given in the colophons, are, July, 154U ; 
November, 1540 (1541 on title-page) ; May, 1541 ; November, lo41 ; 
December, 1541. 


stand apart, and above all others, as the men who, in those 
days of religious awakening and of conflict with the papal 
tyranny, gave the Eible to our countrymen in a form that could 
reach at once their understanding and their heart. Remember- 
ing this, and remembering also in what difficult circumstances 
the work was done, the wonder is far less that room was left for 
improvement, and that further revision was felt by themselves 
and others to be an imperative duty, than that so much was 
accomplished, and so well, Ijy the indomitable and self-denying 
labours of these noble men. 



The accession of Elizabeth, I^ovember 17th, 1558, conveniently 
marks the date of a fourth stage in the growth of the English 
Bible. The former translations and revisions had been done in 
troublous times, in the midst of harassing opposition, and under 
circumstances which forbade the full use of such aids as the 
scholarship of the times could furnish. The versions now to be 
mentioned were carried on in open day, and with free access to 
all that was then available for the correction and explanation of 
the original texts. 

Amongst the many earnest men driven into exile by the 
Marian persecution was William Whittingham, some time Fellow 
of All Souls', Oxford, and subsequently Dean of Durham.^ 
Along with others he found a refuge, first at Frankfort, and 
afterwards at Geneva. On the 10th day of June, 1557, there 
was published, in the last mentioned city, a small volume, 16mo, 
entitled "The Newe Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Conferred diligently with the Greke, and best approved transla- 
tions. With the arguments aswel before the chapters, as for 

1 He married Catherine, sister of Joliii Calvin. An interesting account 
of "The Life and Death of Mr. William Whittingham, Deane of 
Durham, who departed this life A.D. 1579, June 10," found amongst the 
papers of Anthony a Wood, preserved in the Bodleian Library, is given 
by Dr. Lorimer, John Knox aiul the Church of England, pp. 303-317. 


every Boke and Epistle, also diversities of readings, and moste 
prolHtuble annotations of all liarde places ; whereunto is added 
a copious Table." This translation, there is reason to beheve, 
was the work of Whittingham alone. It may be noted, in 
passing, that it was the first English ISTew Testament which 
contained the now familiar division into verses, and the first 
also to indicate by italics the words added by the translator in 
order to convey more fully or more clearly the sense of the 

Three years afterwards (1560) there was published in the 
same city, "The Bible and Holy Scriptures conteyned in the 
Olde and Xewe Testament. Translated according to the Ebrue 
and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in divers 
languages. With moste profitable annotations upon all the 
hard places, and other things of great importance as may appeare 
in the epistle to the reader." This is the celebrated Genevan 
version, which for nearly a century onward was the form of 
Bible most largely circulated in this country. It differed in 
several respects from its predecessors. It was a convenient 
quarto instead of a cumbrous folio. It was printed in Eoman 
letters instead of the heavy Gothic or black letters. It marked 
by a difi'erent type all words inserted for the completion of the 
sense, and the chapters were divided into verses. But what 
was of more importance, it was, as stated in the title, compared 
throughout with the original texts. Both in the Old and Xew 
Testaments it largely reproduces the words of Tyndale. Some- 
times it gives a i^reference to the version of Coverdale ; but 
often it departs from both in order to give a more exact render- 
ing of the Hebrew or the Greek. It seems that several of the 
Genevan refugees consecrated their enforced leisure to " tliis 
great and wonderful work," as they justly term it, moved 
thereto by the twofold consideration that, owmg to •' imperfect 
knowledge of the tongues," the previous "translations requu^ed 
greatly to be perused and reformed," and that "great oppor- 


timities and occasions " for doing this work -were presented to 
them in the "so many godly and learned men" into whose 
society they had now been brought. 

The names of Miles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, 
Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, William Cole, and William 
Whittingham are given as those who, with some others, joined 
in this undertaking. On the accession of Elizabeth most of 
the exiles returned home, conveying with them, for presentation 
to the Queen, the Book of Psalms as a specimen of the work 
on which they were engaged. ^ 

Wittingham only, Avith one or two others, remained behind 
for a year and a half in order to com2:)lete the work. According 
to the statement given in the address to the reader, the entire 
period spent upon the preparation of this version was a little 
more than two years. It will hence be seen that Avhatever may 
have been the part taken in the work by Coverdale and others, 
by far the chief share in it devolved upon Whittingham and the 
one or two referred to, who were probably Gilby and Sampson. 
How weighty was the obligation which in the view of these 
self-denying men rested upon them to give the word of God to 
their country in the form that would best and most truly 
present it, and with what reverent care they laboured to attain 

^ The dedication to the queen, prefixed to this volume, is dated Geneva, 
February lOtli, 1559. After exhorting the queeii to persevere in the 
reformation of religion, the writers state that "albeit they had begun 
more than a year ago to peruse the English Translation of the Bible, and 
to bring it to the pure simplicity and true meaning of the Spirit of God, 
yet when they heard that Almighty God had miraculously preserved her 
to that most excellent dignity, with most joyful minds and great diligence 
they endeavoured themselves to set forth this most excellent Book of the 
Psalms unto her Grace as a special token of their service and goodwill till 
the rest of the Bible, which was in good readiness, should be accomplished 
and presented." (Anthony Johnson, Historical Account of the Several 
English Translations of the Bible. Reprinted in Watson's Collection of 
Theological Tracts, vol. iii. ^. 87.) 


unto this, is shown by the fact that although Whittingliam had 
so recently published his version of the i!^ew Testament, he is 
not content with a simple reproduction of this, but subjects it 
to a thorough and very carefid revision. A comparison of the 
introduction to Luke's gospel as it appears in the Genevan 
Bible of 1560 with the same passage in Whittingham's version 
of 1557 will help our readers in some measure to realize the 
nature and extent of this revision. 

In the earlier version the passages read thus : 

" For asmuch as many have taken in hand to write the historic of 
those thynges, wherof we are fully certified, even as they declared 
them unto us, which from y® begynnyng saw them their selves, and 
were ministers at the doyng : It seemed good also to me (moste noble 
Theophilus) as sone as I had learned perfectly all thynges from the 
beginnyng, to wryte imto thee therof from poynt to poynt : That 
thou mightest acknowlage the trueth of those thinges where in thou 
hast bene broght up." 

In the version of 1560 the same passage is given thus : 

" For as much as many have taken in hande to set foorth the storie 
of those thinges whereof we are fully persuaded. As they have 
deUvered them unto us, which from the beginning saw them their- 
selves, and were ministers of the worde. It seemed good also to me 
(most noble Theophilus), as sone as I had searched out perfectly all 
things from the beginnyng, to write unto thee thereof from point to 
point, That thou mightest acknowledge the certaintie of these things, 
whereof thou hast bene instructed." 

It will be seen that in this short passage the changes made 
from the earlier form of the work are as many as ten in number. 
As this, however, may be deemed a somewhat exceptional 
passage, let us take an ordinary chapter in the Gospels, present- 
ing no special difficulty, as for instance iSIatt. xvii. A collation 
of the two versions will show that in this chapter of twenty- 
seven verses the revision of 1560 departs from Whittingham's 



earlier work in no fewer than forty places.^ Thus persevering 
was the endeavour of these faithful men to do their very best, 
and with what success may to some extent be seen in the fact 

1 verse. 1557. 



out of the way 



they saw 

there appeared unto them 


here is good beying for us 

it is good for us to be here 


that cloude 

the cloude 

my dears sonne 

my beloved sonne 

in Avhom I delyte 

in whom I am Avell pleased 


were afi-ayed . 

were sore afrayde 


But Jesus 

Then Jesus 


loked up 

lifted up their eyes 


See that ye shews . 


be risen 



the dead 



And Jesus 




In like wise 












Then Jesus 

how long (bis) . 

how long now {bis) 


cHvne out 

went out 

even that same 

at that 






And Jesus 

if ye had 

if ye have 

ys should 

ye shall 

it should 

it shall 

neither could anything 

and nothing shall 

for you to do . 

unto you 


As they 

And as they 

passed the time 





and the thyrd . 

but the third 

sorowed gi-eatly 

were verie sorie 


were wont to gather . 



spake first to him . 



thyne angle 

an angle 

the fyshe that first . 

the first fish that 

pay . . . 

give it unto them 


that of these forty changes twenty-six were confirmed in after 
years by the judgment of King James' translators. 

"So earnestly," says Strype^ in his Life of Archhishop Parker , 
"did the people of the nation thirst in those days after the 
knowledge of the Scriptures, that that first impression was soon 
sold off." So earnestly also did the translators seek to perfect 
their work, that about the beginning of March, 1565, they had 
finished a careful review and coiTection of their translation in 
preparing for a fresh issue. 

Popidar as was the Genevan Bible amongst the mass of the 
English people, the decidedly puritanic cast of its annotations 
stood in the way of its universal acceptance, while its manifest 
superiority as a translation to the Great Bible made it almost an 
impossibility that the latter could be maintained in its place of 
pre-eminence as the Bible appointed by authority to be read in 
churches. Steps were accordingly taken by Matthew Parker, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, to prepare a Bible, by the aid of 
"diverse learned fellow-bishops," that would accord with the 
ecclesiastical sympathies of the party to which he belonged. ^ He 

^ Strype also tells us that the expenses of publication were borne chiefly 
by John Bodley, father of Sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the Bodleian 
Libraiy at Oxford. — Life of Parker, p. 206. 

2 It is very pleasant to read that, notwithstanding this, Parker joined 
with Grindal, Bishop of London, in pleading for an extension of the 
patent gi-anted to Bodley, in order to enable him to publish the new 
edition of the Genevan referred to above. Writing, March 9th, 1565, to 
Cecil, the Queen's Secretary, the Archbishop and Bishop say, " That they 
thought so well of the first Impression, and the Review of those who had 
since travelled therein, that they wisht it would please him to be a Means, 
that Twelve Years longer Term might be by Special Pmilege granted 
him, in consideration of the Charges by him and his Associates in the 
first Impression, and the Review sithence sustained. And that tho' one 
other special Bible for the Churches were meant by them to be set forth, 
as convenient Time and Leisui-e hereafter should permit, yet should it 
nothing hinder, but rather do much good, to have Diversity of Transla- 
tions and Readings." — Strype, Life of Parker, p. 207, Folio Edition. 


distributed portions to twelve of his episcopal brethren, and to 
other Church dignitaries ;^ one portion he took under his own 
charge. The completed work was presented to Elizabeth wdthin 
a few weeks of the completion of the tenth year of her reign, 
October 5th, 1568. 

The rules laid down by Parker for the guidance of his 
colleagues were these: 1. "To follow the common English 
translation used in the churches, and not to recede from it but 
where it varieth manifestly from the Hebrew or Greek original. 
2. To use sections and divisions in the texts as Pagnine^ in his 
translation useth ; and for the verity of the Hebrew, to follow 
the said Pagnine and Munster specially, and generally others 
learned in the tongues. 3. To make no bitter notes upon any 
text, or yet to set down any determination in places of contro- 
versy. 4. To note such chapters and places as contain matter 
of genealogies, or other such places not edifying, with some 
strike or note, that the reader may eschew them in his public 
reading. 5. That all such words as sound in the old translation 
to any oifence of lightness or obscenity be expressed with more 
convenient terms and phrases." From the first of these rules it 
is clear that the work then undertaken was intended to be a 
revision of the Great Bible. Some of the revisers seem to have 
observed this rule in a most rigid manner, and have followed 
the Great Bible so closely as to retain its words, even in places 
which had been more correctly rendered in the Genevan. There 
appears to have been no co-operative action on the part of the 
several revisers, and to this cause we may attribute much of the 
irregularity that attaches to the execution of their work. In 
many respects they laid themselves open to adverse criticism, 
and a paper was sent to Parker by Thomas Lawrence, Head 

^ See Appendix G. 

^ Pagninus was a learned Dominican, who published at Lyons, in 1528, 
a new translation in Latin of the Old and New Testaments. 


^Master of Shrewsbury School, and an eminent Greek scholar, 
entitled, Notes of Errors in the Translation of the New Testa- 
ment out of the Gh'eek.^ He points out fifteen passages in 
which the words are not "aptlye translated," eight in which 
" words and pieces of sentences " are " omytted," two in which 
superfluous words are inserted, two in which, owing to mistrans- 
lation, an "error in doctrine" is involved, and two in which 
the moods and tenses of verbs are changed. These passages, 
except one from the Colossians, are all taken from the Gospels ; 
and we may hence not unreasonably infer that the writer in- 
tended the passages named to be regarded, not as an exhaustive 
list, but as illustrations simply of the kind of defects w^hich 
called for correction. Moved, as would seem, by these criticisms, 
Parker set on foot a revision of his former volume ; and in 1572 
this Bible was, as his biographer expresses it,^ " a second time 
by his means " " printed with Corrections and Amendments and 
other improvements, more than the former Editions." 

Although this Bible received the sanction of Convocation, 
and every Archbishop and Bishop was ordered to have a copy 
in his hall or dining-room for the use of his servants and of 
strangers ; and although some editions bear on their title-page 
the words, " Set forth by Aucthoritie " (meaning thereby the 
authority of Convocation), it never came into anything like 
general use, nor did it even establish itself as the Bible exclu- 
sively read in churches. The Genevan Bible was stUl used by 
many of the clergy in their sermons and in their published 
works; and in 1587, though nineteen years had then passed 
since its first publication, we find Archbishop Whitgift com- 
plaining that divers parish churches and chapels of ease had 
either no Bible at all, or those only which were not of the 
translation authorized by the Synods of Bishops. Between 1568, 

^ Strype, Life of Parker, Appendix, p. 139. 
2 Ibid, p. 399. 


when this Bible was first published, and 1608, when the last 
New Testament of this version was issued, there were sent forth 
altogether twenty editions of the Bishops' Bible and eleven of 
the !N'ew Testament. In the same period there were published 
seventy-nine editions of the Genevan Bible, and thirty of the 
Genevan New Testament.^ ' 

Besides the Genevan and the Bishops', another Bible made its 
appearance (so far, at least, as the New Testament was concerned) 
ill the reign of Elizabeth. In the year 1582 there was printed 
at Eheims a translation of the New Testament, 2 made by certain 
scholars connected with the English seminary for the training of 
CathoHc priests, formerly established at Douai, in Flanders. 
The translators, in their preface, candidly confess that they did 
not publish from any conviction "that the Holy Scriptures 
should alwaies be in our mother tonge," or that they ought " to 
be read indifferently of aU," but because they had compassion 
to see their "beloved countrie men with extreme danger of their 
soules, to use only such prophane translations;" viz., as the 
Protestant Bibles previously referred to, " and erroneous men's 
mere phantasies, for the pure and beloved word of truth;" and 
because, also, they were "moved thereunto by the desires of 
many devout persons," and whom they hoped to induce to lay 
aside the " impure versions " they had hitherto been compelled 

^ In an attack made upon Protestant versions of the Scriptures by 
Thomas Ward, in the reign of James II., or three-quarters of a century 
after the publication of the Authorized Version, the writer selects his 
examples from Genevan Bibles of the years 1562, 1577, and 1579, and 
speaks of this Bible as "well known in England even to this day, as 
being yet in many men's hands," — Errata to the Protestant Bible, p. 19, 
ed. 1737. 

2 The Old Testament was not published till long afterwards, when the 
College was once more settled at Douai. It is hence called the Donai 
Bible. The first volume was published in 1609, and the second in 1610. 
In the preface it is stated that the translation was made " about thirtie 
yeares since. " 



to employ. Quite apart from the polemical purpose thus dis- 
tinctly avowed, this translation was a retrograde movement. It 
did not profess to translate the original texts, but only the 
" vulgar Latin ;" and the translators justify their procedure by 
tliis plea, amongst others, that " the holy Council of Trent . . . 
hath declared and defined this onely of al other Latin transla- 
tions to be authentical, and so onely to be used and taken in 
publike lessons, disputations, preachings, and expositions, and 
that no man presume upon any pretence to reject or refuse the 

In the accomplishment of their work the Rhemish translators 
have very faithfully observed the rule which they laid down for 
themselves, to be " very precise and rehgious in folo-vving our 
copie, the old vulgar approved Latin ; not only in sense . . . 
but sometime in the very wordes also, and phrases;" that is to 
say, they have given a very literal and exact translation of the 
Vidgate, in many parts extremely Latinized in its diction. A 
considerable number of words they virtually left untranslated, 
boldly venturing to transfer the unfamiliar, and in many cases 
unintelligible, vocables into their English text. Some of these 
Latinized words have obtained a permanent place in our 
language, but the larger number have failed to commend 

Such then were the chief forms through which, at the close 
of the sixteenth century, the English Bible had passed. The 
devout and earnest scholars who from time to time sought to 
" open the Scriptures " to their fellow-countrymen were for the 
most part moved by a burning desire to give to God of their 

1 Amongst the fonner are advent, allegory, anathema, assumption, 
caliminiate, co-operate, evangelize, eunuch, gratis, holocaust, neophyte, 
paraclete, pentecost, victim. Amongst the latter are agnition, azymes, 
commessation, condigne, contristate, depositum, donaries, exinanited, 
parasceue, pasche, i)refinition, loaves of proposition, repropitiate, super- 


very iDest. They grudged no labour to render their work more 
complete. They allowed no sj^irit of self-satisfaction to blind 
them to a perception of defects. They were too humble and 
too well convinced of the greatness and manifoldness of their 
work to fancy that they had reached perfection, but were 
persevering and self-denying in their endeavours to attain unto 
it. And they have left beliind them for us to follow a noble 
example of patient continuance in well doing. 

How in their hands the English Bible has grown, from the first 
attempt to set it forth in the language of our country to the 
form in which we are most familiar with it, can be fully learnt 
only by a careful comparison of the successive revisions to 
which it has been subjected. To aid my readers in forming 
some approximate idea of it I append Psalm xxiii., as it appears 
in the principal Bibles which have been mentioned in this and 
the preceding lecture. 

1. WYCLIFFE'S, 1382. (?) 

The Lord gouerneth me, and no thing to me shal lacke ; in 
the place of leswe^ where he me ful sette. Ouer watir of 
fulfilling he nurshide me ; my soule he conuertide. He brojte 
doun me upon the sties of rigtwisnesse ; for his name. For 
whi and if I shal go in the myddel of the shadewe of deth ; I 
shal not dreden euelis, for thou art with me. Thi gerde and 
thi staf ; tho han confortid me. Thou hast maad redi in thi 
sigte a bordj agen hem that trublyn me. Thou hast myche 
fattid in oile myn hed ; and my chalis makende ful drunken, 
hou rigt cler it is. And thi mercy shal vnderfolewe me ; alle 
the dajis of my lif. And that I dwelle in the hous of the 
Lord ; in to the lengthe of dagis. 

^ Compare the word "leasowes," still used in some parts of the country 
for "meadows." 


2. PURVEY'S, 1388. (?) 

The Lord gouemeth me, and no thing schal faile to me ; in 
the place of pasture there he hath set me. He nurschide me 
on the watir of refreischyng ; he conuertide my soule. He 
ledde me forth on the pathis of rigtfulnesse ; for his name. For 
whi thouj Y schal go in the myddis of schadewe of deeth ; Y 
schal not drede yuels, for thou art with me. Thi jerde and thi 
staf ; tho han conmfortid me. Thou hast maad redi a boord in 
my siyt; agens hem that troblen me. Thou hast maad fat 
myn heed with oyle ; and my cuppe, fillinge greetli, is ful cleer. 
And thi merci schal sue me ;• in alle the daies of my lijf. And 
that Y dwelle in the hows of the Lord ; in to the lengthe of 

3. COVERDALE'S, 1535. 

The Lorde is my shepherde, I can want nothinge. He 
fedeth me in a greene pasture ; and ledeth me to a fresh water. 
He quickeneth my soule, and bringeth me forth in the waye of 
rightuousness for his name's sake. Though I shulde walke now 
in the valley of the shadowe of death, yet I feare no euell, for 
thou art with me ; thy staffe and thy shepehoke comforte me. 
Thou preparest a table before me agaynst mine enemies ; thou 
anoyntest my heade with oyle, and fyllest my cuppe full. Oh 
let thy louying kyndnes and mercy folowe me all the dayes off 
my life that I maye dwell in the house off the Lord for euer. 

4. GREAT BIBLE, 1539. 

The Lorde is my shepherde, therefore can I lacke nothing. 
He shal fede me in a grene pasture and lead me forth besyde 
the waters of coforte. He shal conuerte my soule and bring 
me forth in the pathes of righteousnes for liis name's sake. Yea, 
though I walke thorow y^' valleye of y® shadow of death, I wyl 


feare no euell, for thou art w* nie : thy rod and thy staff coiifort 

Thou shalt jDrepare a table before me, agaynst them that 
trouble me : thou hast aiinoiiited my head w* oyle, and my cup 
shal be ful. But {thy) louing kyndnes and mercy shal folowe 
me all the dayes of my lyfe : and I wyll dwel in the house 
of the Lord for euer. 

5. GENEVAN, 1560. 

1. The Lord is my shepheard, I shall not want. 

2. Hee maketh mee to rest in greene pasture, and leadeth me 
by the still waters. 

3. He restoreth my soule, and leadeth me in the paths of 
righteousnesse for his Names sake. 

4. Yea, though I should walke through the valley of the 
shadow of death, I 'will feare no euill, for thou art "with me : 
thy rodde and thy staffe, they comfort me. 

5. Thou doest prepare a table before me in the sight of mine 
adversaries : thou doest anoynt mme head with oyle, and my cup 
runneth over. 

6. Doubtlesse kindnesse and mercy shall follow mee all the 
dayes of my life, and I shall remaine a long season in the house 
of the Lord. 

6. BISHOPS, 1568. 

1. God is my shephearde, therefore I can lacke nothyng : he 
wyll cause me to repose myselfe in pasture full of grasse, and 
he wyll leade me vnto calme waters. 

2. He wyll conuerte my soule ; he wyll bring me foorth into 
the pathes of righteousnesse for his name sake. 

3. Yea, though I walke through the valley of the shadowe of 
death, I wyll feare no euyll ; for thou art with me, thy rodde 
and thy staffe be the thynges that do comfort me. 


4. Thou vryli prepare a table before me in the presence of 
myne aduersaries ; thou has annojTited my head ^\^th oyle, 
and my cup shalbe brjTnme full. 

5. Truely felicitie and mercie shal folowe me all the dayes of 
my lyfe : and I ^vyll dwell in the house of God for a long 

7. DOUAI, 1610. 

1. The Psahne of Dauid. 

2. Our Lord ruleth one, and nothing shal be wanting to me : 
in place of pasture there he hath placed me. 

3. Upon the water of refection he hath brought me vp : he 
hath conuerted my soule. 

He hath conducted me upon the pathes of iustice for his 

4. For, although I shal walke in the middes of the shadow 
of death, I ^yi\l not feare euils : because thou art with me. Thy 
rod and thy staffe, they haue comforted me. 

5. Thou hast prepared in my sight a table, against them; 
that truble me. 

Thou hast fatted my head with oyle ; and my chalice in- 
ebriating how goodlie is it ! 

6. And thy mercie shal folow me al the dayes of my life ; 
And that I may dwel in the house of om^ Lord, in longitude of 



At the accession of James I. the Genevan Bible and the 
Bishops' Bible were, as we have seen, the Bibles in current 
use, the latter being the Bible upheld by ecclesiastical authority, 
the former the favourite Bible of the people at large. The Book 
of Psalms also in the version of the Great Bible survived, as it 
still does, in the psalter of the Prayer Book, and probably in 
some few parish churches old and worn copies of the Great Bible 
still maintained their place. 

The state of religious parties at that date rendered it almost 
an impossibility that either of the two first-named versions 
should become universally accepted. The close connection of 
the Genevan Bible "vvith the Puritan party, and the decidedly 
puritanic cast of some of its notes, created an insuperable pre- 
judice against it in the minds of the more zealous advocates of 
Episcopal authority; while the inferiority ^ of the Bishops' 
Bible as a version effectually barred its claim to an exclusive 
use. The need, then, for a new version was obvious, and a 
desire for it was probably felt by many of all parties. 

^ " Of all the English versions, the Bishops' Bible had probably the 
least success. It did not command the respect of scholars, and its size 
and cost were far from meeting the Avants of the people. Its circulation 
appears to have been practically limited to the churches which were 
ordered to be supplied with it." — Dr. Plumptke, Dictionary of the Bible, 
vol. iii, p. 1,675. 


Public expression was first given to this desire on the second 
day of the Hampton Court Conference, January 16, 1G04, by 
Dr. John Rainolds,^ the leading representative of the Puritans 
in that assembly. It was not brought forward as one of the 
matters which he had been deputed to lay before the Conference ; 
it seems rather to have been mentioned by him incidentally in 
connection with certain suggested reforms in the Prayer Book. 
" He moved his ^lajesty that there might be a new translation 
of the Bible, because those which were allowed in the reign of 
King Henry YIII. and Edward VI. were corrupt, and not 
answerable to the Truth of the Original, "^ referring in illustra- 
tion to the renderings given of Gal. iv. 25,^ Ps. cv. 28,"* and 
Ps. cvi. 30.^ It is somewhat curious that no direct reference 
was made to the Bishops' Bible ; the reason, probably, was that 
this Bible was not one of those which had been " allowed " by 
royal authority. Of the three mistranslations quoted by Rain- 
olds, the first only is found in the Bishops' Bible; the other two 
occur in the Prayer Book Psalter. 

The suggestion of Ptainolds met with no opposition. The 
king himself expressed his approval of it, not, however, without 
an ignorant and disingenuous fling at the Genevan version ; and 
" presently after," say the translators in their preface, the king 

^ His name is variously spelt Raiiiolds, Rainoldes, Reiiiolds, Reynolds. 

- See Dr. William Barlow's Sum and Substance of the Conference 
which it pleased his Excellent Majesty to Jmve with the Lords Bishops, and 
others of his Clergy, in his Majesty's Privy Chamber at Hampton Court, 
Jan. 1603 (o.s.). Reprinted in The Plienix : or a Revival of Scarce and 
Valuable Pieces, p. 157. Lond. 1707. 

' Rendered in the Bishops' and the Great Bible, " and bordereth upon 
the citj' which is now called Jerusalem," instead of, "and answered to 
Jerusalem which now is." 

* Rendered in the Great Bible and Prayer Book Psalter, " they were not 
obedient," instead of, "they were not disobedient," as in Genevan, or 
" they rebelled not," as in our present Bibles. 

^ Rendered in the Great Bible and Prayer Book Psalter, "and prayed," 
instead of, "and executed judgment." 


" gave order for this translation " to be made. In the course of 
a few months a scheme for the execution of the work was 
matured, and in a letter to Dr. Pdchard Bancroft, then Bishop 
of London, the king informed him that he had appointed fifty- 
four learned men to undertake the translation. He even seems 
to have contemplated the possibility of securing the co-operation 
of all the biblical scholars of the country ; and in a letter to 
Bancroft, dated July 22, 1604, directed him "to move the 
bishops to inform themselves of all such learned men within 
their several dioceses as, having especial skill in the Hebrew 
and Greek tongues, have taken pains in their private studies of 
the Scriptures for the clearing of any obscurities, either in the 
Hebrew or the Greek, or touching any difficulties, or mistakings 
in the former Enghsh translation, which we have now com- 
manded to be thoroughly viewed and amended ; and thereupon 
to write unto them, earnestly charging them, and signifying our 
pleasure therein, that they send such their observations to ^Ir. 
Lively, our Hebrew reader in Cambridge, or to Dr. Harding, 
our Hebrew reader in Oxford, or to Dr. Andrewes, Dean of 
Westminster, to be imparted to the rest of their several com- 
panies ; that so our said intended translation may have the help 
and furtherance of all our principal learned men within this our 
kingdom."^ Du^ections to a similar efi'ect were sent also to the 
Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, who was empowered in the king's 
name to associate with those already appointed any " fitt men " 
he might be acquainted with ; and we may infer that a corre- 
sponding communication was sent to Oxford. 

To what extent this comprehensive scheme was carried out 
we have no means of determming. The names of the fifty-four 

1 See Lewis, History of the English Translations of the Bible, p. 313 ; 
or Eadie, The English Bible, vol. ii. p. 180 ; or Westcott, History of 
the English Bible, p. 113. The king's letter is given in full by Card- 
well, Documentary An,wAs of the Befommi Chureh of E/iglaiul, vol. ii. 
p. 65, ed. 1839. 


learned men referred to are not given, and we are consequently 
left in uncertainty whether those who idtimately engaged in the 
work^ were all men included in that list, or M'hether other 
scholars, chosen by the universities or recommended by the 
bishops, formed part of the number. 

The rules laid do^^^l for the guidance of the translators were 
as follows : 

1. The ordinary Bible read in the chiu'ch, commonly called 
the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as httle altered as the 
Truth of the Original will permit. 

2. The ^N'ames of the Prophets and the Holy Writers, with 
the other i^ames of the Text to be retained, as nigh as may be, 
accordingly as they v,'eve vulgarly used. 

3. The old Ecclesiastical Words to be kept ; viz., the word 
Cliurch not to be translated Congregation, &c. 

4. When a Word hath divers significations, that to be kept 
which hath been most commonly used by the most of the 
Ancient Fathers, being agreeable to the Propriety of the Place, 
and the Analogy of the Faith. 

5. The division of the Chapters to be altered, either not at 
all, or as little as may be, if necessity so require. 

6. Xo Marginal Xotes at all to be affixed, but only for the ex- 
planation of the Hebrew or Greek Words, which cannot without 
some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be exprest in the Text. 

7. Such Quotations of Places to be marginally set down, as 
shall serve for the fit reference of one Scripture to another. 

8. Every particular ^lan of each Company, to take the same 
Chapter or Chapters, and having translated or amended them 
severally by himself, where he thinketh good, all to meet 
together, confer what they have done, and agree for their parts 
what shall stand. 

9. As any one Company hath despatched any one Book in 

^ For the names of the Revisers of 1611 see Appeudix H. 


this manner, they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of 
seriously and judiciously, for his Majesty is very careful in this 

10. If any Company, upon the review of the Book so sent, 
doubt or differ upon any Place, to send them word thereof; 
Note the place, and withal send the Eeasons ; to which if they 
consent not, the difference to be compounded at the General 
Meeting, which is to be of the chief Persons of each Company 
at the end of the Work. 

11. When any Place of special obscurity is doubted of, 
Letters to be directed, by Authority, to send to any Learned 
Man in the Land, for his judgment of such a Place. 

12. Letters to be sent from every Bishop, to the rest of his 
Clergy, admonishing them of this Translation in hand ; and to 
move and charge, as many as being skilful in the Tongues ; 
and having taken pains in that kind, to send his particular 
Observations to the Company, either at Westminster, Cam- 
bridg, or Oxford. 

13. The Directors in each Company to be the Deans of 
Westminster and Chester for that place ; and the King's Pro- 
fessors in the Hebrew or Greek in either University. 

14. These Translations to be used, when they agree better 
with the Text than the Bishops' Bible ; viz., TindalVs, Mat- 
thew'' s, Cover dale's, WJiitchutxh's,^ Geneva. 

15. Besides the said Directors before mentioned, three or 
four of the most Ancient and Grave Divines, in either of the 
Universities not employed in Translating, to be assigned by the 
Vice-ChanceUor upon conference mth the rest of the Heads, to 
be Overseers of the Translations as well Hebrew as Greek, for 
the better observation of the 4th rule above specified. ^ 

^ That is, the Great Bible ; called Whitchurch's, from the name of one 
of the printers. 

' BuiiNET, History of the Reformation, part ii., Appendix, p. 368, ed. 


besides these rules, some others of a more definite nature 
seem to have been adopted by the translators themselves. At 
the Synod of Dort, held in the years 1618 and 1G19, the 
question of preparing a new Dutch translation came under 
consideration, and for the guidance of its deliberations upon 
this point the English Delegates^ were requested to give an 
account of the procedure observed in the translation recently 
made in England. In a matter of such grave importance the 
Delegates felt that they ought not to give any off-hand state- 
ment, and accordingly, after careful consideration, prepared a 
written account, which was presented to the Synod on its 
seventh Session, November 20th, 1618. In this account eight 
rules are given, the first three of which embody the substance 
of the first, sixth, and seventh of the rules given above. The 
others direct : 

That where the Hebrew or Greek admits of a twofold render- 
ing, one is to be given in the text, and the other noted in the 
margin ; and in like manner where an important various reading 
is found in approved authorities. 

That in the translation of the books of Tobit and Judith, 
where the text of the old Latin Vidgate greatly differs from 
that of the Greek, the latter text should be followed. 

That all words introduced for the purpose of completing the 
sense are to be distinguished by a difference of type. 

That new tables of contents should be prefixed to each book, 
and new summaries to each chapter. 

Ajid lastly, that a complete list of Genealogies ^ and a 
description of the Holy Land should be added to the work.^ 

From various causes, which cannot now be discovered, a period 

^ One of whom, Dr. Samuel Ward, had himself taken part in the 
English revision. 

2 Tables of Genealogies and a description of the Holy Land are found 
prefixed to many early editions of King James's Bible. 

^ Ada Synodi Dordrcchti Mhitoc, p. 19, ed. 1620. 


of three years elapsed before the revisers commenced their 
labours. One reason may have been that no provision was made 
for meeting the necessary costs of the undertaking. With a 
cheap liberality the king dkected Bancroft to Avrite to the 
bishops, asking them, as benefices became vacant, to give him 
the opportunity of bestowing them upon the translators as a 
reward for their service ; and as to current expenses, the king, 
while professing with much effusiveness his readiness to bear 
them, cleverly evaded the responsibility by stating that some of 
"my lords, as things now go, did hold it inconvenient. "^ 

The revision was completed, as the revisers themselves tell us, 
in "twice seven times seventy-two days and more;" that is to 
say, in about two years and three-quarters ; and if to this be 
added the nine months spent in a final revision and preparation 
for the press, we have then only a period of three years and a 
half. The new Bible was published in 1611 ; the work, there- 
fore, could not have been commenced before 1607. 

Although the men who engaged in this important undertaking 
are called " translators," their work was essentially that of re- 
vision. This is clearly shown both by the rules laid down for 
their guidance, and by the statement of the translators them- 
selves, who say in their preface, " Truly, good Christian reader, 
wee never thought from the beginning that wee shoiUd need to 
make a new translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good 
one," "but to make a good one better, or out of many good 
ones, one principall good one, not justly to bee excepted against ; 
that hath beene our indeavour, that our marke."- 

Further, this revision was a more extensive and thorough 
revision than any which had been heretofore undertaken. In 
former revisions, either the work had been done by the solitary 
labours of one or two, or when a fair number of competent men 

* Cardwell, Documentary Annals, vol. ii. p. 68, ed. 1839. 
' See Appendix F. 


were engaged in it no sufficient provision had been made for 
combined action, and but few opportunities had been given for 
mutual conference. In this revision a larger number of scholars 
were engaged than upon any former, and the arrangements were 
such as secured that upon no part of the Bible should the 
labour of fewer than seven persons be expended. The revisers 
were divided into six companies, two of which met at West- 
minster, two at Cambridge, and two at Oxford. The books of 
the Old Testament, from Genesis to 2 Kings inclusive, were 
assigned to the first Westminster company, consisting of ten 
members ; from 1 Chronicles to Song of Solomon, to the first 
Cambridge company, consisting of eight members; and from 
Isaiah to Malachi, to the first Oxford company, consisting of 
seven members. The Apocryphal books were assigned to the 
second Cambridge company, which also consisted of seven 
members. Of the books of the iS'ew Testament, the Gospels, 
the Acts of the Apostles, and the Apocalypse were given 
to the second Oxford company, in which as many as ten 
members were at different times associated ; the Epistles were 
entrusted to the seven scholars foraiing the second AVestminster 

The portions assigned to each company were not again sub- 
divided amongst its members ; but, in accordance with the eighth 
rule, ''every particular man of each company" translated and 
amended by himself each successive portion, and the company 
met from time to time to confer upon what they had done, and 
to agree upon what should stand.- Of the mode of procedure 

^ For a list of the Revisers see Appendix H. 

"^ In some cases, hoAvever, this further subdivision of work seems to 
liave taken place. Anthony Walker, in his Life of John Bois, p. 47 
(reprinted in Peck's Desiderata Curiosa), says : " Sure I am that Part of 
the Apocrypha was allotted to liim (for he hath showed me the veiy copy 
he translated by), but to my Grief I know not what part." Bois was a 
member of the company to which the Apocrypha was assigned. Walker 


followed at the meetings of the several companies, we have no 
other information than the brief statement given by Selden in 
his Table Talk — that " one read the translation, the rest holding 
in their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or 
French, Spanish, Italian, &c. If they found any fault they 
spoke; if not, he read on." 

One interesting and touching picture of the translators at 
work, which however seems to have escaped the notice ^ of all 
■writers upon the history of the English Bible, is given us by 
Dr. Daniel Featley in his account of the Life and Death of 
John Rainolds, and which is probably the substance, if not the 
very words, of the oration delivered by him at the funeral of 
the latter, when, on account of the large number of mourners, 
"the Chapell being not capable of the fourth part of the 
Funerall troupe," a desk was set up in the quadrangle of Corpus 
Christi College, and a brief history of Eainolds' life, " with the 
manner of his death," was thence delivered to the assembled 
company. Dr. Rainolds was one of the Oxford scholars to 
whom the difficult task was assigned of revising the prophetical 
books of the Old Testament; and Featley tells us that "for his 
great skill in the originall Languages," the other members of 
the company, "Doctor Smith, afterward Bishop of Gloster; 
Doctor Harding, President of Magdalens; Doctor Kilbie, 
Eector of Lincolne CoUedge; Dr. Bret, and others, imployed 
in that worke by his Majesty, had recourse " to him " once a 

goes on to say, " All the time he was about his own Part, his Commons 
were given to him at St. Johns, where he abode all the week till Saturday 
night ; and then he went home to discharge his Cure, returning thence on 
Monday morning. When he had linished his own part, at the earnest 
request of him to whom it was assigned he undertook a Second, and then 
he was to common in another College. But I forbear to name both the 
person and the House." 

^ The bare fact that the Oxford Revisers met in Rainolds' lodgings is 
mentioned by Wood, Historia Univ. Oxmi., vol. i. p. 311, and is refeiTed 
to by Stoughton, Our Eiujlish Bible, p. 248. 


weeke, and in his Lodgings perfected their ^N'otes ; and though 
in the midst of this Worke, the gout first tooke him, and after 
a consumption, of which he dyed ; yet in a great part of his 
sicknesse the meeting held at his Lodging, and he lying on his 
Pallet, assisted them, and in a manner in the very translation 
of the booke of life, was translated to a better life."^ Eainolds 
died May 21st, 1607. 

In the discharge of their responsible task the translators 
made use of all the aids accessible to them for the perfecting of 
their work. Not only did they bring to it a large amount of 
Hebrew and Greek scholarship, and the results of their personal 
study of the original Scriptures, they were careful to avail 
themselves also of the investigations of others who had laboured 
in the same field. Translations and commentaries in the Chal- 
dee, Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, 
and Dutch languages were laid under contribution. " Neither," 
they add, " did we disdaine to revise that which wee had done, 
and to bring back to the anviU that which wee had hammered ; 
but having and using as great helpes as were needfull, and fear- 
ing no reproch for slownesse, nor coveting praise for expedition, 
wee have at length, through the good hand of the Lord upon 
us, brought the worke to that passe that you see." 

When the several companies had completed their labours 
there was needed some general supervision of the work before 
it finally issued from the press. There is no evidence that the 
six companies ever met in one body (though possibly the two 
companies in each of the thi-ee centres may have had some 
communication with each other) ; but having spent almost 
three "years upon the revision, '*at the end whereof," says the 

* Fuller's Abel Jledivivus, p. 487. In his Church History, book x. 
p. 48, Fuller says of Rainolds that he was a man desen-ing of the epitaph. 
" Incertum est utrum Doctior an Melior." " We know not which was the 
greater, his learning or his goodness." 


writer of the life of John Bois,i "the whole work being 
finished, and three copies of the whole Bible sent from Cam- 
bridge, Oxford, and Westminster to London, a new choice was 
to be made of six in all, two out of every company,- to review 
the whole work, and extract one copy out of all these to be 
committed to the press, for the dispatch of which business Mr. 
Downes and Mr. Bois were sent for up to London, where, ^ 
meeting their four fellow-labourers, they went daily to Stationers' 
Hall, and in three-quarters of a year fulfilled their task, all 
which time they had from the Company of Stationers thirty 
shillings 4 each per week duly paid them, though they had 
nothing before but the self-rewarding, ingenious industry."^ 
"Last of all Bilson, Bishop of Winchester, and Dr. Miles 
Smith, again reiiewed the whole work, and prefixed arguments 
to the several books." 

And thus at length, as Thomas Fuller quaintly puts it, "after 
long expectation, and great desire, the new translation of the 
Bible (most beautifully printed) by a select and competent 
number of Divines appointed for the purpose, not being too 

^ Peck, Desiderata Curiosa, p. 47. 

- It is clear, from tlie words which immediately follow, that the wiiter 
uses the word "company" here for the entire nmnber of translators be- 
longing to any one of the three centres. In the A\Titten account presented 
to the Synod of Dort by the English delegates, it is said that tivelve 
persons, selected out of the companies, met together, and reviewed and 
corrected the entire work. "Wood also {Atlwnoi Oxon., vol. i. p, 490) 
gives twelve as the number of the "selected," and amongst them includes 
Bilson and Miles Smith. 

=^ The -writer quaintly remarks in a parenthesis, "Though Mr. Downes 
would not go till he was either fetcht or threatened with the Pui'suivant." 

* Lewis [History of the English Translations of the BihU, p. 323) by a 
strange blunder turns these shillings into pounds, 

5 Walker adds, " Whilst they were employed in this last business, lie 
and he only took notes of their proceedings, which notes he kept till his 
dying day." If these notes could be recovered they would throw much 
light upon many points of interest in connection with the Revision of 1611, 



many, lest one should trouble another, and yet many, lest in 
any things might haply escape them. Who, neither covetiQg 
praise for expedition, nor fearing reproach for slackness (seeing 
in a business of moment none deserve blame for convenient 
slowness), had expended almost three years in a work, not only 
examining the channels by the fountain, translations with the 
original, which was absolutely necessary, but also comparing 
channels with channels, which was abundantly useful." " These, 
■svith Jacob, rolled away the stone from the mouth of the 
Well of Life, so that now Eachel's weak women may freely 
come, both to drink themselves, and to water the flocks of their 
families at the same.''^ 

Fuller, Church Historij, book x. p. 57. 



On the title-page of the first edition of King James's Bible 
there appeared as now the legend, "Appointed to be read in 
Churches." Whence this originated is unknoAvn; it is even 
uncertain what meaning is to be attached to the words. Some 
contend^ that they mean nothing more than that the book con- 
tained the directions in accordance with which the Scriptures 
were "appointed" to be read in public worship, such as are now 
given in the Book of Common Prayer. But, however this may 
be, there is no evidence that this Bible was ever formally sanc- 
tioned, either by the king, or by Parliament, or by Convocation. 
The king, as we have seen, encouraged the making of the re- 
vision, but that the revision when made was, by any public act 
on his part, invested with any special authority, is a fancy alto- 

^ See Mr. Henry Stevens, Printed Bibles in the Caxton Exliibition, p. 
110. But if Mr. Stevens be right iii tins contention, the publisher can 
scarcely be held free from the charge of false suggestion, since the phrase 
occurs in earlier Bibles in the sense which it most naturally bears. In the 
edition of the Great Bible dated April, 1540, we have on the title-page : 
"This is the Byble apoynted to the use of the churches," and the mean- 
ing of this is shown by the fuller form that appears in the title-page of 
the edition of November, 1540, "auctorysed and apoynted by the com- 
maundement of oure moost redoubted Piynce and soveraygne Lorde Kynge 
Henrye the viii. ... to be frequented and used in every churche within 
this his sayd realme." An edition of the Bishops' Bible dated 1585 has 
the inscription, "Authorized and appointed to be read in Churches;" and 
King Charles II. 's Declaration to all His Loving Subjects, is "Appointed 
to to be Read in all Churches and Chapels within this kingdom." 


gether unsupported by fact. Its designation as the Authorized 
Version has been due simply to common parlance; the claim 
which that designation seems to assert is absolutely baseless. 

It was not in virtue of any privileges conferred upon it by 
those in authority, but by its intrinsic excellence, that this ver- 
sion made its way into general use, and at length supplanted all 
previous versions. Its chief, if not only, competitor was the 
Genevan. So strong was the attachment of many to the latter 
that two editions of it, one a folio and the other a quarto, were 
published by the king's printer in the very year in which the 
new version was issued, and during at least five years after that 
date"^ various other editions were issued from the same source. 
After 1616 the Genevan ceased to be printed in England, but 
the demand for it still continuing, various editions were printed 
on the Continent, and thence introduced into this country. A 
folio edition, printed at Amsterdam, bears so late a date as 1644. 
In 1649, in order to win the favour of those who still clung to 
their old favourite, an edition of the new version was issued 
with the Genevan notes. After this date the revision of 1611 
may be said to have gained for itself universal recognition, and 
for more than 230 years it has been the accepted and cherished 
Bible of almost all English-speaking people. 

We should, however, form a very erroneous opinion both of 
the spirit and of the learning of King James's translators, if we 
were to suppose that they would have claimed finahty for their 
work. They were too well acquainted with the state of the 
original texts not to know what need there was for further re- 
search after the most ancient and trustworthy authorities. They 
were too keenly sensitive to the difficulties of translation not to 
feel that they must often have failed to convey the exact mean- 
ing of the words they were attempting to render. They were 
too conscious of the merits of their predecessors, and of the 

^ The latest quarto edition of the Genevan published in England bears 
the date 1615, the latest folio, 1616. 


extent to which they had profited by their labours, to hesitate 
to acknowledge that others might in like manner profit by what 
they themselves had done. And they were too loyal in their 
reverence for the Scriptures, and too devoutly anxious that 
every imperfection should be removed from the form in which 
they were given to their fellow-countrymen, to offer any dis- 
couragement to those who should seek to remove the blemishes 
that might still remain. They would strongly have deprecated 
any attempt to find in theii' labours a plea against further im- 
provement ; and they w^ould have emjDhatically proclaimed that 
the best expression of thankfuhiess for their services, and of 
respect for themselves, was in the imitation of their example, 
and in the promotion of further efforts for the perfectmg of the 
book they so profoundly loved. 

In the case of such a book as the Bible, however perfect the 
translation which may at any time be made, the duty of revision 
is one of recurring obligation. The necessity for it is inevitable, 
and this from two causes in constant operation. (1) By the 
imperfection that attaches to all kinds of human labour various 
departures from the standard form became gradually introduced 
in the process of reproduction; and (2) by the natural growth 
of language, and the attendant changes in the meaning of terms, 
that which at one time was a faithful rendering becomes at 
another obscure or incorrect. 

No long time elapsed before blemishes arose in the version of 
1611 from the first of these causes, and, to use the language of 
the translators themselves, their translation needed "to be 
maturely considered and examined, that being rubbed and 
polished it might shine as gold more brightly." The invention 
of printing, although it has largely diminished the liability to 
error in the multiplication of copies, has not, as everyone knows 
who has had occasion to minutely examine printed works, alto- 
gether removed them. Various typographical errors soon made 
their appearance in the printed copies of the Bible, and these 


became repeated and multiplied in successive editions, until at 
length no inconsiderable number of variations, sometimes amount- 
ing to several thousands, could be traced between different copies. 
Most of these it is true were unimportant variations, but some 
of them were of a more serious nature. The following instances 
will serve to illustrate this. The dates attached are the dates of 
the editions in which the errors may be found : 

Exod. XX. U. ''Thou shalt commit adultery," for ''Thou 
Shalt not." 1631, Lond., 8vo.i 

Numb. XXV. 18. " They vex you with their wives," for 
"their wHes." 1638, Lond., 12mo. 

Numb. xxvi. 10. " The fire devoured two thousand and fifty 
men,"/o?' " two hundred and fifty." 1638, Lond., 12mo. 

Deut. xxiv. 3. " If the latter husband ate her," for " hate 
her." 1682, Lond. 

2 Sam. xxiii. 20. " He slew two lions like men," for " two 
lion-like men." 1638, Lond., 12mo. 

Job xxix. 3. "By his light I shined through darkness," /or 
" I walked through." 1613, Lond. 

Isaiah xxix. 13. " Their fear toward me is taught by the people 
of men," for "by the precept of men." 1638, Lond., 12mo. 

Jer. iv. 17. "Because she hath been religious against me," 
for "hath been rebellious." 1637, Edin., Svo. 

Jer. xviii. 21. " DeHver up their children to the swine," for 
" to the famine." 1682, Lond. 

Ezek. xxiii. 7. "With all their idols she delighted herself," 
for " she defiled herself." 1613, Lond. 

Matt. xxvi. 36. " Then cometh Judas with them unto a place 
called Gethsemane," for "Then cometh Jesus." 1611, Lond. 

^ This edition has hence been described by Bible collectors as the 
"AVicked Bible." The error was of course speedilj^ discovered and the 
edition suppressed. Archbishop Laud fined the printer in the suni of 
£300, and with this he is said to have bought a fount of Greek type for 
the University of Oxford. 


Acts vi. 3. " Look ye out among you seven men of honest 
report .... whom ye may appoint," for " whom we may 
appoint." 1638, Camb. fo.i 

1 Cor. V. 1. " And such fornication as is not so much as not 
among the Gentiles," for "not so much as named." 1629, 
Lond., fo.2 

1 Cor, vi. 9. "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall 
inherit the kingdom of God?"/o?- " shall not inherit." 1653, 
Lond., 32mo. 

2 Tim. iv. 16. "I pray God that it may be laid to their 
charge," /b?' "may not be laid." 1613, Lond. 

Titus i. 14. " Now giving heed to Jewish fables," for "not 
giving heed." 1636 Edin., 8vo. 

James v. 4. " The Lord of Sabbath," /or " Sabaoth." 1640, 
Lond., 8vo. 

1 John i. 4. "That our joy may be fuU," for "that your 
joy." 1769, Oxf. 

These facts will serve to show how soon some kind of revision 
became needful, and that a true reverence for Scripture is shown, 
not by opposition to revision, but by a desire, and even demand, 
that it should be undertaken. This necessity became all the 
more imperative in the case of the revision of 1611, because 
there existed no standard copy to which appeal could in all 
cases be made as evidence of the conclusions reached by the 
translators. It is a curious and remarkable fact, that two 

^ In the reign of Charles 11. a silly report was set afloat that Field, the 
printer of what is known as the Pearl Bible of 1653, had received a 
present of £1,500 from the Independents to inti'oduce this corruption into 
the text. See D' Israeli's Curiosities of Literature, Art. Pearl Bible. 
Mr. D' Israeli must have been ignorant of the fact that this en-or occurs 
in Bibles printed fifteen years earlier than the Pearl Bible, and by the 
University Press, Cambridge. 

^ This may possibly have been a change deHberately made by the editor, 
who either had a ditferent Greek text or followed the Vulgate ; but even in 
that case it would be a very awkward way of rendering the text before him. 


editions, differing in several respects, were issued by the king's 
printer, Kobert Barker, in 1611, and competent judges are not 
agreed as to which of these two priority in time belongs. 'Nov 
even if this point were satisfactorily settled, would it suffice to 
reproduce that one of the two texts which might be proved to 
be the earlier. For excellent as was the main work done by the 
translators, the final revision and the oversight of the sheets as 
they passed tlirough the press werernot so thorough as was to be 
desired. In the most carefully prepared edition of this revision 
that has ever been issued, viz., the Cambridge Paragraph Bible, 
edited by Dr. Scrivener, the learned and laborious editor has seen 
it right to depart from the printed text of 1611 in more than 
nine hundred places.^ It will be manifest that such corrections, 
whenever called for, ought not to be made in any haphazard way, 
and that it is in the interest of all that careful revisions of the 
printed texts should from time to time be made, and that they 
should be made by men thoroughly competent for the task. 

The second cause to which reference has been made is, of 
course, much slower in its operation, but though slow it is 
certain ; and sooner or later every version, whensoever and by 
whomsoever made, must caU for revision, because of the 
changes to which all language is subject. Words which were 
once in common use pass altogether out of currency, and are 
utterly unintelligible save to a learned few. Other words 
change their meaning, and give to the sentences in which they 
occur a different and sometimes an alien sense to that which 
they formerly conveyed. Others again, while retaining funda- 

1 This he has done, professedly, in the attempt to represent the version 
of 1611, "so far as may be, in the precise shape that it would have 
assumed if its venerable translators had shown themselves more exempt 
than they were from the failings incident to human infirmity ; or if the 
same severe accuracy which is now demanded in caiTying so important a 
volume tlirough the press had been deemed requisite, or was at all usual 
in their age." — Introduction to Cambridge Paragi-aph Bible, p. i. 



mentally their original sense, become limited in their range of 
application, and when used in other connections than those to 
which they are thus confined by custom, become grotesque and 
disturb the mind of the reader by the strange associations which 
they suggest. 

How many words found in our Bibles have, since 1611, passed 
out of general use the following list will show. Most of these 
are wholly without meaning, even to an educated reader ; a few 
survive as local provincialisms, and a few also are still employed 
in the teclinical vocabulary of certain arts or professions. All 
are out of place in a book intended for universal use. 

Assay. Dent. iv. 34 ; Job iv. 2 ; 

Acts ix. 26, &c. 
Attent. 2 Chron. vi. 40. 
Bestead. Isa. viii. 21. 
Blain. Exod. ix. 9, 10. 
Boiled. Exod. ix. 31. 
[Brickie. Wisd. xv. 13.] 
Brigandine. Jer. xlvi. 4 ; li. 3. 
Bruit. Jer. x. 22 ; Nah. iii. 19. 
Calamus. Exod. xxx. 23 ; Cant. 

iv. 14 ; Exek. xxvii. 19. 
Gamphire. Cant. i. 14 ; iv. 13. 
Causey. 1 Chron. xxvi. 18. 
Chanel-hone. Job xxxi. 22, tnarg. 
Chajjiter. Exod. xxxvi. 38, &c. 
Chapman. 2 Chron. ix. 14. 
Chaws. Ezek. xxix. 4. 
[Cithern. 1 Mace. iv. 54.] 
CochUrice. Isa. xi. 8, &c. 
Collops. Job XV. 27. 
Confection. Exod. xxx. 35. 
Coney. Lev. xi. 5, &c. 
To Convent. Jer. xlix. 19, marg. 
Cotes. 2 Chron. xxxii. 28. 
To Couch. Deut. xxxiii. 13. 

Countervail. Esth. vii. 4. 
Daysman. Job ix. 33. 
[Dehort. 1 Mace. ix. 9.] 
Delicates. Jer. li. 34. 
Dredge. Job xxiv. 6, marg. 
Dure. Matt. xiii. 21. 
Earing. Gen. xlv. 6. 
Endirons. Ezek. xl. 43, marg. 
Flue-net. Hab. i. 15, marg. 
Gier eagle. Lev. xi. 18. 
Gorget. 1 Sam. xvii. 6, marg. 
Habergeon. Exod. xxviii. 32 ; 

xxxix. 23, &c. 
Helve. Dent. xix. 5. 
Hough. Josh. xi. 6, 9. 
Implead. Acts xix. 38. 
Jeim-y. Dan. v. 13 ; John vii, 1. 
Knop. Exod. xxv. 31, &c. 
Leasing. Ps. iv. 2 ; v. 6. 
Makebate. 2 Tim. iii. 3, marg. 
Muffler. Isa. iii. 19. 
Neesing. Job xli. 18. 
Ossifrage. Lev. xi. 13. 
Ouches. Exod. xxviii. 11, &c. 
Pilled. Gen. xxx. 37. 



Prelation. 1 Cor. xiii., heading. 
Purtenance. Exod. xii. 9. 
Ravin. Gen. xlix. 27. 
Eereward. Num. x. 25, &c. 
Scall. Lev. xiii. 30. 
Scrabble. 1 Sam. xxi. 13. 
A Settle. Ezek. xliii. 14, &c. 
Silverling. Isa. vii. 23. 

Sith. Ezek. xxxv. 6. 
Tabering. Nah. ii. 7. 
Tache. Exod. xxvi. 6. 
TlirougJiaired. Jer. xxii. 14, marg. 
Thrum. Isa. xxxviii. 12, marg. 
Viol. Isa. V. 12. 
Wimple. Isa. iii. 22. 

A still larger number of words or plirases, though still finding 
a place in our current speech, have wholly or partially changed 
their meanincrg. Amongst these are the followincr : 

All to brake. Judges ix. 5. 
Base. 1 Cor. i. 28 ; 2 Cor. x. 1. 
Botch. Exod. ix. 9. 
Bought of a sling. 1 Sam. xxv. 

29, mar^f. 
Bravery. Isa. iii. 18. 
Bray. Prov. xx^m. 27. 
By and by. Matt. xiii. 21 ; Luke 

xxi. 9. 
Captivate. 2 Chron. xxviii. ; Jer. 

xxxix., headings. 
Careful. Dan. iii. 16 ; PhiL iv. 6. 
Carriage. Judges xviii. 21 ; Acts 

xxi. 15. 
Cast about. Jer. xli. 14. 
Chafed. 2 Sam. xvii. 8. 
Cliampaign. Deut. xi, 30. 
Charger. Matt. xiv. 8 ; Mark 

vi. 25. 
Charity. 1 Cor. xiii. 1, &c. 
Cliurl. Isa. xxxii. 5, 7. 
deling. 1 Kings vi. 15. 
Clouted. Josh. ix. 5. 
Cockle. Job xxxi. 40. 
Comfort. Job ix. 27. 

Confectionary. 1 Sam. viii. 13. 
Contain. 1 Cor, vii. 9. 
Conversation. Gal. i. 18 ; Phil. 

iii. 20 ; Heb. xiii. 5. 
Convince. Jno. viii. 48 ; Jas. ii. 9. 
Cunning. Ps. exxxvii. 5. 
Curious. Exod. xxviii. 8 ; xxix. 5. 
Damnation. 1 Cor. xi. 29. 
Delicately. Lam. iv. 5 ; Luke 

vii. 25. 
Discover. Ps. xxix. 9 ; Mic. i. 6 ; 

Hab. iii. 13. 
Doctrine. Mark iv. 2. 
Duke. Gen. xxxvi. 15. 
Ensign. Num. ii. 2 ; Isa. v. 26. 
Fast. Ruth ii. 8, 21. 
Fetch a compass. Acts xxviii. 13. 
Flood. Josh. xxiv. 2, 3, &c. 
Footman. Jer. xii. 5. 
Fret. Lev. xiii. 55. 
Grudge. Ps. lix. 15. 
Hale. Luke xii. 58 ; Acts \'iii. 3. 
Harness. 1 Kings xx. 11 ; xxii. 

Indite. Ps. xlv. 1. 



Jangling. 1 Tim. i. 6. 
Kerchief. Ezek. xiii. 18, 21. 
Lace. Exod. xxviii. 28. 
Latchet. Isa. v. 27 ; Mark i. 7. 
Let. Exod. V. 24 ; Isa. xliii. 13 ; 

Eom. i. 13 ; 2 Thess. ii. 7. 
Lewd. Acts xvii. 5. 
Lewdness. Acts xviii. 14. 
Man-of-War. Exod. xv. 3, &c. 
Maul. Prov. XXV. 18. 
Minister. Josh. i. 1 ; 1 Kings x. 

5 ; Luke iv. 20. 
Najpkin. Luke xix. 20 ; John 

xi. 44 ; XX. 7. 
Naughtiness. 1 Sam. xvii. 28 ; 

Prov. xi. 6 ; James i. 21. 
Naughty. Prov. vi. 12. 
Nepheio. Judges xii. 14 ; 1 Tim, 

V. 4. 
Observe. Mark vi. 20. 
Occupy. Exod. xxxviii. 24 ; Judg. 

xvl. 11 ; Ezek. xxvii. 9 ; Luke 

xix. 13. 
Painfulness. 2 Cor. xi. 27. 
Palestine. Exod. xv. 14 ; Isa. 

xiv. 29. 
Pap. Luke xi. 27 ; Rev. i. 13. 
Parcel. Gen. xxxix. 19 ; Josh. 

xxiv. 32 ; Ruth iv. 3 ; John 

iv. 5. 
Peep. Isa. viii. 19 ; x. 14. 
Poll. Num. i. 2, &c. 
Pommel. 2 Chron. ix. 12. 
P(yrt. Neh. ii. 13. 
Prefer. Esth. ii. 9 ; Dan. vi. 3 ; 

John i. 25. 
Presently. Matt. xxvi. 53 ; Phil. 

ii. 23. 

Prevent. Ps. Ux. 10 ; cxix. 147 ; 

1 Thess. iv. 15. 

Proper. Acts i. 19 ; 1 Cor. vii. 7 ; 

Heb. xi. 32. 
Prophesy. 1 Cor. xi. 5 ; xiv. 3, 4. 
Publican. Matt. v. 46, &c. 
Purchase. 1 Tim. iii. 13. 
Ranges. Lev. xi. 35. 
Refrain. Prov. x. 19. 
Riot. Titus i. 6 ; 1 Peter iv. 4 ; 

2 Peter ii. 13. 
Rioting. Rom. xiii. 13. 
Riotous. Prov. xxiii. 20 ; Luke 

XV. 13. 
Road. 1 Sam. xxvii. 10. 
Scrip. 1 Sam. xvii. 40 ; Matt. x. 

10, «Sic. 
Secure. Judges viii. 11 ; xviii. 

7, 10 ; Job xi. 18 ; xii. 6 ; 

Matt, xxviii. 14. 
Set to. John iii. 32. 
Shroud. Ezek. xxxi. 3. 
Sod. Gen. xxv. 29. 
Sottish. Jer. iv. 22. 
Table. Hab. ii. 2 ; Luke i. 63 ; 

2 Cor. iii. 3. 
Target. 1 Sam. xvii. 6 ; 1 Kings 

X. 16. 
Tire. Isa. iii. 18; Ezek. xxiv. 

17, 23. 
Tired. 2 Kings Lx. 30. 
Turtle. Cant. ii. 12. 
Vagabond. Gen. iv. 12 ; Ps. cix. 

10 ; Acts xix. 13. 
Venison. Gen. xxv. 28. 
Wealth. 2 Chron. i. 12; Ps. 

cxii. 3 ; 1 Cor. x. 24. 
Witty. Prov. viii. 22. 


If, in reading these j)assages, we attach to the words here 
mentioned the meaning that they ordinarily bear, the resulting 
sense will in each case be very different from that intended to 
be conveyed by the translators. In some of the passages the 
sense thus given will be so manifestly inappropriate that the 
reader is necessarily driven to seek for some explanation ; but 
in others of them no such feeling may be awakened, and the 
reader is undesignedly betrayed into error. Through no fault 
of the translators, but by the inevitable law of change in lan- 
guage, the words which once served as stepping-stones, by 
whose aid the reader could rise to a clearer perception of the 
truth of God, have become stumbling-blocks in his path, and 
cause him to wander from the way. Respect, therefore, for the 
translators, as well as loyalty to the Scripture, constrain the 
demand that these rough places be made plain. 



The two reasons for further revision which were illustrated in 
the last lectui'e are, as will have been seen, of universal appli- 
cation, and must sooner or later apj)ly to every version of the 
Scriptures, however perfect that version may have been wlien 
it was first made. But whatever the skill with which King 
James's translators fulfilled their labours (and it is universally 
acknowledged to be worthy of the highest praise), it would be 
a vam fancy to imagine that theirs was a perfect work. They 
themselves would never have claimed such an honour for it, 
and already in their own day some of their renderings were 
called in question by competent men. Even if they had never 
failed in applying the means at their command for the interpre- 
tation of the Hebrew and Greek originals, they knew that the 
knowledge then possessed of these ancient tongues was far from 
complete, and that by further study and advancing research it 
would be possible to attain to a more accurate and extensive 
acquaintance with them. 

The progress made in the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew 
during the last two centuries has, in fact, been such as the 
revisers of 1611 could have Kttle anticipated. A long list 
might easily be drawn up of eminent scholars who have given 
themselves to the investigation of the grammar of the two 
sacred languages, and of others who have laboured in illus- 


trating the meaning of their terms. In the case of Hebrew, 
large additions to our knowledge, both of its grammar and its 
vocabulary, have been won from a source almost entirely un- 
explored in former times; namely, the study of Arabic and 
other cognate languages ; and in the case both of Hebrew and 
Greek, much has been gained by the labours of those who have 
given themselves to the investigation of the general principles 
of language, and to the study of the relations which different 
languages sustain to each other. The knowledge of Hebrew 
and Greek thus attained has been from time to time appHed by 
a still larger number of eminent men to the elucidation of the 
several books of the Bible, and an immense amount of valuable 
material for their interpretation has thus been stored up. The 
meaning of obscure and difficult passages has been elaborately 
and independently discussed by men of different nationalities, 
and of different types of theological opinion, and in this way 
the sense of many passages formerly misunderstood has been 
satisfactorily determined. And such being the case, it is clearly 
the incumbent duty of all who truly reverence the Scriptures 
to desire that these imperfections and obscurities shall be 
removed, and the more so that some of these erroneous render- 
ings have been used by the opponents of the Bible as their 
weapons of attack. 

That the reader may be able to form some definite judgment 
upon the matter here presented to him, his attention is called to 
the following selection of passages from different parts of the 
Bible, in which it will now be generally acknowledged by 
competent judges that the translators of 1611 have failed to 
give a faithful representation of the meaning of the original 
texts : 

Gen. iv. 15 is rendered, in the version of 1611, as in previous 
versions : " And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding 
him should kill him," and no small amount of ingenuity has 
been wasted in the endeavom' to decide what this supposed 


mark upon the body of Cain might be. The rendering more- 
over altogether misrepresented the import of the passage. The 
" mark " or " sign " was not something intended for the warn- 
ing of others, but was given to remove the fears of Cain himself, 
expressed in verses 13, 14 : "The Lord set a sign for Cain [to 
assure him] that whoever found him would not kill him." 

Gen. XX. 16. Here Abimelech is made to say to Sarah, 
" Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver ; 
behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, with all that are 
with thee, and with all otlier ; thus she was reproved," a 
statement which is both misleading and obscure. It was not 
Abraham, but the present of money, that was to be for Sarah a 
covering of the eyes, that is, a testimony to her virtue, and by 
this act of the king she was not reproved for her conduct, but 
was cleared in her character. The latter part should be ren- 
dered, ''Behold, it shall be to thee a covering of the eyes . . . 
and thus she was righted." 

Exod. xvi. 15. "And when the children of Israel saw it, 
they said one to another. It is manna, for they wist not what it 
was." To the ordinary reader this seems to involve a contra- 
diction; but the stumbling-block is at once removed by the more 
faithful rendering, " They said one to another. What is it % for 
they wist not what it was." Further on, in verse 31, it is 
stated that from this cry, "What is if?" the bread from heaven 
thus given to them was called Manna, or more correctly Man 
(the Hebrew word for What ?). 

Josh. vi. 4. "And seven priests shall bear before the ark 
seven trumpets of rams' horns." This is a very unfortunate 
rendering; for not only are rams' horns solid, and so also 
unsuitable for wind instruments, but also it is only by the 
merest fancy that any reference to rams can be brought in at 
all. The word rendered "rams" is "jubilee," the same as that 
given to the great Year of Eelease. It denotes either some 
kind of trumpet, and is so used Exod. xix. 13, or the sound or 


signal given by a trumpet. The Year of Eelease derives its 
name, the Year of Jubilee, from the solemn sounding of 
trumpets throughout the land with which it was inaugurated. 
The original term should here be kept, and the verse should 
read, "And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven 
trumpets of jubilee."^ 

Judges V. 7. " Tlie inhabitants of the villages ceased, they 
ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a 
mother in Israel." Here the translators first of all misunder- 
stood the word which they have rendered " villages," and were 
then driven to introduce the words "the inhabitants of," for 
which, as the itahcs show, there was nothing in the Hebrew. 
The picture really drawn in the verse is not that of the de- 
population of the country, but of the defenceless and dis- 
organized condition of the people through the absence of judges 
or rulers. The Septuagint gives the true sense : " The rulers 
ceased, they ceased in Israel"^ 

Judges XV. 19. " But God clave an hollow place that icas in 
the jaw, and there came water thereout." A strange misrepre- 
sentation of the meaning of the original. The hollow place 
was not in the jaw-bone with which Sampson had slain the 
Philistines, but in some cliff in the neighbourhood, and which 
derived its name, Eamath-lehi, or more briefly Lehi, from this 
memorable exploit. The words should be rendered, '' But God 
clave the hollow place which is in Lehi." 

1 Sam. ix. 20. " And as for thine asses that were lost three 
days ago, set not thy mind on them, for they are found. And 
on whom is all the desire of Israel 1 Is it not on thee and on 
aU thy father's house ]" A needless difi&culty is here created by 
suggesting that already the hearts of the people had been set 

1 The LXX. and Vulgate are here right ; so also WyclifFe, who, 
trauslatmg from the Latin, renders, "Seven trompes, whos vse is in the 

^ Wycliffe, "Stronge men seseden in Yrael." 


upon Saul for their future king, whereas his future elevation to 
that office was as yet known to Samuel only. This is removed 
by the right rendering : " Whose are all the desirable things of 
Israel? Are they not for thee, and for thy father's house. "^ 

2 Sam. V. 6. " Except thou take away the blind and the lame 
thou shalt not come in hither ;" a statement to which the reader 
finds it difficult to attach any appropriate sense. The verse is 
correctly rendered by Coverdale, who reads, "Thou shalt not 
come hither, but the blynde and lame shall dryve thee awaie." 

2 Sam. xiv. 14. "For we must needs die, and are as water 
spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither 
doth God respect any person : yet doth he devise means, that 
his banished be not expelled from him." The statement that 
God doth not respect any person, however true in itself, has 
here no relation to the context. The natural meaning of the 
original words is very different, " God doth not take away life," 
that is, as shown by what immediately follows, does not at once 
and without mercy inflict punishment as soon as guilt is in- 
curred, but " deviseth means," &c. 

2 Kings viii. 13. "And Hazael said. But what, is thy servant 
a dog, that he should do this great thing?" Thus read, the 
words imply that Hazael shrank indignantly from the actions 
described in the preceding verse ; whereas the sense of the pas- 
sage is that he viewed himself as too insignificant a person to 
do what he clearly regarded as a great exploit. " But what is 
thy servant, the [or this] dog, that he should do this great 

1 Chron. xvi. 7. "Then on that day David delivered first 
this jpsalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his 
brethren." This conveys the impression that the psalm which 
follows is the first psalm that David published, whereas the 

^ Here again the LXX., Vulgate, and Wyclitfe are right. WycHfFe 
renders, "of whom shiilen be alle the best thingis of Yrael." 


statement is that on this memorable day — the day on which 
David brought up the ark from the house of Obed-edom — he 
formally appointed Asaph and his brethren to the office of 
superintending the service of praise. (Compare verse 37.) "Then 
on that day David first gave the praising of the Lord into the 
hand of Asaph and his brethren."^ 

Job iv. 6. "Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, 
and the uprightness of thy ways V By the insertion of '^this," 
a wrong complexion is given to the passage. Eliphaz, in refer- 
ence to Job's fainting under his sufferings, calls attention to the 
confidence he had formerly professed on the ground of his fear 
of God and of the uprightness of his conduct ; and so indirectly 
suggests that Job's piety and uprightness had been unreal. "Is 
not thy fear [i.e. thy fear of God, thy piety] thy confidence ; 
and thy hope, is it not even the integrity of thy ways?" 

Job xix. 26. "And though after my skin ivorms destroy this 
hody^ yet in my flesh shall I see God." As the italics show, the 
original contains nothing corresponding to the words " though," 
"worms," and "body." Their insertion does not indeed change 
radically the meaning of the verse, but they weaken its force, 
and in a measure alter its imagery. The picture presented by 
the original is a very vivid one. The patriarch, pointing to 
his body wasting away under disease, says, "After my skin is 
destroyed thus, yet from my flesh shall I see God." 

Job xxiv. 16. "In the dark they dig through houses, which 
they had marked for themselves in the daytime ; they know 
not the light." Here the meaning of the second clause has been 
altogether missed, and the whole passage is thereby greatly ob- 
scured. The writer is describing the deeds of those who rebel 
against the light and love the darkness : as with the murderer 
{v. 14) and the adulterer {v. 15), so is it with the robber. "In 

1 The LXX., Vulgate, Wycliffe, the Great Bible, the Genevan, and the 
Bishops', all give the true sense. 


the dark they dig through houses; in the daytime they shut 
themselves up ; they know not the light." 

Job xxxi. 35, "Oh that one would hear me! behold, my 
desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and tliat mine 
adversary had written a book." Job, having asserted his in- 
nocence, expresses his strong desire that the charges against him 
might be brought for decision before the divine tribunal. He, on 
his part, is quite prepared for the trial; there, he says, is his state- 
ment, signed and sealed; let the adversary in like manner present 
his indictment ; he would then be sure of a triumphant issue. 
" Oh that I had one who would hear me ! Behold my mark ! 
May the Almighty answer me, and that I had the accusation 
that my adversary had written. Surely, I would carry it on 
my shoulder, I would bind it as chaplets upon me." 

Ps. xvi. 2, 3. '-^Thou art my Lord; my goodness extendeth 
not to thee. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the 
excellent, in whom is all my delight." Every reader of this 
psalm must have felt how obscure, if not imintelligible, are 
these words. A more faithful rendering gives a clear and ap- 
propriate sense, " Thou art my Lord, I have no good above thee. 
As for the saints on the earth, and the excellent, in them is all 
my delight."! 

Ps. xlii. 4. '' When I remember these things, I pour out my 
soul in me, for I had gone with the multitude. I went 
with them to the house of God." The words of the Psalmist 
are not, as this rendering makes them to be, a mere statement 
of what happens whenever he remembers the sorrows of the 
past, and the mockery of his adversaries. They are a declara- 
tion of his purpose to remember, with lively emotion and 
gratitude, the privileges and mercies with which he had been 

' In their rendering of verse 3 the Revisers of 1611 have followed the 
Genevan. Of the older versions, the Great Bible best renders this verse, 
' ' All my dely te is upon the saynctes that are in the earth, and upon suche 
as excell in vertue." 


"blessed. " I will remem'ber these things [I.e. the things he is 
about to mention], and I will pour out my soul within me, how 
I passed along with the multitude, how I went with them [or 
how I led them] to the house of God." 

Ps. xlix. 5. " \ATierefore should I fear in the days of evil, 
tvJien the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about]" This, 
though seemingly an exact rendering of the Hebrew, wholly 
misleads the English reader. The phrase, "iniquity of my 
heels," can only suggest to him the iniquity which the man 
himself has committed, a sense which is altogether unsuited to 
the passage. The Psalmist would never say that his own 
personal transgressions were not to him a ground of fear. The 
word, which in Hebrew means "heel," is that also wliich, by a 
slight modification, forms the name of the patriarch Jacob, the 
" Heeler," or supplanter of his brother. In the opinion of many 
scholars, the simple form here used admits of the same mean- 
ing, and they render, " when the iniquity of my supplanters [or 
the iniquity of those who plot against me] compasseth me 
about." Whatever be the true explanation of the Hebrew phrase, 
it is quite certain that it is the iniquity of others, and not of 
the speaker, which is referred to. Some change, therefore, in 
the rendering is clearly called for. 

Ps. xci. 9, 10. " Because thou hast made the Lord, which is 
my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation ; there shall no 
evil befall thee," &c. The earlier English translations, the 
Bishops', the Genevan, the Great Bible, and Wycliffe's, have all 
kept nearer to the original than this. The most ancient version 
of all, the Septuagint, renders it correctly. The psalm is one 
of those which are intended to be sung by two singers, or two 
companies of singers, responding one to the other, and hence 
arises the frequent change of person that occurs in it. In the 
first clause of this verse we have one of the singers chanting, 
"For thou, Lord, art my refuge." In the second clause we 
have the response of the other singer, " Thou hast made the 


Most High thy habitation ; there shall no evil befall thee," &c., 
down to end of verse 13. 

Eccl. iv. 14. "For out of prison he cometh to reign; 
whereas, also, he that is born in his kingdom hecometh poor." 
The meaning attached by the Eevisers of 1611 to the second 
clause seems to be, that the old and foolish king referred to in 
the previous verse, who was "born in his kingdom," that is, 
who succeeded to the kingly power by inheritance, becomes, 
tln-ough his obstinacy, a poor man. This sense can only be got 
from the words by much straining, and has led to the introduc- 
tion of the word " becometh," which represents nothing in the 
original. 1 The correct rendering gives a plam and suitable 
sense: "For from the house of prisoners he goeth forth to 
reign, although in his kingdom [namely, the kingdom over 
which he now rules] he was born poor." 

Isa. Ixiii. 19. "We are thine: thou never barest rule over 
them; they were not called by thy name." The sense of this 
passage is entirely changed by the introduction of the word 
"thine." The verse is the penitential acknowledgment of the 
depressed condition into which the nation had fallen in conse- 
quence of its sins. They are no longer as the chosen inheritance 
{y. 17), they are as an alien people. The Genevan translators 
give the true sense of the passage, " We have been [better. We 
are become] as they over whom thou never barest rule, and 
upon whom thy name was not called." 

Jer. iv. 1, 2. "If thou wilt return, Israel, saith the Lord, 
return unto me : and if thou wilt put away thine abominations 
out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. And thou shalt 
swear. The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteous- 
ness ; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him 
shall they glory." Tliis as it stands is hopelessly obscure. The 
passage is an emphatic announcement of the blessings that 

The Vulgate leads the way in this error. 


would come to the nations from the penitent return of Israel to 
its faithful allegiance. If Israel will return, will put away all 
its abominations, and no longer swearing by idols, as if they 
were the highest objects of reverence, should make in truth and 
uprightness their appeals to Jehovah, then the nations would 
share in the blessedness of the kingdom. " If thou wilt return, 
Israel, saith the Lord, wilt return unto me, and if thou wilt 
put away thine abominations out of my sight, and wilt not go 
astray, and wilt swear, ' The Lord liveth ' in truth, in judgment, 
and in righteousness, then the nations shall bless themselves in 
him," &c. 

Ezek. X. 14. "And every one had four faces: the' first face 
was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a 
man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of 
an eagle." This conveys a wrong impression. The prophet is 
describing, not as he is here represented, the four faces of all the 
cherubim, but one face only of each. The Bishops' Bible gives 
the true sense by rendering, "Every one of them had four 
faces, so that the face of the first was the face of a cherub, and 
the face of the second was the face of a man, and of the third 
the face of a lion, and of the fourth the face of an eagle." 

Ezek. xxii. 15, 16. "And I will scatter thee among the 
heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume 
thy filthiness out of thee. And thou shalt take thine inherit- 
ance in thyself in the sight of the heathen, and thou shalt 
know that I am the Lord." The dark phrase, " thou shalt take 
thine inheritance in thyself," is commonly explained to mean, 
that whereas aforetime they were God's inheritance, they shall 
now be left to find their inheritance by themselves. A more 
lucid and more suitable meaning is given to the words by the 
rendering adopted by most modern commentators, '' thou shalt 
be profaned through thyself in the sight of the nations." 

Dan. iii. 25. " Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the 
midst of the fire, and they have no hurt ; and the form of the 


fourth is like the Son of God." It is clearly misleading to 
attribute to Nebuchadnezzar any such exalted conception as that 
which we attach to the phrase, " the Son of God," and so to 
render the clause misrepresents the original. The correct trans- 
lation is "one hke to a son of the gods." A similar error 
occurs in vii. 13, where "one like the Son of man," should be 
" one like a son of man." 

Hos. vi. 3. " Then shall we know, if we follow on to know 
the Lord ;" thus making the prophet to declare that the attain- 
ment of knowledge is dependent upon our perseverance in the 
search after it. This is an important truth, but is not the 
meaning of the verse, which is simply an emphatic exhortation 
to know God and to persevere in knowing Him. " Yea, let us 
know, let us foUow on to know, the Lord." 

Hosea xiii. 14. "0 death, I will be thy plagues ; grave, I 
will be thy destruction." Though there is some difference of 
opinion respecting the right rendering of the earlier part of this 
verse, all are agreed that these should be rendered as they are 
quoted in 1 Cor. xv. 55, "Where are thy plagues, death] 
Where is thy destruction, graved' 

Matt. vi. 16. The rendering "they disfigure their faces, that 
they may appear unto men to fast," misleads the reader by con- 
veying the impression that the Pharisees were endeavouring to 
obtain credit under false pretences — were seeming to fast when 
not doing so in reality ; whereas the conduct condemned is that 
of parading, and calling public attention to, their religious 
observances. "They disfigure their faces, that they may be 
seen of men that they are fasting."^ So also in verse 18. 

Matt. xi. 2. " Now when John had heard in the prison the 
works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples." Here the true 
force of the passage is missed. " Christ," as used by us, is a 
proper name, designating the person, and not simply the office of 

^ Tyndale, the Great Bible, and the Genevan render correctly. 


our Lord. It was not because John had heard of certain works 
done by Jesus of Nazareth that he sent his disciples to Him, 
but because he recognized in the accounts which were brought to 
him deeds characteristic of the Christ, the promised Messiah. 
" When John heard in the prison the works of the Christ." 

Matt. XV. 3. " Why do ye also transgress the commandment 
of God by your tradition?" The commandment of God might 
indeed be transgressed by compliance with the traditions of 
men, but this is not the meaning of our Lord's words. The 
Pharisees had asked v^hj the disciples did not observe the 
traditions of the elders respecting washing. Our Lord justifies 
them by calling attention to the wrong doing of those who so 
exalted these outward observations, in themselves mere matters 
of indifference, as on their account to make void the command- 
ments of God. " Why do ye also transgress the commandment 
of God for the sake of your tradition?"^ 

Mark vi. 20. " For Herod feared John, knowing that he was 
a just man and an holy, and observed him." This erroneous 
rendering has come down through Tyndale, the Great Bible, and 
the Genevan, the last of these, however, giving it in the less 
obscure form, " and did him reverence." The passage is rightly 
given by Wyclifife, "and kept him;" i.e. kept him in safety. 

Luke i. 59. "And they called him Zacharias." The form 
employed in the Greek expresses that the action here spoken of 
was attempted only, not completed, "they would have called 
him Zacharias." 

Luke xxi. 19. "In your patience possess ye your souls," a 
translation which altogether misses the meaning. The clause is 
not an exhortation to the maintenance of a calm composure in 
trouble, but is an exhortation to the acquirement of a higher 
and nobler life through the brave endurance of sufi'erLng. " In 

1 So the Rheims, " "Why do you also trangi^esse the commaundement of 
God for your tradition ?" 


your patience win ye your lives." In the better texts this is 
given in the form of an assurance : " In your patience ye shall 
win your lives." 

Luke xxiii. 15. "No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to 
him; and lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him." 
Words unto which an intelligible sense can be put only by 
straining them to mean that nothing had been done to our 
Lord to show that in the judgment of Herod He was worthy 
of death. All obscimty is removed by the more faithful ren- 
dering, "nothing worthy of death hath been done by him." 

John iv. 27. " And upon this came his disciples, and mar- 
velled that he talked with the woman." The surprise of the 
disciples was not occasioned by the fact that our Lord was 
conversing with this particular woman ; they were surprised 
that He should talk with any woman. The correct rendering 
is, as given by the Rheims, " and they marueiled that he talked 
with a woman." 

John V. 35. " He was a burning and a shining light." 
Though this, by frequent quotation, has passed into a sort of 
proverbial phrase, it is a most unfortunate rendering, and gives 
an entirely wrong impression of the meaning of the passage. 
As thus read it sets forth the pre-eminence of John, whereas 
its true import is to emphasize the subordinate nature of his 
office and work. Christ, as stated in the first chapter of this 
Gospel, was "the Light." In comparison with Him, John was 
only a lamp which, in order that it may give light, must first 
be kindled from some other source. " He was the lamp which 
is kindled and [so] shineth." 

John XV. 3. " Now ye are clean through the word which I 
have spoken unto you," thus representing the word to be the 
instrument through which the cleansing was wrought. But 
though this be true, it is not the truth here set forth. It was 
not "through," but "on account of" the word, i.e. because of 
its virtue and its cleansing power, that they were clean. Here, 


again, Wycliife is free from the error into which all the later 
translators (except the Kheims) have fallen. He renders, 
" !N"ow ye ben clene for the word that I haue spokun to you." 

Acts ii. 23. "Ye have taken, and by wicked hands have 
crucified and slain." The ordinary reader naturally takes the 
"wicked hands to be the hands of the Jews, whereas the 
reference is to the Romans, tlirough whose agency the Jews 
brought about the crucifixion of Christ, " and by the hands of 
lawless men, ye crucified and slew." Wycliffe, Tyndale, 
Coverdale, the Genevan, the Bishops, and the Eheims, all 
render this clause correctly. 

Acts xi. 17. "Forasmuch then as God gave them the like 
gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ." 
This is incorrect, and suggests a false contrast between " us " and 
" them," as if the latter were not believers. Faith in Christ is 
the ground upon which, in the case of both parties, the gifts 
referred to were received. The verse is thus given by Tyndale ; 
" For as moche then as God gave them lyke gyftes, as he dyd 
unto vs when we beleved on the Lorde lesus Christ." 

Acts xxvi 23. ^'That Christ should sufier, and that he 
should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should 
show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles." This both 
needlessly suggests a difficulty to many readers, and altogether 
conceals one main point of the passage; namely, that the 
resurrection of Christ was the great source from which illumi- 
nation would come both to Jews and to Gentiles, " and that He 
first by His resurrection from the dead should proclaim light to 
the people and to the Gentiles." 

Rom. ix. 3. " For I could wish that myself were accursed 
from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the 
flesh." Such a wish it is impossible that the Apostle could 
have entertained. His words are the expression of his strong 
affection for his fellow-countrymen. "I could have wished," 
&c. ; i.e. if such a wish had been right or possible. 


Eom. xiii. 11. "And that, knowing the time, that now it is 
high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation 
nearer than when we beheved." This is ambiguous English, 
and though a very careful reader might gather the true sense 
from this rendering, it is very liable to be taken as if meaning 
that our salvation is nearer than we anticipated ; nor is the am- 
biguity removed by the Genevan, which reads, " nearer than when 
we believed it." The reference is to the time of their first exercise 
of faith in Christ, "nearer than when we first believed." 

1 Cor. i. 21. "For after that in the wisdom of God the 
world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolish- 
ness of preaching to save them that believe." This rendering 
has been a fertile source of error, as if preaching was in itself, 
or as viewed by the Corinthians, an inappropriate means for 
the diffusion of the Gospel, a thought altogether at variance 
with the tone of the context, and with the facts of history. 
The Greeks were, of all the peoples of antiquity, the least 
disposed to think lightly of oratory, and the whole tenor of 
the passage shows that their tendency was to overrate, not 
underrate, the power of speech. What was foolishness to 
them was not the act of preaching, but the doctrine preached — 
salvation through a crucified Christ. The Eheims here clearly 
enough gives the true sense, " it pleased God by the folishnes 
of the preaching to saue them that beleeue." 

1 Cor. ix. 5. " Have we not power to lead about a sister, a 
wife, as well as other apostles'?" This mode of speech implies 
that some only of the other apostles were married. What the 
Greek states is that all or most of them were. Here again the 
Kheims correctly renders, " as also the rest of the Apostles." 

2 Cor. v. 14. "Because we thus judge, that if one died for 
all, then were all dead," thus seeming to imply that the death 
of Christ upon the cross is a proof that all men were in a state 
of spiritual death ; whereas the conclusion which the Apostle 
draws from the death of Christ is, that aU who truly believe in 


Him die to their old fleshly sinful life, " because we thus judge, 
that if one died for all, then all died." 

Eph. iii. 10. "To the intent that now unto the principalities 
and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church 
the manifold wisdom of God." It would only be after much 
careful consideration that the reader of these words would 
discover that they cannot mean that the manifold wisdom of 
God is to be known by the Church. What the Apostle really 
states is, that it was in the Divine purpose that through the 
Church the manifold wisdom of God was to be made known to 
the angelic powers. Of all the ancient versions the Rheims, 
though here, as usual, disfigured by its offensive Latinisms, 
most clearly expresses the sense of the verse ; its rendering is, 
"that the manifold wisdom of God may be notified to the 
Princes and Potentates in the celestials by the Church," 

PhiL iv. 3. ''And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help 
those women which laboured with me in the gospel" This 
leaves it quite uncertain who are the women referred to, whereas 
in the original it is plain that they are the two women pre- 
viously referred to, Euodia, and Syntyche ; and the reason why 
it is urged that assistance should be given to them, is that they 
had bravely shared with Paul in the toil and conflict of the 
Christian service. " Help them, for they have laboured with 
me in the gospel." 

1 Tim. iv. 15. "Meditate upon these things." This wholly 
fails to express the ajDOstle's meaning. His exhortation goes 
beyond the region of thought ; it passes into the sphere of active 
life, and he urges Timothy to give himseK to the diligent 
practice of the several departments of labour previously referred 
to. Of the old translators, Tyndale gives it correctly, "These 
thynges exercyse." 

1 Tim. vi. 2. "And they that have believing masters, let 
them not despise them, because they are brethren ; but rather do 
them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of 


the benefit." The last clause of this passage has, in all proba- 
bility, grievously puzzled many a reader; but with the fuller 
knowledge of the Greek syntax now possessed, all obscurity 
passes away. !N'o scholar would now hesitate in rendering, "do 
them service because they who partake of the benefit are faith- 
ful and beloved."! 

1 Tim. vi. 5. " Supposing that gain is godliness." Here again 
an unnecessary difficulty is introduced ; for it is hard to see how 
any sane person could consider "gain" to be "godliness.*' On 
the other hand, it is unhappily no uncommon experience to 
meet with persons who treat religion as a means of worldly ad- 
vantage, and it is to such the Apostle refers. The correct 
rendering is, "supposing that godliness is gain. "2 

Heb. iv. 2. " For unto us was the gospel preached as well as 
unto them," a rendering which at once raises the objection that 
"the Gospel," in the sense which ordinary readers attach to the 
term, was not preached to the Israelites in the wilderness ; nor 
does any reference to "the Gospel" occur in the immediate 
context, but simply to the promise of entering into a rest. The 
plain sense of the passage is, "unto us were good tidings preached 
as well as unto them." 

Heb. viii. 5. " Who serve unto the example and shadow of 
heavenly things." The introduction of the preposition "unto" 
almost entirely obliterates the meaning of the clause ; namely, 
that the Mosaic priesthood were the ministers, not of the true 
sanctuary, but of that which is only its copy and shadow. The 
Eheims correctly renders, " that serve the examplar and shadow 
of heavenly things." 

Heb. xiii. 7, 8. " Whose faith foUow, considering the end of 
their conversation : Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, 

1 So WyclifFe, "for they ben feithful and loued, the whiche ben parce- 
ners of benefice;" and the Rheims, "because they be faithful and beloued 
which are partakers of the benefite." 

^ Here all the older versions go wrong. 


and for ever." Here there is a double error; first, the connection 
of the last clause with the preceding, as if it were intended to 
affirm that Christ was the end of the conversation of their 
faithful pastors ; and secondly, the wrong sense thus given to 
the word "end," which here denotes the "outcome" or issue. 
The Hebrew Christians are urged to imitate the faith of their 
pastors, considering the blessed issue of their Christian cause. 
Then follows, as an independent statement, the assertion of the 
unchangeableness of Christ, which, though not altogether dis- 
connected in thought with what precedes, stands in still closer 
connection with what follows : " Considering the issue of their 
way of life, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yester- 
day, and to-day, and for ever." 

Such are some of the passages from which it may be said, 
that through the emphatic unanimity of Biblical scholars all 
obscurity and doubt have been removed. Their true meaning 
may now be affirmed with a confidence that closely borders 
upon moral certainty. Through numerous commentaries and 
other expository works, these results of scolarship are made 
widely known, and they whose duty it is to expound these 
passages to others are constrained to point out the imperfection 
that attaches to the renderings given in the English Bible now 
ordinarily used. It is obviously a most undesirable thing that 
the teacher or preacher should be placed under such a necessity. 
It is not at all times easy so to discharge the duty as that he 
shall give no offence even to educated hearers ; while the simple- 
minded and unlearned are painfully perplexed ; and, unprepared 
as they are to estimate the limits of possible error, seem to 
themselves to be launched upon a boundless sea of uncertainty. 
Revision, therefore, becomes imperative, both for the sake of 
removing acknowledged blemishes, and also for reassuring the 
anxious that they are trusting to a faithful guide, and for show- 
ing to them how little, comparatively, there is in their beloved 
Book that needs to be changed. 



Another, and distinct, class of reasons for the further revision 
of the English Bible, arises from the more abundant material 
now possessed for the determination of the original text of 
Scripture than was within the reach of the Eevisers of 1611. 

Even if these honoured men had perfectly fulfilled their 
work, and had never erred in their interpretation of the sacred 
books, the result of their labours would stiU be open to correc- 
tion because of the less perfect form of the texts which they 
set themselves to translate. The exact words used by the 
inspired writers are, as was stated in the first lecture, not now to 
be found in any one book or manuscript. They have to be 
gathered from varied sources, by long and careful labour, 
demanding much skiU and learning. These sources, moreover, 
are so numerous that the investigation of them can be accom- 
plished only by a large division of laboui-, no one life being 
long enough for the task, and no one scholar having knowledge 
enough to complete it alone. Nevertheless, it is weU that our 
sources are thus extensive. Had one copy only of the books of 
the Old and ]S"ew Testament come down to us, then, indeed, 
we should have been freed from the necessity of this manifold 
and laborious research, but unless this were the original copy 
itself, we should have had no means whereby to detect and to 
remove the errors which had crept in from the human imperfec- 


tions of the transcribers. And though none of these errata 
might in any serious degree have affected the great truths which 
the Bible conveys to us, or have diminished our estimate of its 
surpassing worth, they would have been as blots upon its pages 
which our love and reverence for it would long to see removed. 
The greater the number and variety of our resources, the greater 
is our ability, by the examination and comparison of their 
differences, to remove these blemishes ■ and the greater also is 
the confidence we are able to feel in the absolute correctness of 
those far more numerous and extensive passages in which our 
authorities agree. And hence, though the toil imposed upon us 
is so largely multiplied thereby, we cannot but rejoice in the 
number and extent of our authorities, and we gather therefrom 
a fresh illustration of the saying, that "in all labour there is 

The sources, whence our knowledge of the original texts is 
chiefly derived, are three in number : (1) Manuscripts contain- 
ing one or more of the books of Scripture ; (2) Ancient Versions 
of the Bible ; and (3) Quotations of Scriptural passages found 
in the works of early Christian writers. 

Eespecting our Manuscript Authorities, the first fact claiming 
emphatic notice is, that while in the case of the classic poets, 
philosophers and historians, the extant manuscript copies are 
numbered by tens and sometimes even by units, those of the 
Scriptures are numbered by hundreds. Of the New Testament 
alone nearly eighteen hundred manuscripts have been catalogued 
and more or less carefully examined. Of these 685 are manu- 
scripts of the Gospels, 248 contain the Acts and Catholic 
Epistles, 298 the Pauline Epistles, and 110 the Apocalypse; 
428 are Lectionaries or service books of the Greek church, 347 
of which contain passages from the Gospels and 81 passages 
from the Acts and the Epistles. Thus while our knowledge of 
the interesting narratives of Herodotus is dependent upon five 


or six authorities only, and the history of Livy upon eight or 
nine only (and none of these contain the whole even of the 
Ijortions extant),^ our knowledge of the life and words of our 
Lord is drawn from over a thousand manuscript authorities, 
and of which the larger part contain the whole of the four 

In antiquity again the manuscripts of the l^ew Testament far 
surpass those of classical authors. Few, if any, of the latter 
are older than the ninth or tenth century, while of the former 
we have copies belonging to the fourth and fifth centuries. The 
oldest manuscripts are written in capital letters, and on this 
account are called unciaP manuscripts, or briefly uncials. Later 
manuscripts are written in a smaller character, and in a style 
approaching to what we call a running hand, and are hence 
named cursives. Of uncial manuscripts, containing portions of 
the New Testament, one hundred and fifty-eight have been 
examined and catalogued. Some of the most valuable of these 
have been published under the superintendence of carefid editors. 
Others have been thoroughly examined, and their variations so 
faithfully noted and recorded, that a private student is, for most 
practical pm-poses, placed in the same position as the possessor of 
the manuscript itself. This work is technically described as colla- 
tion, and the amount of painstaking labour spent upon the 
collation of Biblical manuscripts during the past two hundred 
years, and especially in the last forty or fifty years, is simply 
enormous. To one who has never examined a document written 
many centuries ago it is difficult to convey any adequate notion 
of the amoimt of time and labour involved in the collation even 
of a single manuscript. The unusual and varying forms of the 

^ The first four books of the Annals of Tacitus are found only in a 
single MS. (the ]\Iedicean) of the eleventli century. The nme books of the 
Letters of Pliny the Younger are found complete in one ]\IS. only, of the 
tenth century ; this also is in the Medicean Library. 

2 From the Latin uncia, an inch. 



letters, the indistinctness of the characters, the various contrac- 
tions employed by the scribe, and, as is the case with our most 
ancient documents, the non-separation of word from word, and 
the absence of stops, render the mere task of deciphering the 
manuscript very difficult and painfully wearying to the eyes.^ 
^luch watchful attention is also demanded, as well as a good 
knowledge of the language, in making the proper separation of 
the words, and in judging aright of any peculiarities of spelling 
that may attach to the writer. In making the collation of any 
Biblical manuscript — say of the New Testament — the course 
generally pursued is as follows : The collator procures a printed 
copy of the Greek text, commonly of some well-kno'^Ti edition, 
and in the margin of this he marks all the variations of the 
manuscripts from the printed text before him, whether of omis- 
sion, addition, or otherwise, including even variations in spelling. 
He also marks carefully where each line and j)age of the manu- 
script begins and ends, what corrections or alterations have been 
made in it, whether these were made by the original writer or by 
a later hand ; and where several handwritings may be detected, 
he specifies and distinguishes these. All this is done with so 
much minuteness that it would be possible for the collator to re- 
produce the original manuscript in every respect save in the shape 
of the letters and the appearance of the parchment or paper. 

Of the uncial manuscripts of the New Testament, the most 
ancient and important are the Sinaitic,^ written in the fourth 
century, and now deposited in the Imperial Library of St. 

^ In some MSS. called 'pcdiuvpscsts, the more ancient, and to us the 
more valualile, AVTiting has been partially washed away, in order that the 
vellum might be used again for some more recent work. In these cases it 
is exceedingly difficult to decipher, beneath the later and darker wiiting, 
the traces of the older ■writing ; indeed, not unfrequently the characters 
are so faded that they cannot be read at all until revived by some chemical 
preparation. The Ephraem Codex is a MS. of this kind. 

2 Commonly referred to under the symbol J<, the Hebrew letter, Aleph. 


Petersburg ; the Vatican,^ also of the fourth century, and pre- 
served in the Vatican Library at Eome ; the Alexandrine,- of 
the fifth century, now in the British Museum; the Ephraem 
CoDEX,^ of the fifth century, in the N'ational Library at Paris ; 
Beza's Codex,* of the sixth centiuy, in the University Library, 
Cambridge; and the Claromontane,* also of the sixth 
century, which formerly belonged to Beza, but is now in the 
National Library at Paris. As will be seen presently, only two 
of these most ancient manuscripts were available for the pre- 
paration of the text from which the translators of 1611 made 
their revision. The Alexandrine was not brought to light until 
1628, when it was presented to Charles I. by Cyril Lucar, 
patriarch of Constantinople. Although the Ephraem Codex 
was brought to Europe in the early part of the sixteenth 
century, it was not known to contain a portion of the ^N'ew 
Testament until towards the close of the seventeenth century, 
and was not collated until the year 1716. The Sinaitic was 
discovered by Dr. Tischendorf, in the Convent of St. Catherine 
on Mount Sinai, so recently as February 4th, 1859. And the 
Vatican, though deposited in the Library at Eome in the 
fifteenth century, was, during a long time, so jealously guarded 
by the Eoman authorities, that little use could be made of it. 
Now, however, all these six important manuscripts have been 
edited and published, some in the ordinary style of printing, 
and some in quasi facsimile. At the present time, by the 
application of the processes of photography, an exact copy of 
the Alexandrine is in course of preparation, and the New 
Testament portion has been successfully completed. 

In these and other ways, by the laborious efforts of many 
English and Continental scholars, an immense amount of 
material for the determination of the sacred text has been 

^ Referred to as B. " Referred to as A. ^ Referred to as C. 

^ Referred to as D of the Gospels. ^ Referred to as D of the Epistles. 


gathered together and safely garnered; and knowledge which 
aforetime could be attained only by slow and weaiisome effort, 
by many long journeys to distant places, and by much personal 
search amongst the books and papers stored away in national 
and other libraries, can now be attained with comparative ease 
by the solitary student in his study. At the time when Kmg 
James's translators entered upon their work a small fraction on]y 
of this mass of material was available, and even that fraction 
was but imperfectly used. The means were not then possessed 
for correctly judging of the relative value of the several docu- 
ments, nor had experience given the skill to discriminate wisely 
between varying testimony. 

The translators of 1611 have left on record no statement 
respectmg the Greek text from which they translated, but as far 
as can be gathered from internal evidence they contented them- 
selves with accepting the forms of it which they found ready at 
hand. Of these the two then held iii highest repute were those 
connected with the names of Theodore Eeza and Eobert 
Stephen. These, in their turn, were based upon the two primary 
editions of the printed text, the Complutensian and Erasmus's, 
editions which were made quite independently of each other. 
The Complutensian was the first printed, though not the first 
published.^ It formed the fifth volume of the splendid Polyglot 
prepared under the munificent patronage of Cardinal Ximenes, 
at Alcala, in Spain, from the Latin name of which city (Com- 
plutum) it derives its designation, and was completed January 
10th, 1514. It is not now known from what manuscripts the 
text of this edition was derived, but it may be confidently 
affirmed that none of our most ancient authorities were used. 
They were probably not many in number, and were aU what in 
this connection is termed modern; that is to say, not earlier than 
the tenth century. The first ■puhlislied edition of the Greek 

The License for its pubUcation was not granted until March 20, 1520. 


New Testament was that edited by the celebrated Erasmus, and 
sent forth from the press of Froben, in Basle, February 24th, 
1516. This was derived from six manuscripts, five of which 
are now in the public library of Basle, and one^ in the library 
of the Prince of Oettingen-Wallerstein. Of these one, and the 
most valuable, contained the whole of the jSTew Testament 
except the Apocalypse, but of this Erasmus made but little use. 
Of the rest, one contained the Gospels only, two the Acts and 
the Epistles only, one the Epistles of Paul only, and one the 
Apocalypse only. It will thus be seen that in the Gospels the 
text given by Erasmus rested almost entirely upon the authority 
of a single manuscript ; in the Acts and Catholic Epistles upon 
that of two only ; in the Epistles of Paul upon three ; and in 
the Apocalypse upon one only, and that an imperfect one. The 
last six verses were wanting, and these Erasmus supplied by 
translating them into Greek from the Latin of the Yulgate. The 
work too was hastily done. The proposal to undertake it was 
made to Erasmus April 17th, 1515, so that less than ten months 
were given to the preparation of the volume, and this, too, at a 
time when Erasmus was busied with other engagements; an 
unseemly haste that we may probably ascribe to the publishers' 
eager desire to get the start of the Complutensian. Eevised 
editions were published in 1519 and 1522, in the preparation 
of which the aid of a few additional manuscripts was obtained. 
These, again, were further revised by the aid of the Complu- 
tensian, which then became available, in an edition which 
Erasmus published in 1527. 

The next stage in the history of the printed text of the 
Greek !N'ew Testament is marked by the publication at Paris, in 
1550, of the handsome folio of the celebrated and learned 
printer, Robert Stephen.^ He tells us in his preface that in the 

^ Namely, his sole authority for the Apocalypse. 

^ He had pre\dously published two smaller editions {16mo), one ia 
1546, and another in 1549. 


preparation of this edition lie made use of the Comphitensian 
and of fifteen manuscripts. Two of these were ancient, one that 
is now known as Beza's Codex, which had been collated for him 
by a friend in Italy, and another, a manuscript in the National 
Library of Paris, written in the eighth or ninth century, and 
containing the four Gospels ;^ the rest were modern, and all were 
but imperfectly collated. ^ 

After the death of Eobert Stephen (1559)^ the work of 
revision was carried on by Theodore Eeza, who, like the former, 
had embraced the Protestant cause, and like him also had found 
a home in Geneva. His first edition was published in this city 
in 1565, a second in 1582, a third in 1589, and a fourth in 
1598. In the preparation of these he had in his possession the 
collations made for Eobert Stephen, and, in addition, the ancient 
manuscript of the Gospels and Acts which now bears his name ; 
and for the Pauline Epistles, the equally ancient Claromontane. 
Beza's strength, however, lay rather in the interpretation, than 
in the criticism, of the text, and he made but a slight use of 
the materials within his reach. 

It will thus be seen how small, comparatively, was the manu- 
script authority for the text used by King James's translators. 
In the main they follow the text of Beza ; sometimes, however, 
they give the preference to Stephen's ; in some few places they 
differ from both. By what principles they were guided in 
their choice we do not know. They do not appear to have set 
on foot any independent examination of authorities, and when 
they forsake their two guides they commonly follow in the wake 
of some of the earlier English versions. 

But, as already stated, manuscripts are not the only source 

^ Now called the Codex Regius, and denoted by L. 

' The collation of the eight Parisian MSS. was done for him l)y his son 
Henry, then a youth of eighteen, 

^ At Geneva, whither he had deemed it prudent to remove shortly after 
the publication of his celebrated edition of the Greek New Testament. 



whence we derive oui* knowledge of the original texts. Trans- 
lations of the Scriptui-es were made at an early date ; some at 
an earlier date than that of the oldest manuscripts now extant. 
Two of these were referred to in the first lecture ; namely, the 
old Latin and the old Syriac, both of which belong to the 
second century, and give, therefore, most important testimony as 
to the words of Scripture at that early period. Xext to these in 
point of age may be placed the two Egyptian versions, one in 
the language of Lower Egypt, and caUed the Memphitic (or 
Coptic), and the other in that of Upper Egypt, and called the 
Thebaic (or Sahidic). Bi the opinion of competent judges, 
some portions, at least, of the Scriptures must have been trans- 
lated into these dialects before the close of the second century ; 
in then- completed form these versions may be referred to the 
earlier part of the third century. A Gothic version of the 
Scriptures was made in the fourth century by Ulphilas, who was 
Bishop of the Moeso-Goths 348-388 ; and of this some valu- 
able portions are still extant. Two other ancient versions, the 
Armenian (cent. 5), and the iEthiopic (cents. 6 and 7), though 
of inferior importance, are not without value. During recent 
years a large amount of labour has been spent, first, in securing 
as accurate a knowledge as possible of the text of these various 
versions, and then in investigating the evidence they supply 
respecting the original texts from which they were severally 
made. From this source much valuable material has been 
obtained supplementary to that furnished by Biblical manu- 

The works of early Christian writers contam, as might be 
expected, large quotations of Scripture passages. Some of 
these works are elaborate expositions of various books of the 
Old and l^ew Testament, and others are controversial writings 
in which there is a frequent necessity for appealing to Scrip- 
tural authorities. Although not a few of the writings of the 
earliest Christian authors have perished, we have still a con- 


siderable collection of writings belonging to the second and 
third centuries, whose pages supply us with valuable evidence 
concerning the text of the New Testament, of a date earlier 
than the oldest of our manuscripts. We have also a still 
larger collection of writings belonging to the same age as that 
of our most ancient manuscripts, and from them are able to 
gather a further mass of testimony in confirmation or correction 
of that given by these venerable documents. 

The writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, 
and Origen, belonging to the latter part of the second century, 
and the beginning of the third, contain a large body of quota- 
tions from the Gospels and Epistles. The works of Origen 
alone may, with scarcely any exaggeration, be said to be equiva- 
lent to an additional manuscript of the Xew Testament. He 
died about a.d. 253 or 254, and during his entire life gave 
himself with a most indomitable perseverance to Biblical 
studies. In addition to an elaborate revision of the Greek 
text of the Septuagint, upon which he spent eight and twenty 
years, but of which unhappily some fragments only have 
reached us, he composed expositions or homilies upon the larger 
part of the books of the Old and New Testaments. Of these 
some very considerable portions have come down to us, and as 
his expositions on the Old Testament abound in quotations 
from the !N"ew, the number of passages from the latter found in 
his writings is very large. 

Of -svriters belonging to the fourth century we have com- 
mentaries in Greek by Clirysostom and Didymus, and in Latin 
by Hilary of Eome, and Jerome; and, in addition, extensive 
theological treatises, involving numerous appeals to the Scrip- 
tures, by Athanasius, Ambrose, Basil, Epiphanius, and the two 

In the following century we have the Greek commentaries of 
Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret; the commentary of 
Pelagius on the Epistles of Paul ; and the voluminous writings 


of Augustine, mcludiiig commentaries on the Psalms, the 
Sermon on the Mount, John's Gospel and Epistles, and Paul's 
Epistles to the Eomans and Galatians, together with a large 
number of Homilies on various parts of Scripture. These 
numerous writings form a mine of wealth to the Biblical critic ; 
but it is a mine that has only been diligently worked in com- 
paratively recent years. Much wearisome toil has been 
necessary m bruiging to light its treasures, and these were 
either overlooked or neglected by the earlier editors of the 
Greek ]S"ew Testament. 

It may perhaps be thought that, inasmuch as the documents 
from which these Christian writings are obtained are themselves 
of a later date, the testimony they give to the text of Scripture 
is of no higher worth than that of Biblical manuscripts of the 
same age. The scribes, it may be said, would be influenced by 
the form of text then current, and in copying these writings 
would naturally, when Scripture quotations occurred, give them 
in the form with which they were familiar. To some extent 
this may have been the case, and the testimony of these writ- 
ings is of less weight when they simply reflect the form of 
text which prevailed at the date when they were copied. But 
then, on the other hand, their testimony is for the same reason 
proportionally the stronger whenever they do not agree with 
the current form, but give a different reading. Moreover it 
must be remembered that in many cases the authors comment 
minutely upon the Scripture text, and that here their testimony 
is quite unaffected by any tendency on the part of the copyist 
to use a familiar form, the comment itself showing beyond all 
doubt what was the form of the text which the author was 
expounding. In all such places the testimony of these early 
writers is especially valuable. 

From this mere outline of the manifold researches which 
scholars have made during the years that have passed since the 
Revision of 1611 was issued, some notion may be gathered of 


the extent to which our resources for the satisfactory deter- 
mination of the sacred text have been multiplied. It will 
hence be seen how great is the confidence with which we are 
thereby enabled to affirm the verbal correctness of that far larger 
portion of the text in which our numerous and varied authori- 
ties are all agreed, and with what confidence also we can place 
our finger upon certain blemishes, and say that here an error 
has crept in through the inadvertence, or carelessness, or igno- 
rance of the transcriber. K then there were no other reasons 
for the revision of the English Bible, this alone would be a 
sufficient ground for it. When it is in the power of any one to 
say that there are passages in our common Bibles which, as 
there given, are found in no Greek manuscript whatever, as is 
the case in Acts ix., the latter part of verse 5, and the be- 
ginning of verse 6 ; 1 Peter iii. 20 ; Heb. xi. 1 3 3 and Eev. 
ii. 20 ; and when there are other passages, respecting which the 
evidence is greatly preponderating, that they ought to have no 
place in the text, as is the case with Matt. vi. 13; Matt. xvii. 
21 ; Matt, xxiii. 35 (last clause); Mark xv. 28; Luke xi. 2, 4 
(the last clause of each verse) ; John v. 3 (last clause), and 
4 ; Acts viii. 37 ; Acts xv. 34 ; Acts xxviii. 29 ; Eom. xi. 6 
(last clause) ; 1 Cor. vi. 20 (last clause) ; 1 Cor. x. 28 (last 
clause) ; Gal. iii. 1 (second clause) ; Heb. xii. 20 ; and 1 John 
v., from " in heaven," verse 7, to " in earth," verse 8. When 
these things can be said, and can be truly said, then all true 
lovers of the Bible will earnestly demand that they be forth- 
with removed. 



It has not been left to the present generation to be the first to 
recognize the force of the various considerations presented in the 
previous lectures. The duty of providing for a further revision 
of the English Bible has been handed down as a solemn trust 
from generation to generation. Every new discovery made of 
Biblical manuscripts, and every fresh field of research opened 
up, has at once made the need of revision more apparent, and 
given intensity to the desire that it should be undertaken ; and, 
in their turn, this quickened desire and this increase of material 
have prompted to renewed efforts m obtaining all possible sub- 
sidiary helps. In this way it has come to pass that the whole 
period which has elapsed since the publication of the Eevision of 
1611 has been in effect a time of preparation for another and 
further revision, and here, as elsewhere, the divine law of human 
discipline has been verified, that every work accomplished is but 
the starting-point for fresh endeavours. 

In this work of preparation four distmct stages may be clearly 
traced : the first, that of unfriendly criticism ; the second, that 
of premature attempts at correction ; the third, that of diligent 
research and patient investigation ; and the fourth, that of wide- 
spread conviction of the desirableness of further revision, and the 
discussion of the plans by which it may best be accomphshed. 

From the very first the new version had to undergo an ordeal 


of criticism, springing sometimes from personal pique, some- 
times from party prejudice, sometimes from a one-sided attach- 
ment to a favourite doctrine, the evidence for which seemed to 
be obscured by the rendering given to certain passages. Almost 
immediately upon the publication of the volume, a violent 
attack was made upon it by Hugh Erougliton, who, though a 
man of immense erudition, and one of the best Hebraists of the 
day, was of so overbearing a temper that his offer to aid in the 
revision had been declined. Broughton declared that the version 
was so ill done that it bred in him a sadness which would grieve 
him whilst he breathed. " Tell his Majesty," he passionately 
said, " that I had rather be rent in pieces with wild horses than 
any such translation by my consent should be urged on poor 

In the sharp controversies of the Commonwealth period the 
slight indications given by the version of a certain ecclesiastical 
bias were unduly exaggerated. Charges of a direct prelatic 
influence were freely made, and various rumours were circulated, 
as if upon good authority, that Archbishop Bancroft had taken 
upon himself to introduce alterations in opposition to the judg- 
ment, and even the protest of the translators. Influenced 
probably by the feeling thus awakened, though not sharing it, 
Dr. John Lightfoot, in a sermon preached before the Long 
Parliament on August 26th, 1645,^ exj)ressed the hope that 
they would find some time among their serious emplojTuents to 
think of a " review and survey of the translation of the Bible." 
"And certainly," he added, "it would not be the least advan- 
tage that you might do to the three nations, if they, by your 
care and means, might come to understand the proper and 
genuine reading of the Scriptures by an exact, vigorous, and 
lively translation." 

In 1653 the charcje that the New Testament "had been 

^ Works, vol. vi. p. 194. 


looked over by some Prelates, to bring it to speak the Prelatical 
language," was formally repeated in the preamble of a Bill 
brought before the Long Parliament, which proposed the ap- 
pointment of a committee " to search and observe wherein that 
last translation appears to be wronged by the Prelates or 
printers or others. "^ In 1659 a folio volume of 805 pages, 
entitled, "An Essay toward the Amendment of the Last 
English Translation of the Bible, or a Proof by many instances 
that the last Translation of the Bible into English may be im- 
proved," was published by Dr. Robert Gell, " Minister of the 
Parish of St. Mary, Alder-Mary, London." Dr. Gell was a man 
who stoutly maintained the doctrme that it is "possible and 
attainable through the grace of God and His Holy Spirit that 
men may be without sin," and his book is an elaborate attempt 
to show that this doctrine " was frequently delivered in holy 
Scripture, though industriously obscured by oiu' translators." 
An attack of an another kind was made a quarter of a centiuy 
later, by a Eoman Catholic writer named Thomas Ward, who, 
repeating many of the charges made against the earher English 
versions by Gregory Martin, one of the authors of the Rhemish 
version, charged the translators with corrupting the Holy 
Scriptm-es by false and partial translations, for the purpose of 
gaining unfair advantage in the controversy with the Church of 

These hostile criticisms, though made in a spirit of jjartisan- 
ship and marred by much uncharitableness and unfairness, were 
nevertheless of service. They forced upon all, though in a rude 
and unpleasant way, the recognition of the fact that the new 
version, with all its excellences, was still the work of fallible 
men ; and despite then' passion and their hard words, they did 

^ The draft of this Bill is preserved in the State Paper Office {Domestic 
Intcrreg., Bundle 662, f. 12), and is given in full by Dr. Stoughton, 
CJmrcJi of the Comriionvjcalth, p, 543. 

2 Errata to the Protestant Bible, Pref. p. 3., ed. 1737. 


undoubtedly hit some blots that here and there disfigured the 
sacred page. To this extent they served to prepare the way for 
further revision. 

A second stage in the process of preparation is seen in the 
various attempts which have been made to produce a version 
which should remove acknowledged blemishes, and more faith- 
fully convey the meaning of the holy Word. Some of these 
have been based upon a well-conceived plan, and have sought 
to accomplish the desired end by the united efforts of a band of 
fellow-labourers j others have been the work of individual 
scholars, and were for the most part of a tentative character, 
intended simply to show what ought to be attempted, and how 
it might be done ; others, again, have been the unwise labours 
of men who worked upon false principles, and with insufficient 
knowledge ; but all have in their own way helped on the work, 
the former two classes by their felicitous renderings of some 
passages, and the light they have thrown upon the meaning of 
others, and the last mentioned class by their clear demonstration 
of what a translation of the Scriptures ought certainly not to be. 

The first ^ serious attempt at a further revision was made by 

^ In the library of Trinity College, Dublin, there is a manuscript in 
three volumes of an English version of the Bible, by Ambrose Ussher, 
brother of Archbishop Ussher. The date assigned to it is about 1620. It 
does not, however, seem to be in any proper sense a revision of the version 
of 1611, but rather an independent revision based upon the earlier 
versions. In an "epistle dedicatorie" to James I. the writer describes 
himself as having "leisurelie and seasonablie dressed" and "served out 
this other dish" while His Majesty was "a doing on" the "seasonable 
sudden meale " which the translators had hastily prepared. He further 
states that he did not oppose "to our new ti'anslation old interpretationes 
alreadie waighed and reiected," but "fresh and new that yeeld new con- 
sideration and that fight not onlie with our English Bible, but likelie 
with all translated bibles in what language soeuer and contrarieth them." 
As far as can be gathered from the examination of a single chapter, the 
work seems chiefly based upon the Genevan. The version is incomplete. 
Vol. i. contains Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, 
Joshua (imperfect), Judges, Ruth, Samuel ; vol. ii. contains Kings, 


the Eev. Henry Jessey, m.a., pastor of that greatly persecuted 
Congregational Church in Southwark, whicli had been gathered 
by Henry Jacob in 1616. In the time of the Commonwealth 
proposals were made by Jessey, that "godly and able men" 
should be appointed by "public authority" ''to review and 
amend the defects in oiu- translation." Pending their appoint- 
ment, he set himself to secure the co-operation of a number of 
learned men, at home and abroad, writing to them in the follow- 
ing fashion : " There being a strange desire in many that love 
the truth, to have a more pure, proper translation of the 
originals than hitherto ; and I being moved and inclined to it, 
and desirous to promote it with all possible speed and exactness, 
do make my request (now in my actual entrance on Genesis) 
that as you love the truth as it is in Jesus, and the edification 
of saints, you with others (in like manner solicited), will take 
share and do each a part in the work, which being finished will 
be fruit to your account." Of the names of his fellow-workers 
the only one recorded is that of Mr. John Eow, Hebrew pro- 
fessor at Aberdeen, "who took exceeding pains herein," and 
who drew up the scheme in accordance with which the work 
was carried on. Jessey's proposal received at least so much of 
support from " public authority," that he was one of the com- 
mittee whose appointment was recommended to the House of 
Commons in 1653. The result is thus quaintly told by Jessey's 
biographer ;! "Thusthorow his perswasions many persons ex- 
celling in knowledge, integrity, and holiness, did buckle to tliis 
great Worke of bettering the Translation of the Bible, but their 

Chi'onicles, Ezra, Nehemiali (imperfect), Esther, and a Latin version of 
part of Joshua ; vol. iii. contains Job, Psalms (partly in Latin), Proverbs, 
Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, 
Daniel (partly in Latin), the Minor Prophets, the first chapter of St. 
John's Gospel, Romans, Corinthians, Philemon, James, Peter, John, 
Apocalypse (partly in Latin), Jude. — Royal Commission on Historical 
3Ianuscripts, Fourth Report, pp. 589-598. 

^ The Life and Death of Mr. Henry Jessey, p. 47. 


names are thought fit at jDresent to be concealed to prevent 
undue Reflections upon their persons ; but may come to light 
(if that work shall ever come to be made publick), and unto 
each of them was one particular book or more allotted, according 
as they had leisure, or as the bent of their Genius, advantages 
of Books or Studies lay, which when supervised by all the rest, 
dayes of assemblmg together were to have been set apart, to seek 
the Lord for His further direction, and for conference with each 
other touching the matter then under consideration. In process 
of time this whole work was almost compleated, and stayed for 
nothing but the appointment of Commissioners to examine it, 
and warrant its publication." The death of Cromwell, and 
the political events which followed, prevented the realization of 
Jessey's hopes. It had been with Mm the work of many years 
of his life, and his soul was so engaged in it that he frequently 
uttered the prayer, " that I might see this done before I die." 
The ecclesiastical events arising out of the Act of Uniformity 
(1662) will sufficiently accoimt for the absence of any efforts of 
revision during the latter part of the seventeenth century. In 
the earlier part of the following century there appeared one of 
those ill-advised attempts, whose chief use is to serve as a beacon 
of warning, in the Greek and English Xew Testament, pub- 
lished A.D. 1729, by W. Mace, m.d.^ In his translation this 

^ Mace's rendering of James iii. 5, 6 is the passage most frequently 
quoted in illustration of his style. ' ' So the tongue is but a small part of 
the body, yet how grand are its pretensions, a spark of fire ! what quanti- 
ties of timber ^^ill it blow into a flame ? the tongue is a brand that sets 
the world in a combustion, it is but one of the numerous organs of 
the body, yet it can blast whole assemblies : tipped -sA-ith infernal sulphur 
it sets the whole train of life in a blaze." It is but right, however, to 
state that this is perhaps the very worst passage in the book. The follow- 
ing verses are a fair specimen of his ordinary style. Acts xix. 8, 9 : "At 
length Paul went to the synagogue, where he spoke with gi-eat freedom, 
and for three months he conferred ^^'ith them to persuade them of the 
tiiith of the evangelical kingdom, but some of them being such obdurate 
infidels as to inveigh against the institution before the populace, he retired, 


author allowed himself to employ an unpleasantly free style of 
rendering, and deemed it fitting to substitute the colloquial 
style of the day for the dignitied simplicity of the version he 
undertook to amend. 

Towards the latter part of the century a considerable number 
of well-meant endeavours at revision were made by devout and 
scholarly men. 

In 1764 "A new and literal Translation of the Old and New 
Testament, with notes, critical and explanatory," was published 
by Anthony Purver, a member of the Society of Friends. 

In 1770 there was issued " The New Testament, or New Cove- 
nant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, translated from the 
Greek according to the present idiom of the English tongue, 
with notes and references," by John Worsley, of Hertford, whose 
aim, as stated in his preface, was to bring his translation nearer 
to the original, and " to make the present form of expression 
more suitable to our present language, adding, with a laudable 
desire to repudiate all sympathy with tliose who forced the 
Scripture to say what, according to their own fancies, it ought 
to say, " I have no design to countenance any particular opinions 
or sentiments. I have weighed, as it were, every word in a 
balance, even to the minutest particle, begging the gracious aid 
of the Divine Spirit to lead me into the true and proper 
meaning, that I might give a just and exact translation of this 
great and precious charter of man's salvation." ^ 

and taking the disciples with him, he instructed them daily in the school 
of one Tyrannus." 

A yet more offensive specimen of this style of translation was supplied 
by the New Testament published in 1768, by E, Harwood, and entitled, A 
literal transkction of the New Testament, being an attempt to translate th* 
Sacred Writings with the same Freedom, Spirit, and Elegance with which 
other English Translations from the Greek Classics lutve lately been executed; 
a work which, however faithfully it may represent the inflated and stilted 
style which then prevailed, can now be read only with astonishment and 

^ Worsley died before the publication of the volume. It was edited by 
M. Bradshaw and S. Worsley. 



In 1781 Gilbert Wakefield, late Fellow of Jesus College, 
Cambridge, but then classical tutor of the Warrington Academy, 
published " a new translation of the First Epistle of Paul tlie 
Apostle to the Thessalonians, offered to the public as a specimen 
of an intended version of the whole New Testament, with a 
preface containing a brief account of the Author's plan." This 
was followed in 1782 by a new translation of the Gospel of 
Matthew, and in 1791 by a translation of the whole of the 
Kew Testament."^ 

In 178G a Eonian Catholic clergyman (the Rev. Alexander 
Geddes, ll.d. ) issued a prospectus of '*a New Translation of 
the Holy Bible from corrected texts of the originals, com- 
pared with the Ancient Versions." This prospectus was very 
favourably received by many of the leading Biblical scholars 
of the day, especially by the great Hebraist, Dr. Benjamin 
Kennicott, Canon of Christchurch, and by Dr. Kobert Lowth, 
Bishop of London, and was followed in 1788 by formal pro- 
posals for printing the book by subscription. The first volume 
appeared in 1792, with the title "The Holy Bible, or the 
Books accounted sacred by Jews and Christians; otherwise 
called the Books of the Old and New Covenants, faithfully 
translated from corrected texts of the Originals, with various 
readings, explanatory notes, and critical remarks." Two other 
volumes were afterwards published; but the death of the 
author, in 1801, prevented the completion of the work.^ 

In 1796 Dr. William Newcome, Archbishop of Armagh, 
published "An attempt towards revising our English Trans- 
lation of the Greek Scriptures, or the New Covenant of Jesus 
Christ; and towards illustrating the sense by philological and 
explanatory notes." 

Passing over some other works less worthy of notice, a 

^ In 3 vols., 8vo. A second edition in 2 vols., 8vo., was published in 
1795. Memoirs of Gilbert IFakcJi-eld, vol. i. p. 355 ; vol. ii. p. 468. 
^ The work was intended to form eight vols. 4to. 


scholarly attempt was made in 1836 by Grenville Penn to 
introduce into the English version some of the results which 
had then been attained by the critical examination of ancient 
authorities. This work bore the title, " The Book of the JS'ew 
Covenant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, being a critical 
revision of the text and translation of the English version of 
the Xew Testament, with the aid of most ancient manuscripts, 
unknown to the age in which that version was last put forth 
by authority." 

It is not to be supposed that any of these translations were 
published with the expectation of securing so large a measure of 
favour as to supersede the current version. Their primary 
purpose was to aid the private study of the Bible; but they 
have been of great service also in keeping the general question 
of revision before the notice of thoughtfid persons, and they 
have each in their measure contributed to a more exact know- 
ledge of the Scriptures. 

The failiu^e of the earlier of these attempts at revision arose 
in part from the imperfect state of the texts upon which they 
were based. This soon became obvious, and Biblical scholars 
saw that for some time to come their labours must be spent 
rather in laying the foundation for a future revision than in 
attempting it themselves, and this in thi-ee distinct departments. 
The first of these was the collection, as described in the last 
lecture, of the material supplied by ancient manuscripts, and by 
early versions and quotations. In this department a long suc- 
cession of faithful men have laboured, amongst whom may be 
mentioned Brian Walton, who in 1657 published his famous 
Polyglot Bible in six folio volumes, giving in addition to the 
original Hebrew and Greek, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the 
Septuagint, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, /Ethiopic, and Persian ver- 
sions ; Dr. John Mill, whose !New Testament was published in 
1770, and of whom it has been justly said that "his services 
to Bible criticism surpass in extent and value those rendered by 


any other except one or two men yet living;"^ Dr. Richard 
Bentley, who, having himself collated the Alexandrine and 
other ancient MSS., and by various agencies amassed a large 
store of critical material, published in 1720 his "Proposals for 
Printing " revised texts both of the Greek New Testament and 
the Latin Vulgate; Dr. Kennicott, who in 1760 aroused public 
attention to the importance of collating all Hebrew MSS. made 
before the invention of printing, and who personally, or through 
the aid of others, collated more than six hundred Hebrew MSS., 
and sixteen MSS. of the Samaritan Pentateuch ; John Bernard 
de Rossi, professor of Oriental languages in the University of 
Parma, who in 1784-8 published the results of the collation of 
seven hundred and thirty-one MSS., and of three hundred 
editions of the Hebrew Scriptures ; and, to come to more recent 
times, Dr. Constantino Tischendorf, Dr. Samuel Prideaux 
Tregelles, and Dr. Frederick Henry Scrivener, whose names are to 
be held in the highest honour, as of men who have rendered 
invaluable service to their own and future generations in the ex- 
hausting and self-denying work of the collation of Biblical MSS., 
and through whose care and accuracy the means of obtaining an 
exact knowledge of a large number of most precious documents 
have been, placed witliin easy reach of all. 

The second department of labour is the application of the 
material thus collected to the correction of the text. Here again 
a vast amount of patient work has been done, and out of the 
successive labours of a long series of critics much valuable 
experience has been gained and the best methods gradually 
learnt. Amongst those who have thus laboured in the criticism 
of the text of the New Testament may be mentioned the names 
of Beugel, Wettstein, Griesbach, Scholz, Tischendorf, Lach- 
mann, Alford, Tregelles, Westcott, and Hort ; and of that of the 
Old Testament, Buxtorf, Leusden, Van der Hooght, Mchaelis, 
Houbigant, Kennicott, and Jalin. 

1 ScRiVENEit, Introduction to the Criticism of the Ncio Testament, p. 397. 


The third department is that which is concerned with the in- 
vestigation of the meaning of the sacred writers ; and how much 
has been done in this will be manifest to any one who makes the 
attempt to reckon up the long series of commentaries, English 
and Continental, on the books of the Holy Scriptures, published 
since the Eevision of 1611, commencing with the Annotations 
of the eminent N"onconformist, Henry Ainsworth, on the Penta- 
teuch, Psalms, and Song of Solomon, 1627, down to the recent 
commentaries onGalatians, Philippians,Colossians, and Philemon, 
by Dr. J. B. Lightfoot, the present Bishop of Durham. The 
attempt to make this enumeration will deepen the desire that the 
light which has been shed upon the Bible by this long succession 
of its learned and earnest students should now be employed for 
the guidance and help of the ordinary readers of its pages. 

To such desire emphatic expression has been given in various 
ways thi'ough full two generations, with an ever increasing 
intensity, and by representative men amongst all Christian com- 

So early in the present century as the year 1809, Dr. John 
Pye Smith, President of the Congregational College at Homerton, 
thus wrote : " That such blemishes should disfigure that trans- 
lation of the best and most important of volumes, which has 
been and still is more read by thousands of the pious than any 
other version, ancient or modern ; that they should be acknow- 
ledged by all competent judges to exist ; that they should have 
been so long and often complained of ; and yet that there has 
been no great public act, from high and unimpeachable authority, 
for removing them, we are constrained to view as a disgrace to our 
national literature. We do not wish to see our common version, 
now become venerable by age and prescription, superseded by 
another entirely neiv ; every desirable purpose would be satis- 
factorily attained by a faithful and loell-conduded revision."'^ 

^ Eclectic Reviev), January, 1809, p. 31. 


In the follo^\ing year (1810) Dr. Herbert IMarsh, then 
Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and subsequently 
Bishop of Peterborough, in the first edition of his Lectures 
wrote : " It is probable that our authorised version is as faithful 
a representation of the original Scriptures as could have been 
formed at fliat j^eriod. But when we consider the immense 
accession that has since been made, both to our critical and 
philological apparatus;" ''when we consider that the most 
important sources of intelligence for the interpretation of the 
original Scriptures were likewise opened after that period, we 
cannot possibly pretend that our authorised version does not 
require amendment y^ 

In 1816 Thomas Wemyss, a learned layman, who had devoted 
himself to Biblical studies, called attention, under the title of 
Biblical Gleanings, to a number of passages which were 
generally allowed to be mistranslated; and in 1819 Sir James 
Bland Burges published Reasons in favour of a Neio Transla- 
tion of the Scriptures. 

During a few years after this, the subject remained in abey- 
ance, but in 1832 there was published, at Cambridge, a cahn 
and scholarly pamphlet, entitled Hints on an Imprroved Trans- 
lation of the New Testament, by the Kev. James Scholefield, 
A.M., Eegius Professor of Greek in the University of Cam- 
bridge. A second edition was issued in 1836, and a third, with 
an appendix, in 1849. 

Through these and other publications a widely-spread con- 
viction was produced that the work ought at length to be 
attempted, and in the years 1855-57 the question was in a very 
emphatic form brought under public notice. In the Edinburgh 
Revieiv of October, 1855, in a notice of a certain Paragraph 
Bible then recently published, there appeared the following 

^ Lectures on tlie Criticism arid Interpretation of the Bible, p. 297, ed. 
1828. The itaHcs are Dr. Marsh's own. 


words : " Surely it is high time for a further revision. It is now 
ahnost 250 years since the last was made. During that long 
period neither the researches of the clergy nor the intelligence 
of the laity have remained stationary. We have become 
desirous of knowing more, and they have acquired more to 
teach us. Vast stores of Biblical information have been accu- 
mulating since the days of James I., by which, not merely the 
rendering of the Common Version, but the purity of the Sacred 
Text itself, might be improved. And it is essential to the in- 
terests of rehgion that that information should be fully, freely, 
and in an authoritative form, disseminated abroad by a careful 
correction of our received version of the Sacred Scriptures." 

In the following year, 1856, the Rev. William Selwyn, 
Canon of Ely, and Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at 
Cambridge, sent forth his Notes on the proposed Amendment 
of the Authorized Version of the Holy Scriptures, in which he 
states : "I do not hesitate to avow my firm persuasion that 
there are at least one thousand passages of the English Bible 
that might be amended without any change in the general 
texture and justly reverenced langiiage of the version." 

In July of the same year an address to the Crown was 
moved in the House of Commons by Mr. Heywood, member 
for iN'orth Lancashire, praying that Her Majesty would appoint 
a Royal Commission of learned men to consider of such amend- 
ments of the authorized version of the Bible as had been 
already proposed, and to receive suggestions from aU persons 
who might be Avilling to offer them, and to report the amend- 
ments which they might be prepared to recommend. 

In the January of the following year a resolution in support 
of revision was proposed at the general meeting of the Society 
for Promoting Christian Knowledge, by the Rev. G. F. Biber, 
LL.D., who subsequently published the substance of his speech 
in support of this resolution, under the title, A Plea for an 
Edition of the Authorized Version of Holy Scripture with 


explanatory and emendatory marginal readings. Pamphlets 
also were published the same year by Dr. Eeard and by Dr. 
Hemy Burgess ; but, what it is more important to note, in that 
year there was published the first of a series of works which 
were intended to show by example the kind of work which 
the wiser advocates of revision desired to see undertaken. This 
was The Gospel according to John, after the Authorized 
Version, newly compared with the original Gi^eek, and revised 
hyfive clergymen — Joh n Barrow, D.D. ; George Moherly, D. C.L. ; 
Henry Alford, B.D.; William G. Humphry, B.D.; Charles J, 
Ellicott, M.A. In that same year also Dr. Trench, then Dean of 
Westminster (now Archbishop of Dublin), published his work 
On the Authorized Version of the New Testament; and in 
1863 Dr. Plumptre, in the Dictionary of the Bible, reiterated 
the statement, "The work ought not to be delayed much 

In the spiing of 1870 the desirableness of a fresh revision of 
the English Bible was advocated — by Dr. J. B. Lightfoot in a 
paper read before a meeting of clergy ; by the writer of these 
lectures in a ^di^Qi read before the annual meeting of the 
Congregational Union of England and Wales; by the British 
Quarterly Review in its January number; and, iinaUy, by the 
Quarterly Revieiv in its April number. 

A weighty sentence from the last-mentioned writer will be a 
fitting conclusion to the present lecture. "It is positive un- 
faithfulness on the part of those who have ability and oppor- 
tunity to decline the task. The Word of God, just because it 
is God's Word, ought to be presented to every reader in a state 
as pui-e and perfect as human learning, skill, and taste can 
make it. The higher our veneration for it the more anxious 
ought we to be to free it from every blemish, however small 
and unimportant. But nothing in truth can be unimportant 
which dims the hght of Divine Eevelation." 



To the general consensus of opinion described in the last lecture 
practical expression was first given by the action of the Con- 
vocation of Canterbury, in the early part of 1870. 

On February 10, 1870, a resolution was moved in the Upper 
House of Convocation by Dr. Wilberforce, Bishop of Win- 
chester, and seconded by Dr. Ellicott, Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol, " That a Committee of both Houses be appointed, with 
power to confer with any committee that may be appointed by 
the Convocation of the l^orthern Province, to report upon the 
desirableness of a revision of the Authorized Version of the 
New Testament, whether by marginal notes or otherwise, in all 
those passages where plain and clear errors, whether in the 
Greek Text originally adopted by the translators, or in the 
translation made from the same, shall, on due investigation, be 
foimd to exist." On the motion of Dr. Ollivant, Bishop of 
Llandaff, seconded by Dr. Thirlwall, Bishop of St. Davids, it 
was agreed to enlarge this resolution so as to include the Old 
Testament also, and the resolution as so amended was ultimately 

This resolution was communicated to the Lower House on 
the following day (February 11), where it was accepted without 
a division. 

The joint Committee appointed in accordance with this reso- 
lution consisted of seven Bishops and foiu-teen Members of the 


Lower House. ^ This Committee met on March 24th, and 
agreed to the following report r^ 

I. "That it is desirable that a Revision of the Authorized 
Version of the Holy Scriptures be imdertaken." 

IL " That the Eevision be so conducted as to comprise both 
Marginal renderings, and such emendations as it may be found 
necessary to insert in the text of the Authorized Version." 

III. " That in the above Resolutions we do not contemplate 
any new translation of the Bible, or any alteration of the 
language except where, in the judgment of the most competent 
Scholars, such change is necessary." 

IV. "That in such necessary changes, the style of the lan- 
guage employed in the existing Version be closely followed." 

V. " That it is desirable that Convocation should nominate a 
body of its own Members to undertake the work of Revision, 
who shall be at liberty to invite the co-operation of any eminent 
for scholarship, to whatever nation or religious body they may 

This Report was presented to the Upper House on May 3rd, 
where its adoption was moved by Bishop Wilberforce, and 
seconded by Bishop Thirlwall, and carried unanimously. 

Bishop Wilberforce then moved, and Bishop Thirlwall 
seconded, "That a Committee be now appointed to consider 
and Report to Convocation a scheme of revision on the princi- 

^ The members of this first joint Committee were Dr. Wilberforce, Dr. 
ElHcott, Dr. Thirlwall, Dr. OUivant, Dr. E. H. Bro^^^le (Bishop of Ely), 
Dr. Chr. Wordsworth (Bishop of Lincoln), and Dr. G. Moberly (Bishop 
of Sahsbmy) ; Dr. Bickersteth (the Prolocutor) ; Deans Alford, Jeremie, 
and Stanley ; Archdeacons Rose, Freeman, and Grant ; Chancellor Mas- 
singberd ; Canons Blakesley, How, SehvjTi, Swainson, and Woodgate ; 
Dr. Kay, Dr. Jebb, and Mr. De Winton. 

^ The Convocation of York declined to take part in the revision, on 
the gi'ound that in their judgment the time was unfavourable for such a 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 107 

pies laid down in the Report now adopted, anra that the Bishops 
of Winchester, St. Davids, Llandaff, Gloucester and Bristol, 
Salisbury, Ely, Lincoln, and Bath and Wells, he members of 
the Committee. That the Committee be empowered to invite 
the co-operation of those whom they may judge fit from their 
Biblical Scholarship to aid them in their work." This also was 
carried imanimously. 

In the Lower House the above given Report of the joint 
Committee was presented on May 5th, when its adoption was 
moved by Canon Selwyn,^ and seconded by Archdeacon Allen. 
In the discussion which followed two attempts were made to 
overtln-ow the principle embodied in the fifth resolution, and to 
confine the revision to Scholars in communion with the Church 
of England. Both of these were unsuccessful, and the adoption 
of the Report was carried, mth two dissentients only. On the 
following day, May 6th, the House completed its action by 
agreeing to the suggestion of the Upper House, that on this 
occasion it should waive its privilege of appointing on joint 
Committees twice as many as were appointed by the Upper 
House, and should appoint eight Members only to co-operate 
with the eight Bishops mentioned above. The Members selected 
were Dr. Bickersteth the Prolocutor, Dean Alford, Dean Stanley, 
Canon Blakesley, Canon Selwyn, Archdeacon Rose, Dr. Jebb, 
and Dr. Kay. 

The first meeting of this second joint Committee was held on 
May 25th. It was then agreed that the Committee should 
separate into two Companies — one for the revision of the Old 
Testament, and one for that of the New. Of the Members of 

^ Canon Sehvyn had persistently advocated the claims of revision, and 
had brought it before the Notice of the Lower House of Convocation so 
early as March 1st, 1856. Notice of a renewed motion on the t|uestion 
had been given by him for the meeting of Convocation on February, 1870, 
and was only withdrawn when superseded by the proposal sent (lo\m on 
February 11th from the Upper House. 


Committee belonging to the Upper House five were assigned to 
the former Company and three to the latter. The Members be- 
longing to the Lower House were divided equally between the 
two Companies. At the same meeting the Committee selected the 
Scholars who should be invited to join the Companies, and also 
decided upon the general rules that should guide their procedure. 
These were : 

1. ''To introduce as few alterations as possible into the Text 
of the Authorized Version consistently witli faithfulness." 

2. " To limit as far as possible the expression of such altera- 
tions to the language of the Authorized and earlier English 

3. " Each Company to go twice over the portion to be revised, 
once provisionally, the second time finally, and on principles of 
voting as hereinafter is provided." 

4. "That the Text to be adopted be that for which the 
evidence is decidedly preponderating ; and that when the Text 
so adopted difi'ers from that from which the Authorized Version 
was made, the alteration be indicated in the margin." 

5. "To make or retain no change in the Text on the second 
and final revision by each Company, except tivo-tJiirds of those 
present approve of the same, but on the first revision to decide 
by simple majorities." 

6. "In every case of proposed alteration that may have given 
rise to discussion, to defer the voting thereupon till the next 
Meeting, whensoever the same shall be required by one-third of 
those present at the Meeting, such intended vote to be an- 
nounced in the notice for the next Meeting." 

7. "To revise the headings of chapters, pages, paragraphs, 
italics, and punctuation." 

8. "To refer on the part of each Company, when considered 
desirable, to Divines, Scholars, and Literary Men, whether at 
home or abroad, for their opinions." 

To these it was added, that the work of each Company be 

THE REVISION OP 1881. 109 

communicated to the other as it is completed, in order that there 
may be as little deviation from uniformity in language as 

Of the Scholars invited to join the Companies four^ declined 
for various reasons, and one^ was prevented by illness from 
taking part in the work. The two Companies when formed 
consisted of the following Members. 


Dr. W. L. Alexander, Professor of Theology in the Congrega- 
tional Theological HaU, Edinburgh. 

Dr. E. H. Browne, Bishop of Ely.^ 

Mr. 0. T. Chenery, Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic, 

Dr. A. B. Davidson, Professor of Hebrew, Free Church CoUege, 

Dr. Benjamin Davies, Professor of Hebrew, Baptist College, 
Eegent's Park. 

Dr. P. Eakbairn, Principal of Free Church College, Glasgow. 

Dr. F. Field. 

Dr. Ginsburg. 

Dr. F. W. Gotch, Principal of the Baptist CoUege, Bristol. 

Kev. B. Harrison, Archdeacon of Maidstone. 

Dr. A. C. Hervey, Bishop of Bath and WeUs. 

Dr. J. Jebb, Canon of Hereford. 

Dr. W. Kay, late Prmcipal of Bishop's College, Calcutta. 

Dr. Stanley Leathes, Professor of Hebrew, King's College, 

Rev. J. McGill, Professor of Oriental Languages, St. Andrews. 

Dr. A. OUivant, Bishop of Llandaff. 

^ Canon Cook, Dr. J. H. Newman, Canon Pusey, and Dr. W. Wright. 
Dr. Wright, however, subse(jnently joined the Old Testament Company. 
2 Dr. S. P. Tregelles. 3 ^Q^y Bishop of Winchester. 


Dr. R Payne Smith, Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford.^ 
Dr. J. J. S. Perowne, Professor of Hebrew, St. Davids College, 

Rev. E. H. Plumptre,^ Professor of 'Ne\Y Testament Exegesis, 

King's College, London. 
Dr. H. J. Rose, Archdeacon of Bedford. 
Dr. W. Selwyn, Canon of Ely, and Lady Margaret Professor of 

Divinity, Cambridge. 
Dr. Connop Thirlwall, Bishop of St. Davids. 
Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln. 
Mr. W. A. Wright, Librarian* of Trinity College, Cambridge. 


Dr. H. Alford, Dean of Canterbury. 

Dr. J. Angus, Principal of the Baptist College, Regent's Park. 

Dr. E H. Bickersteth, Prolocutor of the Lower House of Con- 

Dr. J. W. Blakesley, Canon of Canterbmy.^ 

Dr. J. Eadie, Professor of Biblical Literature and Exegesis to 
the L^nited Presbyterian Church, Scotland. 

Dr. C. J. Ellicott, Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. 

Rev. F. J. A. Hort.7 

Rev. W. G. Humpliry, Prebendary of St. Paul's. 

Dr. B. H. Kennedy, Canon of Ely, and Regius Professor of 
Greek, Cambridge. 

Dr. W. Lee, Archdeacon of Dublin. 

Dr. J. B. Lightfoot.^ 

Dr. W. MiUigan, Professor of Divinity, Aberdeen. 

Dr. G. Moberly, Bishop of Salisbury. 

^ Now Dean of Canterbury. ^ Now Dean of Peterborough. ^ j^qw 
D.D. ■* Now Bursar. ^ Now Dean of Lichfield. ^ Now Dean of 
Lincoln, '' Now D.D. and Hulsean Professor of Divinity, Cambridge. 
^ Now Bishop of Durham. 


Kev. W. F. Moulton, Professor of Classics, Wesleyan College, 

Rev. Samuel Newth, Professor of Classics, New College, Lon- 
don. ^ 

Dr. A. Roberts.^ 

Dr. R. Scott, Master of Balliol College, Oxford.* 

Rev. F. H. Scrivener.^ 

Dr. G-. Vance Smith.^ 

Dr. A. P. Stanley, Dean of Westminster. 

Dr. R. C. Trench, Archbishop of Dublin. 

Dr. C. J. Vaughan, Master of the Temple.'' 

Dr. B. F. Westcott, Canon of Peterborough.^ 

Dr. S. Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester. 

To these lists some changes have, from various causes, been 
made in the course of the last ten years, both in the way of 
addition, and in the way of removal. 

To the Old Testament Company thirteen members have been 
added — 

Mr. R. N. Bensley, Hebrew Lecturer, Caius College, Cambridge. 
Rev. J. Birrill, Professor of Oriental Languages, St Andrews, 

Dr. F. Chance. 

Rev. T. K. Cheyne, Hebrew Lecturer, Balliol College, Oxford. 
Dr. G. Douglas, Professor of Hebrew, Free Church College, 

Mr. S. R. Driver, Tutor of New College, Oxford. 

^ Now D.D., and Master of the Leys School, Cambridge. ^ Now D.D,, 
Principal of New College, London, and Lee Professor of Divinity. 
^ Now Professor of Humanity, St. Andrews. •* Now Dean of Rochester. 
^ Now LL.D. 6 Now Principal of the Presbyterian College, Carmar- 
then. 7 Now also Dean of Llandaff. ^ Now also Regius Professor of 
Divinily, Cambridge. 


Rev. C. J. Elliott. 

Rev. J. D. Geden, Professor of Hebrew, Wesleyan College, 

Rev. J. R. Lumby, Fellow of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge.^ 
Rev. A. H. Sayce, Tutor of Queen's College, Oxford. 
Rev. W. Robertson Smith, Professor of Hebrew, Free Church 

College, Aberdeen. 
Dr. D. H. Weir, Professor of Oriental Languages, Glasgow. 
Dr. W. Wright, Professor of Arabic, Cambridge. 

During the same period it has lost ten members, seven by death : 
Professor Davies, Professor Fairbairn, Professor McGill, Arch- 
deacon Rose, Canon Selwyn, Bishop Thirlwall, Professor Weir ; 
and three by resignation — Canon Jebb, Professor Pluniptre, and 
Bishop Wordsworth. 

The New Testament Company has undergone less change. 
Four members liave been added — 

Dr. David Brown, Professor of Divinity, Free Church College, 

Dr. C. Merivale, Dean of Ely. 
Rev. Edwin Palmer, Professor of Latin, Oxford. ^ 
Dr. Charles Wordsworth, Bishop of St. Andrews. 

Four also have been removed — Dean Alford, Dr. Eadie, and 
Bishop Wilberforce by death, Dean Merivale by resignation. 

The lirst chairman of the Old Testament Company was 
Bishop Thirl waU. Upon his resignation of the office in 1871 
Dr. Harold Browne, then Bishop of Ely, now Bishop of Win- 
chester, was appointed to succeed him, and has continued to 
hold the office until now. Dr. Ellicott, Bishop of Gloucester 

^ Now Lady Margaret Preacher, Cambridge. 
2 Now Archdeacon of -Oxford. 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 113 

and Bristol, has from the first presided over the 'New Testament 

The Old Testament Company aj^pointed one of their own 
number, Mr. Aldis Wright, to act as then' secretary, taking the 
minutes of their proceedings, and conducting all needful cor- 
respondence. The New Testament Company deemed it better 
to assign this office to one who was not himself burthened with 
the responsibilities of the revision, and they were happily able 
to secure the efficient services of the Rev. John Troutbeck, m.a., 
one of the Mnor Canons of Westminster Abbey. 

It will be seen that of the sixty-five English scholars who have 
taken part in this work forty-one have been members of the 
Church of England, and twenty-four members of other churches. 
Of the latter number two represent the Episcopal Church of 
Ireland, one the Episcopal Church of Scotland, four the Baptists, 
three the Congregationalists, five the Free Church of Scotland, 
five the Established Church of Scotland, one the United Pres- 
byterians, one the Unitarians, and two the Wesleyan Methodists. 

It is on many grounds a matter for thankfulness that they 
who took the initiative in the formation of the two Companies 
were able to secure so wide a representation of the various 
religious communities of our country, and men belonging to 
different schools of religious thought. For while no one can 
reasonably suppose that in the present day any body of Scholars 
would consciously allow themselves in the translation of the 
Scriptures to be swayed by any theological bias, there is, as all 
know, such a thing as unconscious bias ; and it was greatly to be 
desired that no such suspicion should be raised against this 
Revision as for a long time obtained in reference to the Revision 
of 1611. It was also to be desired that no ground should 
exist that would give an excuse for any to say that through the 
bias of theological prepossessions the interpretations given by 
some to important passages of Scripture were unconsciously 
ignored, and that, had such interpretations been brought under 



the consideration of the Eevisers, they must, as honest scholars, 
have accepted them. Such a ground of objection has happily- 
been excluded by the constitution of the two Companies. The 
varieties of theological opinion found amongst the Eevisers 
have been an efficient protection against any lapse of the kind 
referred to, and it may safely be affirmed that no interpretation 
of any important doctrinal passage for which any respectable 
amount of authority could be claimed has failed to come under 
notice, or to receive a careful examination. 

The advantage resulting from this varied representation in 
the membership of the two Companies has been still further 
extended by the arrangements which have secured the co- 
operation of a considerable number of American Scholars. 
Shortly after the formation of the two Companies steps were 
taken for enlisting such co-operation; and after some cor- 
respondence with representative men in America, the Rev. Dr. 
Philip Schaff, of ;N"ew York, was requested to act on behalf of 
the English Companies in selecting and inviting American 
Scholars. In October, 1871, it was reported to the 'New Testa- 
ment Company that Dr. Schaff had verbally informed the 
secretary that the American Eevisers were prepared to enter 
upon their work. Various causes of delay, however, intervened, 
and it was not until July 17th, 1872, that the communication 
was made that the American Companies were didy constituted. 
These Companies held their first meeting on the 4th of October 
in that year. The following is the list of their IMembers. 


Professor T. J. Conant, Baptist, Brooklyn, New York. 
Professor G. E. Day, Congregationalist, New Haven, Conn. 
Professor J. De Witt, Reformed Church, New BrunsAvick, N.J. 
Professor W. H. Green, Presbyterian, Princeton, N.J. 
Professor G. E Hare, Episcopalian, Philadelphia, Pa. 

THE KEVISION OP 1881. 115 

Professor C. P. Krauth, Lutheran, Philadelpliia, Pa. 
Professor Joseph Packard, EjDiscopalian, Fairfax, Va. 
Professor C. E. Stowe, Congregationalist, Cambridge, Mass. 
Professor J. Strong, Methodist, Madison, N.J. 
Professor C. Y. Van Dyke,^ Beirut, Sjrria. 
Professor T. Lewis, Reformed Church, Schenectady, N.J. 
Li all eleven members. 


Professor Ezra Abbot, Unitarian, Cambridge, Mass. 
Dr. G. R. Crooks, Methodist, New York. 
Professor H. B. Hackett, Baptist, Rochester, N.Y. 
Professor J. Hadley, Congregationalist, New Haven, Conn. 
Professor C. Hodge, Presbyterian, Princeton, N.J. 
Professor A. C. Kendrick, Baptist, Rochester, N.Y. 
Dr. Alfred Lee, Bishop of Delaware. 
Professor M. B. Riddle, Reformed Church, Hartford, Conn. 
Professor Philip Schaff, Presbyterian, New York. 
Professor C. Short, Episcopalian, New York. 
Professor H. B. Smith, Presbyterian, New York. 
Professor J. H. Thayer, Congregationalist, Andover, Mass. 
Professor W. F. Warren, Methodist, Boston, Mass. 
Dr. E. A. "Washburn, Episcopalian, New York. 
Dr. T. D. Woolsey, Congregationalist, New Haven, Conn. 
In all fifteen members. 

Four Members have since been added to the Old Testament 
Company ; namely : 

Professor C. A. Aiken, Presbyterian, Princeton, N.J. 
Dr. T. W. Chambers, Reformed Church, New York. 
Professor C. M. Mead, Congregationalist, Andover, Mass. 
Professor H. Osgood, Baptist, Rochester, N.Y. 

One Member, Professor T. Lewis, has been removed by death. 

^ Corresponding Member. 


Four Members have been added to the New Testament 
Company : 

Dr. J. K. Burr, Methodist, Trenton, N.Y. 
Dr. T. Chase, Baptist, President of Haverford College, Pa. 
Dr. H. Crosby, Baptist, Chancellor of New York University. 
Professor Timothy Dwight, Congregationalist, New Haven, Conn. 

Four also have been removed by death. Dr. Hackett, Dr. 
Hadley, Dr. C. Hodge, Dr. H. B. Smith ; and two by resigna- 
tion, Dr. Crooks and Dr. Warren. 

It hence results that altogether ninety-nine Scholars have, to 
a greater or less extent, taken part in the work of tliis revision, 
forty-nine of whom have been members of the Episcopalian 
Churches of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, and 
fifty members of other Christian Churches. This fact is in 
itself full of interest and significance. Upon no previous re- 
vision have so many Scholars been engaged. In no previous 
revision has the co-operation of those who were engaged U23on it 
been so equally diffused over all the parts of the work. In no 
previous revision have those who took the lead in originating it, 
and carrying it forward, shown so large a measiu'e of Christian 
confidence in Scholars who were outside of their own communion. 
In no previous revision have such effective precautions been 
created by the very composition of the body of Eevisers, 
against accidental oversight, or against any lurking bias that 
might arise from natural tendencies or from ecclesiastical pre- 
possessions. On these accounts alone, if on no other, this 
revision may be fairly said to possess peculiar claims upon the 
confidence of all thoughtful and devout readers of the Bible. 

The New Testament Company assembled for the first time on 
Wednesday, June 22nd, 1870. They met in the Chapel of 
Henry VIL, and there united in the celebration of the Lord's 
Supper. After this act of worship and holy communion they 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 117 

formally entered upon the task assigned to them. The Old 
Testament Company held then* first meeting on June 30th. 

By the kindness of the Dean of Westminster, the ^ew 
Testament Company was permitted to hold its meetings in the 
Jerusalem Chamber. This room, originally the parlour of the 
Abbot's Palace, is associated with many interesting events of 
English history. It was to this spot that Henry IV. was con- 
veyed when seized with his last illness; and here, on March 
20th, 1413, he died. It was here, in the days of the Long 
Parhament, that the celebrated Assembly of Divines, driven 
by the cold from Henry YIL's Chapel, held its sLjJty-sixth 
session, on Monday, October 2nd, 1643; and here thence- 
forward it continued to meet until its closing session (the 
1163rd), on February 22nd, 1649. Here were prepared the 
famed Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Longer and 
Shorter Catechisms so highly prized by the Presbyterian 
Churches of Scotland, and dinging many generations by the 
Independents of England. Here also, just fifty years later, 
assembled the memorable Commission appointed by WiUiam III., 
at the suggestion of the Dean of Canterbury (Dr. TiUotson), to 
devise a basis for a scheme of comprehension in a revision of 
the Prayer Book. In this room the 'New Testament Company 
have held the larger number of their sessions. Upon the few 
occasions on which it was not available the Company has most 
frequently met in the Dean of Westminster's library. Twice it 
has held its monthly session in the College Hall, twice in the 
Chapter Library, and once in Queen Anne's Bounty Ofi&ce. 

The Jerusalem Chamber is an oblong room, somewhat narrow 
for its length, measuring about forty feet from north to south, 
and about twenty from east to west. Down the centre of the 
room there extends a long table ; and on this table, in the 
middle of its eastern side, is placed the desk of the Chaii'man, 
Bishop Ellicott. Facing the Chairman, and on the opposite side 
of the room, is a small table for the use of the Secretary. The 


members of the Company took their places round the table 
without any pre-arrangement, but just as each might find a seat 
most ready at hand. The force of habit, however, soon prevailed, 
and most of the members sat constantly in the place which 
accident or choice had assigned to them. On the Chairman's 
right sat the Prolocutor, Dr. Bickersteth, and on his left, during 
the sixteen meetings he was spared to attend, sat the late Dean 
of Canterbury, Dr. Alford, who, to the great sorrow . of the 
Company, was so early taken away from their midst. Betwe.en 
the Prolocutor and the northern end of the table were the places 
usually occupied by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Bishop of St. 
Andrews, Dean Blakesley, and ^Ii'. Humphry. Between the 
Chairman and the southern end were the places of the Arch- 
bishop of DubKn, Dr. Brown, Dr. Yaughan, Dr. Eadie, and 
Canon "Westcott. Between the Secretary's table and the northern 
end of the long table were the seats of Canon Kennedy, Dr. 
Angus, Archdeacon Pahnerj and Dr. Hort; and between the 
Secretary's table and the southern end were those of Dr. Vance 
Smith, Dr. Scrivener, Dr. Lightfoot, Dean Scott, and Dr. ^N'ewth. 
At the northern end of the table were the places of Archdeacon 
Lee and Dean Stanley ; and at the southern end those of Dr. 
Moulton and Dr. ^liHigan. 

As the general rules under which the revision was to be 
carried out had been carefuUy prepared, no need existed for any 
lengthened discussion of preliminary arrangements, and the 
Company upon its first meeting was able to enter at once upon 
its work. The members of the Company had previously been 
supplied with sheets, each containing a column of the printed 
text of the Authorized Version, with a wide margin on either 
side for suggested emendations — the left hand margin being 
intended for changes in the Greek text, and the right hand 
margin for those which related to the English rendering. Upon 
these sheets each member had entered the result of his own 
private study of the prescribed portion, and thus came prepared 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 119 

with well-considered suggestions to submit for the judgment of 
the Company. The portion prescribed for the first session was 
Matt. i. to iv. This portion opening with the genealogy, the 
question of the spelling of proper names at once presented itself 
for decision. It was felt that, by the twofold forms so often 
given in the Authorized Version to the names of persons and 
places, a needless difficulty was set in the way of the simple 
reader of the Bible ; and it was agreed that, while preserving in 
every case the familiar forms of names which had become 
thoroughly Englished, such as John, James, Timothy, Jacob, 
Solomon, &c., all Old Testament proper names quoted in the 
New should foUow the Hebrew rather than the Greek or Latin, 
and so appear under the same form in both Testaments. 

This question being thus settled, the Company proceeded to 
the actual details of the revision, and in a surprisingly short 
time settled down to an established method of procedure. So 
little need arose for any change in this respect that the account 
of any one ordinary meeting will serve as a description of all. 
The Company assembles at eleven a.m. The meeting is opened 
by prayer, the Chairman reading three collects from the Prayer 
Book, and closing with the Lord's Prayer. The minutes of the 
last meeting are then read and confirmed. Any correspondence 
or other business that may require consideration is next dealt 
with. These matters being settled, the Chairman invites the 
Company to proceed with the revision, and reads a short passage 
as given in the Authorised Version. The question is then asked 
whether any textucd changes are proposed j that is, any readings 
that differ from the Greek text as presented in the edition 
published by Eobert Stephen in 1550. If any change is 
proposed, the evidence for and against is briefly stated, and the 
proposal considered. The duty of stating this evidence is, by 
tacit consent, devolved upon two members of the Company, who, 
from their previous studies, are specially entitled to speak with 
authority upon such questions — Dr. Scrivener and Dr. Hort — 


and who come prepared to enumerate particularly the authorities 
on either side. Dr. Scrivener opens up the matter by stating 
the facts of the case, and by giving his judgment upon the 
bearing of the evidence. Dr. Hort follows, and mentions any 
additional matters that may caU for notice, and if differing from 
Dr. Scrivener's estimate of the weight of the evidence, gives 
his reasons, and states his own view. After discussion, the vote 
of the Company is taken, and the proposed reading accepted or 
rejected. The text being thus settled, the Chairman asks for pro- 
posals on the rendering. Any member who has any suggestion 
on his paper then mentions it, and this is taken into consideration, 
unless some other member state that he has a proposal which 
refers to an earlier clause of the passage, in which case his proposal 
is taken first. The reasons for the proposed emendation are then 
stated ; briefly, if it be an obvious correction, and one which it 
is likely that many members have noted down ; if it be one less 
obvious, or less likely to commend itself at first sight, the 
grounds upon which it is based are stated more at length. Free 
discussion then follows, and after this the vote of the Company 
is taken. Succeeding suggestions are similarly dealt with, and 
then the passage, as amended, is read by the Chairman, or by 
the Secretary. The meeting lasts until six p.m., an interval of 
half-an-hour having been allowed for luncheon. The Company 
meets every month, excepting only in the months of August 
and September, for a session of four consecutive days. 

At a very early period of their labours it became clearly 
manifest to the Company that they could only do their work 
satisfactorily by doing it very thoroughly, and that no question 
in any way affecting the sense or the rendering could be passed 
over because of its seeming unimportance. Questions, whether 
of text or translation, wliich appeared, when regarded in rela- 
tion only to the passage under review, to be too minute to be 
worthy of serious attention, became oftentimes invested with a 
grave importance when other, and especially parallel, passages 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 121 

were considered ; and thus proposed changes, which might 
otherwise have Ijeen dismissed as unnecessary, claimed for them- 
selves a careful examination. As a necessary result of this 
determination to make the revision as complete as might be in 
theii' power, the progress made in the work was but slow, and 
at the end of the ninth day of meeting not more than 153 
verses had been revised, an average of only seventeen verses a 
day. Thereupon several members of the Company became 
alarmed at the probable length of time over which the revision 
would extend, and on the tenth day of meeting resolutions were 
submitted, that, " with a view to swifter progress, the Company 
be divided into two sections, of which one shall proceed with 
the Gospels and the other with the Epistles," and " that on the 
last day of each monthly series of meetings the whole Company 
meet together to review the work done by the two separate 
sections. To these resolutions a full consideration was given, 
and with the result of producing an almost unanimous convic- 
tion that such a division of the Company was undesirable. It 
was felt that the weight of authority attaching to this Eevision, 
would, with many persons, be largely dependent upon the fact 
that it represented the united judgment of a considerable num- 
ber of scholars, and that the proposed division of the Company 
would consequently tend to lessen the claims of the work to the 
confidence of the public. It was found, too, that it would not 
be possible to make any satisfactory division of the Company ; 
and from the varied qualifications of the members, each felt that 
it would be a palpable loss to be deprived of the co-operation of 
any of the rest. It was also exceedingly doubtful whether any 
saving of time would be secured by the proposed arrangement. 
The review by the entire Company of the work done by the 
separate divisions would, in very many cases, reopen discussion ; 
and questions which had been decided, perhaps unanimously, 
after lengthened debate, would be debated afresh, and that, too, 
by those who were less familiar with all the bearings of the 


question, and on whose account it would be necessary to give 
lengthened explanations, and sometimes to retrace other ground 
also. The resolutions were consequently withdrawn, and the 
conviction became general amongst the members of the Company 
that they had no other alternative than to face the probability 
of a much longer period of labour than any one amongst them 
had at first anticipated, and to accept the full responsibilities of 
the work which had been laid upon them. 

After this the work steadily proceeded, and various general 
questions having been decided as they arose, the rate of progress 
became more rapid; but even then the average did not rise 
above thirty-five verses a day. 

In accordance with the rules under which the Company was 
acting, all proposals made at the first revision were decided by 
simple majorities ; but at the second revision no change from 
the Authorized Version could be accepted unless it were carried 
by a majority of two to one. Though here and there this rule 
stood in the way of a change which a decided majority of the 
Company were of opinion was right, its action upon the whole 
was very salutary. 

At the second revision also the suggestions of the American 
Eevisers came to the help of the Company. From time to time, 
as each successive portion of the first revision was completed, it 
had been forwarded to America. The American Revisers sub- 
jected this to a careful scrutiny, and in their turn forwarded to 
England their criticisms thereupon. Where they approved the 
changes provisionally made nothing was said ; where they 
differed they indicated their dissent, and submitted their own 
suggestions. In like manner, in passages where no change had 
been made, they either signified their assent by silence, or ex- 
pressed their judgment by independent proposals. 

The first revision of the Gospel of Matthew was completed 
on the thirty-sixth day of meeting. May 24th, 1871 ; that of 
Mark on the fifty-tliird day, November 16th, 1871 ; that of Luke 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 123 

on the eighty-first day, June 22nd, 1872 ; and that of John on 
the one hundred and third day, February 19th, 1873. The first 
revision of the Acts and the Catholic Epistles was completed on 
the one hundred and fifty-second meeting, April 23rd, 1874. 
Eefore proceeding to the first revision of the remaining books it 
was deemed desirable to undertake the second revision of the 
Gospels, and this was completed on the one hundred and eighty- 
fourtli meeting, February 25th, 1875. The first revision of the 
Pauline Epistles was then commenced, and was completed on 
the two hundred and sixty-second meeting, February 27th, 1877. 
The first revision of the Apocalypse was completed on the two 
hundred and seventy-third meeting, April 20th, 1877. 

It will thus appear that the first revision engaged the Company 
during two hundred and forty-one meetings; that is to say, 
dui'ing sixty monthly sessions, or six years of labour. The at- 
tendance during this important period of the work maintained 
so high an average as 16*8. 

It had not been originally intended that at the second revision 
fresh proposals should be entertained ; but as it was obviously 
necessary to do this with regard to the American suggestions, it 
was felt that we ought not to preclude our own members from 
bringing forward any new proposal that might seem worthy of 
consideration, and that we ought not, for the sake of gaining 
time, to fetter ourselves by any rigid ride. The second re^dsion 
thus became a far more serious business than had been originally 
contemplated, and demanded a large measure of time and toil. 
It was completed on December 13th, 1878, having occupied on 
the whole ninety-six meetings, or about two years and a half. 
By rule 5 the " second " revision was to be regarded as " final," 
but the course of events rendered this an impossibility, and so 
far the rule had to be annulled. 

In due course the results of the second revision were for- 
warded to America, and while it indicated the extent to which 
the English Company had been able to adopt the American sug- 


gestions — or what was equivalent to this, some third suggestion 
that approved itself alike to the judgment of both Companies — 
it also necessarily invited a reply upon those points about which 
there was still a difference of opinion, and this, as necessarily, 
involved what was to some extent a third revision. The work of 
a further revision had, however, been previously imposed upon 
tlie Company by a resolution of its own, in which it was agreed 
that the members should privately read over the version as now 
revised, with the view of marking any roughnesses or other 
blemishes in the English pliraseology ; and that if it should 
appear to them that, without doing any violence to the Greek, 
tlie English might be amended, the emendations they proposed 
should be forwarded to the Secretary, and by him be duly 
arranged and printed. To the consideration of the various 
suggestions so forwarded, and of those contained in the further 
communications from America, the Company devoted thirty-six 
meetings, extending from February 11th, 1879, to January 
27th, 1880, with portions of one or two subsequent meetings, 
being finally completed on March 17th, 1880. 

Although the Company had endeavoured throughout the 
whole course of its work to preserve, as far as the idiom of the 
English language permitted, imiformity in the rendering of the 
same Greek word, it had not been possible, when dealing with 
each passage separately, to keep in view all the other passages 
in which any particular word might be found. It was therefore 
felt to be desirable to reconsider the Eevised Version with exclu- 
sive reference to this single point, and the pages of a Greek 
concordance were assigned in equal portions to different members 
of the Company, who each undertook to examine every passage 
in which the words falling to his share might occur, and to mark 
if in any case unnecessary variations in the English had either 
been introduced or retained. The passages so noted were brought 
before the notice of the assembled Company, and the question 
was in each case considered whether, mthout any injury to the 
sense, the rendering of the word under review might be har- 



monized with that found in other places. This work of har- 
monizing, together with the preparation of the preface, occupied 
the Company until Novemher 11th, 1880, on which day, at five 
o'clock in the afternoon, after ten years and five months of labour, 
the revision of the IS'ew Testament was brought to its close. 

On the evening of the same day, St. Martin's day, by the kind 
invitation of Prebendary Humpliry, the Company assembled in 
the Church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, and there united in a 
special service of j^rayer and thanksgiving ; of thanksgiving for 
the happy completion of their labours, for the spirit of harmony 
and brotherly affection that had throughout pervaded the meet- 
ings of the Company, and for the Divine goodness which had 
permitted so many with so little interruption to give themselves 
continuously to this work; of prayer that all that had been 
wrong in their spirit or action might be mercifully forgiven, and 
that He whose glory they had humbly striven to promote might 
graciously accept this their service, and deign to use it as an in- 
strument for the good of man, and the honour of His holy name. 

The total number of meetings of the Company has been 407, 
and the total number of attendances 6,426, ^ or an average 
attendance at each meetin.s^ of 15*8 members. 

1 These have been thus distributee 


Bishop of Gloucester 

. 405 

Dean of Westminster . 


Dr. Scrivener 

. 399 

Dr. Vance Smith . 


Mr. Humpliry 

. 385 

Dr. Brown 

. 209 

Dr. K"ewth 

. 373 

Dr. Angus 


Dr. Hort 

. 362 

Dr. Milligan 


Dean of Lichfield . 

. 352 

Canon Kennedy 


Dean of Rochester 

. 337 

Dr. Eadie 


Canon Westcott 

. 304 

Bishop of Salisbury 


Dean of Llandaff . 

. 302 

Bishop of St. Andrews . 


Dean of Lincoln . 

. 297 

Dr. Roberts 


Bishop of Durham 

. 290 

Archbishop of Dublin . 


Archdeacon Lee 

. 283 

Dean Merivale 


Dr. Moulton 

. 271 

Dean Alford 


Archdeacon Palmer 

. 255 

Bishop Wilberforce 



Upon one other point our readers will naturally look for 
some information. How have the necessary expenses of this 
undertaking been met 1 These, it Avill readily be seen, would 
necessaiily be large. So many persons could not come together 
from various parts of the kingdom — some very distant, in- 
cluding the extreme north of Scotland, and the extreme west 
of Cornwall — and remain in London for a week in every month, 
without a considerable expenditure of money. It was also 
found necessary for the satisfactory execution of the work that 
each portion, from time to time as provisionally completed, 
should be set up in type, and in this way further expenses were 
entailed. The question of meeting these expenses was at an 
early period forced upon the attention of the Company; for 
some members before many months had elapsed had been put 
to serious costs, and "while all willingly gave their time and 
labour, as far as they might be able, without reserve to this 
important work, it was felt to be impossible to allow this extra 
burden to rest upon any, and the more so as the pressure of it 
must needs be very unequally distributed. An appeal to the 
public for help having met with no adequate response, it was 
resolved to dispose of the copyright of the work, in the hope 
thereby of obtaining sufficient means of meeting the expenses 
of completing it. Several offers from different sources were 
made to the Companies ; but ultimately, for various reasons, it 
was deemed best to accede to that made by the University 
Presses of Oxford and Cambridge, whereby, in return for the 
copyright of the Eevised Version, the Chancellors, Masters, 
and Scholars of the two Universities agreed to provide a sum 
which it was hoped would suffice for the expenses that would 
be incurred in the prosecution and completion of the work, and 
to advance a certain portion of the same from time to time. A 
draft deed embodying these agreements having been submitted 
to the Companies was after some amendments accepted on 
December 10th, 1872. 

THE REVISION OF 1881. 127 

The agreement with the University Presses binds the two 
Companies to a revision of the Apocrypha, a work not con- 
templated in their original undertaking. The !N'ew Testament 
Company have made arrangements for taking a full share of 
this revision, and entered upon the work in April last. Until 
this is completed they will not be released from their re- 




^FoR as much as Christ saith that the gospel shall be preached 
in all the world, and David saith of the Apostles and their 
preaching, "the sound of them went out into each land, and 
the words of them went out into the ends of the world;" and 
iagain David saith, "The Lord shall tell in the Scriptures of 
peoples and of these princes that were in it;"- that is, in holy 
Church, as Jerome saith on that verse, " Holy writ is the Scrip- 
ture of peoples, for it is made that all peoples should know it ;" 
and the princes of the Church that were therein be the apostles 
that had authority to write holy writ ; for by that same that the 
Apostles ^vrote their Scriptures by authority and confirming of 
the Holy Ghost, it is holy Scripture and faith of Christian men, 
and this dignity hath no man after them, be he never so holy, 

^ As the original would be very obscure to many of my readers, I have 
somewhat reluctantly decided to give the modern spelling and the modern 
equiv^alent for obsolete words. 

2 Psalm Ixxxvii. 6 is thus rendered in the "VVycliffite versions, after the 
Vulgate and LXX. The LXX. here ditters from the Hebrew. 



never so cunning, as Jerome witnesseth on that verse. Also 
Christ saith of the Jews that cried Hosanna to Him in the 
temple, that though they were still stones should cry ; and by 
stones He understandeth heathen men that worshipped stones 
for their gods. And we Englishmen be come of heathen men, 
therefore we be understood by these stones that should cry holy 
writ; and as Jews, interpreted acknowledging i, signify clerks 
that should make acknowledgment to God by repentance of sins 
and by voice of God's praise, so our lewd (lay, or unlearned) 
men, suing (following) the corner-stone Christ, may be signified 
by stones that be hard and abiding in the foundation; for 
though covetous clerks be wood (wild, or mad), by simony, 
heresy, and many other sins, and despise* and stop holy Writ as 
much as they can, yet the lewd people cry after holy writ to 
ken it and keep it with great cost and peril of their life. 

For these reasons and other, with common charity to save all 
men in our realm which God would have saved, a simple 
creature hath translated the Bible out of Latin into English. 
First this simple creature had much travail, with divers fellows 
and helpers, to gather many old Bibles, and other doctors and 
common glosses, and to make one Latin Bible some deal true ; 
and then to study it anew, the text with the gloss and other 
doctors as he might get, and especially Lyra on the Old Testa- 
ment, that helped full much in this work ; the third time to 
counsel with old grammarians and old divines of hard words 
and hard sentences, how they might best be imderstood and 
translated ; the fourth time to translate as clearly as he could 
to the sentence, 2 and to have many good fellows and cimning at 
the correcting of the translation. First it is to know that the 
best translating out of Latin into English is to translate after 

^ The word Judali, from which "Jew" is derived, is from a Hebrew 
verb, meaning "to praise." (See Gen. xxix. 35 ; xlix. 8.) 

' By "sentence" Purvey commonly means "sense," or" meaning." 

purvey's prologue to the wycliffite bible. 131 

the sentence, and not only after the words, so that the sentence 
be as open, either opener, in EngHsh as in Latin, and go not far 
from the letter ; and if the letter may not be sued (followed) in 
the translating, let the sentence be ever whole and open, for the 
words ought to serve to the intent and sentence, and else the 
words be superfluous or false. In translating into English many 
resolutions may make the sentence open, as an ablative case 
absolute may be resolved into these three words, with convenable 
(suitable) verb, the ivMle, for if, as grammarians say, as thus : 
the master reading, I stand, may be resolved thus, while the 
master readeth I stand, or, if the master readeth, ^c, or, for 
the master, ^c. ; and sometime it would accord weU with the 
sentence to be resolved into tvhe?i or into afterward, thus, when 
the master read I stood, or, after the master read I stood ; and 
sometime it may well be resolved into a verb of the same 
tense as others be in the same clause, and into this word et ; 
that is, and in English, as thus, arescentihus hominihus prae 
timore ; that is, and men should wax dry for dread. Also a 
participle of a present tense or preterite of active voice or 
passive may be resolved into a verb of the same tense and a 
conjunction copulative, as thus, dicens ; that is, saying may be 
resolved thus, and saith, or, that saith; and this will in many 
places make the sentence open, where to English it, after the 
verb, would be dark and doubtful. Also a relative, which may 
be resolved into his antecedent with a conjunction copulative, as 
thus, ichich runneth, and he runneth. Also when one word is 
once set in a clause it may be set forth as often as it is 
understood, or as often as reason and need ask. And this 
word autem, or vero, may stand for forsooth, or for hut, and 
thus I use commonly; and sometime it may stand for and, 
as old grammarians say. Also when rightful construction is 
let (prevented) by relation, I resolve it openly; thus where 
this clause Dominum formidahunt adversarii ejus should be 
Englished thus by the letter, the Lord His adversaries shall 


dread, I English it thus by resolution, the adversaries of the 
Lord shall dread Him ; and so of other clauses that be like. 

At the beginning I purposed, with God's help, to make the 
sentence as true and oj^en in English as it is in Latin, or more 
true and more open than it is in Latin ; and I pray for charity 
and for common profit of Christian souls, that if any wise man 
find any default of the truth of translation, let him set in the 
true sentence and open of holy writ, but look that he examine 
truly his Latin Bible ; for no doubt he shall find full many 
Bibles in Latin full false, if he look many, namely, new;^ and 
the common Latin Bibles have more need to be corrected, as 
many as I have seen in my life than the English Bible late 
translated. And where the Hebrew, by witness of Jerome, of 
Lyra, and other expositors discordeth fi^om our Latin Bibles, I 
have set in the margin, by manner of a gloss, what the Hebrew 
hath, and how it is understood in some place ; and I did this 
most in the Psalter, that of all our books discordeth most from 
the Hebrew ; for the church readeth not the Psalter by the last 
translation of Jerome, out of Hebrew into Latin, but another 
translation by other men, that had much less cunning and holi- 
ness than Jerome had ; and in full few books the church readeth 
the translation of Jerome, as it may be proved by the proper 
originals of Jerome which he glossed. And where I have trans- 
lated as openly or openlier in English as in Latin, let mse men 
deme (judge) that know well both languages, and know well the 
sentence of holy Scripture. And whether I have done thus or 
not, no doubt they that ken well the sentence of holy writ and 
English together, and will travail with God's grace thereabout, 
may make the Bible as true and as open, yea, and openlier, in 
English as in Latin. And no doubt to a simple man, with 
God's grace and great travail, men might expound much 

^ That is, if he examine many copies, and especially those of recent 

purvey's prologue to the wycliffite bible. 133 

opeiilier and shortlier the Bible in English, than the old great 
doctors have expounded it in Latin, and much sharplier and 
gTOundlier than many late postiUators, or expositors have done. 
But God of His great mercy, give us grace to live well, and to 
see the truth in convenable manner, and acceptable to God and 
His people, and to spell out our time, be it short, be it long, at 
God's ordinance. 

But some that seem wise and holy say thus. If men now 
were as holy as Jerome was, they might translate out of Latin 
into EngHsh, as he did out of Hebrew and out of Greek into 
Latin, and else they should not translate now, so they think, 
for default of holiness and cunning. Though this replication 
seem colourable, it hath no good ground, neither reason, neither 
charity; for why, (because) this replication is more against 
Saint Jerome and against the fiirst LXX. translators, and against 
holy church, than against simple men that translate now into 
English ; for Saint Jerome was not so holy as the Apostles and 
Evangelists, whose books he translated into Latin, neither he 
had so high gifts of the Holy Ghost as they had ; and much 
more the LXX. translators were not so holy as Moses and the 
Prophets, and specially David ; neither they had so great gifts of 
God as Moses and the Prophets had. Furthermore, holy church 
approveth not only the true translation of mean Christian men, 
but also of open heretics, that did away mysteries of Jesus 
Christ by guileful translation, as Jerome witnesseth in one pro- 
logue on Job, and in the prologue of Daniel. Much more late 
the Church of England approve the true and whole translation 
of simple men, that would, for no good on earth, by their 
witting and power, put away the least truth, yea, the least 
letter or tittle of holy writ that beareth substance or charge. 
And dispute they not (let them not dispute) of the holiness of 
men now living in this deadly life ; for they know not thereon, 
and it is reserved only to God's doom. If they know any 
notable default by the translators or their helps, let them blame 


the dcfiiiilt hj charity and mercy, and let them never damn a 
thing that may be done lawfidly by God's law, as wearing a good 
cloth for a time, or riding on a horse for a great journey, when they 
■\nt not wherefore it is done ; for such things may be done of 
simple men with .as great charity and virtue as some that hold 
themselves great and wase, can ride in a gilt saddle, or use 
cushions and beds and cloths of gold and of silk, with other 
vanities of the world. God grant pity, mercy, and charity, and 
love of common profit, and put away such foolish dooms (judg- 
ment) that be against reason and charity. Yet worldly clerks 
ask greatly (grandly) what spirit maketh idiots (laymen) hardy 
to translate now the Bible into EngKsh, since the four great 
doctors durst never do this. This replication is so lewd (un- 
learned), that it needeth none answer but stillness or courteous 
scorn ; for these great doctors were none English men, neither 
they were conversant among English men, neither they knew 
the language of English, but they ceased never till they had 
holy writ in the mother tongue of their own people. For 
Jerome, that was a Latin man of birth, translated the Bible, 
both out of Hebrew and out of Greek into Latin, and ex- 
pounded full much thereto ; and Austin and many more Latins 
expounded the Bible, for many parts, in Latin, to Latin men 
among which they dwelt, and Latin was a common language to 
theii' people about Eome, and beyond and on this half (side), as 
English is common to our people, and yet (still) this day the 
common people in Italy speaketh Latin corrupt, as true men 
say that have been in Italy ; and the number of translators out 
of Greek into Latin passeth man's knowing, as Austin witnesseth 
in the ij. book of Christian Teaching,^ and saith thus : " The 
translators out of Hebrew into Greek may be numbered, but 
Latin translators, or they that translated into Latin, may not be 
numbered in any manner." For in the first times of faith, each 

1 Augustine, Christian Doctrine, book ii., c. xi. 

PURVEy's prologue to the WYCLIFFITE BIBLE. 135 

man, as a Greek book came to him, and he seemed to himself to 
have some cunning of Greek and Latin, was hardy (bold) to 
translate, and this thing helped more than letted (hindered) 
understanding, if readers be not negligent, for why (because) 
the beholding of many books hath showed off or declared some 
darker sentences. This saith Austin here. Therefore Grosted 
(Grosseteste) saith that it was God's wiU that diverse men trans- 
late, and that diverse translations be in the church, where one 
said darkly, one other more said openly. 

Lord God, since at the beginning of faith so many men 
translated into Latin, and to great profit of Latin men, let one 
simple creature of God translate into English for profit of 
Englishmen; for if worldly clerks look well their chronicles 
and books they shall find that Bede translated the Bible, and 
expounded much in Saxon, that was English, or common lan- 
guage of tliis land, in his time ; and not only Bede, but also 
^ving Alfred that foimded Oxford, translated in his last days 
the beginning of the Psalter into Saxon, and would more if he 
had lived longer. Also Frenchmen, Beemers,^ and Britons 
have the Bible and other books of devotion and of exposition 
translated in their mother language. Why should not English- 
men have the same in their mother language I cannot wit, no 
but (except) for falseness and negligence of clerks, or for 
(because) our people is not worthy to have so great grace and 
gift of God in pain (penalty) of their old sins. God for his 
mercy amend these evil causes, and make our people to have, 
and ken, and keep truly holy writ, to life and death. 

But in translating of words equivocal, that is, that have 
many significations under one letter, may lightly be peril 
(there may easily be a danger of mistake) ; for Austin saith in 
the ij. book of Christian Teachinrj that if equivocal words be 
not translated into the sense or understanding of the author it 


136 APPENDIX A. . 

is ciTor,^ as in that place of the psalm, tlie feet of them he 
swift to shed out blood. The Greek word is equivocal to sharp 
and simft, and he that translated shai'p feet erred, and a book 
that hath sharj) feet is false, and must be amended, as that 
sentence, unkind young trees shall not give deep roots, ought to 
be thus p)lantings of adidtery shall not give deep roots.^ Austin 
saith this there ; therefore a translator hath great need to study 
well the sentence, both before and after, and look that such 
equivocal words accord with the sentence ; and he hath need to 
live a clean life, and be full devout in prayers, and have not 
his wit occupied about worldly things, that the Holy Spirit, 
author of wisdom, and cunning, and truth, dress him in his 
work, and suffer him not for to err. 

Also this word ex signifieth sometime of, and sometime it 
signifieth by, as Jerome saith; and this word ejiini signifieth 
commonly forsooth, and, as Jerome saith, it signifieth, cause 
thus, for why. And this word secundum is taken for after, as 
many men say, and commonly ; but it signifieth well by or up, 
thus by your icord, or up your word. Many such adverbs, 
conjunctions, and prepositions be set off one for another, and 
at free choice of authors sometime ; and now they should be 
taken as it accordeth best to the sentence. 

By this manner, with good living and great travail, men may 
come to true and clear translating and true understanding of 
holy writ, seem it never so hard at the beginning. God grant 
to us all grace to ken well and to keep well holy writ, and to 
suffer joyfidly some pain for it at the last. Amen. 

Augustine, Christian Doctrviu, b. ii. c. xii. 
2 Wisdom, iv.-3. 


I. NEW TESTAMENT » 1525. 4to. 

I HAVE here translated, brethren and sisters, most dear and 
tenderly beloved in Christ, the I^ew Testament, for your spiritual 
edifying, consolation, and solace; exhorting instantly and be- 
seeching those that are better seen in the tongues than I, and 
that have better gifts of grace to interpret the sense of the 
Scripture and meaning of the Spirit than I, to consider and 
ponder my labour', and that with the spirit of meekness ; and if 
they perceive in any places that I have not attained unto 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, remembering that so is their duty to do. For we 
have not received the gifts of God for ourselves only, or for to 
hide them ; but for to bestow them unto the honouring of God 
and Christ, and edifying of the congregation, which is the body 
of Christ. 

The causes that moved me to translate, I thought better that 
others should imagine, than that I should rehearse them. More- 
over I supposed it superfluous; for who is so blind as to ask 
why Kght should be showed to them that walk in darkness, 
where they cannot but stumble, and where to stumble is the 
danger of eternal damnation ; other so despiteful that he would 
envy any man (I speak not his brother) so necessary a thing ; 

^ This Prologue contains but little in the way of historical information. 
It has this especial interest, that it is the preface of the first iwintcd 
portion of the English Bible. 


or so bedlam mad to affirm that good is the natural cause of 
evil, and darkness to proceed out of light, and that lying should 
be groiuided in truth and verity, and not rather clean con- 
trary, that Hght destroyeth darkness, and verity reproveth all 
manner of lying. 

After it had pleased God to put in my mind and also to give 
me grace to translate this fore-rehearsed l^ew Testament into 
our English tongue, howsoever we have done it, I supposed it 
very necessary to put you in remembrance of certain points, 
which are, that ye well understand what these words mean : the 
Old Testament, the New Testament; the law, the gospel; 
Moses, Christ ; nature, grace ; working and believing ; deeds 
and faith ; lest we ascribe to the one that which belongeth to 
the other, and make of Christ Moses, of the gospel the law, 
despise grace and rob faith ; and faU from meek learning into 
idle dispicions ; brawling and scolding about words. 

The Old Testament is a book wherein is written the law of 
God, and the deeds of them which fulfil them, and of them also 
which fulfil them not. 

The 'New Testament is a book wherein are contained the 
promises of God, and the deeds of them which believe them or 
believe them not. 

Evangelion (that we caU the gospel) is a Greek word, and 
signifies good, merry, glad, and joyful tidings, that maketh a 
man's heart glad, and maketh him sing, dance, and leap for joy : 
as when David had killed Goliath the giant, came glad tidings 
unto the Jews, that their fearful and cruel enemy was slain, and 
they delivered out of aU danger ; for gladness whereof, they 
sung, danced, and were joyful. In like manner is the Evangelion 
of God (which we call gospel, and the New Testament) joyful 
tidings; and, as some say, a good hearing, published by the 
apostles throughout all the world, of Christ the right David, 
how that he hath fought with sin, with death, and the devil, 
and overcome them : whereby all men that were in bondage to 



sill, wounded with death, overcome of the devil, are, without 
their own merits or deservings, loosed, justified, restored to life 
and saved, brought to hberty and reconciled unto the favour of 
God, and set at one with him again ; which tidings, as many as 
believe, laud, praise, and thank God ; are glad, sing, and dance 
for joy. 

This Evangelion or gospel (that is to say, such joyful tidings) 
is called the New Testament; because that as a man, when he 
shall die, appointeth his goods to be dealt and distributed after 
his death among them which he nameth to be his heirs ; even 
so Cinist, before his death, commanded and appointed that such 
Evangelion, gospel, or tidings, should be declared throughout 
all the world, and therewith to give unto all that beheve, all 
his goods ; that is to say, his life, wherewith he swallowed and 
devoured up death; his righteousness, wherewith he banished 
sin; his salvation, wherewith he overcame eternal damnation. 
Xow, can the wretched man, that [knoweth himself to be 
wrapped] in sin, and in danger to death and hell, hear no 
more joyous a thing than such glad and comfortable tidings of 
Christ ; so that he cannot but be glad and laugh from the low 
bottom of his heart, if he believe that the tidings are true. 

To strength such faith withal, God promised this his Evan- 
gelion in the Old Testament by the prophets, as Paul saith 
(Rom. i.), how that he was chosen out to preach God's Evan- 
gehon, which he before had promised by the prophets in the 
Scriptures, that treat of his Son which was born of the seed of 
David. In Gen. iii. God saith to the serpent, "I will put 
hatred between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her 
seed, that self seed shall tread thy head under foot." Christ is 
this woman's seed ; he it is that hath trodden under foot the 
devil's head ; that is to say, sin, death, hell, and all his power. 
For without this seed can no man avoid sin, death, hell, and 
everlasting damnation. 

Again (Gen. xxii.), God promised Abraham, saying, "In thy 


seed shall all the generations of the earth be blessed." Christ is 
that seed of Abraham, saith St. Paid. (Gal. iii.) He hath 
blessed all the world through the gospel. For where Christ is 
not, there remaineth the curse that fell on Adam as soon as he 
had sinned, so that they are in bondage under the condemnation 
of sin, death, and hell. Against this curse blesseth now the 
gospel all the world, inasmuch as it crieth openly, saying, 
Whosoever believeth on the Seed of Abraham shall be blessed, 
that is, he shall be delivered from sm, death, and hell, and 
shall henceforth continue righteous, living and saved for ever, 
as Clirist himself saith, in the eleventh of John, "He that 
believeth on me shall never more die." 

"The law," saith the gospel of John in the first chapter, 
*'was given by Moses: but grace and verity by Jesus Christ." 
The law, whose minister is Moses, was given to bring us unto 
the knowledge of ourselves, that we might thereby feel and 
perceive what we are of nature. The law condemneth us and 
all our deeds, and is called of Paul in 2 Cor. iii. the ministra- 
tion of death.. For it killeth our consciences and driveth us to 
desperation, inasmuch as it requireth of us that which is im- 
possible for us to do. It requireth of us the deeds of a whole 
man. It requireth perfect love from the low bottom and 
ground of the heart, as weU in all things which we suffer, as 
in the things which we do. But, saith John, in the same place, 
" grace and verity is given us in Christ," so that when the law 
hath passed upon us, and condemned us to death, which is its 
nature to do, then we have in Christ grace, that is to say, 
favour, promises of life, of mercy, of pardon, freely by the 
merits of Christ ; and in Christ have we verity and truth, in 
that God fiilfilleth aU his promises to them that believe. 
Therefore is the gospel the ministration of life. Paul calleth it 
in the fore rehearsed place of 2 Cor. iii, the ministration of the 
Spirit and of righteousness. 

In the gospel, when we believe the promises, we receive the 

tyndale's prologues. 141 

Spirit of life, and are justifiecl in the blood of Christ from all 
things whereof the law condemned us. Of Christ it is written 
in the fore rehearsed Jolm i. This is He of whose abundance, 
or fulness, all we have received, grace for grace, or favour for 
favour. That is to say, for the favour that God hath to his 
Son Christ he giveth imto us his favour and good wiU, as a 
father to his sons. As affirmeth Paul, saying, " Wliich loved us 
in his Beloved before the creation of the world." Christ is 
made Lord over all, and is called in scripture God's mercy-stool; 
whosoever therefore fiietli to Christ can neither hear nor receive 
of God any other thing save mercy. 

In the Old Testament are many promises, which are nothing 
else but the Evangelion or gospel, to save those that believed 
them from the vengeance of the law. And in the l!^ew Testa- 
ment is often made mention of the law, to condemn them which 
believe not the promises. Moreover the law and the gospel 
may never be separate ; for the gospel and promises serve but 
for troubled consciences, which are brought to desperation, and 
feel the pains of hell and death under the law, and are in 
captivity and bondage under the law. In all my deeds I must 
have the laAV before me to condemn mine imperfectness. For all 
that I do, be I never so perfect, is yet damnable sin, when it is 
compared to the law, which requireth the ground and bottom of 
mine heart. I must therefore have always the law in my sight, 
that I may be meek in the spirit, and give God all the laud and 
praise, ascribing to him all righteousness, and to myself all 
unrighteousness and sin. I must also have the promises before 
mine eyes, that I despair not ; in which promises I see the 
mercy, favour, and good will of God upon me, in the blood of 
his Son Christ, which hath made satisfaction for mine un- 
perfectness, and fulfilled for me that which I could not do. 

Here may ye perceive that two manner of people are sore 
deceived. First, they which justify themselves with outward 
deeds, in that they abstain outwardly from that which the law 


forbiddeth, and do outwardly that which the law commandeth. 
They compare themselves to open sinners; and in respect of 
them justify themselves, condemning the open sinners. They 
set a veil on Moses' face, and see not how the law requireth 
love from the bottom of the heart. If they did they would not 
condemn their neighbours. "Love hideth the multitude of 
sins," saith St. Peter, in his first epistle. For whom I love from 
the deep bottom and ground of mine heart, him condemn I not, 
neither reckon his sins, but suffer his weakness and infirmity, as 
a mother the weakness of her son, until he grow up unto a 
perfect man. 

Those also are deceived which, without all fear of God, give 
themselves unto all manner vices with full consent, and full 
delectation, having no respect to the law of God (under whose 
vengeance they are locked up in captivity), but say, God is 
merciful and Christ died for us, supposing that such dreaming 
and imagination is that faith which is so greatly commended in 
holy scripture. Nay, that is not faith, but rather a foolish 
blind opinion springing of their own nature, and it is not given 
them of the Spirit of God ; true faith is (as saith the apostle 
Paul) the gift of God, and is given to sinners after the law 
hath passed upon them, and hath brought their consciences 
unto the brink of desperation, and sorrows of hell. 

They that have this right faith, consent to the law that it is 
righteous, and good, and justify God which made the law, and 
have delectation in the law, notwithstanding that they cannot 
fulfil it, for their weakness ; and they abhor whatsoever the law 
forbiddeth, though they camiot avoid it And their great sorrow 
is, because they cannot fulfil the will of God in the law ; and 
the spirit that is in them crieth to God night and day for 
strength and help, with tears (as saith Paul) that cannot be 
expressed with tongue. Of which things* the belief of our 
popish (or of their) father, whom they so magnify for his strong 
faith, hath none experience at all. 

tyndale's prologues. 143 

The first, that is to say, a justiciary, which justifieth himself 
with his outward deeds, consenteth not to the inward law, 
neither hath delectation therein : yea, he would rather that no 
such law were. So he justifieth not God, but hateth him as a 
tyrant, neither careth he for the promises, but will with his own 
strength be saviour of liimself; no wise glorifieth he God, 
though he seem outward to do. 

The second, that is to say, the sensual person, as a voluptuous 
swine, neither feareth God in his law, neither is thankful to 
him for his promises and mercy, which is set forth in Christ to 
all them that believe. 

The right christian man consenteth to the law, that it is 
righteous, and justifieth God in the law ; for he affirmeth that 
God is righteous and just, which is author of the law. He 
beHeveth the promises of God, and so justifieth God, judging him 
true, and believing that he will fulfil his promises. With the 
law he condemneth himself and all his deeds, and giveth all the 
praise to God. He believeth the promises, and ascribeth all 
truth to God : thus everywhere justifieth he God, and praiseth 

By nature, through the fall of Adam are we the children of 
wrath, heirs of the vengeance of God by birth, yea, and from 
our conception. And we have our fellowship with the devils 
under the power of darkness and rule of Satan, while we are 
yet in our mothers' wombs ; and though we show not forth the 
fruits of sin, yet are we full of the natural poison whereof all 
sinful deeds spring, and cannot but sin outwardly, be we never 
so young, if occasion be given ; for our nature is to do sin, as is 
the nature of a serpent to sting. And as a serpent yet young, 
or yet unbrought forth, is full of poison, and cannot afterward 
(when the time is come, and occasion given) but bring forth the 
fruits thereof ; and as an adder, a toad, or a snake; is hated of 
man, not for the evil that it hath done, but for the poison that 
is in it and the hurt which it cannot but do ; so are we hated 

144 APPENDIX 13. 

of God for that natural poison which is conceived and born 
with us before we do any outward evil. And as the evil, which 
a venomous worm doeth, maketh it not a serpent ; but because 
it is a venomous worm, therefore doth it evil and poisoneth ; 
and as the fruit maketh not the tree evil, but because it is an 
evil tree, therefore it bringeth forth evil fruit, when the season 
of fruit is ; even so do not our evil deeds make us evil ; but 
because that of nature we are evil, therefore we both think and 
do evil, and are under vengeance under the law, convict to 
eternal damnation by the law, and are contrary to the ^^all of 
God in all our will, and in all things consent to the will of the 

By grace, that is to say by favour, we are plucked out of 
Adam, the ground of aU evil, and graffed in Christ the root of 
all goodness. In Christ, God loved us, his elect and chosen, 
before the world began, and reserved us unto the knowledge of 
his Son and of his holy gospel ; and when the gospel is preached 
to us, he openeth our hearts, and giveth us grace to believe, and 
putteth the Spirit of Christ in us, and we know him as our 
Father most merciful ; and we consent to the law, and love it 
iuAvardly in our heart, and desire to fulfil it, and sorrow because 
we cannot ; which wiU (sin we of frailty never so much) is 
sufficient till more strength be given us ; the blood of Christ 
hath made satisfaction for the rest; the blood of Christ hath 
obtained all things for us of God. Christ is our satisfaction. 
Redeemer, Deliverer, Saviour, from vengeance and wrath. 
Observe and mark in Paul's, Peter's, and John's epistles, and in 
the gospel, what Christ is unto us. 

By faith are we saved only in believing the promises. And 
though faith be never without love and good works, yet is oui- 
saving imputed neither to love nor unto good works, but unto 
faith only. For love and works are under the law, which re- 
quireth perfection, and the gi'ound and fountain of the heart, and 
danmeth aU imperfectness. JN'ow is faith under the promises, 

tyndale's prologues. 145 

which condemn not; but give all grace, mercy, favour, and 
whatsoever is contained in the promises. 

Eighteousness is divers ; blind reason imagines many manner 
of righteousness. There is, in like manner, the justifying 
of ceremonies, some imagine them their own selves, some 
counterfeit other, saying, in their blind reason. Such holy 
persons did thus and thus, and they were holy men, therefore if 
I do so likewise I shall please God ; but they have no answer of 
God that that pleaseth. The Jews seek righteousness in their 
ceremonies ; which God gave unto them, not to justify, but to 
describe and paint Christ mito them ; of which Jews testifieth 
Paul, saying how that they have affection to God, but not 
after knowledge ; for they go about to stablish their own 
justice, and are not obedient to the justice of righteousness that 
cometh of God. The cause is verily that except a man cast 
away his own imagination and reason, he cannot perceive God, 
and understand the virtue and power of the blood of Christ. 
There is the righteousness of works, as I said before, when the 
heart is away and feeleth not how the law is spiritual and 
cannot be fulfilled, but from the bottom of the heart, as the just 
ministration of all manner of laws, and the observing of them, 
and moral virtues wherein philosophers put their felicity and 
blessedness — which all are nothing in the sight of God. There is 
a full righteousness, when the law is fulfilled from the ground of 
the heart. This had neither Peter nor Paul in this life perfectly, 
but sighed after it. They were so far forth blessed in Christ, 
that they hungered and thirsted after it. Paul had this thirst ; 
he consented to the law of God, that it ought so to be, but he 
found another lust in his members, contrary to the lust and 
desire of his mind, and therefore cried out, saying, "Oh, 
wretched man that I am ; who shall deliver me from this body 
of death? thanks be to God tlirough Jesus Christ." The 
righteousness that before God is of value, is to believe the 
promises of God, after the law hath confounded the conscience : 



as when the temporal law ofttimes condemneth the thief or 
murderer, and bringeth him to execution, so that he seeth 
nothing before him but present death, and then cometh good 
tidings, a charter from the king, and delivereth him. Likewise 
when God's law hath brought the sinner into knowledge of him- 
self, and hath confounded his conscience and opened unto him 
the wrath and vengeance of God ; then cometh good tidings. 
The Evangelion showeth unto him the promises of God in Christ, 
and how Christ hath purchased pardon for him, hath satisfied 
the law for him, and appeased the wrath of God. And the 
poor sinner believeth, laudeth, and thanketh God through Christ, 
and breaketh out into exceeding inward joy and gladness, for 
that he hath escaped so great wrath, so heavy vengeance, so 
fearful and so everlasting a death. And he henceforth is an 
hungered and athirst after more righteousness, that he might 
fulfil the law; and mourneth continually, commending his 
weakness unto God in the blood of our Saviour, Christ Jesus. 

Here shall ye see compendiously and plainly set out, the 
order and practice of every thing before rehearsed. 

The fall of Adam hath made us heirs of the vengeance and 
wrath of God, and heirs of eternal damnation; and hath 
brought us into captivity and bondage under the devil. And 
the devil is our lord, and our ruler, our head, our governor, our 
prince, yea, and our god. And our will is locked and knit 
faster unto the will of the devil, than could a hundred thousand 
chains bind a man unto a post. Unto the devil's will consent 
we with all our hearts, with all our minds, with all our 
might, power, strength, will, and lusts. With what poison, 
deadly and venomous hate, hateth a man his enemy ! With 
how great malice of mind, inwardly, do we slay and murder ! 
With what violence and rage, yea, and with how fervent lust, 
commit we advoutry, fornication, and such like uncleanness ! 
With what pleasure and delectation inwardly serveth a glutton 
his belly ! With what diligence deceive we ! How busily seek 

TYND ale's prologues. 147 

we tlie things of this world ! Wliatsoever we do, think, or 
imagine, is abominable in the sight of God. And we are as it 
were asleep in so deep blindness, that we can neither see nor feel 
what misery, thraldom, and wretchedness we are in, till Moses 
come and wake us, and publish the law. When we hear the law 
truly preached, how that we ought to love and honour God with 
all our strength and might, from the low bottom of the heart ; 
and our neighbours, yea, our enemies, as ourselves, inwardly, 
from the ground of the heart, and do whatsoever God biddeth, 
and abstain from whatsoever God forbiddeth, with all love and 
meekness, with a fervent and a burning lust from the centre 
of the heart, then beginneth the conscience to rage against the 
law, and against God. IsTo sea, be it ever so great a tempest, is 
so unquiet. For it is not possible for a natural man to consent 
to the law, that it should be good, or that God should be 
righteous which maketh the law ; his wit, reason, and will being 
so fast glued, yea, nailed and chained imto the will of the devil. 
Neither can any creature loose the bonds, save the blood of 

This is the captivity and bondage whence Christ delivered us, 
redeemed, and loosed us. His blood, his death, his patience in 
suffering rebukes and wrongs, his prayers and fastings, his meek- 
ness and fulfilling of the uttermost point of the law, appeased 
the wrath of God, brought the favour of God to us again, 
obtained that God should love us first, and be our Father, and 
that a merciful Father, that will consider our infirmities and 
weakness, and will give us his Spirit again (which was taken 
away in the fall of Adam) to rule, govern, and strength us, and 
to break the bonds of Satan, wherein we were so straight bound. 
When Christ is thuswise preached, and the promises rehearsed 
which are contained in the prophets, in the psalms, and in 
divers places of the five books of Moses, then the hearts of them 
which are elect and chosen, begin to wax soft and melt at the 
bounteous mercy of God, and kindness shewed of Christ. For 


when the Evangelion is preached, the Spirit of God entereth 
into them whom God hath ordained and appointed unto eternal 
life, and openeth their inward eyes, and worketh such belief in 
them. When the wofiil consciences feel and taste how sweet 
a thing the bitter death of Christ is, and how merciful and 
loving God is through Christ's purchasing and merits, they 
begin to love again, and to consent to the law of God, that it is 
good and ought so to be, and that God is righteous which made 
it; and they desire to fulfil the law, even as the sick man 
desireth to be whole, and are an hungered and thirst after more 
righteousness and after more strength to fulfil the law more 
perfectly. And in all that they do, or omit and leave undone, 
they seek God's honour and his wiU with meekness, ever 
condemning the imperfectness of their deeds by the law. 

Now Christ standeth us in double stead, and us serveth in 
two manner wise : First, he is our Tiedeemer, Deliverer, Eecon- 
ciler, Mediator, Intercessor, Advocate, Attorney, Solicitor, our 
Hope, Comfort, Shield, Protection, Defender, Strength, Health, 
Satisfaction, and Salvation. His blood, his death, all that he 
ever did, is ours. And Christ himself, with all that he is or 
can do, is ours. His blood-shedding and all that he did, doth 
me as good service as though I myself had done it. And God 
(as great as he is) is mine, with all that he hath, through Christ 
and his purchasing. 

Secondarily, after that we be overcome with love and kindness, 
and now seek to do the will of God, which is a christian man's 
nature, then have we Christ an example to counterfeit, as saith 
Christ himself in John, "I have given you an example." And 
in another evangelist he saith, " He that will be great among 
you, shall be your servant and minister, as the Son of man came 
to minister and not to be ministered unto." And Paul saith, 
" Counterfeit^ Christ." And Peter saith, '^ Christ died for you, 


tyndale's prologues. 149 

and left you an example to follow his steps." Whatsoever there- 
fore faith hath received of God through Christ's blood and 
deserving, that same must love shed out every whit, and bestow 
it on our neighbours unto their profit, yea, and that though they 
be our enemies. By faith we receive of God, and by love we 
shed out again. And that must we do freely after the example of 
Christ, without any other respect, save our neighbour's wealth 
only, and neither look for reward in the earth, nor yet in heaven, 
for our deeds. But of pure love must we bestow ourselves, all 
that we have, and all that we are able to do, even on our ene- 
mies, to bring them to God, considering nothing but their 
wealth, as Christ did ours. Christ did not his deeds to obtain 
heaven thereby (that had been a madness), heaven was his already, 
he was heir thereof, it was his by inheritance ; but did them 
freely for our sakes, considering nothing but our wealth, and to 
bring the favour of God to us again, and us to God. And no 
natural son that is his father's heir, doth his father's will because 
he would be heu' ; that he is already by birth, his father gave 
him that ere he was born, and is loather that he should go with- 
out it, than he himself hath wit to be ; but out of pure love 
doth he that he doth. And ask him, Why he doth any thing 
that he doth 1 he answereth, My father bade, it is my father's 
will, it pleaseth my father. Bond servants work for hire, 
children for love : for their father with all he hath, is theirs 
already. So a Christian man doth freely all that he doth, con- 
sidereth nothing but the will of God, and Ms neighbour's wealth 
only. If I live chaste, I do it not to obtain heaven thereby ; 
for then should I do wrong to the blood of Christ; Christ's 
blood has obtained me that j Christ's merits have made me heir 
thereof ; he is both door and way thitherwards : neither that I 
look for an higher room in heaven than they shall have which 
live in wedlock, other than a whore of the stews, if she repent ; 
for that were the pride of Lucifer, but freely to wait on the 
evangelion ; and to serve my brother withal ; even as one hand 


helpeth another, or one member another, because one feeleth 
another's grief, and the pain of the one is the pain of the other. 
Whatsoever is done to the least of us (whether it be good or 
bad), it is done to Christ; and whatsoever is done to my brother, 
if I be a christian man, tliat same is done to me. Neither doth 
my brother's pain grieve me less than mine own: neither rejoice 
I less at his welfare than at mine own. If it were not so, how 
saith Paul ? " Let him that rejoiceth, rejoice in the Lord," that 
is to say, Christ, which is Lord over all creatures. If my merits 
obtained me heaven, or a higher room there, then had I wherein 
I might rejoice besides the Lord. 

Here see ye the nature of the law, and the nature of the 
evangelion. How the law is the key that bindeth and damneth 
all men, and the evangelion looseth them again. The law 
goeth before, and the evangelion followeth. When a preacher 
preacheth the law, he bindeth all consciences; and when he 
preacheth the gospel, he looseth them again. These two 
salves (I mean the law and the gospel) useth God and his 
preacher to heal and cure sinners withal. The law driveth out 
the disease and maketh it apjDcar, and is a sharp salve, and a 
fretting corosy, and killeth the dead flesh, and looseth and 
draweth the sores out by the roots, and all corruption. It 
pulleth from a man the trust and confidence that he hath in 
himself, and in his o^vn works, merits, deservings, and cere- 
monies. It killeth him, sendeth him down to hell, and bringeth 
him to utter desperation, and prepareth the way of the Lord, 
as it is \vritten of John the Baptist. For it is not possible that 
Christ should come to a man, as long as he trusteth in himself, 
or in any worldly thing. Then cometh the evangelion, a more 
gentle plaster, which suppleth and suageth the wounds of the 
conscience, and bringeth health. It bringeth the Spirit of 
God, which looseth the bonds of Satan, and uniteth us to God 
and his will, through strong faith and fervent love, with bonds 
too strong for the devil, the world, or any creature to loose 

tyndale's prologues. 151 

them. And the poor and wretched sinner feeleth so great 
mercy, love, and kindness in Grod, that he is sure in himself 
how that it is not possible that God should forsake him, or 
withdraw his mercy and love from him ; and he boldly crieth 
out with Paul, saying, "Who shaU separate us from the love 
that God loveth us withal?" That is to say, What shall make 
me believe that God loveth me not"? Shall tribulation? an- 
guish 1 persecution 1 Shall hunger 1 nakedness 1 ShaU sword 1 
Nay, "I am sure that neither death nor life, neither angel, 
neither rule nor power, neither present things nor things to 
come, neither high nor low, neither any creature, is able to 
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesu our 
Lord." In all such tribulations, a christian man perceiveth 
that God is his Father, and loveth him even as he loved Christ 
when he shed his blood on the cross. 

Finally, as before, when I was bond to the devil and his will, 
I wrought all manner of evil and wickedness, not for hell's 
sake, which is the reward of sin, but because I was heir of hell 
by birth and bondage to the devil, did I evil (for I could none 
otherwise do ; to do sin was my nature), even so now, since I 
am coupled to God by Christ's blood, do I well, not for heaven's 
sake, but because I am heir of heaven by grace and Christ's 
purchasing, and have the Spirit of God, I do good freely, for so 
is my nature : as a good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and an 
evil tree evil fruit. By the fruits shall ye know what the tree 
is. A man's deeds declare what he is within, but make him 
neither good nor bad. We must first be evil ere we do evO, as 
a serpent is first poisonous ere he poison. We must be also 
good ere we do good, as the fire must be first hot ere it warm 
any thing. Take an example : As those blind which are cured 
in the evangelion could not see tUl Christ had given them sight, 
and deaf could not hear tiU Christ had given them hearing, 
and those sick could not do the deeds of an whole man till 
Christ had given them health ; so can no man do good in his 



soul tiU Christ have loosed him out of the bonds of Satan, and 
have given him wherewith to do good; yea, and first have 
poured into him that self good thing which he sheddeth forth 
afterwards on other. Whatsoever is our own, is sin. What- 
soever is above that, is Christ's gift, purchase, doing, and 
working. He bought it of his Father dearly with his blood, 
yea, with his most bitter death, and gave his life for it. What- 
soever good thing is in us, that is given us freely, without our 
deserving or merits, for Christ's blood's sake. That we desire 
to follow the will of God it is the gift of Christ's blood. That 
we now hate the devil's will (whereunto we were so fast locked, 
and could not but love it) is also the gift of Christ's blood ; 
unto whom belongeth the praise and honour of our good deeds, 
and not unto us. 

8vo EDITION, 1525. 

Give diligence, reader, I exhort thee^ that thou come with a 
pure mind, and, as the Scripture saith, with a single eye, unto 
the words of health and of eternal life ; by the which, if we 
repent and believe them, we are born anew, created afresh, and 
enjoy the fruits of the blood of Christ, which blood crieth not 
for vengeance, as the blood of Abel, but hath purchased life, 
love, favour, grace, blessing, and whatsoever is promised in the 
Scriptures to them that believe and obey God, and standeth 
between us and wrath, vengeance, curse, and whatsoever the 
Scripture threateneth against the unbelievers and disobedient, 
which resist and consent not in their hearts to the law of God 
that it is right, holy, just, and ought so to be. Mark the plain 
and manifest places of the Scriptures, and in doubtful places see 
thou add no interpretation contrary to them, but as (Paul saith) 
let aU be conformable and agreeing to the faith. I^ote the 
difference of the law and of the gospel. The one asketh and 

TYND ale's prologues. 153 

requireth, tlie other pardoneth and forgiveth; the one threat- 
eneth, the other promiseth all good things to them that set 
their trust in Christ only. The gospel signifieth glad tidings, 
and is nothing but the promises of good things. All is not 
gospel that is written in the gospel-book ; for if the law were 
away thou couldest not know what the gospel meant, even as 
thou couldest not see pardon and grace, except the law rebuked 
thee and declared unto thee thy sin, misdeed, and trespass. 
Repent, and believe the gospel, as Christ saith in the first of 
]\Iark. Apply alway the law to thy deeds, whether thou find 
lust in thine heart to the law- ward ; and so shalt thou no doubt 
repent and feel in thyself a certain sorrow, pain, and grief to 
thine heart, because thou canst not with fuU lust do the deeds 
of the law. Apply the gosjDcl, that is to say the promises, unto 
the deserving of Christ, and to the mercy of God and his truth, 
and so shalt thou not despaii-, but shall feel God as a kind and 
merciful father. And his Spirit shall dwell in thee, and shall 
be strong in thee, and the promises shall be given thee at the 
last (though not by and by, lest thou shouldest forget thyself 
and be negligent), and all threatenings shall be forgiven thee 
for Christ's blood's sake, to whom commit thyself altogether, 
without respect either of thy good deeds or of thy bad. 

Them that are learned Christianly I beseech, forasmuch as I 
am sure, and my conscience beareth me record, that of a pure 
intent, singly and faithfully, I have interpreted it, as far forth 
as God gave me the gift of knowledge and understanding, that 
the rudeness of the work now at the first time ofi'end them not ; 
but that they consider how that I had no man to counterfeit, 
neither was helped with English of any that had interpreted 
the same or such like thing in the Scripture beforetime. More- 
over, even very necessity, and cumbrance (God is record) above 
strength, which I will not rehearse, lest we should seem to 
boast ourselves, caused that many things are lacking which 
necessarily are required. Count it as a thing not having his full 


shape, but as it were "bom before his time, even as a thing begun 
rather than finished. In time to come (if God have appointed 
us thereunto) we will give it his full shape, and put out if 
ought be added superflously, and add to if ought be overseen 
through negligence, and will enforce to bring to compendiousness 
that which is now translated at the length, and to give light 
where it is required, and to seek in certain places more proper 
English, and with a table to expound the words which are not 
commonly used, and show how the Scripture useth many words 
which are otherwise understood of the common people, and to 
help with a declaration where one tongue taketh not another; 
and wiU endeavour ourselves, as it were, to seethe it better, and 
to make it more apt for the weak stomachs, desiring them that 
are learned and able to remember their duty, and to help them 
thereunto, and to bestow unto the edifying of Christ's body, 
which is the congregation of them that believe, those gifts 
which they have received of God for the same purpose. 

The grace that cometh of Christ be with them that love 
him. Amen. 


When I had translated the New Testament, I added an Epistle 
unto the latter end, in which I desired them that were learned 
to amend if aught were found amiss. But our malicious and 
wily hypocrites, which are so stubborn, and hard hearted in 
their wicked abominations, that it is not possible for them to 
amend any thing at all (as we see by daily experience, when 
both their livings and doings are rebuked with the truth) say, 
some of them, that it is impossible to translate the Scripture 
into English ; some that it is not lawful for the lay people to 
have it in their mother tongue ; some that it would make them 
all heretics ; as it would no doubt from many things which they 
of long time have falsely taught ; and that is the whole cause 

tyndale's prologues. 155 

wherefore they forbid it, though they other cloaks pretend. 
And some, or rather every one, say that it would make them 
rise against the king, whom they themselves (unto their damna- 
tion) never yet obeyed. And lest the temporal rulers should see 
their falsehood, if the Scripture came to light, causeth them so 
to lie. 

And as for my translation, in which they affirm unto the lay 
people, (as I have heard say) to be I wot not how many 
thousand heresies, so that it cannot be mended or correct, they 
have yet taken so great pain to examine it, and to compare it 
unto that they would fain have it, and to their own imaginations 
and juggling terms, and to have somewhat to rail at, and 
under that cloak, to blaspheme the truth, that they might with 
as little labour (as I suppose) have translated the most part of 
the Bible. For they which in times past were wont to look on 
no more Scripture than they found in their Duns, or such like 
devilish doctrine, have yet now so narrowly looked on my 
Translation, that there is not so much as one i therein, if it lack 
a tittle over his head, but they have noted it, and number it 
unto the ignorant people for an heresy. Finally, in this they 
be all agreed, — to drive you from the knowledge of the Scrip- 
ture, and that ye shall not have the text thereof in the mother 
tongue ; and to keep the world still in darkness, to the intent 
they might sit in the consciences of the people, through vain 
superstition and false doctrine ; to satisfy their filthy lusts, their 
proud ambition, and unsatiable covetousness ; and to exalt their 
own honour above king and emperor, yea, and above God him- 

A thousand books had they lever to be put forth against theii' 
abominable doings and doctrine, than that the Scripture should 
come to light. For as long as they may keep that down, they 
will so darken the right way with the mist of their sophistry, 
and so tangle them that either rebuke or despise their abomina- 
tions, with arguments of philosophy, and with worldly simili- 


tudes and apparent reasons of natural wisdom, and with 
wresting the Scripture unto their own purpose, clean contrary 
unto the process, order, and meaning of the text ; and so delude 
them in descanting upon it with allegories; and amaze them, 
expounding it in many senses before the unlearned lay people, 
(when it hath but one simple, literal sense, whose light the owls 
cannot abide) that though thou feel in thine heart, and art sure, 
how that aU is false that they say, yet couldst thou not solve 
their subtle riddles. 

A\^iich thing only moved me to translate the N"ew Testament. 
Because I had perceived by experience, how that it was im- 
possible to establish the lay people in any truth except the 
Scripture were plainly laid before their eyes in their mother 
tongue, that they might see the process, order, and meaning of 
the text : for else, whatsoever truth is taught them, these 
enemies of all truth quench it again, partly with the smoke of 
their bottomless pit, whereof thou readest in Apocalypse chap, 
ix. that is, with apparent reasons of sophistry, and traditions of 
their own making, founded without ground of Scripture, and 
partly in juggling mth the text, expounding it in such a sense 
as is impossible to gather of the text, if thou see the process, 
order, and meaning thereof. 

And even in the bishop of London's house I intended to 
have done it. For when I was so turmoiled in the country 
where I was, that I could no longer dwell there (the process 
whereof were too long here to rehearse), I this wise thought in 
myself — this I suffer because the priests of the country be 
unlearned ; as God knoweth, there are a full ignorant sort which 
have seen no more Latin than that they read in their Portesses 
and Missals, which yet many of them can scarcely read (except 
it be Alhertus de Seci^etis MuliermTif in which yet, though they 
be never so sorrily learned, they pore day and night, and make 
notes therein, and all to teach the midwives as they say ; and 
Linwode, a book of constitutions to gather tythes, mortuaries, 

tyndale's prologues. 157 

offerings, customs, and other pillage which they call not theirs, 
but God's part, and the duty of holy church to discharge their 
consciences withal : for they are bound that they shall not 
diminish, but increase all things unto the uttermost of their 
powers), and, therefore (because they are thus unlearned, thought 
I), when they come together to the ale-house, which is their 
preaching place, they affirm that my sayings are heresy. And 
besides that, they add to of their own heads which I never 
spake, as the manner is, to prolong the tale to short the time 
withal, and accused me secretly to the chancellor, and other the 
bishop's officers. And, indeed, when I came before the chan- 
cellor, he tlireatened me grievously, and reviled me, and rated 
me as though I had been a dog, and laid to my charge whereof 
there could be none accuser brought forth (as their manner is 
not to bring forth the accuser), and yet all the priests of the 
country were the same day tliere. 

As I this thought, the bishop of London came to my remem- 
brance, whom Erasmus (whose tongue maketh of little gnats 
great elephants, and lifteth up above the stars whosoever giveth 
him a little exhibition) praiseth exceedingly, among other in 
his Annotations on the N'ew Testament, for his great learning. 
Then, thought I, if I might come to this man's service, I were 
happy. And so I gat me to London, and, through the ac- 
quaintance of my master, came to Sir Harry Gilford, the king's 
grace's comptroller, and brought him an Oration of Isocrates, 
which I had translated out of Greek into English, and desired 
him to speak unto my lord of London for me, which he also 
did as he shewed me, and willed me to write an epistle to my 
lord, and to go to him myself, which I also did, and delivered 
my epistle to a servant of his own, one WiUiam Hebilthwayte, 
a man of mine old acquaintance. But God (which knoweth 
what is within hypocrites) saw that I was beguiled, and that 
that counsel was not the next way unto my purpose. And 
therefore he gat me no favour in my lord's sight. 


Whereupon my lord answered me, his house was fuU, he had 
more than he could well find, and advised me to seek in 
London, where he said I could not lack a service. And so in 
London I abode almost a year, and marked the course of the 
world, and heard our praters (I would say our preachers), how 
they boasted themselves and their high authority ; and beheld 
the pomp of our prelates, and how busy they were, as they yet 
are, to set peace and unity in the world (though it be not 
possible for them that walk in darkness to continue long in 
peace, for they cannot but either stumble or dash themselves at 
one thing or another that shall clean unquiet all together) and 
saw things whereof I defer to speak at this time, and under- 
stood at the last not only that there was no room in my lord of 
London's palace to translate the Xew Testament, but also that 
there was no place to do it in all England, as experience doth 
now openly declare. 

Under what manner, therefore, should I now submit this 
book to be corrected and amended of them, which can suffer 
nothing to be weU? Or what protestation should I make in 
such a matter unto our prelates, those stubborn Nimrods which 
so mightily fight against God, and resist his Holy Spirit, en- 
forcing with all craft and subtlety to quench the light of the 
everlasting Testament, promises, and appointment made between 
God and US'? and heaping the fierce w^rath of God upon all 
princes and rulers ; mocking them with false feigned names of 
hypocrisy, and serving their lusts at all points, and dispensing 
with them even of the very laws of God, of which Christ him- 
self testifieth. Matt. v. " That not so much as one tittle thereof 
may perish, or be broken." And of which the prophet saith, 
Psalm cxviii., "Thou hast commanded thy laws to be kept" 
meody that is in Hebrew, exceedingly, with all diligence, might, 
and power ; and have made them so mad with their juggling 
charms, and crafty persuasions, that they think it a full satis- 
faction for aU their wicked lying to torment such as teU them 

tyndale's prologues. 159 

truth, and to burn the word of their soul's health, and slay 
wliosoever believe thereon. 

Notwithstanding, yet I submit this book, and all other that 
I have either made or translated, or shall in time to come, (if it 
be God's will that I shall further labour in his harvest,) unto all 
them that submit themselves unto the word of God, to be cor- 
rected of them ; yea, and moreover to be disallowed and also 
burnt, if it seem worthy, when they have examined it with the 
Hebrew, so that they first put forth of their own translating 
another that is more correct. 


Considering how excellent knowledge and learning an inter- 
preter of scripture ought to have in the tongues, and pondering 
also mine own insufficiency therein, and how weak I am to per- 
form the office of a translator, I was the more loath to meddle 
with this work. Notwithstanding, when I considered how great 
pity it was that we should want it so long, and called to my 
remembrance the adversity of them which were not only of ripe 
knowledge, but would also with all their hearts have performed 
that they began, if they had not had impediment ; considering, 
I say, that by reason of their adversity it coiUd not so soon have 
been brought to an end, as our most prosperous nation would 
fain have had it ; these and other reasonable causes considered, 
T was the more bold to take it in hand. And to help me herein, 
I have had sundry translations, not only in Latin, but also of 
the Dutch interpreters, whom, because of their singular gifts 
and special diligence in the Bible, I have been the more glad to 
follow for the most part, according as I was required. But, to 
say the truth before God, it was neither my labour nor desire to 
have this work put in my hand : nevertheless it grieved me that 
other nations should be more plenteously provided for with the 
scripture in their mother-tongue, than we : therefore, when I was 
instantly required, though I could not do so well as I woidd, I 
thought it yet my duty to do my best, and that with a good 

Whereas some men think now that many translations make 
division in the faith and in the people of God, that is not so : 
for it was never better with the congregation of God, than when 

coverdale's prologue. 161 

every clmrcli almost had tlie Eible of a sundry translation. 
Among the Greeks had not Origen a special translation 1 Had 
not Ynlgarius one peculiar, and likewise Chrysostom 1 Beside 
the seventy interpreters, is there not the translation of Aquila, 
of Theodotio, of Symmachus, and of sundry other ^ Again, 
among the Latin men, thou findest that every one almost used 
a special and sundry translation ; for insomuch as every bishop 
had the knowledge of the tongues, he gave his diligence to have 
the Eible of his own translation. The doctors, as Hireneus, 
Cyprianus, Tertullian, St. Hierome, St. Augustine, Hilarius, and 
St. Ambrose, upon divers places of the scripture, read not the 
text all alike. 

Therefore ought it not to be taken as evil, that such men as 
have understanding now in our time, exercise themselves in the 
tongues, and give their diligence to translate out of one language 
into another. Yea, we ought rather to give God high thanks 
therefore, which through his Spirit stirreth up men's minds so 
to exercise themselves therein. Would God it had never been 
left off after the time of St. Augustine ! then should we never 
have come into such blindness and ignorance, into such errors 
and delusions. For as soon as the Bible was cast aside, and no 
more put in exercise, then began every one of his own head to 
write whatsoever came into his brain, and that seemed to be 
good in his own eyes; and so grew the darkness of men's 
traditions. And this same is the cause that we have had so 
many writers, which seldom made mention of the scripture of 
the Bible ; and though they sometime alleged it, yet was it done 
so far out of season, and so wide from the purpose, that a man 
may well perceive, how that they never saw the original. 

Seeing then that this diligent exercise of translating doth so 
much good and edifieth in other languages, why should it do 
evil in ours 1 Doubtless, like as all nations in the diversity of 
speeches may know one God in the unity of faith, and be one in 
love ; even so may divers translations understand one another, 



and that in tlie head articles and ground of our most blessed 
faith, though they use sundry words. Wherefore methink we 
have great occasion to give thanks unto God, that he hath 
opened unto his church the gift of interpretation and of print- 
ing, and that there are now at this time so many, which with 
such diligence and faithfulness interpret the scripture, to the 
honour of God and edifying of his people : whereas, like as 
when many are shooting together, every one d(jth his best to be 
nighest the mark ; and though they cannot all attain thereto, 
yet shooteth one nigher than another and hitteth it better than 
another ; yea, one can do it better than another. Who is now 
then so unreasonable, so despiteful, or envious, as to abhor him 
that doth all his diligence to hit the prick, and to shoot nighest 
it, though he miss and come not nighest the mark? Ought 
not such one rather to be commended, and to be helped forward, 
that he may exercise himseK the more therein 1 

For the which cause, according as I was desired, I took the 
more upon me to set forth this special translation, not as a 
checker, not as a reprover, or despiser of other men's transla- 
tions, (for among many as yet I have found none without occa- 
sion of great thanksgiving unto God ;) but lowly and faithfully 
have I followed mine interpreters, and that under correction ; 
and though I have failed anywhere (as there is no man but he 
misseth in some thing), love shall construe all to the best, with- 
out any perverse judgment. There is no man living that can 
see all things, neither hath God given any man to know every- 
thing. One seeth more clearly than another, one hath more 
understanding than another, one can utter a thing better than 
another; but no man ought to envy or despise another. He 
that can do better than another, should not set him at nought 
that understandeth less. Yea, he that hath the more under- 
standing ought to remember, that the same gift is not his, but 
God's, and that God hath given it him to teach and inform 
the ignorant. If thou hast knowledge therefore to judge where 

covERD ale's prologue. 163 

any fault is made, I doubt not but thou wilt help to amend it, 
if love be joined with thy knowledge. Howbeit, whereinsoever 
I can perceive by myself, or by the information of other, that I 
have failed (as it is no wonder), I shall now by the help of God 
overlook it better, and amend it. 

Xow will I exhort tliee, whosoever thou be that readest 
scriptui'e, if thou find ought therein that thou understandest 
not, or that appeareth to be repugnant, give no temerarious nor 
hasty judgment thereof ; but ascribe it to thine own ignorance, 
not to the scriptui-e : think that thou understandest it not, or 
that it hath some other meaning, or that it is haply overseen of 
the interpreters, or wrong printed. Again, it shall greatly help 
thee to understand scripture, if tliou mark not only what is 
spoken or written, but of whom, and unto whom, with what 
words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circum- 
stance, considering what goeth before, and what foUoweth after. 
For there be some things which are done and written, to the 
intent that we should do likewise ; as wlien Abraham believeth 
God, is obedient unto his word, and defendeth Loth his kins- 
man from violent wrong. There be some things also which are 
written, to the intent that we shoidd eschew such like ; as when 
David lietli with Uria's wife, and causeth him to be slain. 
Therefore, I say, when thou readest scripture, be wise and cir- 
cumspect ; and when thou comest to such strange manners of 
speaking and dark sentences, to such parables and similitudes, 
to such dreams or visions, as are hid from thy understanding, 
commit them unto God, or to the gift of his Holy Spirit in 
them that are better learned than thou. 

As for the commendation of God's holy scripture, I would 
fain magnify it, as it is worthy, but I am far unsufficient thereto : 
and therefore I thought it better for me to hold my tongue, than 
with few words to praise or commend it ; exhorting thee, most 
dear reader, so to love it, so to cleave unto it, and so to follow 
it in thy daily conversation, that other men, seeing thy good 


"\vorks and the fruits of the Holy Ghost in thee, may praise the 
Father of heaven, and give his word a good report : for to live 
after the law of God, and to lead a virtuous conversation, is the 
greatest praise that thou canst give unto his doctrine. 

But as touching the evil report and dispraise that the good 
word of God hath by the corrupt and evil conversation of some 
that daily hear it and profess it outwardly with their mouths, I 
exhort thee, most dear reader, let not that offend thee, nor with- 
draw thy mind from the love of the truth, neither move thee to 
be partaker in like unthankfulness ; but seeing the light is come 
into the world, love no more the works of darkness, receive not 
the grace of God in vain. Call to thy remembrance, how loving 
and merciful God is unto thee, how kindly and fatherly he 
helpeth thee in all trouble, teacheth thine ignorance, healeth 
thee in all thy sickness, forgiveth thee all thy sins, feedeth thee, 
giveth thee drink, helpeth thee out of prison, nonrisheth thee 
in straijge countries, careth for thee, and seeth that thou want 
nothing. Call this to mind, I say, and that earnestly, and 
consider how thou hast received of God all these benefits, yea, 
and many more than thou canst desire ; how thou art bound 
likewise to shew thyself unto thy neighbour, as far as thou 
canst, to teach him, if he be ignorant, to help him in all his 
trouble, to heal his sickness, to forgive him his offences, and that 
heartily, to feed him, to cherish him, to care for him, and to see 
that he want nothing. And on this behalf I beseek thee, thou 
that hast the riches of this world, and lovest God with thy 
heart, to lift up thine eyes, and see how great a multitude of 
poor people run through every town ; have pity on thine own 
flesh, help them with a good heart, and do with thy counsel all 
that ever thou canst, that this unshamefaced begging may be put 
down, that these idle folks may be set to labour, and that such 
as are not able to get their living may be provided for. At the 
least, thou that art of counsel with such as are in authority, 
give them some occasion to cast their heads together, and to 

covERD ale's prologue. 165 

make provision for the poor. Put them in remembrance of those 
noble cities in other countries, that by the authority of their 
princes have so richly and well provided for their poor people, 
to the great shame and dishonesty of us, if we likewise, receiv- 
ing the word of God, shew not such like fruits thereof. Would 
God that those men, whose office is to maintain the common- 
wealth, were as diligent in this cause, as they are in other ! Let 
us beware by times, for after unthankfulness there folio weth ever 
a plague. The merciful hand of God be with us, and defend 
us, that we be not partakers thereof! 

Go to now, most dear reader, and sit thee down at the Lord's 
feet, and read his words, and, as Moses teacheth the Jews, take 
them into thine heart, and let thy talking and communication 
be of them, when thou sittest in thine house, or goest by the 
way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And, 
above all things, fashion thy life and conversation according to 
the doctrine of the Holy Ghost therein, that thou mayest be 
partaker of the good promises of God in the Bible, and be heir 
of his blessing in Christ : in whom if thou put thy trust, and 
be an unfeigned reader or hearer of his word with thy heart, 
thou shalt find sweetness therein, and spy wondrous things, to 
thy understanding, to the avoiding of all seditious sects, to the 
abhorring of thy old sinful life, and to the stablishing of thy 
godly conversation. 

In the first book of Moses, called Genesis, thou mayest learn 
to know the almighty power of God in creating all of nought, 
his infinite wisdom in ordering the same, his righteousness in 
j)unishing the ungodly, his love and fatherly mercy in comfort- 
ing the righteous with his promise, &c. 

In the second book, called Exodus, we see the mighty arm of 
God in delivering his people from so great bondage out of 
Egypt, and what provision he maketh for them in the wilder- 
ness ; how he teacheth them with his wholesome word, and how 
the tabernacle was made and set up. 


In the third book, called Leviticus, is declared, what sacri- 
fices the priests and Levites used, and what their office and 
ministration was. 

In the fourth book, called humerus, is declared, how the 
people arc numbered and mustered, how the captains are chosen 
after the tribes and kindreds, how they went forth to the battle, 
how they pitched their tents, and how they brake up. 

The fifth book, called Deuteronomium, sheweth how that 
Moses, now being old, rehearseth the law of God unto the 
people, putteth them in remembrance again of all the wonders 
and benefices that God had shewed for them, and exhorteth 
them earnestly to love tlie Lord thek God, to cleave unto him, 
to put their trust in him, and to hearken imto his voice. 

After the death of Moses doth Josua bring the people into 
the land of promise, where God doth wonderous things for his 
people by Josua, which distributeth the land unto them, unto 
every tribe their possession. But in their wealth they forgat 
the goodness of God, so that ofttimes he gave them over into 
the hand of their enemies. Nevertheless, whensoever they 
caUed faithfully upon him, and converted, he delivered them 
again, as the book of Judges declareth. 

In the books of the Kings is described the regiment of good 
and evil princes, and how the decay of all nations cometh by 
evil kings. For in Jeroboam thou seest what mischief, what 
idolatry, and such like abomination followeth, when the king is 
a maintainer of false doctrine, and causeth the people to sin 
against God ; which falling away from God's word increased so 
sore among them, that it was the cause of all theii' sorrow and 
misery, and the very occasion why Israel first, and then Juda, 
were carried away into captivity. Again, in Josaphat, in 
Ezechias, and in Josias, thou seest the nature of a virtuous 
king. He putteth down the houses of idolatry, seeth that his 
priests teach nothing but the law of God, commandeth his 
lords to go witli them, and to see that they teach the people. 

covERD ale's prologue. 167 

In these kings, I say, thou seest the condition of a true 
defender of the faith ; for he spareth neither cost nor labour to 
maintain the Laws of God, to seek the wealth and prosperity of 
Ms people, and to root out the wicked. And where such a 
prince is, thou seest again, how God defendeth him and his 
people, though he have never so many enemies. Thus went it 
with them in the old time, and even after the same manner 
goeth it now with us. God be praised therefore, and grant us 
of his fatherly mercy that we be not unthankful ; lest where he 
now^ giveth us a Josaphat, an Ezechias, yea, a very Josias, he 
send us a Pharao, a Jeroboam, or an Achab ! 

In the two first books of Esdras, and in Hester, thou seest 
the deliverance of the people, which though they were but few, 
yet is it unto us all a special comfort ; forsomuch as God is not 
forgetful of his promise, but bringeth them out of caj^tivity, 
according as he had told them before. 

In the book of ' Job we learn comfort and patience, in that 
God not only punisheth the wicked, but proveth and trieth the 
just and righteous (howbeit there is no man innocent in his 
sight,) by divers troubles in this life; declaring thereby, that 
they are not his bastards, but his dear sons, and that he loveth 

In the Psalms we learn how to resort only unto God in all 
our troubles, to seek help at him, to call only upon him, to 
settle our minds by patience, and how we ought in prosperity to 
be thankful unto him. 

The Proverbs and the Preacher of Solomon teach us wdsdom, 
to know God, our owa selves, and the world, and how vain all 
things are, save only to cleave unto God. 

As for the doctrine of the Prophets, what is it else, but an 
earnest exhortation to eschew sin, and to turn unto God ; a 
faithful promise of the mercy and pardon of God unto all them 
that turn unto him, and a threatening of his wrath to the 
ungodly ] saving that here and there they prophesy also mani- 


festly of Christ, of the expulsion of the Jews, and calling of 
the heathen. 

Thus much thought I to speak of the old Testament, wherein 
Almighty God openeth unto us his mighty power, his wisdom, 
his loving mercy and righteousness : for the which cause it 
ought of no man to be abhoiTed, despised, or lightly regarded, 
as though it were an old scripture that nothing belonged unto 
us, or that now were to be refused. For it is God's true scrip- 
ture and testimony, which the Lord Jesus commandeth the 
Jews to search. Whosoever believeth not the scripture, be- 
lieveth not Christ ; and whoso refuseth it, refuseth God also. 

The new Testament, or Gospel, is a manifest and clear testi- 
mony of Christ, how God performeth his oath and promise 
made in the old Testament, how the new is declared and in- 
cluded in the old, and the old fulfilled and verified in the 

Xow whereas the most famous interpreters of all give sundry 
judgments of the text; so far as it is done by the spirit of 
knowledge in the Holy Ghost, methink no man should be 
offended thereat, for they refer their doings m meekness to the 
spirit of truth in the congregation of God : and sure I am, that 
there cometh more knowledge and understanding of the scrip- 
ture by their sundry translations, than by all the glosses of our 
sophistical doctors. For that one interpreteth something ob- 
scurely in one place, the same translateth another, or else he 
himself, more manifestly by a more plain vocable of the same 
meaning in another place. Be not thou offended, therefore, 
good reader, though one call a scribe that anotlier calleth a 
lawyer; or elders, that another calleth father and mother; or 
repentance, that another calleth penance or amendment. For if 
thou be not deceived by men's traditions, thou shalt find no 
more diversity between these terms, than between fourpence 
and a groat. And this manner have I used in my translation, 
calling it in some place penance, that in another place I call 

coverdale's trologue. 169 

repentance ; and that not only because the interpreters have 
done so before me, but that the adversaries of the truth may 
see, how that -we abhor not this word penance, as they untruly 
report of us, no more than the interpreters of Latin abhor 
];>oenltere, when they read reslplscere. Only our heart's desire 
unto God is, that his people be not l)linded in their under- 
standing, lest they believe penance to be ought save a very 
repentance, amendment, or conversion unto God, and to be an 
unfeigned new creature in Christ, and to live according to his 
law. For else shall they fall into the old blasphemy of Christ's 
blood, and believe that they themselves are able to make satis- 
faction mito God for theii' own sins : from the which error God 
of his mercy and plenteous goodness preserve all his ! 

Now to conclude : forsomuch as all the scripture is written 
for thy doctrine and ensample, it shall be necessary for thee to 
take hold upon it while it is offered thee, yea, and with ten 
hands thankfully to receive it. And though it be not worthily 
ministered unto thee in this translation, by reason of my rude- 
ness ; yet if thou be fervent in thy prayer, God shall not only 
send it thee in a better shape by the ministration of other that 
began it afore, but shall also move the hearts of them which as 
yet meddled not withal, to take it in hand, and to bestow the 
gift of their understanding thereon, as well in our language, as 
other famous interpreters do in other languages. And I pray 
God, that through my poor ministration herein I may give them 
that can do better some occasion so to do ; exhorting thee, most 
dear reader, in the mean while on God's behalf, if thou be a 
head, a judge, or ruler of the people, that thou let not the book 
of this law depart out of thy mouth, but exercise thyself 
therein both day and night, and be ever reading in it as long as 
thou livest : that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God, 
and not to turn aside from the commandment, neither to the 
right hand nor to the left ; lest thou be a knower of persons in 
judgment, and wrest the right of the stranger, of the fatherless, 


or of the widow, and so the curse to come upon thee. But 
what office so ever thou hast, wait upon it, and execute it to 
the maintenance of peace, to the wealth of thy people, defend- 
ing the laws of God and the lovers thereof, and to the 
destruction of the wicked. 

If thou be a preacher, and hast the oversight of the flock of 
Christ, awake and feed Christ's sheep with a good heart, and 
spare no labour to do them good : seek not thyself, and beware of 
filtliy lucre ; but be unto the flock an ensample in the word, in 
conversation, in love, in ferventness of the spirit, and be ever 
reading, exhorting, and teaching in God's word, that the people 
of God run not unto other doctrines, and lest thou thyself, 
when thou shouldest teach other, be found ignorant therein. 
And rather than thou wouldest teach the people any other 
thing than God's word, take the book in thine hand, and read 
the words, even as they stand therein ; for it is no shame so to 
do, it is more shame to make a lie. This I say for such as are 
not yet expert in the scripture; for I reprove no preaching 
without the book, as long as they say the truth. 

If thou be a man that hast wife and children, first love thy 
wife, according to the ensample of the love where^^'ith Christ 
loved the congregation; and remember that so doing thou 
lovest even thyself : if thou hate her, thou hatest thine ovm 
flesh ; if thou cherish her and make much of her, thou 
cherishest and makest much of thyself; for she is bone of thy 
bones, and flesh of thy flesh. And whosoever thou be that 
hast children, bring them up in the nurture and information of 
the Lord. And if thou be ignorant, or art otherwise occupied 
lawfully, that thou tjanst not teach them thyself, then be even 
as diligent to seek a good master for thy children, as thou wast 
to seek a mother to bear them ; for there lieth as great weight 
in the one, as in the other. Yea, better it were for them to be 
unborn, than not to fear God, or to be evil brought up : which 
thing (I mean bringing up well of children) if it be diligently 

COVERD ale's prologue. 171 

looked to, it is the upholding of all commonwealths ; and the 
negligence of the same, the very decay of all realms. 

Finally, whosoever thon be, take these words of scripture 
into thy heart, and be not only an outward hearer, but a doer 
thereafter, and practise thyself therein; that thou mayest feel 
in thine heart the sweet promises thereof for thy consolation in 
all trouble, and for the sure stablishing of thy hope in Christ ; 
and have ever an eye to the words of scripture, that if thou be 
a teacher of other, thou mayest be within the bounds of the 
truth ; or at the least, though thou be but an hearer or reader 
of another man's doings, thou mayest yet have knowledge to 
judge all spirits, and be free from every error, to the utter 
destruction of all seditious sects and strange doctrines ; that the 
holy scripture may have free passage, and be had in reputation, 
to the worsliip of the author thereof, which is even God him- 
self; to whom for his most blessed word be glory and dominion 
now and ever ! Amen. 



To our Beloved in the Lord, 
The Brethren of England, 
Scotland, Ireland, &c. Grace, mercie, and pea- 
ce, through Christ Jesus. ^ 

Besides the manifold and continuall benefits which Almightie 
God bestowed upon us, both corporall and spiritual], we are es- 
pecially bound (deare brethren) to giue him thankes without 
ceasing for his great grace and vnspeakable mercies, in that it 
hath pleased him to call vs vnto this marueilous light of his 
Gospell, and mercifully to regarde vs after so horrible backe- 
sliding and falling away from Christ to Antichrist, from light 
to darknesse, from the lining God to dunime and dead idoles, 
and that after so cruell murther of God's saints, as alas, hath 
bene among vs, wee are not altogether cast off, as were the 
Israelites, and many others for the like or not so manifest 
wickednesse, but receiued againe to grace with most evident 
signes and tokens of God's especial! loue and fauour. To the 
intent therefore that wee may not be vnmindfiill of these great 
mercies, but seeke by all meanes (according to our duetie) to 
bee thankefull for the same, it behoueth vs so to walke in his 
feare and loue, that all the dayes of our life we may procure 
the glorie of his holy name. 

^ Changed in later editions, first into "To the diligent and Christian 
Reader. Grace, mercie, and peace, through Christ Jesus," and then "To 
the Christian Reader" simply. 


I^owe forasmuch as this thing chiefely is atteined by the know- 
ledge and practising of the worde of God (which is the light to 
oiir paths, the keye of the kingdome of heauen, our comfort in 
affliction, our shielde and s worde against Satan, the schoole of 
all wisdome, the glasse wherein we beholde Gods face, the 
testimonie of his fauour, and the onely foode and nourishment 
of our soules), wee thought that wee coulde bestowe our 
labours and studie in nothing which coulde be more acceptable 
to God and comfortable to his Church then in the translating of 
the holy Scriptures into our natiue tongue : the which thing 
albeit that dinars heretofore haue endeuoured to atchieue ; yet 
considering the infancie of those times and imperfect knowledge 
of the tongues in respect of this ripe age and cleere light which 
God hath now reueiled, y'^ translations required greatly to be 
perused and reformed. Not that we vendicate anything to our 
selues aboue the least of our brethren (for God knoweth with 
what feare and trembling we haue bene for the space of two 
yeeres and more day and night occupied herein), but being 
earnestly desii^ed and by diners, whose learning and godlinesse 
we reuerence, exhorted and also encouraged by the ready willes 
of such, whose hearts God likewise touched, not to spare any 
charges for the furtherance of such a benefite and fauour of 
God towarde his Church (though the time then was most 
dangerous, and the persecution sharpe and furious), we sub- 
mitted our selues at length to their godly judgements, and 
seeing the great opportunitie and occasions, Avhich God pre- 
sented unto vs in his Church, by reason of so many godlie and 
learned men : and such diuersities of translations in diners 
tongues, we vndertooke this great and wonderfull worke (with 
all reuerence, as in the presence of God, as intreating the word 
of God, whereunto we thinke our selues vnsufhcient) which now 
God accepting according to his diuine prouidence and mercie 
hath directed to a most prosperous ende. And this we may with 
good conscience protest that we haue in euery point and worde, 


according to the measure of tliat knowledge which it pleased 
Almightie God to giue vs, faithfully rendred the text, and in all 
hard places most sincerely expounded the same. For God is our 
witnesse that we haue by all meanes indeuoured to set foorth 
the puritie of the word and the right sense of the holy Ghost 
for the edifying of the brethren in faith and charitie. 

Nowe as we have chiefely obserued the sence, and laboured 
allwayes to restore it to all integritie, so haue we most reuerently 
kept the proprietie of the wordes, considering that the Apostles 
who spake and wrote to the Gentiles in the Greeke tongue, 
rather constrained them to the liuely phrase of the Ebrew, then 
enterprised farre by mollifying their language to speake as the 
Gentiles did. And for this and other causes wee haue in many 
places reserued the Ebrew phrases, notwithstanding that they 
may seeme somewhat hard in their eares that are not well 
practised and also delite in the sweet sounding phrases of the 
holy Scriptures. Yet least eyther the simple should be dis- 
couraged, or the malicious haue any occasion of just cauilation, 
seeing some translations reade after one sort, and some after 
another, whereas all may serue to good purpose and edification, 
we haue in the margent noted that diuersitie of speech or 
reading which may also seeme agreeable to the minde of the 
holy Ghost, and proper for our language w^th this marke. || 

Againe, whereas the Ebrewe speache seemed hardly to agree 
with ours we haue noted it in the margent after tliis sort j, 
vsing that which was more intelligible. And albeit that many 
of the Ebrewe names be altered from the olde text, and restored 
to the true writing and first originall, whereof they haue their 
signification, yet in the vsuall names litle is changed for feare 
of troubling the simple readers. jMoreover, whereas the 
necessitie of the sentence required any thing to be added (for 
such is the grace and proprietie of the Ebrew and Greeke 
tongues that it cannot, but either by circumlocution, or by 
adding the verbe or some word, be understood of them that are 


not well practised therein) wee haue put in the text with an other 
kinde of letter that it may easily be discerned from the common 
letter.^ As touching the diuision of the verses wee haue followed 
the Ebrewe examples, which haue so euen from the beginning 
distmguished them. Which thing as it is most profitable for 
memorie, so doeth it agree with the best translations, and is 
most easie to finde out both by the best Concordances, and also 
by the quotations which we haue diligently herein perused and 
set foorth by this"*. Besides this the principal! matters are 
noted by this marked. Yea, and the arguments both for the 
booke and for the chapters with the number of the verse are 
added, that by all meanes the reader might be holpen. For the 
which cause also we haue set ouer the head of every page some 
notable worde or sentence which may greatly further as well for 
memorie as for the chiefs point of the page. 

And considering howe hard a thing it is to vnderstand the 
holy Scriptures, and what errors, sectes, and heresies growe 
Jayly for lacke of the true knowledge thereof, and howe many 
are discouraged (as they pretend) because they cannot atteine to 
the true and simple meaning of the same, we haue also in- 
deuoured both by the diligent reading of the best commentaries, 
and also by the conference with the godly and learned brethren, 
to gather briefe annotations upon all the hard places, as well 

' Wliittingham had previously done the same in his New Testament of 
1557. In liis address "To the Reader" he says: "And because the 
H ebrewe and Greke phrases, which are strange to rendre in other tongues, 
and also short, shulde not be to hard, I haue sometynie interpreted them 
without any whit diminishing the grace of the sense, as our lagage 
doth vse them, and sometj-me have put to that worde which lacking 
made the sentence obscure, but haue set it in such letters as may easily be 
discerned from the comun text." 

In some later editions of the Genevan Bible, piinted in black letter, 
this clause is altered into "wee have put in the text between these two 
markes [ ] such worde or verbe as doth more properlie explane or manifest 
the text in our tongue. 


for the vnderstanding of sucli worcles as are obscure, and for 
the declaration of the text, as for the ajDplication of the same, 
as may most appertaine to God's gloiy and the edification of his 

Furthermore, whereas certaine places in the bookes of Moses, 
of the Kings, and Ezekiel, seemed so darke that by no description 
they could be made easie to the simple reader, wee have so set 
them foorth with figures and notes for the full declaration 
thereof, that they which cannot by judgement, being holpen by 
the letters a, b, c, &c., atteine thereunto, yet by the perspective 
and, as it were, by the eye, may sufficiently knowe the true 
meaning of all such places. Whereunto also wee haue added 
certaine maps of Cosmographie which necessarily serue for the 
perfect vnderstanding and memorie of diuers places and coun- 
tries, partly described and partly b}^ occasion touched both in 
the olde and newe Testament. 

Finally, that nothing might lacke which might be bought by 
labours, for the increase of knowledge and furtherance of God's 
glorie, we have adioyned two most profitable Tables, the one 
seruing for the interpretation of the Ebrew names, and the other 
conteining aU the chiefe and principall matters of the whole 
Bible, so that nothing (as wee trust) that any could iustlie desire 
is omitted. Therefore as brethren that are partakers of the 
same hope and saluation with us, wee beseeche you that this 
rich pearle and inestimable treasure ma}' not be offred in vaine, 
but as sent from God to the people of God, for the increase of 
his kingdome, the comfort of his Church, and discharge of 
our conscience, whom it hath pleased him to raise vp for this 
purpose, so you woulde willingly receive the worde of God, 
earnestly studie it, and in all your life practise it, that you may 
nowe appeare in deede to bee the people of God, not walking 
any more according to this worlde, but in the fruits of the 
Spirit, that God in vs may bee fully glorified through Christ 
Jesus our Lorde who liueth and reigneth for euer. Amen. 
From Geneva, 10th April, 1560. 



A Preface into the Byble 

Of all the sentences pronounced by our Sauiour 
Christe in his whole doctrine, none is more serious or 
more worthy to be borne in remembraunce, than that 
which he spake openly in his Gospell, saying : Scru- John v. 
tamini scripturas, quia vos putatis in ipsis vitam 
eternam habere, et illaa sunt quae testimonium perhi- 
bent de me. Search ye the scriptures, for in them ye 
think to have eternall lyfe, and those they be which 
beare witnes of me. These wordes were first spoken 
vnto the Jewes by our Sauiour, but by hym in his 
doctrine ment to all : for they concerne all, of what 
nation, of what tongue, of what profession soeuer any 
man be. For to all belongeth it to be called vnto 
eternal life, so many as by the witnes of the scriptures 
desire to find eternall life. No man, woman, or chylde, 
is excluded from this saluation, and therefore to euery 
of them is this spoke proportionally yet, and in their 
degrees and ages, and as the reason and congruitie of 
their vocation may aske. For not so lyeth it in charge 
to the worldly artificer to searche, or to any other 
priuate man so exquisitely to studie, as it lyeth to the 
charge of the publike teacher to searche in the scrip- 
tures, to be the more able to walke in the house of God 
(which is the church of the lyuyng God, the pyller 1 Tim. iii. 



and ground of truth) to the establishing of the true 
doctrine of the same, and to the impugnyng of the 
false. And though whatsoever difference there may 
be betwixt the preacher in office, and the auditor in 
his vocation, yet to both it is said, ^earcj) pe t\)t iscrip- 
turcfil, whereby ye may fynde eternall lyfe, and gather 
witnesses of that saluation which is in Cljriete ^CQuz 

Deut. xvii. our Lorde. For although the prophete of God jMoyses, 
byddeth the kyng when he is once set in the throne 
of his kingdome, to describe before his eyes the 
volume of God's lawe, according to the example 
whiche he shoulde receaue of the priestes of the liuiti- 
call tribe, to haue it with him, and to reade it in all 
the dayes of his life, to thende^ that he might learne 
to feare the Lorde his God, and to observe his lawes, 
that his heart be not aduanced in pryde ouer his 
brethren, not to swarue eyther on the ryght hande or 
on the left : yet the reason of this precept for that it 
concerneth all men, may reasonably be thought to be 
commanded to all men, and all men may take it to be 
spoken to them selfe in their degree. Though almightie 

losuei. God him selfe spake to his ca2:)tayne losue in precise 
wordes, Non recedat volumen legis huius ab ore tuo 
sed meditaberis in eo diebus ac noctibus, &c. Let not 
the volume of this booke depart from thy mouth, but 
muse therein both dayes and nyghtes, that thou mayest 
kepe and perfourme all thinges which be written in it, 
that thou mayest direct well thy way and vnderstande 
the same : yet as well spake almightie God this precept 
to all his people in the directions of their wayes to 
P^ter V. himwarde, as he ment it to losue : For that he hath 

Ephe. vi. care of all, he accepteth no man's person, his wyll is 

1 To the end that. 


tliat all men should be saued, his wyll is that all men i Tim ii. 
should come to the way of trueth. Howe coulde this be ^°^ ^""• 
more conueniently declared by God to man, then when 
Christe his welbeloued sonne our most louing sauiour, 
the way, the trueth, and the lyfe of vs all, dyd byd vs 
openly ^carcl) t^t ficrtpturcs, assuring vs herein to 
finde eternall life, to finde full testification of all his 
graces and benefites towardes vs in the treasure thereof. 
Therefore it is most conuenient that we shoulde all 
suppose that Christe spake to vs all in this his precept 
of searching the scriptures. If this celestiall doctour (so 
aucthorised by the father of heauen, and commaunded Matt. xrii. 
as his only sonne, to be hearde of vs all) biddeth vs 
busily to §carcl) t^e ficrtptarcfi : of what spirite can it 
proceede to forbid the reading and studying of the 
scriptures'? If the grosse lewes vsed to reade them, 
as some men thinke that our sauiour Christ dyd shew 
by such kynd of speaking, their vsage, with their 
opinion they had therin to finde eternall lyfe, and were 
not of Christe rebuked, or disproued, either for their 
searching, or for the opinion they had, howe super- 
stitiously or superficially soeuer some of them vsed to 
expende the scriptures ; How muche more vnaduisedly 
do suche as host them selfe to be either Christe's 
vicars, or be of his garde, to lothe christen men from 
reading, by their couert slaunderous reproches of the 
scriptures, or in their aucthoritie by lawe or statute to 
contract this libertie of studiyng the worde of eternall 
saluation. Christe calleth them not onlye to the single 
readyng of scri^Dtures (saith Chrisostome) but sendeth 
them to the exquisite searching of them, for in them 
is eternall lyfe to be founde, and they be (saith hym 
selfe) the witnesse of me : for they declare out his 
office, they commende his beneuolence towardes vs. 


tliey recorde his whole workes wrought for vs to our 
sahiation. Antechriste therefore he must be, that 
vrnler whatsoeuer colour woulde geue contrary precept 
or counsayle to that whiche Christe dyd geue vnto vs. 
Very litle do they resemble Christes louing spirite 
mouing vs to searche for our comfort, that wyll dis- 
courage vs from suche searching, or that woulde wishe 
ignoraunce and forgetfulnesse of his benefite to raigne 
in vs, so that they might l^y our ignoraunce raigne the 
more frankly in our consciences, to the danger of our 
saluation. Who can take the light from us in this 
miserable vale of blindnesse, and meane not to haue 
us stumble in the pathes of perdition to the mine of 
our soules : who wyll enuie vs this bread of lyfe pre- 
pared and set on the table for our eternall sustenaunce, 
and meane not to famishe vs, or in steede thereof with 
their corrupt traditions and doctrines of men to infect 
vs : All the whole scripture, saith the holy apostle 

ii. Tim. iii. Saint Paul inspired from God aboue, is profitable to 
teache, to reproue, to refourme, to instruct in righteous- 
nesse, that the man of God may be sounde and perfect, 
instructed to euery good worke. 

^tarcl}e tl)crcfore, good reader (on God's name), as 
Christe byddeth thee the holy scripture, wherein thou 
mayest find thy saluation : Let not the volume of this 
booke (by Gods owne warrant) depart from thee but 
occupie thy selfe therein in the whole journey of this 

Psai. i. thy wordly pilgrimage, to vnderstand thy way howe 
to walke ryghtly before hym all the dayes of thy lyfe. 
Remember that the prophete David pronounceth hym 
the blessed man whiche wyll muse in the lawe of God 

Psai. cxix. both day and night, remember that he calleth him 
blessed whiche walketh in the way of the Lorde, 
which wyll searche diligently his testimonies, and wyll 


in their whole heart seeke the same. Let not the 
couert suspicious insinuations of the adversaries driue 
thee from the searche of the holy scripture, either for 
the obscuritie whiche they say is in them, or for the 
inscrutable hidden misteries they talke to be comprised 
in them, or for the straungnes and homlynes of the 
phrases they would charge Gods booke with. Christe 
exhorteth thee therefore the rather for the difficultie of 
the same, to searche them diligently. Saint Paul Hebr. v. 
wylleth thee to haue thy senses exercised in them, and 
not to be a chylde in thy senses, but in malice. Though 
many thinges may be difficulte to thee to vnderstand, 
impute it rather to thy dull hearing and reading, then 
to thinke that the scriptures be insuperable, to them 
whiche with diligent searching labour to discern the 
evil from the good. Only searche with an humble Math. vii. 
spirite, aske in continuall prayer, seek with puritie of 
life, knocke with perpetuall perseueraunce, and crye to 
that good spirite of Christe the Comforter : and surely 
to euery suche asker it wyll be geuen, such searchers 
must nedes finde, to them it wylbe opened. Christ 
hym selfe wyll open the sense of the scriptures, not to Math. xi. 
the proude, or to the wyse of the world e, but to the ^^^^' ^^^' 
lowly and contrite in heart ; for he hath the kay of i Cor. xii. 
Dauid, who openeth and no man shutteth, who shut- 
teth and no man openeth. For as this spirite is a Apoc. iii. 
bening and liberall spirite, and wyll be easyly founde 
of them which wyll early in carefulnesse ryse to seeke 
hym, and as he promiseth he will be the comforter Sapi i. 
from aboue to teache vs, and to leade vs into all the 
wayes of truth, if that in humilitie we bowe vnto lob xiiu. 
hym, deniyng our owne naturall senses, our carnall 
wittes and reasons : so is he the spirite of puritie and Sapi i. 
cleannes, and will receede from him, Avhose conscience 


is subiect to filthynesse of lyfe. Into suche a soule 
this heavenly wysdome wyll not enter, for all peruerse 
cogitations wyll separate vs from God : and then howe 
Psui. Uvi;i. busyly soeuer we searche this holy table of the scrip- 
ture, yet will it then be a table to suche to their owne 
snare, a trap, a stumbling stocke, and a recompense to 
them selfe. We ought therefore to searche to finde out 
the trueth, not to oppresse it, we ought to seeke 
Christe, not as Herode did vnder the pretence of wor- 
shipping hym to destroy hym, or as the Pharisees 
searched the scriptures to disproue Christe, and to dis- 
credite him, and not to folowe him ; but to embrace 
the saluation whiche we may learne by them. Nor 
yet is it inough so to acknowledge the scriptures as 
some of the lewes dyd, of the holyest of them, who 
vsed such diligence, that they could number precisely, 
not only euery verse, but euery word and sillable, how 
oft euery letter of the alphabete was repeated in the 
whole scriptures : They had some of them suche reuer- 
ence to that booke, that they woulde not suffer in a 
greate heape of bookes, any other to lay over them, 
they woulde not suffer that booke to fall to the grounde 
as nye as they coulde, they woulde costly bynde the 
bookes of holy scriptures, and cause them to be ex- 
quisitely and ornately written. Whiche deuotion yet 
though it was not to be discommended, yet was it not 
for that intent, why Christe commended the scriptures, 
nor they therof alowed before God : For they did not 
call vpon God in a true fayth, they were not charitable 
to their neighbours, but in the middes of all this deuo- 
tion, they did steale, they were adulterers, they were 
slaunderers and backbiters, euen muche like many of 
our Christian men and women nowe a dayes, who 
glury muche that they reade the scriptures, that they 


searche tliem and loue them, that they frequente the 
publique sermons in an oiitwarde shewe of all honestie 
and perfection, yea they can pike out of the scriptures 
vertuous sentenses and godly preceptes to lay before 
other men. And though these maner of men do not 
muche erre for suche searching and studiyng, yet they 
see not the scope and the principall state of the scrip- 
tures, which is as Christe declareth it, to finde Christe 
as their Sauiour, to cleaue to his saluation and merites, 
and to be brought to the lowe repentaunce of their liues, 
and to amend them selfe, to rayse vp their fayth to our 
Sauiour Christe, so to thinke of him as the scriptures 
do testifie of hym. These be the principall causes why 
Christe did sende the lewes to searche the scriptures : 
for to this ende were they wrytten, saith Saint lohn, 
Hae scripta sunt ut credatis, et vt credentes vitam 
habeatis eternam. These were written to this intent, 
that ye shouldo beleue, and that through your beliefe lohn xx. 
ye shoulde haue euerlasting life. 

And here good reader, great cause we have to extoll 
the wonderous wisdome of God, and with great thankes 
to prayse his prouidence, considering howe he hath 
preserued and renued from age to age by speciall Hebr. v. 
miracle, the incomparable treasure of his Churche. 
For first he did inspire Moyses, as lohn Chrisostome 
doth testifie, to wryte the stonie tables, and kept him 
in the mountayne fourtie dayes to giue him his lawe : 
after him he sent the prophetes, but they suffred many 
thousande aduersities, for battayles did folowe, all 
were slayne, all were destroyed, bookes were brent vp. 
He then inspired agayne another man to repayre these 
miraculous scriptures, Esdras I meane, who of their 
leanings set them agayne together : after that he pro- 
vided that the seuentie interpreters should take them 


in hande : at the laste came Christe him selfe, the 
Apostles did receaue them, and spread them through- 
out all nations, Christe wrought his miracles and 
wonders : and what followed ] after these great 
volumes the Apostles also did wryte as Saint Paul 

1 Cor. X. doth say. These be wrytten to the instruction of vs 

Math. xxii. ^j^^^^ j^g come into the ende of the worlde : and Christe 
doth say, Ye therefore erre, because ye knowe not the 
scriptures nor the power of God : and Paul dyd say, 

Colo. iii. Let the worde of Christe be plentifull among you : 
and agayne saith Dauid, Oh howe sweete be thy 

Psai. cxix. wordes to n y throte : he saide not to my hearing, but 
to my throte, aboue the hony or the hony combe to 

Deut. xvi. i^iy mouth. Yea, Moyses saith, Thou shalt meditate 
in them evermore when thou risest, when thou sittest 
downe, when thou goest to sleepe, continue in them he 
saith : and a thousand places more. And yet after so 
many testimonies thus spoken, there be some persons 
that do not yet so piuch as knowe what the scriptures 
be : Wherevpon nothing is in good state amongst vs, 
nothing worthyly is done amongest vs : In this whiche 
pertayne to this lyfe, we make very great haste, but of 
spirituall goodes we have no regarde. Thus farre lohn 
Chrisost. It must nedes signifie some great thing to 
our vnderstanding, that almightie God hath had such 
care to prescribe these bookes thus vnto vs : I say not 
prescribe them only, but to maintaine them and defende 
them against the malignitie of the deuill and his 
ministers, who alway went about to destroy them : and 
yet could these never be so destroyed, but that he 
woulde have them continue whole and perfect to this 
day, to our singular comfort and instruction, where 
other bookes of mortall wise men haue perished in 
great numbers. It is recorded that Ptolomeus Phila- 


delphus kyng of Egypt, had gathered together in one 
librarie at Alexandria by his great coste and diligence, 
seuen hundred thousand bookes, wherof the principall 
were the bookes of IMoyses, which reserued not much 
more, then by the space of two hundred yeres, were all 
brent and consumed, in that battayle when Caesar 
restored Cleopatra agayne after her expulsion. At 
Constantinople perished under Zenon by one common 
fire, a hundred and twentie thousande bookes. At Johannes 
Rome when Lucius Aurel Antonius dyd rai^ne, his '^'*'''**^.'''- 
notable librarie by a lightning from heauen was quite tico, nb. 8, 
consumed : Yea it is recorded that Gregorie the first, ti/''w ' 

o ' w. ae re- 

dyd cause a librarie at Eome contayning only certaine yibns. 
Paynim's workes to be burned, to thintent the scrip- 
tures of God should be more read and studied. What 
other great libraries haue there ben cosumed but of 
late daies 1 And what libraries haue of olde through- 
out this realme almost in euery abbey of the same, ben 
destroyed at sundry ages, besides the losse of other 
men's private studies, it were to long to rehearse. 
Wherevpon seyng almightie God by his diuine prouid- 
ence, hath preserued these bookes of the scriptures 
safe and sounde, and that in their natiue languages 
they were first written, in the great ignoraunce that 
raigned in these tongues, and contrary to all other 
casualties, chaunced vpon all other bookes in mauger of 
aU worldly wittes, who would so fayne haue had them 
destroyed, and yet he by his mightie hande, would 
haue them extant as witnesses and interpreters of his 
will toward mankind : we may soone see cause most 
reuerently to embrace these deuine testimonies of his 
will, to studie them, and to searche them, to instruct 
our blinde nature so sore corrupted and fallen from the 
knowledge in whiche first we were created. Yet hau- 


ing occasion geuen somewhat to recover our fall and to 
returns againe to that deuine nature wherein we were 
once made, and at the last to be inheritours in the 
celestiall habitation with God almightie, after the ende 
of our mortalitie here brought to his dust agayne : 
These bookes I say beyng of such estimation and 
aucthoritie, so much reuerenced of them who had any 
meane taste of them, coulde neuer be put out of the 
way, neither by the spyte of any tiraunt, as that 
Gnifri-ie tiiauut Maxiuiiau destroyed all the holy scriptures 
"""* wheresoeuer they coulde be founde, and burnt them in 

the middes of the market, neither the hatred either of 
any Porphiran philosopher or lihetoritian, neither by 
the enuie of the romanystes, and of such hypocrites 
who from tyme to time did euer barke against them, 
some of them not in open sort of condempnation : but 
more cunningly vnder suttle pretences, for that as they 
say, they were so harde to vnderstande, and specially 
for that they affirm it to be a perilous matter to trans- 
late the test of the holy scripture, and therefore it 
cannot be well translated. And here we may behold e 
the endeuour of some men's cauillation, who labour all 
they can to slaunder the translatours, to finde faulte in 
some wordes of the translation : but them selfe will 
neuer set pen to the booke, to set out any translation 
at al. They can in their constitutions prouinciall, 
Thn Arwiei vuder payue of excommunication, inhibite al other 
\n conrtiw j^gjj ^Q translate them without the ordinaries or the 

apu'I Oron. 

An 1107 prouinciall counsayle agree therevnto. But they wyll 
articio 7. -^^ ^^^.jj ^^^^^ neuer to agree or geue counsayle to set 
them out. Whiche their suttle compasse in effect, 
tendeth but to bewray what inwardly they meane, if 
they could bring it about, that is, vtterly to suppresse 
them : being in this their iudgement, farre vnlike the 


oldo fathers in the primitiue church, who hath ex- 
horted indiflferently all persons, aswell men as women, 
to exercise them seines in the scriptures, which by- 
Saint Hieroms aucthoritie be the scriptures of the 
people. Yea they be farre vnlike their olde forefathers 
that have ruled in this realme, who in their times, and 
in diuers ages did their diligence to translate the whole 
bookes of the scriptures to the erudition of the laytie, 
as vet at this day be to be scene diuers bookes translated 
into the vulgar tongue, some by kynges of the realme, 
some by bishoppes, some by abbotts, some by other 
deuout godly fathers : so desirous they were of olde 
tyme to have the lay sort edified in godlynes by 
reading in their vulgar tongue, that very many bookes 
be yet extant, though for the age of the speache and. 
strauugenesse of the charect of many of them almost 
worne out of knowledge. In whiche bookes may be 
seene euidently ho we it was vsed among the Saxons, 
to haue in their churches read the foure gospels, so 
distributed and piked out in the body of the euan- 
gelistes bookes, that to euery Sunday and festiuall day 
in the yere, they were sorted out to the common 
ministers of the church in their common prayers to be 
read to their people. Xow as of the most auncient 
fathers the prophets. Saint Peter testifieth that these 
holy men of God had the impulsion of the holy 
Ghost, to speak out these deuine testimonies : so it is i ret. i. 
not to be doubted but that these latter holy fathers of 
the Englishe Church, had the impulsion of the holy 
Ghost to set out these sacred bookes in their vulgar 
language, to the edification of the people, by the helpe 
whereof they might the better folowe the example of Acts xvii. 
the godly Christians, in the beginning of the Churche, 
who not only receaued the worde withall readinesse of 


heart, but also did searche diligently in the scriptures, 
whether the doctrine of the Apostles were agreable to 
the same scripture. And these were not of the rascall 
sort (saith the deuine storiel but they were of the best 
and of most noble byrth among the Thessalonians, 
Birrhenses by name. Yea the prophetes them selues 
1 Pet. i. in their dayes, writeth S. Peter, were diligent searchers 
to inquire out this saluation by Christe, searching when 
and at what article of time this grace of Christes 
dispensation shoulde appeare to the world. What 
ment the fathers of the Church in their writinges, but 
the advauncing of these holy bookes, where some do 
attribute no certaintie of vndoubted veritie, but to the 
Aug. contra canouicall scripturcs: Some do affirm it to be a 
episto am fooHshc raslic boldnesse to beleue hym, who proueth 
Hieronimus not by the scriptures that whiche he affirm eth in his 
deZctrina ^ordc. Souic do accursc all that is deliuered by 
Christiana tradition, not found in the legall and evaugelicall 
Matt.^oAi. scriptures. Some say that our fayth must needes 
Basil ius stagger, if it be not grounded vpon the aucthoritie of 
the scripture. Some testifieth that Christe and his 
Churche ought to be aduouched out of the scriptures, 
and do contende in disputation, that the true Church 
can not be knowen, but only by tlie holy scriptures : 
For all other thi • 'ges (saith the same aucthor) may be 
found among the heretikes. Some affirme it to be a 
sinfull tradition that is obtruded without the scripture. 
1 Pet. i. Some playnely pronounce, that not to knowe the scrip- 
tures is not to know Christe. Wherefore let men 
extoll out the Churche practises as hyghly as they 
can, and let them set out their traditions and customes, 
their decisions in synodes and counsayles, with vaunt- 
ing the presence of the holy Ghost among them really, 
as some doth affirme it in their writing let their 


groundes and their demonstrations, their foundations 
be as stable and as strong as they blase them out : Yet 
wyll we be bolde to say with Saint Peter, Habemus i Pet. i. 
nos firmiorem sermonem propheticum. We have for 
our part a more stable grounde, the propheticall wordes 
(of the scriptures) and doubt not to be commended 
therefore of the same Saint Peter with these wordes : 
Cui dum attenditis ceu lucerne apparenti in obscuro 
loco, recte facitis donee dies illucescat &c. Wherevnto 
saith he, whyle ye do attende as to alight shining in a 
darke place, ye do well vntill the day light appeare, 
and till the bright starre do arise vnto our heartes, For 
this we know, that al the propheticall scripture 
fetandeth not in any priuate interpretation of vayne 
names, of severall Churches, of catholique vniuersall 
seas, of singular and wylfuU heades, whiche wyll 
chalenge b}^ custome all decision to pertayne to them 
only, who be working so muche for their vayne super- 
ioritie, that they be not ashamed now to be of that 
number, Qui dixerunt Imguam nostram magnificabimus, Psai. xi. 
labia nostra a nobis sunt, quis noster dominus est : 
Which haue sayd with our tongue wyll we preuayle, 
we are they that ought to speake, who is Lord ouer vs. 
And whyle they shall contende for their straunge 
claymed aucthoritie, we will proceede in the reforma- 
tion begun, and doubt no more by the helpe of Christe 
his grace, of the true vnity to Christes catholique 
Churche, and of the vprightnesse of our fayth in this Concilium 
prouince, then the Spanishe cleargie once gathered ^^^J^^^^ 
together in counsaile (only by the commaundement of 
their king, before whiche tyme the Pope was not so 
acknowledged in his aucthoritie which he now claymeth) 
I say as surely dare we trust, as they dyd trust of 
their faith and veritie. Yea no lesse confidence haue 


we to professe that, whiche the fathers of the vniiier- 
sall counsaile at Carthage in Affrike as they wryte them 
selfe did professe in their epistle written to Pope 
Celestine, laying before his face the foule corruption of 
him selfe (as two other of his predecessors did the like 
errour) in falsifiying the canons of Nicen counsayle, for 
his wrong chalenge of his newe claymed aucthoritie : 
Thus wrytyng. Prudentissime enini iustissimeque 
prouiderunt (Mcena et Affricana dicreta) quecunque 
negotia in suis locis (vhi orta sunt) finienda, nee 
vnicuiqui prouinciae gratiam sancti spiritus defuturam 
qua equitas a Christi sacerdotibus et prudenter videatur, 
et constantissime teneatur, maxime quia vnicuique 
concessum est, si iuditio ofifensus fuerit cognitorum, ad 
concilia suae prouinciae vel etiam vniuersale prouocare. 
That (the Nicen and Affrican decrees) haue most pru- 
dently and iustly prouided for all maner of matters to 
be ended in their teritories where they had their 
beginning, and they trusted that not to any one pro- 
uince shoulde want the grace of the holy Ghost, 
whereby both the truth or equitie might prudently be 
scene of the Christian prelates of Christe, and might 
be also by them most constantly defended, specially 
for that it is graunted to euery man (if he be greened) 
by the iudgement of the cause once knowen to appeale 
to the counsayles of his owne prouince or els to the 
vniuersall. Except there be any man, whiche may 
beleue that our Lorde God woulde inspire the right- 
eousnesse of examination, to any one singular person, 
and to denie the same to priestes gathered together 
into counsaile without number, &c. And there they 
do require the bishop of Eome to send none of 
his clarkes to execute such prouinciall causes, lest 
els say they, mought be brought in the vayne 


pride of the world into the Church^ of Christe. In 

this antiquitie may we in this christian catholique 

Churche of Englande repose our selfe, knowyng by 

our owne annales of auncient recorde that Kyng Lucius 

whose conscience was much touched with the miracles 

whiche the seruauntes of Christe wrought in diuers 

nations, thervjDon beyng in great loue with the true 

fayth, sent vnto Eleutherius then byshop of Rome 

requiring of hyni the christian religion. But Eleu- Liter Ugia 

therius did redyly geue ouer that care to King Lucius ^'^'""^'^^' 

in his epistle, for that the King as he wryteth, the 

vicar of God in his owne kingdome, and for that he 

had receiued the faith of Christe : And for that he 

had also both testamentes in his realme, he wylled 

hym to drawe out of them by the grace of God, and 

by tlie counsaile of his wisemen, his lawes, and by 

that lawe of God to gouerne his realme of Britanie, 

and not so much to desire the Eomane and Emperour's 

lawes, in the whiche some defaulte might be founde 

saith he, but in the lawes of God nothing at all. 

With which aunswere the Kinges legates, Eluanus and Hx archims 

Medwinus sent as messengers by the King to the Pope, f * ^l"*^" . 

c> -J o J- •' landauensis 

returned to Britanie agayne, Eluanus beyng made a. eccUeinvita 
byshop, and Medwine alowed a publique teacher : ^"^^J^l 
who for the eloquence and knowledge they had in the duhruu, 
holy Scriptures, they repayred home agayne to Kyng capgraue. 
Lucius, and by their holy preachings, Lucius and the 
noble men of the whole Britanie receiued their bap- 
tisme, &c. Thus farre in the storie. Nowe therefore 
knowing and beleuing with Saint Paul, Quod que- 
cumque prescripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam pre- 
scripta sunt vt per pacientiam et consolationem 
scripturarum spem habeamus : Whatsoeuer is afore Rom. xv. 
written, is written before for our instruction, that we 


^nb pet tbroiigli tlie patience and comfort of scriptures might 
map it be haue liope, the only suretie to our fayth and con- 
trnt that science, is to sticke to the scriptures. Wherevpon 
t.alsbcrit ^^^^Y^^ ^^is eternall wordo of God be our rocke and 
toritrtb that anker to sticke vnto, we will haue pacience with all 
llbnganns the vayne inuentions of men, who labour so highly 
aab gitruu- ^.^ niagnifie their tongues, to exalt them selues aboue al 
f. that is God. We wil take comfort by the holy scrip- 
(asCoabia- tures against the maledictions of the aduersaries, and 
tours) toitb doubt not to nourishe our hope continually therewith 
ibtsc Itarn- ^^ ^^ j-^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^_^-g comfortable hope, and doubt 

ibe prcatb- ^'^^ *^ pertayne to the elect number of Christes 
ing of t^c Churche, howe farre soeuer we be excommunicated out 
(Sosptll. of the sinagogue of suche who suppose themselues to 
tofeic^e bag ^^ ^j^^ yniuersall lordes of all the world, Lordes of 
nnisbeO in ^^^^ layth and consciences, at pleasure, 
'gritainefto Finally to commend further vnto thee good reader 
|ostp^ of the cause in part before intreated, it shalbe the lesse 
^rama la ^eedefull, hauing so nye folowing that learned preface, 
to §. ^us- '^vhich sometime was set out by the diligence of that 
ten, t^e first godly father Thomas Cranmer, late byshop in the sea 
bgs^op of Qf Canterburie, which he caused to be prefixed before 

°" "' -^- the translation of that Byble that was then set out. 
iro opcnin . *^ 

aboutbe.' ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^® copies thereof be so wasted, that 
very many Churches do want their conuenient Eybles, 
it was thought good to some well disposed men, to 
recognise the same Byble againe into this fourme as it 
is nowe come out, with some further diligence in the 
printing, and with some more light added, partly in 
the translation, and partly in the order of the text, 
not as condemning the former translation, whiche was 
folowed mostly of any other translation, excepting the 
originall text from whiche as litle variaunce was made 
as was thought meete to such as toke paynes therein : 


desiring thee good reader if ought be escaped, eyther 
"by such as had the expending of the bookes, or by the 
ouersight of the printer, to correct the same in the 
spirite of charitie, calling to remembraunce what 
diuersitie hath ben seene in mens iudgementes in the 
translation of these bookes before these dayes, though 
all directed their labours to the glory of God, to the 
edification of the Churche, to the comfort of their 
christian brethren, and alwayes as God dyd further 
open vnto them, so euer more desirous they were to 
refourme their former humain ouersightes, rather then 
in a stubborne wylfulnesse to resist the gyft of the holy 
Ghost, who from tyme to tyme is resident as that 
heauenly teacher and leader into all trueth, by whose 
direction the Churche is ruled and gouerned. And let 
all men remember in them selfe howe errour and 
ignoraunce is created with our nature ; let frayle man 
confesse with that great wise man, that the cogitations Eccie. xi. 
and inuentions of mortaU man be very weake, and ^^^^- ^^^ 
our opinions sone deceaued : For the body so subiect 
to corruption doth oppresse the soule, that it cannot 
aspire so hye as of dutie it ought. Men we be all, 
and that whiche we know, is not the thousand part of 
that we knowe not. Whereupon saith Saint Austen, 
otherwyse to iudge then the truth is, this temptation 
ryseth of the frailtie of man. A man so to loue and De doctri 
sticke to his owne iudgement, or to enuie his brothers '^^ *"' 
to the periU of dissoluing the christian communion, or 
to the perill of schisme, and of heresie, this is dia- 
bolical! presumption : but so to iudge in euery matter 
as the truth is, this belongeth onely to the angellicall 
perfection. IN'otwithstanding good reader, thou mayest 
be well assured nothing to be done in this translation 
eyther of malice or wylfull meaning in altering the 



text, eyther by putting more or lesse to the same, as 
of purpose to bring in any priuate iudgement by falsi- 
fication of the wordes, as some certaine men hath 
ben ouer bold so to do, litle regarding the maiestie of 
God his scripture : but so to make it serue to their 
corrupt error, as in alleaging the sentence of Saint 
Paule to the Eomaines the 6. One certaine wryter to 
proue his satisfaction, was bold to turne the worde of 
Sandificationem into the worde of Satisf actionem, 
thus, Sicut exhibuimtis antea memhra nostra seruire 
immundicie et iniquitati ad iniqultatem ita deiiicejjs 
exhiheamus memhra nostra seruire iustitiae in satis- 
Hosius in /actionem. That is, as we have geuen our members to 
confesstone yncleanuesse, from iniquitie to iniquitie : euen so from 
fidi de sacro liencefoortli let vs geue our members to serue right- 
eousnesse into satisfaction : where the true worde is 
into sanctification. Even so likewise for the auauntage 
of his cause, to proue that men may haue in their 
prayer fayth vpon saintes, corruptly alleageth Saint 
Paules text, Ad philemonem, thus, Fldem quam 
hahes in domino lesu et in omnes sanctos, leaning out 
the worde charitatem, which would have rightly ben 
distributed vnto Omnes sanctos. As fideni vnto in 
domino lesu. Where the text is Aiidiens charitatem 
tuam et jidem quam hahes in domino lesu in omnes 
sanctos, &c. It were to long to bryng in many ex- 
amples, as may be openly founde in some mens 
wrytynges in these dayes, who would be counted the 
chiefe pillers of the Catholique fayth, or to note how cor- 
ruptly they of purpose abuse the text to the comoditie 
of their cause. What maner of translation may men 
thinke to looke for at their handes, if they should 
translate the scriptures to the comfort of God's elect, 
whiche they neuer did, nor be not like to purpose it, 

pent' entice 
Sosius de 
spe. et 


but be rather studious only to seeke quarrels in other 
mens well doynges, to picke fault where none is : and 
where any is escaped through humaine negligence, 
there to crye out with their tragicall exclamations, but 
in no wyse to amende by the spirite of charitie and 
lenitie, that whiche might be more aptly set. Wher- 
vpon for frayle man (compassed hym selfe with 
infirmitie) it is most reasonable not to be to seuere in 
condemning his brothers knowledge or diligence where 
he doth erre, not of malice, but of simplicitie, and 
specially in handeling of these so deuine bookes so 
profounde in sense, so farre passing our naturall 
vnderstanding. And with charitie it standeth, the 
reader not to be offended with the diuersitie of trans- 
latours, nor with the ambiguitie of translations : For 
as Saint Austen doth witnesse, by God's prouidence it De doctr. 
is brought about, that the holy scriptures whiche be ^l^"^^*^' 
the salue for euery mans sore, though at the first they 
came from one language, and thereby might have ben 
spread to the whole worlde : nowe by diuersitie of 
manye languages, the translatours shoulde s]3reade the 
saluation (that is contayned in them) to all nations, by 
suche wordes of vtteraunce as the reader might per- 
ceaue the minde of the translatour, and so conse- 
quently to come to the knowledge of God his wyll 
and pleasure. And though many rashe readers be 
deceaued in the obscurities and ambiguities of their 
translations, whyle they take one thing for another, 
and whyle they vse muche labour to extricate them 
selues out of the obscurities of the same : yet I 
thinke (saith he) this is not wrought without the 
prouidence of God, both to tame the proude arrogancie 
of man by his suche labour of searching, as also to 
kepe his minde from lothsomnesse and contempt, 
where if the scriptures vniuersally were to easie, he 


woTilde lesse regarde them. And though (saith he) in 
the primitive Churche the late interpreters whiche did 
translate the scriptures, be innumerable, yet wrought 
this rather an helpe, than an impediment to the 
readers, if they be not to negligent. For saith he, 
diuers translations haue made many tymes the harder 
and darker sentences, the more open and playne : so 
that of congruence, no offence can iustly be taken for 
this newe labour, nothing preiudicing any other mans 
iudgement by this doyng, nor yet hereby professing 
this to be so absolute a translation, as that hereafter 
might folowe no other that might see that whiche as 
yet was not vnderstanded. In this poynt it is con- 
uenient to consider the iudgement that John, once 
Articuio,n, byshop of Rochester was in, who thus wrote : It is not 
contra ynknowcn, but that many thinges hath ben more 
diligently discussed, and more clearely vnderstanded 
by the wittes of these latter dayes, as well concerning 
the gospels as other scriptures, then in olde tyme they 
were. The cause whereof is (saith he) for that to 
the olde men the yse was not broken, or for that their 
age was not sufficient exquisitely to expende the whole 
mayne sea of the scriptures, or els for that in this 
large field of the scriptures, a man may gather some 
eares vntouched, after the haruest men howe diligent 
soeuer they were. For there be yet (saith he) in the 
Gospels very many darke places, whiche without all 
doubt to the posteritie shalbe made muche more open. 
For why should we despayre herein, seing the Gospell 
(wryteth he) was deliuered to this intent, that it might 
be vtterly vnderstanded of vs, yea to the very inche. 
Wherefore, forasmuch as Christe showeth no lesse loue 
to his Churche now, then hitherto he hath done, the 
aucthoritie wherof is as yet no whit diminished, and 
forasmuch as that holy spirite the perpetual! Keper and 


Gardian of the same Church, whose gyftes and graces 
do flowe as continually and as aboundantly as from the 
beginning : who can doubt, but that such thinges as 
remayne yet unknowen in the Gospell, shalbe hereafter 
made open to the latter wittes of our posteritie, to 
their cleare vnderstanding. Only good readers let vs 
oft call vpon the holy spirite of God our heauenly 
father, by the mediation of our Lorde and Sauiour, 
with the wordes of the octonary psalme of Dauid, who 
did so importunately craue of God to haue the vnder- 
standing of his lawes and testament : Let vs humblye Psai. cxix. 
on our knees pray to almightie God, with that wyse 
Kyng Solomon in his very wordes saying thus — Sapi. ix. 
God of my fathers, and Lorde of mercies (that thou 
hast made all thynges with thy worde, and didst 
ordain man tlirough thy wisdome, that he shoulde 
haue dominion ouer thy creatures whiche thou hast 
made, and that he shoulde order the worlde according 
to holinesse and righteousnesse, and that he shoulde 
execute iudgement with a true heart) geue me wisdome 
whiche is euer about thy feate, and put me not out 
from among thy chyldren : For I thy seruant and 
Sonne of thy handmayden am a feeble person, of a 
short time, and to weake to the vnderstanding of thy 
iudgementes and lawes. And though a man be neuer 
so perfect among the children of men, yet if thy 
wisdome be not with him, he shalbe of no value. 
sende her out therefore from thy holy heauens, and 
from the throne of thy maiestie, that she may be with 
me, and labour with me, that I may know what 
is acceptable in thy sight : for she knoweth 
and vnderstandeth all thinges, and 
she shall lead me soberly 
in my workes, 
and pre- 


seme me in her power, So shall my workes be 

acceptable by Christe our Lords, To 

whom with the father and the 

holy Ghost, be all honour 

and glorie, worlde 

without ende. 




Zeal to promote the common good, whether it be by The best 
devising any thing ourselves, or revising that which ^^"^® J^^^® 
hath been laboured by others, deserveth certainly much niated. 
respect and esteem, but yet findeth but cold entertain- 
ment in the world. It is welcomed with suspicion 
instead of love, and with emulation instead of thanks : 
and if there be any hole left for cavil to enter, (and 
cavil, if it do not find an hole, will make one) it is sure 
to be misconstrued, and in danger to be condemned. 
This will easily be granted by as many as know story, 
or have any experience. For was there ever any thing 
projected that savoured any way of newness or renew- 
ing, but the same endured many a storm of gainsaying 
or opposition? A man would think that civility, 
wholesome laws, learning and eloquence. Synods, and 
Churchmaintenanoe, (that we speak of no more things 
of this kind,) should be as safe as a Sanctuary, and || |i?|w/3AHs 
out of shot, as they say, that no man would lift up his 
heel, no, nor dog move his tongue against the motioners 
of them. For by the first we are distinguished from 
brute beasts led with sensuality : by the second we are 
bridled and restrained from outrageous behaviour, and 
from doing of injuries, whether by fraud or by violence : 
by the third we are enabled to inform and reform 
others by the light and feeling that we have attained 
unto ourselves : briefly, by the fourth, being brought 

200 ' APPENDIX F. 

together to a parley face to face, we sooner compose our 
ditferences, than by writings, which are endless : and 
lastly, that the Church be sufficiently provided for is 
so agreeable to good reason and conscience, that those 
mothers are holden to be less cruel, that kill their 
children as soon as they are born, than those nursing 
fathers and mothers (wheresoever they be) that with- 
draw from them who hang upon their breasts (and 
upon whose breasts again themselves do hang to receive 
the spiritual and sincere milk of the word) livelihood 
and support fit for their estates. Thus it is apparent, 
that these things which we speak of are of most necessary 
use, and therefore that none, either without absurdity 
can speak against them, or without note of wickedness 
can spurn against them. 
Anacharsis, Yet for all that, the learned know, that certain 
ers. ^Q^^-^y. jj^gj^ ha\e been brought to untimely death for 
In Athens: noue otlicr fault, but for seeking to reduce their coun- 
Ttb^nnius trynien to good order and discipline : And that in some 
in oiynth. Couimonweals it was made a capital crime, once to 
Cato the iBotion the making of a new law for the abrogating of 
elder. ^n oM, tliough the same were most pernicious : And 

that certain, which would be counted pillars of the 
State, and patterns of virtue and prudence, could not 
be brought for a long time to give way to good letters 
and refined speech ; but bare themselves as averse from 
them, as from rocks or boxes of poison : And fourthly, 
Gregory the that he was uo babe, but a great Clerk, that gave forth 
(and in writing to remain to posterity), in passion 
peradventure, but yet he gave forth. That he had not 
seen any profit to come by any synod or meeting of 
the Clergy, but rather the contrary : And lastly, against 
Churchmaintenance and allowance, in such sort as the 
Embassadors and messengers of the great King of kings 


should be furnished, it is not unknown what a fiction 
or fable (so it is esteemed, and for no better by the 
reporter himself, though superstitious) was devised : 
namely, That at such time as the professors and Nauciems. 
teachers of Christianity in the Church of Eome, then 
a true Church, were liberally endowed, a voice forsooth 
was heard from heaven, saying, Now is poison poured 
down into the Church, &c. Thus not only as oft as 
we speak, as one saith, but also as oft as we do any 
thing of note or consequence, we subject ourselves to 
every one's censure, and happy is he that is least tossed 
upon tongues ; for utterly to escape the snatch of them 
it is impossible. If any man conceit, that this is the 
lot and portion of the meaner sort only, and that 
Princes are privileged by their high estate, he is de- 
ceived. As the sicorcl devoureth as well one as another, 2 Sam. 11. 


as it is in Samuel ; nay, as the great commander 
charged his soldiers in a certain battle to strike at no 
part of the enemy, but at the face ; and as the king of 
Syria commanded his chief captains to fight neither I'^in. 22. zi. 
u'ith small nor great, save only against the king of 
Israel : so it is too true, that envy striketh most spite- 
fully at the fairest, and the chiefest. David was a 
Avorthy prince, and no man to be compared to him for 
his first deeds ; and yet for as worthy an act as ever he 
did, even for bringing back the ark of God in solem- 
nity, he was scorned and scoffed at by his own wdfe. 
Solomon was greater than David, though not in virtue, 2 Sam.e. I6. 
yet in power ; and by his power and wisdom he built 
a temple to the Lord, such an one as was the glory of 
the land of Israel, and the wonder of the whole world. 
But was that his magnificence liked of by all % We 
doubt of it. Otherwise why do they lay it in his son's 
dish, and call unto him for f easincj of the burden % I '^^'■^°-^' 

' *=• deiav. 


Make, say they, the grievous servitude of thy father, 
1 Kin. 12. 4. and his sore yoke, lighter. Belike he had charged them 
with some levies, and troubled them with some car- 
riages ; hereupon they raise up a tragedy, and wish in 
their heart the temple had never been built. So hard 
a thing it is to please all, even when we please God 
best, and do seek to approve ourselves to every one's 
The highest If we will descend to latter times, we shall find 
havl^befr "^^^y ^^^ ^i^^ examples of such kind, or rather unkind, 
calumniated acceptance. The first Roman Emperor did never do a 
Plutarch, iciore pleasing deed to the learned, nor more profitable 
to posterity, for conserving the record of times in true 
supputation, than when he corrected the Calendar, and 
ordered the year according to the course of the sun : 
and yet this was imputed to him for novelty, and 
arrogancy, and procured to him great obloquy. So the 
Constantine first Christened Emperor (at the least wise, that openly 
professed the faith himself, and allowed others to do 
the like,) for strengthening the empire at his great 
charges, and providing for the Church, as he did, got 
for his labour the name PupilluSy as who would say, 
a wasteful Prince, that had need of a guardian or over- 
Aurei. Vict. sccr. So the best Christened Emperor, for the love that 
zol'imm^ he bare unto peace, thereby to enrich both himself and 
his subjects, and because he did not seek war, but find 
it, was judged to be no man at arms, (though indeed 
he excelled in feats af chivalry, and shewed so much 
when he was provoked,) and condemned for giving 
Justinian, himself to his ease, and to his pleasure. To be short, 
the most learned Emperor of former times, (at the least 
the greatest politician,) what thanks had he for cutting 
oflf the superfluities of the laws, and digesting them 
into some order and method 1 This, that he hath been 


blotted by some to be an Epitomist, that is, one that 

extinguished worthy whole volumes, to bring his 

abridgements into request. This is the measure that 

hath been rendered to excellent Princes in former times, 

cum bene facerent, male audire, for their good deeds to 

be evil spoken of. JS'either is there any likelihood that 

envy and malignity died and were buried with the 

ancient. No, no, the reproof of Moses taketh hold of 

most ages, Tou are risen up in youT father^ stead, an Num. 32.14. 

increase of sinful men. What is that that hath teen ^^ ^^' ' ' 

done ? that which shall he done : ami there is no new 

thing under the sun, saith the wise man. And St. 

Stephen, As your fathers did,, so do ye. This, and more Acts 7. 51. 

to this purpose, his Majesty that now reigneth (and . !g con-^^' 

long, and long, may he reign, and his offspring for stancy, not- 

ever, Himself, and children, and children's children ^^g caium- 

always I) knew full well, according to the singular niation, for 

wisdom given unto him by God, and the rare learning of the Eng- 

and experience that he hath attained unto ; namely, ^^.^^ transia- 

That whosoever attempteth any thing for the publick, Autos koI 

(especially if it pertain to religion, and to the opening iraides, koX 

and clearing of the word of God,) the same setteth '^^■j-^'^^ 

himself upon a stage to be glouted upon by every evil ""^J^^ 

eye; yea, he casteth himself headlong upon pikes, to 

be gored by every sharp tongue. For he that meddleth 

with men's religion in any part meddleth with their 

custom, nay, with their freehold; and though they 

find no content in that which they have, yet they 

cannot abide to hear of altering. Notwithstanding 

his royal heart was not daunted or discouraged for 

this or that colour, but stood resolute, as a statue 

iimnovahle, and an anvil not easy to he heaten into ^^ 

Q(nrep tis 
plates, as one saith ; he knew who had chosen ^^^p^^^^^. 

him to be a soldier, or rather a captain ; and piTpe-n-Tos 


h-al &KPLU3V being assured that the course which he intended 
avriXaTos, ^^ade much for tlie glory of God, and the building up 
of his Church, he would not suffer it to be broken off 
for whatsoever speeches or practices. It doth certainly 
belong unto kings, yea, it doth specially belong unto 
them, to have care of religion, yea, to know it aright, 
yea, to profess it zealously, yea, to promote it to the 
uttermost of their power. This is their glory before all 
nations which mean well, and this will bring unto 
them a far most excellent weight of glory in the day of 
the Lord Jesus. For the Scripture saith not in vain, 
1 Sam. 2. 30. Them that honour me I will honour : neither was it a 
^eoci^cia, vain word that Eusehius delivered long ago. That piety 
uTio'ca 8 *^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ *^^ weapon, and the only weapon, that 
both preserved Constantme\s person, and avenged him 
of his enemies. 
The praise But now what piety without truth? What truth, 
Scriptures^ what saving truth, without the word of God 1 What 
word of God, whereof we may be sure, without the 
Scripture? The Scriptures we are commanded to 
search, John v. 39. Isaiah viii. 20. They are com- 
mended that searched and studied them. Acts xvii. 11, 
and viii. 28, 29. They are reproved that were unskilful 
in them, or slow to believe them, Matth. xxii. 29. 
Luke xxiv. 25. They can make us wise unto salvation, 
2 Tim. iii. 15. If we be ignorant, they will instruct 
us ; if out of the way, they will bring us home ; if out 
of order, they will reform us ; if in heaviness, comfort 
us ; if dull, quicken us ; if cold, inflame us. Tolle, 
St. Auffust. hfje ; tolle, lege ; Take up and read, take up and read 
lib.Ccap.u. *^^® Scriptures, (for unto them was the direction,) it 
St. An gust, was Said unto St. Augustine by a supernatural voice. 
credendi. Whatsoever is in the Scriptures, believe we, saith the 
'^"P- 6- same St. Augustine, is high and divine ; there is veiily 


truth, and a doctrine most fit for the refreshing and 
renewing of men's minds, and tridy so tempered, that 
every one may draw from thence that which is sufficient 
for him, if he come to draiv tcith a devoid and pious 
mind, as true religion reqaireth. Thus St. Augustine. 
And St. Hierome, Ama Scripturas, et amabit te st. meron. 
sapientia, &c. Love the Scriptures, and wisdom will "^.'^^'"'^" 
love thee. And St. Cyrill against Julian, Even boys st. Cyriii 7 
that are bred up in the Scriptures become most re- ^l'^^'^ 
ligious, tfec. But what mention we three or four uses 
of the Scripture, whereas whatsoever is to be believed, 
or practised, or hoped for, is contained in them? or 
three or four sentences of the Fathers, since whosoever 
is worthy the name of a Father, from Christ's time 
downward, hath likewise written not only of the 
riches, but also of the perfection of the Scripture 1 / Tertui. ad- 
adore the fulness of the Scripture, saith Tertullian ^g^fw/ ^^"^' 
against Hermogenes. And again, to Apelles an heretick ^'' ^.'''■"• 
of the like stamp he saith, I do not admit that ichich oUu t€ 
thou bnngest in (or concludest) of thine own (head or Jiistin. 
store, de tuo) without Scripture. So St. Justin Martyr ^P°JP^'^'^' 
before him ; We must know by all means (saith he) "e\\„„. 
thai it is not lawful (or possible) to learn (any thing) '^irefyn<f>a- 
of God or of right piety, save only out of the Prophets, "'«? '^'^"7- 
tcho teach us by divine inspiration. So St. Basil after '1°^''^' ., 
Tertullian, It is a manifest falling away from the trepl 
faith, and a fault of presumption, either to reject irlaTews. 
any of those things that are written, or to bring in 
(upon the head of them, cTreio-ayetv) any of those things 
that are not written. We omit to cite to the same 
effect St. Cyrill Bishop of Jerusalem in his 4. Catech. 
St. Hierome against Helvidius, St. Augustine in his 
third book against the letters of Petilian, and in very 
many other places of his works. Also we forbear to 


descend to later Fathers, because we will not weary 
the reader. The Scriptures then being acknowledged 
to be so full and so perfect, how can we excuse our- 
selves of negligence, if we do not study them? of 
'ElpeaiwvT} curiosity, if we be not content with them 1 Men talk 
(TvKa (p^pH, much of dp€(TLu)vr], how many sweat and goodly things 
/cat TTtovas .^ ^^^ hanging on it : of the Philosopher's stone, that 

dprovs, Kcu o o ;> x 

/xeXt if Ko- it turnetli copper into gold ; of Cornu-copiM, that it 
ti'Xt?, Kal ^- had all things necessary for food in it ; of Panaces, 
\aiov, &c. lY^Q herb, that it was good for all diseases; of Catholicon 
bough tlie drug, that it is instead of all purges ; of Vulcan's 

wrapped armour, that it was an armour of proof against all 

about with . 

wool, where- thrusts and all blows, &c. Well, that which they 
upon did falsely or vainly attributed to these things for bodily 
and bread, good, we may justly and with full measure ascribe 
^n^'^^ot^^^ unto the Scripture for spiritual. It is not only an 
and oil. armour, but also a whole armoury of weapons, both 
offensive and defensive ; whereby we may save our- 
selves, and put the enemy to flight. It is not an herb, 
but a tree, or rather a whole paradise of trees of life, 
which bring forth fruit every month, and the fruit 
thereof is for meat, and the leaves for medicine. It is 
not a pot of Manna, or a cruse of oil, which were for 
memory only, or for a meal's meat or two ; but, as it 
were, a shower of heavenly bread sufficient for a whole 
host, be it never so great, and, as it were, a whole 
cellar full of oil vessels; whereby all our necessities 
may be provided for, and our debts discharged. In a 
word, it is a panary of wholesome food against fenowed 
'KoLvov la- traditions ; a physician's shop (as St. Basil calls it) of 
rpe'iov, preservatives against poisoned heresies ; a pandect of 
Faai pri- Profitable laws against rebellious spirits ; a treasury of 
mum. most costly jewels against beggarly rudiments ; finally, 

a fountain of most pure water springing up unto ever- 


lasting life. And what marvel"? the original thereijf 
being from heaven, not from earth ; the author being 
God, not man ; the inditer, the Holy Spirit, not the 
wit of the Apostles or Prophets ; the penmen, such as 
were sanctified from the womb, and endued with a 
principal portion of God's Spirit ; the matter, verity, 
piety, purity, uprightness ; the form, God's word, God's 
testimony, God's oracles, the word of truth, the word 
of salvation, &c. ; the effects, light of understanding, 
stableness of persuasion, repentance from dead works, 
newness of life, holiness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost; 
lastly, the end and reward of the study thereof, fel- 
lowship with the saints, participation of the heavenly . 
nature, fruition of an inheritance immortal, undefiled, 
and that never shall fade away. Happy is the man 
that delighteth in the Scripture, and thrice happy that 
meditateth in it day and night. 

But how shall men meditate in that which they Translation 
cannot understand ] How shall they understand that ^^'^^^^^^y- 
which is kept close in an unknown tongue? as it is 
written. Except I know the power of the voice, I shall i Cor. 14. 11. 
he to him that speaketh a harhaHan, and he that 
speaketh shall he a harharian to me. The Apostle 
excepteth no tongue ; not Hehreiv the ancientest, not 
Greek the most copious, not Latin the finest. N"ature 
taught a natural man to confess, that all of us in those 
tongues which we do not understand are plainly deaf j 
we may turn the deaf ear unto them. The Scythian ciem. Alex. 
counted the Athenian, whom he did not understand, i/'[f.'"' 
barbarous : so the Roman did the Syrian, and the nym. Da- 
Jew : (even St. Hierome himself calleth the Hehreiv ^H'aei 
tongue barbarous ; belike, because it was strange to so TheopMu 
many :) so the Emperor of Constantinople calleth the Condi. ex 
Latin tongue barbarous, though Pope Nicolas do storm ct-a'b. 


cseero 5. at it : SO the Jews long before Christ called aU other 
De Finibiu. j^^^j^j^g Lognosim, which is little better than barbarous. 
Therefore as one complaineth that always in the Senate 
of Rome there was one or other that called for an 
interpreter; so lest the Church be driven to the like 
exigent, it is necessary to have translations in a readi- 
ness. Translation it is that openeth the window, to 
let in the light ; that break eth the shell, that we may 
eat the kernel ; that putteth aside the curtain, that we 
may look into the most holy place ; that removeth the 
cover of the weU, that we may come by the water; 
Gen. 29. 10. cvcn as Jacoh rolled away the stone from the mouth 
of the well, by which means the flocks of Lahan were 
watered. Indeed without translation into the vulgar 
John 4. 11. tongue, the unlearned are but like children at JacoVs 
well (which was deep) without a bucket or something 
isai. £9. 11. to draw with : or as that person mentioned by Esay, 
to whom when a sealed book was delivered with this 
motion, Read this, I XJ''^y ^^'^^ / t® was fain to make 
this answer, / cannot, for it is sealed. 
The trans- ^Miilc God would be known only in Jacoh, and have 
th^oid' ^^ name great in Israel, and in none other place; 
Testament while the dew lay on Gideon's fleece only, and all the 
Hebrew^^ - ^^^^ besides was dry ; then for one and the same 
to Greek, people, which spake all of them the language of 
gutt lib 12. C'^'^^^'^^h that is, Hebrew, one and the same original in 
contra Hebrew was sufficient. But when the fulness of time 
^aut . cap. ^j.^^^ near, that the Sun of righteousness, the Son of 
God, should come into the world, whom God ordained 
to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood, not of 
the Jew only, but also of the Greeh, yea, of all them 
that were scattered abroad ; then, lo, it pleased the 
Lord to stir up the spirit of a Greek prince, {Greek for 
descent and language,) even of Ptolemy PhUade1;ph 


king of E[j[ipi, to procure the translating of the book 
of God out of Hehreic into Greelx. This is the trans- 
lation of the Seventy interpreters, commonly so called, 
which prepared the way for our Saviour among the 
Gentiles by written preaching, as St. John Bcqyti-st did 
among the Jews by vocal. For the Grecians, being 
desirous of learning, were not wont to suffer books of 
worth to lie moulding in kings' libraries, but had many 
of their servants, ready scribes, to copy them out, and 
so they were dispersed and made common. Again the 
Greek tongue was well known and made familiar to 
most inhabitants in Asia by reason of the conquests 
that there the Grecians had made, as also by the 
colonies which thither they had sent. For the same 
causes also it was well understood in many places of 
Europe, yea, and of Africk too. Therefore the word 
of God, being set forth in Greek, becometh hereby like 
a candle set upon a candlestick, which giveth light to 
all that are in the house; or like a proclamation 
sounded forth in the market place, which most men 
presently take knowledge of; and therefore that lan- 
guage was fittest to contain the Scriptures, both for the 
first preachers of the Gospel to appeal unto for witness, 
and for the learners also of those times to make search 
and trial by. It is certain, that that translation was 
not so sound and so perfect, but that it needed in 
many places correction ; and who had been so sufficient 
for this work as the Apostles or apostolick men 1 Yet 
it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to them to take 
that which they found, (the same being for the greatest 
part true and sufficient,) rather than by making a new, 
in that new world and green age of the Church, to 
expose themselves to many exceptions and cavillations, 
as though they made a translation to serve their own 


turn; and therefore bearing witness to themselves, 
their witness not to be regarded. This may be sup- 
posed to be some cause, why the translation of the 
Seventy was allowed to pass for current. Notwith- 
standing, though it was commended generally, yet it 
did not fully content the learned, no not of the Jews. 
For not long after Christ, Aquila fell in hand with a 
new translation, and after him Theodotion, and after 
him Symmachus ; yea, there was a fifth, and a sixth 
edition, the authors whereof Avere not known. These 
with the Seventy made up the Hexapla, and were 
worthily and to great purpose compiled together by 
Origen. Howbeit the edition of the Seventy went 
away with the credit, and therefore not only was placed 
Epiphan. in the midst by Origen, (for the worth and excellency 
-^^ '"^"*"!*'* thereof abo\e the rest, as Epiplianias gathereth,) but 
.s^ August, also was used by the Gree?c Fathers for the ground and 
trin Chris- foundation of their commentaries. Yea, Epiplianius 
tian. c. 15. aboveuamed doth attribute so much unto it, that he 
tnx!m. holdeth the authors thereof not only for interpreters, 
n/Jo^TTTtf^s but also for prophets in some respect : and Justinian 
iba-n-ep xa- ^jjg Emperor, injoining the Jeivs his subjects to use 
X '^^ll^^'' ©specially the translation of the Seventy, rendereth this 
avTHs. reason thereof, Because they were, as it were, enlight- 
isi^- 31- 3. ened with prophetical grace. Yet for all that, as the 
de Optimo Egyptians are said of the Prophet to be men and not 
genere m- Qq^ ^jj^ their horscs flesh and not spirit : so it is 

terpret. ' ^ 

evident, (and St. Hierome affirmeth as much,) that the 
Seventy were interpreters, they were not prophets. 
They did many things well, as learned men ; but yet 
as men they stumbled and fell, one while through 
oversight, another while through ignorance ; yea, some- 
times they may be noted to add to the original, and 
sometimes to take from it : which made the Apostles 


to leave them many times, when they left the Hebrew , 
and to deliver the sense thereof according to the truth 
of the word, as the Spirit gave them utterance. This 
may suffice touching the Greek translations of the Old 

There were also within a few hundred years after Translation 
Christ translations many into the Latin tonojue : for ^"^^ ^^ ^^' 

*' *-' brew and 

this tongue also was very fit to convey the Law and the Greek into 
GosjDel by, because in those times very many countries "'^^^' 
of the West, yea of the South, East, and North, spake 
or understood Latin, being made provinces to the 
Romans. But now the Latin translations were too 
many to be all good : for they were infinite ; {Latini 
interpretes nullo modo numerari 2^ossunt, saith St. st. August. 
Augustine.) Again, they were not out of the Hebrew chrilTmi 
fountain, (we speak of the Latin translations of the c«i>. n. 
Old Testament,) but out of the Greek stream; there- 
fore the Greek being not altogether clear, the Latin 
derived from it must needs be muddy. This moved St. 
Hierome, a most learned Father, and the best linguist 
without controversy of his age, or of any other that 
went before him, to undertake the translating of the 
Old Testament out of the very fountains themselves ; 
which he performed with that evidence of great learn- 
ing, judgment, industry, and faithfulness, that he hath 
for ever bound the Church unto him in a debt of 
special remembrance and thankfulness. 

Now though the Church were thus furnished with The trans- 
Greek and Latin translations, even before the faith of the scriL 
Christ was generally embraced in the Empire : (for the ^^^^ J^^to 
learned know, that even in St. Hierome' s time the ton^es^^"^ 
Consul of Rome and his wife were both Ethnicks, and ^*- ^^eron. 
about the same time the greatest part of the Senate zosim. 
also :) yet for all that the godly learned were not con- 


tent to have the Scriptures in the language which 
2 Kin. 7. 9. themselvcs understood, Greek and Latin^ (as the good 
lepers were not content to fare well themselves, but 
acquainted their neighbours with the store that God 
had sent, that they also might provide for themselves ;) 
but also for the behoof and edifying of the unlearned, 
which hungered and thirsted after righteousness, and 
had souls to be saved as well as they, they provided 
translations into the vulgar for their countrymen, inso- 
much that most nations under heaven did shortly after 
their conversion hear Christ speaking unto them in 
their mother tongue, not by the voice of their minister 
only, but also by the written word translated. If any 
doubt hereof, he may be satisfied by examples enough, 
St. Eieron. if euougli will scrvc the turn. First, St. Hierome 
Evangel. ^aith, MuUcirum gentium Unguis Scriptura ante tram- 
lata docet falsa esse quce addita sunt, &c. ; that is, 
The Scripture being translated before in the languages 
of many nations doth shew that those things that 
were added (by Lucian or Hesijchius) are false. 
St. Bieron. So St. Hierome in that place. The same Hierome 
sophronio. eigg^yj^g^g afhrmcth that he, the time was, had set 
forth the translation of the Seventy, sum linguce 
hominibus ; that is, for his countrymen of Dalmatia. 
Which words not only Erasmus doth understand to 
purport, that St. Hierome translated the Scripture into 
Six. Sen. the Dalmatian tongue ; but also Sixtus Senensis, and 
^Ai )lon a -^^P^^^^^^^^^ ^^ Castro, (that we speak of no more,) men 
Costro, not to be excepted against by them of Rome, do in- 
it'cAry-"" genuously confess as much. So St. Chrysostome, that 
tost, in Jo- lived in St. Hierome' s time, giveth evidence "with him : 
Tom. 1."^' ' ^'^'^ doctrine of St. John (saith he) did not in such 
sort (as the Philosophers' did) vanish away: but the 
Syrians, Egyptians, Indians, Persians, Ethiopians, and 


infinite other nations, being harharous x>GopJe, translated 
it into their {mother) tongue, and have learned, to he 
{true) Philosophers, he meaneth Christians. To this Theodor. 5. 
may be added Theodoret, as next unto him both for ^'*"^^" • 
antiquity, and for learning. His words be these, 
Every country that is under the sun is full of these 
words, (of the Apostles and Prophets ;) and the Hebrew 
tongue (he meaneth the Scriptures in the Hebrew 
tongue) is turned not only into the language of the 
Grecians, hut also of the Romans, and Egyptians, and. 
Persians, and Indians, and Armenians, and Scythians, P. Dincon. 
and Sauromatians, and, briefly, into all the ^^^W-^Q^^ inchrcn ' 
that any nation useth. So he. In like manner Ulpilas Goth. So- 
is reported by Paidiis Diaconns and Isidore, and before ^^"''57 ' * 
them by Sozomen, to have translated the Scriptures Vassetis in 
into the Gothick tongue : John Bishop of Sevil by po!*^^of**^" 
Vasseus, to have turned them into Arahick about the virg.d.Mst. 
Year of our Lord 717 : Beda by Cistertiensis, to have te7tatur^ 
turned a great part of them into Saxon: Efaard \)^ i<iemde aui- 
Trithemius, to have abridged the French Psalter (as Aventin. 
Beda had done the Hebreiv) about the year 800 : King ^**- ^• 
Alured by the said Cistertiensis, to have turned the 
Psalter into Saxon : Methodius by Aventinus (printed 
at Ingolstad) to have turned the Scriptures into Scla- 
vonian : t Valdo Bishop of Prising by Beatus Rhen- t circa an- 
anus, to have caused about that time the Gospels to be """' ?^^' 
translated into Dutch rhyme, yet extant in the library remm 
of Corbinian : Valdus by divers, to have turned them ^l^^^^ 
himself, or to have gotten them turned, into French, 
about the Year 1160 : Charles the Fifth of that name, 
surnamed The wise, to have caused them to be turned 
into French about 200 years after Valdus' time; of 
which translation there be many copies yet extant, as 
witnesseth Beroaldus. Much about that time, even in Thuan. 


our King Richard the Second's days, John Trevisa 
translated them into English, and many English Bibles 
in written hand are yet to be seen with divers ; trans- 
lated, as it is very probable, in that age. So the Syrian 
translation of the Xew Testament is in most learned 
men's lil)raries, of Widminstadius' setting forth ; and 
the Psalter in Arabick is with many, of Augusfinus 
Nehiensis setting forth. So Postel afiirmeth, that in 
his travel he saw the Gosi)els in the Ethiopian tongue : 
And Ami/rose Theslus alledgeth the Psalter of the 
Indians, which he testifieth to have been set forth by 
Potken in Syrian characters. So that to have the 
Scriptures in the mother tongue is not a quaint conceit 
lately taken up, either by the Lord Cromwell in Eng- 
land, or by the Lord Radevile in Polony, or by the 
Lord Ungnadlus in the Emperor's dominion, but hath 
been thought upon, and put in practice of old, even 
from the first times of the conversion of any nation ; 
no doubt, because it was esteemed most profitable to 
cause faith to grow in men's hearts the sooner, and to 
Psai. 48. 8. make them to be able to say with the words of the 

Psalm, As we have heard, so ice have seen. 
The unviii- Now the church of Rome would seem at the length 
oufchTef ^ to bear a motherly affection toward her children, and 
adversaries to allow them the Scriptures in the mother tongue : 
Scriptures ^"^ indeed it is a gift, not deserving to be called a gift, 
should be an Unprofitable gift : they must first get a licence in 

divulired in ... . 

the mother wntmg before they may use them ; and to get that, 
tongue, &c. ^i^jgy jjj^^3|; approvc themsclvcs to their Confessor, that 

povK^Kdvri. ^^' ^^ "^ ®^^" ^^ ^^^' " ^^^ frozen m the dregs, yet 

cifiov. soured with the leaven of their superstition. Howbeit 

Sophoci. it seemed too much to Clement the Eighth, that there 

should be any licence granted to have them in the 

vulgar tongue, and therefore he overruleth and frus- 


tratetli the grant of Pius the Fourth. So much are See the ob- 
they afraid of the light of the Scripture, {Lucifugos T^^^^^^ ^y 
Script iirartim, as TertidUan speak eth,) that they will element's 
not trust the people with it, no not as it is set forth by upon°thJ 
their own sworn men, no not with the licence of their 4th mie of 
own Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so unwilling they 44^^,3 m^k- 
are to communicate the Scriptures to the people's i^^ i^ the 

, T . ,1 1 J Jndexlib. 

understanding m any sort, that they are not ashamed prohib. pag. 
to confess, that we forced them to translate it into ^^- *"''• •^• 

' . . , Tertull. de 

Emjlish against their wills. This seemeth to argue a rpsnr. car- 
bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, **'*• 
that it is not he that hath good gold, that is afraid to 
bring it to the touch-stone, but he that hath the 
counterfeit ; neither is it the true man that shunneth John 3. 20. 
the light, but the malefactor, lest his deeds should be 
reproved ; neither is it the plaindealing merchant that 
is unwilling to have the weights, or the meteyard, 
brought in place, but he that useth deceit. But we 
will let them alone for this fault, and return to trans- 

Many men's mouths have been opened a good while Thespeeches 
(and yet are not stopped) with speeches about the ^^^^ of our 
translation so long in hand, or rather perusals of trans- brethren, 
lations made before : and ask what may be the reason, yersaries, 
what the necessity, of the employment. Hath the aa-ainst this 
Church been deceived, say they, all this while 1 Hath 
her sweet bread been mingled with leaven, her silver 
with dross, her wine with water, her milk with lime 1 
(lacte gypsum male miscetur, saitli St. Irenee.) We 5f. Jrm. 
hoped that we had been in the right way, that we * " ' 
had had the Oracles of God delivered unto us, and 
that though all the world had cause to be offended, 
and to complain, yet that we had none. Hath the 
nurse holden out the breast, and nothing but wind in 


it ] llath the bread been delivered by the Fathers of 
the Church, and the same proved to be lapidosus, as 
Seneca speaketh 1 Wliat is it to handle the word of 
God deceitfully, if this be not ? Thus certain brethren. 
Also the adversaries of Judah and Jerusalem, like 

Neh, 4. 2, 3. Sauhallat in Neliemiah, mock, as we hear, both at the 
work and workmen, saying, What do these weak Jews, 
^'c, will they make the stones ichole again out of the 
heaps of dust which are lurnt ? although they build, 
yet if a fox go up, he shall even break doicn their stony 
wall. Was their translation good before 1 Why do 
they now mend it % Was it not good 1 Why then was 
it obtruded to the people 1 Yea, why did the Catho- 
licks (meaning Popish Romanists) always go in 
jeopardy for refusing to go to hear if? Kay, if it 
must be translated into English, Catholicks are fittest 
to do it. They have learning, and they know when a 
thing is well, they can manum de tabula. We will 
answer them both briefly : and the former, being 

St. Hieron. brethren, thus with St. Hierome, Damnamus veteres ? 

vera"iiuffin ^^^^^^^^^^i scd post priorum studia in domo Domini quod 
2)ossumus laboramus. That is. Do tee condemn the 
ancient ? In no case : but after the endeavours of them 
that were before us, ice take the best ])ains we can in 
the house of God. As if he said. Being provoked by 
the example of the learned that lived before my time, 
I have thought it my duty to assay, whether my talent 
in the knowledge of the tongues may be profitable in 
any measure to God's Church, lest I should seem to 
have laboured in them in vain, and lest I should be 
thought to glory in men (although ancient) above that 
which was in them. Thus St. Hierome may be thought 
to speak. 

And to the same efi'ect say we, that we are so far off 


from condemning any of their labours that travelled a satisfac- 
tion to OUI 

before us in this kind, either in this land, or beyond sea. 

either in King Henry's time, or King Edward' s^ (if there 
were any translation, or correction of a translation, in his 
time,) or Queen Elizabeth's of ever renowned memory, 
that we acknowledge them to have been raised up of 
God for the building and furnishing of his Church, and 
that they deserve to be had of us and of posterity in 
everlasting remembrance. The judgment of Aristotle Arist. 2. 
is worthy and well known : // Timotlieus had not ^J^"p^!^^- 
been, we had not had much sweet musick : But if 
Phrynis {Timotheus' master) had not been, ice had not 
had Timotheus. Therefore blessed be they, and most 
honoured be their name, that break the ice, and give 
the onset upon that which helpeth forward to the 
saving of souls. Now what can be more available 
thereto, than to deliver God's book unto God's peoj)le 
in a tongue which they understand ? Since of an 
hidden treasure, and of a fountain that is sealed, there 
is no profit, as Ptolemy Philadelph wrote to the 
Eabbins or masters of the Jews, as witnesseth Epiph- st.Epiphnn. 
anius : and as St. Augustine saith, A man had i'<^thQi^ cUato^^^ 
be with his dog than ivith a stranger (whose tongue is st. August. 
strange unto him.) Yet for all that, as nothing \^ Be ciint. 
begun and perfected at the same time, and the latter ^^^^ ^'^p- '• 
thoughts are thought to be the wiser : so, if we build- 
ing upon their foundation that went before us, and 
being holpen by their labours, do endeavour to make 
that better which they left so good; no man, we are 
sure, hath cause to mislike us ; they, we persuade our- 
selves, if they were alive, would thank us. The 
vintage of Abiezer, that strake the stroke : yet the 
gleaning of grapes of Ephraim was not to be despised. 
Seee Judges viii. 2. Joash the king of Israel did not 18 19^ 


satisfy himself till he had smitten the ground three times; 
and yet he offended the Prophet for giving over then. 
Aquila, of whom we spake before, translated the Bible 
as carefully and as skilfully as he could ; and yet he 
thought good to go over it again, and then it got the 
credit with the Jeios, to be called Kar aKpi/Seiav, that 
St. nieron. is, accurately done, as St. Hierome witnesseth. How 
*^ g"" ■ many books of profane learning have been gone over 
again and again, by the same translators, by others '? 
Of one and the same book of Aristotle's Ethicks there 
are extant not so few as six or seven several transla- 
tions. Now if this cost may be bestowed upon the 
gourd, which affbrdeth us a little shade, and which 
to day flourisheth, but to morrow is cut down ; what 
may we bestow, nay, what ought we not to bestow, 
upon the vine, the fruit whereof make+h glad the 
conscience of man, and the stem whereof abideth for 
ever 1 And this is the word of God, which we trans 
Jer. 23. 28. late. What is the chaff to the wheat ? saith the Lord, 
TertuU. ad Taiiti vitreum, quanti veruni margaritum ! (saith Ter- 
suanti tuIUan.) If a toy of glass be of that reckoning with 
riiissimum US, how ought we to valuc the true pearl ! Therefore 
^HflnTipre- ^^^ ^*^ mau's eye be evil, because his Majesty's is good ; 


num neither let any be grieved, that we have a Prince that 
7>ZT^mer. seeketh the increase of the spiritual wealth of Israel ; 
ad Saivin. (let Saiihallats and Tohiahs do so, which therefore do 
bear their just reproof;) but let us rather bless God 
from the ground of our heart for working this religious 
care in him to have the translations of the Bible ma- 
turely considered of and examined. For by this means 
it Cometh to pass, that whatsoever is sound already, 
(and all is sound for substance in one or other of our 
editions, and the worst of ours far better than their 
authentick vulgar) the same will shine as gold more 


briglitly, being rubbed and polished ; also, if any thing 
be halting, or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the 
original, the same may be corrected, and the truth set 
in place. And what can the King command to be done, 
that will bring him more true honour than this? And 
wherein could they that have been set a work approve 
their duty to the King, yea, their obedience to God, 
and love to his Saints, more, than by yielding their 
service, and all that is within them, for the furnishing 
of the work? But besides all this, they were the 
principal motives of it, and therefore ought least to 
quarrel it. For the very historical truth is, that upon 
the importunate petitions of the Puritanes at his 
Majesty's coming to this crown, the conference at 
Hampton-court having been appointed for hearing 
their complaints, when by force of reason they were 
put from all other grounds, they had recourse at the 
last to this shift, that they could not with good con- 
science subscribe to the communion book, since it 
maintained the Bible as it was there translated, which 
was, as they said, a most corrupted translation. And 
although this was judged to be but a very poor and 
empty shift, yet even hereupon did his Majesty begin 
to bethink himself of the good that might ensue by a 
new translation, and presently after gave order for this 
translation which is now presented unto thee. Thus 
much to satisfy our scrupulous brethren. 

jN'ow to the latter we answer, That we do not deny, An answer 
nay, we affirm and avow, that the very meanest trans- *^J^^™g" 
lation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our of 
profession, (for we have seen none of their's of the 
whole Bible as yet) containeth the word of God, nay, 
is the word of God : As the King's speech which he 
uttered in Parliament, being translated into French, 

our ad- 


Dutch, Italian, and Latin, is still the King's speech, 
though it be not interpreted by every translator with 
the like grace, nor perad venture so fitly for phrase, 
nor so expressly for sense, every where. For it is con- 
fessed, that things are to take their denomination of 

Horace. the greater part ; and a natural man could say, Verum 
uhi multa nitent in carmine, non ego jparicis offender 
maculis, ^c. A man may be counted a virtuous man, 
though he have made many slips in his life, (else there 

Jam. 3. 2. were none virtuous, for in many things loe offend all,) 
also a .comely man and lovely, though he have some 
warts upon his hand ; yea, not only freckles upon his 
face, but also scars. Ko cause therefore why the word 
translated should be denied to be the word, or for- 
bidden to be current, notwithstanding that some 
imperfections and blemishes may be noted in the 
setting forth of it. For what ever was perfect under 
the sun, where Apostles or apostolick men, that is, men 
endued with an extraordinary measure of God's Spirit, 
and privileged with the privilege of infallibility, had 
not their hand 1 The Eomanists therefore in refusing 
to hear, and daring to burn the word translated, did no 
less than despite the Spirit of grace, from whom 
originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, 
as well as man's weakness would enable, it did express. 
Judge by an example or two. 

Plutarch in Plutarcli writcth, that after that Rome had been 
burnt by the Gauls, they fell soon to build it again : 
but doing it in haste, they did not cast the streets, nor 
l^roportion the houses, in such comely fashion, as had 
been most sightly and convenient. Was Catiline 
therefore an honest man, or a good patriot, that sought 
to bring it to a combustion % Or Nero a good Prince, 
that did indeed set it on fire"? So by the story of 



Ezra and the prophecy of Haggai it may be gathered, Ezra 3. 12. 
that tlie temple built by Zeruhhahel after the return 
from Babylon was by no means to be compared to the 
former built by Solomon : for they that remembered 
the former wept when they considered the latter. 
Notwithstanding might this latter either have been 
abhorred and forsaken by the Jeivs, or profaned by the 
Greeks? The like we are to think of translations. 
The translation of the Seventy dissenteth from the 
Original in many places, neither doth it come near it 
for perspicuity, gravity, majesty. Yet which of the 
Apostles did condemn if? Condemn if? I^ay, they 
used it, (as it is apparent, and as St. Hierome and most 
learned men do confess ;) which they would not have 
done, nor by their example of using of it so grace and 
commend it to the Church, if it had been unworthy 
the appellation and name of the word of God. And 
whereas they urge for their second defence of their 
vilifying and abusing of the English Bibles, or some 
pieces thereof, which they meet with, for that here- 
ticks forsooth were the authors of the translations : 
(hereticks they call us by the same right that they call 
themselves catholicks, both being wrong :) we marvel 
what divinity taught them so. We are sure Tertullian Tertuii. de 
was of another mind : Ex personis probamits fidem., an p^^^^^^p*- 
ex fide personas ? Do we try men's faith by their reses. 
persons ] We should try their persons by their faith. 
Also St. Augustine was of another mind : for he, St. August. 
lighting upon certain rules made by Tychonius a ^chrisTla 
Donatist for the better understanding of the word, 30. 
was not ashamed to make use of them, yea, to insert 
them into his own book, with giving commendation to 
them so far forth as they were worthy to be com- 
mended, as is to be seen in St. Augustine's third book 


De Dod. Christ. To be short, Origeti, and the whole 
Church of God for certain hundred years, were of 
another mind : for they were so far from treading 
under foot (much more from burning) the translation 
of Aquila a proselyte, that is, one that had turned 
JeWj of Sijmmaclius, and Theodotion, both Ebionites, 
that is, most vile hereticks, that they joined them 
together with the Hebrew original, and the translation 
of the Seventy^ (as hath been before signified out of 
Epiphanius,) and set them forth openly to be con- 
sidered of and perused by all. But we weary the 
unlearned, who need not know so much ; and trouble 
the learned, who know it already. 

Yet before we end, we must answer a third cavil 
and objection of their's against us, for altering and 
amending our translations so oft ; wherein truly they 
deal hardly and strangely with us. For to whom ever 
was it imputed for a fault, (by such as were wise,) 
to go over that which he had done, and to amend it 
St. August, where he saw cause? St. Augustine was not afraid 
Epist. 9. |.Q exhort St. Hierome to a Palinodia or recantation. 

St. August. 

lib. Retract The samc St. Augustine was not ashamed to retractate, 
Video inter- ^^ niiglit Say, revoke, many things that had passed 
mea. . him, and doth even glory that he seeth his infirmities. 

St. August. j£ ^^ ^^j^jj i^g gQjjg Qf ^YiQ truth, we must consider 
£pist. 8. ' 

what it speaketh, and trample upon our own credit, 

yea, and upon other men's too, if either be any way 
an hindrance to it. This to the cause. Then to the 
persons we say, that of all men they ought to be most 
silent in this case. For what varieties have they, and 
what alterations have they made, not only of their 
service books, portesses, and breviaries, but also of 
their Latin translation? The service book supposed 
to be made by St. Ambrose, (Officium Ambrosianum,) 


was a great while in special use and request : but Pope 
Adrian, calling a council with the aid of Charles the Dumnd. 
Emperor, abolished it, yea, burnt it, and commanded ^*^' ^' '"^' 
the service book of St. Gregory universally to be used. 
Well, Ofldum Gregorianum gets by this means to be 
in credit; but doth it continue without change or 
altering? iSTo, the very Roman service was of two 
fashions ; the new fashion, and the old, the one used 
in one Church, and the other in another ; as is to be 
seen in Pamelius a Eomanist, his preface before 
Mlcrologus. The same Pamelius reporteth out of 
Radulphiis de Rivo, that about the year of our Lord 
1277 Pope Nicolas the Third removed out of the 
churches of Rome the more ancient books (of service,) 
and brought into use the missals of the Friers 
Minorites, and commanded them to be observed there : 
insomuch that about an hundred years after, when the 
aboved named Radulphus happened to be at Rome, he 
found all the books to be new, of the new stamp. 
I^either was there this chopping and changing in the 
more ancient times only, but also of late. Pius Quintus 
himself confesseth, that every bishoprick almost had 
a peculiar kind of service, most unlike to that which 
others had; which moved him to abolish all other 
breviaries, though never so ancient, and privileged 
and published by Bishops in their Dioceses, and to 
establish and ratify that only which was of his own 
setting forth in the year 1568. Now when the 
Father of their Church, who gladly would heal the 
sore of the daughter of his people softly and slightly, 
and make the best of it, findeth so great fault with 
them for their odds and jarring ; we hope the children 
have no great cause to vaunt of their uniformity. But 
the difference that appeareth between our translations, 


and our often correcting of them, is the thing that we 
are specially charged with ; let lis see therefore whether 
they themselves be Avithout fault this way, (if it be to 
be counted a fault to correct,) and whether they be fit 
men to throw stones at us : tandem major parcas 
insane minori : They that are less sound themselves 
ought not to object infirmities to others. If we should 
tell them, that Valla, Stapulensis, Erasmus, and Vives, 
found fault with their vulgar translation, and conse- 
quently wished the same to be mended, or a new one 
to be made ; they would answer peradventure, that we 
produced their enemies for witnesses against them ; 
albeit they were in no other sort enemies, than as St. 

Gal. 4. 16. Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the truth : 
and it were to be wished, that they had dared to tell 
it them plainlier and oftener. But what will they say 
to this. That Pope Leo the Tenth allowed Erasmus 
translation of the New Testament, so much different 
from the vulgar, by his apostolick letter and bull? 

sixtus Se- That the same Leo exhorted Pagnine to translate the 
whole Bible, and bare whatsoever charges was necessary 
for the work 1 Surely, as the apostle reasoneth to the 

Heb. 7. 11. Hehreics, that if the former Law and Testament had 
been sufficieiit, there had been no need of the latter : so 
we may say, that if the old vulgar had been at all 
points allowable, to small purpose had labour and 
charges been undergone about framing of a new. If 
they say, it was one Pope's private opinion, and that 
he consulted only himself; then we are able to go 
further with them, and to aver, that more of their 
chief men of all sorts, even their own Trent champions, 
Paiva and Vega, and their own inquisitor Hieronymus 
ab Oleastro, and their own Bishop Isidorus Clarius, 
and their own Cardinal Thomas a vio Cajetan, do 


&8. 7. 


either make new translations themselves, or follow new 
ones of other men's making, or note the vulgar inter- 
preter for halting, none of them fear to dissent from 
him, nor yet to except against him. And call they this 
an uniform tenor of text and judgment about the text, 
so many of their worthies disclaiming the now received 
conceit? Xay, we will yet come nearer the quick. 
Doth not their Paris edition differ from the Lovain, Sixtm 5. 
and Hentenhis's from them both, and vet all of them f!lf^:^''* 
allowed by authority 1 Nay, doth not Sixtus Quintus 
confess, that certain Catholicks (he meaneth certain of 
his own side) were in such an humour of translating 
the Scriptures into Latin, that Satan taking occasion 
by them, though they thought of no such matter, did 
strive what he could, out of so uncertain and manifold 
a variety of translations, so to mingle all things, that 
nothing might seem to be left certain and firm in them, 
&c. 1 !N"ay further, did not the same Sixties ordain by 
an inviolable decree, and that with the counsel and 
consent of his Cardinals, that the Lati?! edition of the 
Old and I^ew Testament, which the council of Trent 
would have to be authentick, is the same without con- 
troversy which he then set forth, being diligently cor- 
rected and printed in the printinghouse of Vatican 9 
Thus Sixtus in his preface before his Bible. And yet 
Clement the Eighth, his immediate successor to account 
of, publisheth another edition of the Eible, containincr 
in it infinite differences from that of Sixtus, and many 
of them weighty and material ; and yet this must be 
authentick by all means. What is to have the faith 
of our glorious Lord Jestis Christ with yea and nay, 
if this be not? Again, what is sweet harmony and 
consent, if this be 1 Therefore, as Demaratus of Corinth 
advised a great King, before he talked of the dissen- 


sions among the Grecians, to compose his domestick 

broils; (for at that time his queen and his son and heir 

■were at deadly feud with him) so all the while that our 

adversaries do make so many and so various editions 

themselves, and do jar so much about the worth and 

authority of them, they can with no shew of equity 

challenge us for changing and correcting. 

The purpose But it is high time to leave them, and to shew in 

Translators ^^^^^^ what wc proposcd to ouTsclves, and what course 

with their -^ve held, in this our perusal and survey of the Bible. 

furniture, Truly, good Christian Eeader, we never thought from 

care, &c. i\^q. beginning that we should need to make a new 

translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one : 

(for then the imputation of Sixtus had been true in 

some sort, that our people had been fed with gall of 

dragons instead of wine, with wheal instead of milk ;) 

but to make a good one better, or out of many good 

ones one principal good one, not justly to be excepted 

against ; that hath been our endeavour, that our mark. 

To that purpose there were many chosen, that were 

greater in other men's eyes than in their own, and 

that sought the truth rather than their own praise. 

Again, they came, or were thought to come, to the 

work, not exercendi causa, (as one saith,) but exercitati, 

that is, learned not to learn ; for the chief overseer 

and ipyoSiojKTr}'; under his Majesty, to whom not only 

we, but also our whole Church was much bound, 

Xnzianz. kucw by his wisdom, which thing only Nazianzen 

etspv.eTTKr/c ^^ygj^^ SO long ago, that it is a preposterous order to in teach first and to learn after ; that to iv ttlOio Kcpafxlav 

Apoioget. fxavOdv€iv to learn and practise together, is neither 

commendable for the workman, nor safe for the work. 

Therefore such were thought upon, as could say 

modestly with St. Hierome, Et Hehrceum sermonem ex 


parte didicimus, et in Latino pene ah ipsis incunahnlis, 
4'c., detriti sumus ; Both we have learned the Hehrew 
tongue in part, and in the Latin we have been exercised, 
almost from our very cradle. St. Hierome maketh no 
mention of the Greek tongue, wherein yet he did 
excel; because he translated not the Old Testament 
out of Greek, but out of Hehreto. And in what sort 
did these assemble 1 In the trust of their own know- 
ledge, or of their sharpness of wit, or deepness of 
judgment, as it were in an arm of flesh 1 At no 
hand. They trusted in him that hath the key of 
David, opening, and no man shutting ; they prayed to 
the Lord, the Father of our Lord, to the effect that St. 
Augustine did : let thy Scriptures he my pure de- st. August, 
light ; let me not he deceived in them, neither let me '^l^^'l^^^ 
deceive hy them. In this confidence, and with this cap. 2. 
devotion, did they assemble together ; not too many, 
lest one should trouble another; and yet many, lest - 
many things haply might escape them. If you ask 
what they had before them ; truly it was the Hehrew 
text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New. 
These are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, 
wherethrough the olivebranches empty themselves 
into the gold. St. Augustine calleth them precedent, st.Aug.z. 
or original, tongues ; St. Hierome, fountains. The J^^ g^''^^ 
same St. Hierome affirmeth, and Gratian hath not st. Sicrun. 

. . 1-1 mi J. J7 7 'J J.' "-'^ Suniam 

spared to put it into his decree, inat as the credit oj- ^f f^.^fgi^ 
the old hooks (he meaneth of the Old Testament) is to st. iiier.n. 
he tried hy the Hehreio volumes ; so of the new by the „,„, jji^f 9 
Greek tongue, he meaneth by the original Greek. If ^^^ 
truth be to be tried by these tongues, tlien whence 
sliould a translation be made, but out of them ? These 
tongues therefore (the Scriptures, we say, in those 
tongues) we set before us to translate, being the 




Joseph. An- 
tiq. lib. 12. 

St. Hieron. 
ad Pam- 
mach. pro 
lib. ad vers. 

^iXet yap 
dvrip wpdff 
<ru}v iJ-^yoi, 
Sophocl. »» 

tongues wherein God was pleased to speak to his 
Church by his Prophets and Apostles. Neither did 
we run over the work with that posting haste that the 
Septuagint did, if that be true which is reported of 
them, that they finished it in seventy-two days; 
neither were we barred or hindered from going over it 
again, having once done it, like St. Hierome, if that 
be true which himself reporteth, that he could no 
sooner write anything, but presently it was caught 
from him, and published, and he could not have leave 
to mend it ; neither, to be short, were we the first that 
fell in hand with translating the Scripture into English, 
and consequently destitute of former helps, as it is 
written of Origen, that he was the first in a manner, 
that put his hand to write commentaries upon the 
Scriptures, and therefore no marvel if he overshot 
himself many times. I^one of these things : The 
work hath not been huddled up in seventy-two days, 
but hath cost the workmen, as light as it seemeth, the 
pains of twice seven times seventy-two days, and 
more. Matters of such weight and consequence are 
to be speeded with maturity: for in a business of 
moment a man feareth not the blame of convenient 
slackness. Neither did we think much to consult the 
translators or commentators, Chaldee, Hebrew, Syrian, 
Greek, or Latin; no, nor the Spanish, French, Italian, 
or Dutch ; neither did we disdain to revise that which 
we had done, and to bring back to the anvil that 
which we had hammered : but having and using as 
great helps as were needful, and fearing no reproach 
for slowness, nor coveting praise for expedition, we 
have at length, through the good hand of the Lord 
upon us, brought the work to that pass that you see. 
Some peradventure would have no variety of senses 


to be set in the margin, lest the authority of the Reasons 
Scriptures for deciding of controversies by that shew ™**g^J^|il^' 
of uncertainty should somewhat be shaken. But we versity of 
hold their judgment not to be so sound in this point, the mVr^ 
For though 'whatsoever tilings are necessary are mani- ?in, where 
fest, as St. Chrysostome saith ; and, as St. Augustine, ^^^^^ pj.^. 
in those things that are plainly set down in the Scrip- lability 
tures all such matters are found, that concern faith, Trdj/ra ri 
hope, and charity : Yet for all that it cannot be dis- avafKoia 
sembled, that partly to exercise and whet our wits, ^^^'*- 
partly to wean the curious from lothing of them for ini jhess. ' 
their every where plainness, partly also to stir up our '^"p- ^■ 
devotion to crave the assistance of God's Spirit by De doctr. 
prayer, and lastly, that we might be forward to seek ^^'***'- ^- ^• 
aid of our brethren by conference, and never scorn 
those that be not in all respects so complete as they 
should be, being to seek in many things, ourselves, it 
hath pleased God in his Divine Providence here and 
there to scatter words and sentences of that difficulty 
and doubtfulness, not in doctrinal points that concern 
salvation, (for in such it hath been vouched that the 
Scriptures are plain.) but in matters of less moment, 
that fearfulness would better beseem us than confidence, 
and if we will resolve, to resolve upon modesty with 
St. Augustine, (though not in this same case altogether, st. August 
vet upon the same ground,) Melius est duhifare de^^^-^- 
occidtis, quam litlgare de incertls : It is better to make lUer. cap. a. 
doubt of those things which are secret, than to strive 
about those things that are uncertain. There be many ^T^a^ \eyb- 
words in the Scriptures, which be never found there iJ-^va. 
but once, (having neither brother nor neighbour, as the 
HebreiDs speak,) so that we cannot be holpen by con- 
ference of places. Again, there be many rare names of 
certain birds, beasts, and precious stones, &c. concern- 


ing wliicli the Ilehrews themselves are so divided 
among themselves for judgment, that they may seem 
to have defined this or that, rather because they would 
say something, than because they were sure of that 
Eie>. in J- which they said, as St. Hierome somewhere saith of 
zek. cap. 3. ^^^ Septuagbit Now in such a case doth not a margin 
do well to admonish the Eeader to seek further, and 
not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremp- 
torily] For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt 
of those things that are evident; so to determine of 
such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the 
judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no 
St. Aug. 2. less than presumption. Therefore as St. Augustine 
^hrisf'^c 1 ®^^*^^j ^^^ variety of translations is profitable for the 
finding out of the sense of the Scriptures : so diversity 
of signification and sense in the margin, where the text 
is not so clear, must needs do good ; yea, is necessary, 
sixtus 5. as we are persuaded. We know that Sixtus Quintus 
'■«/. Bi . expressly forbiddeth that any variety of readings of 
their vulgar edition should be put in the margin; 
(which though it be not altogether the same thing to 
that we have in hand, yet it looketh that way ;) but 
we think he hath not all of his own side his favourers 
for this conceit. They that are wise had rather have 
their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than 
Plat, in to be captivated to one, when it may be the other. If 

^undo *^" ^^^^y ^^'^^^ ^^^® *^^^ ^^^^^ ^^n^ priest had all laws shut 
up in his breast, as Paul the Second bragged, and that 
he were as free from error by special privilege, as the 
dictators of Roine were made by law inviolable, it were 
another matter; then his word were an oracle, his 
hixoioTra^-fis opinion a decision. But the eyes of the world are now 
Tpwris 7 T7 ^pgj-j^ Qq^ )3g thanked, and have been a great while ; 
they find that he is subject to the same affections and 


infirmities that others be, that his body is subject to 
wounds ; and therefore so much as he proveth, not as 
much as he claimeth, they grant and embrace. 

Another thing we think good to admonish thee of, Reasons 
gentle Eeader, that we have not tied ourselves to an Jfg*^no™^ 
uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as stand curi- 
some peradventure would wish that we had done, an^dent.ty 
because they observe, that some learned men some- «* phrasing. 
Avhere have been as exact as they could that way. 
Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that 
which we had translated before, if the word signified 
the same thing in both places, (for there be some words iroXijarjixa. 
that be not of the same sense every where,) we were 
especially careful, and made a conscience, according to 
our duty. But that we should express the same notion 
in the same particular word ; as for example, if we 
translate the Hebrew or Greek word once by purpose, 
never to call it intent ; if one where Journeying, never 
travelling ; if one where think, never suppose ; if one 
where jj)rt/?2, never ache ; if one where joy, never glad- 
ness, &c. thus to mince the matter, we thought to 
savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather 
it would breed scorn in the atheist, than bring profit 
to the godly reader. For is the kingdom of God 
become words or syllables'? Why should we be in 
bondage to them, if we may be free % use one precisely, 
when we may use another no less fit as commodiously % 
A godly Father in the primitive time shewed himself Abed, 
greatly moved, that one of newfangledness called ^■^^^\l^ ^'^ 
KpalS/SaTov, a-KLixTTovs, though the difference be little or cap. 42. 
none ; and another reporteth, that he was much abused f^^yj^^' 
for turning cucurhita (to which reading the people had see st. Aug. 
been used) into hedera. Kow if this happen in better 
times, and upon so small occasions, we might justly 


fear hard censure, if generally we should make verbal 
and unnecessary changings. We might also be charged 
(by scoffers) with some unequal dealing towards a great 
number of good English words. For as it is written 
of a certain great Philosopher, that he should say, that 
those logs were happy that were made images to be 
worshipped ; for their fellows, as good as they, lay for 
blocks behind the fire : so if we should say, as it were, 
unto certain words. Stand up higher, have a place in 
the Bible always; and to others of like quality, Get 
you hence, be banished for ever; we might be taxed 
peradventure with St, James's words, namely, To he 
\eTrTo\(r,La.pcirtial in ourselves, and judges of evil thoughts. Add 
aooXeffxi-o- hereunto, that niceness in words was always counted 
Too-TTovSa- ^j^g ^^^^ g^ ^^ trifling; and so was to be curious 
..„^, about names too : also that we cannot lollow a better 

SeeEvseh. pattern for elocution than God himself; therefore he 
l[°^°^ex^'^ using divers words in his holy writ, and indifferently 
Plat. for one thing in nature : we, if we will not be super- 

stitious, may use the same liberty in our English 
versions out of Hebrew and Greek, for that copy or 
store that he hath given us. Lastly, we have on the 
one side avoided the scrupulosity of the Puritanes, 
who leave the old Ecclesiastical words, and betake 
them to other, as when they put washing for baptism, 
and congregation instead of Church : as also on the 
other side we have shunned the obscurity of the 
Papists, in their azymes, tunike, rational, holocausts, 
prepuce, pasche, and a number of such like, whereof 
their late translation is full, and that of purpose to 
darken the sense, that since they must needs translate 
the Bible, yet by the language thereof it may be kept 
from being understood. But we desire that the 
Scripture may speak like itself, as in the language of 


Canaan, that it may he understood even of the very- 

Many other things we might give thee warning of, 
gentle Eeader, if we had not exceeded the measure of a 
preface already. It remaiiieth that we commend thee 
to God, and to the Spirit of his grace, which is able to 
build further than we can ask or think. He removeth 
the scales from our eyes, the vail from our hearts, 
opening our wits that we may understand his word, 
enlarging our hearts, yea, correcting our affections, that 
we may love it above gold and silver, yea, that we 
may love it to the end. Ye are brought unto foun- Gen. 26. 15. 
tains of living water which ye digged not; do not 
cast earth into them, with the Philistines, neither 
prefer broken pits before them, with the wicked Jews. jer. 2. 13. 
Others have laboured, and you may enter into their 
labours. receive not so great things in vain : 
des^^ise not so great salvation. Be not like swine to 
tread under foot so precious things, neither yet like 
dogs to tear and abuse holy things. Say not to our 
Saviour with the Gergedtes, Depart out of our coasts ; Matt. 8. 35. 
neither with Esau sell your birthright for a mess of ■^®^- ^^- ^^' 
pottage. If light be come into the world, love not 
darkness more than light : if food, if clothing, be 
offered, go not naked, starve not yourselves. Remem- Kazianz. 
ber the advice of Nazianzene, It is a gi'ievous thing (or '^^P'-y-y 
dangerous) to neglect a great fair, and to seeh to malte ^.^^ ^av-n- 
markets afterwards : also the encouragement of St. yvptv -n-ap- 
Chrijsostome, It is altogether impossible, that he that is eX^eTu, koL 
sober (and watchful) should at any time be neglected : '^'n^i-KavTa 
lastly, the admonition and menancing of St. Augustine, T^iavem^Ti- 
They that despise God's will inviting them shall feel re'iv. 
God's will taldnq vengeance of them. It is a fearful ^*- (^^^""v^oft. 

-f 'f ^ in Epist. ad 

thing to fall into the hands of the living God ; but a Rom. c. 14. 


orat. 26. in blessed thing it is, and will bring us to everlasting 

ij^iK. Afiifi blessedness in the end, when God speaketh unto us, to 

xapov,(r<p - YiQSLTken : when he setteth his word before us, to read 

vo:'. i^ 'i when he stretcheth out his hand and calleth, to 

.>/. August, answer, Here am I, here we are to do thy will, God. 

nibifaho ob- The Lord work a care and conscience in us to know 

ject. Art. 16. ]y^^^ ^j^jj servc him, that we may be acknowledged of 

him at the appearing of our Lord JESUS CHEIST, 

to whom with the Holy Ghost be all praise and 

thanksgiviag. Amen. 



The twelve bishops who are mentioned as taking part with 
Archbishop Parker in this revision, are : 

William Alley, Bishop of Exeter. 

William Barlow, Bishop of Chichester. 

Thomas Bentham, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. 

Nicholas BuUingham, Bishop of Lincoln. 

Eichard Cox, Bishop of Ely. 

Eichard Davies, Bishop of St. Davids (Menevensis). 

Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London. 

Edmund Guest (or Geste), Bishop of Eochester. 

Eobert Home, Bishop of Winchester. 

John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich. 

Edwin Sandys, Bishop of Worcester. 

Edmund Scambler, Bishop of Peterborough. 

The other church dignitaries who are mentioned are : 

Andrew Pearson, Canon of Canterbury. 
Andrew Perne, Prebendary of Ely. 
Thomas Beacon, Prebendary of Canterbury. 
Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster. 

At the end of sixteen of the books are placed initials, which 
are evidently those of the revisers. These, with more or less of 
certainty, have been identified with names given in the above 
list.^ They are as follows, and in the following order : 

^ Strype, Life of Parker, b. iv. c. 20 ; Johnson, Historical Account, 
p. 87 ; Burnet, History of the Heformation, pai*t ii. book iii. p. 406, 
ed. 1681. 





W. E. 

Bishop of Exeter. 

2 Samuel 


Bishop of St. Davids. 

2 Chronicles 

E. W. 

Bishop of Worcester. 


A. P. 

C Andrew Pearson. 

Psalms 1 

T. B. 

Thomas Beacon. 


A. P. 

C Andrew Pearson. 


A. P. 

JE Andrew Perne. 



Bishop of Winchester. 


T. C.L. Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. 


E. L. 

Bishop of London. 


W. C. 

Bishop of Chichester. 

2 Maccabees 


Bishop of Norwich. 



Bishop of Ely. 



Bishop of Ely. 

1 Corinthians 


Gabriel Goodman. 

Erom a list of the revisers, enclosed in a letter from Parker 
to Cecil, dated October 5th, 1568, and now in the State Paper 
Office, we may further gather that the Catholic Epistles and the 
Apocalypse were revised by Bishop Bullingham, the Gospels of 
Luke and John by Bishop Scambler, and that the portions 
undertaken by Parker himself were Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, 
Mark, and the Epistles from 2 Corinthians to Hebrews inclusive.^ 

^ The Psalms were in the first instance assigned to Guest, Bishop of 
Rochester. It is probable that the Archbishop was dissatisfied with 
Guest's work, and on good grounds, for he despatched it very quickly, and 
forwarded it to the Archbishop with a letter, in which he thus sets forth 
his estimate of his duty as a translator : " I have not altered the Transla- 
tion but where it giveth occasion of an error. As in the first Psalm, at 
the beginning I turn the preterperfect tense into the present tense ; 
because the tense is too hard in the preterperfect tense. "Where in the 
New Testament one piece of a Psalm is reiDorted, I translate it in the 
Psalm according to the translation thereof in the New Testament, for the 
avoiding of the offence that may rise to the people upon diverse transla- 
tions." (Strype, Life of Parker, b. iii. c. 6 ; Parker Correspondence, 
Parker, sec. ed. p. 250.) 

2 Parker Correspondence, Parker, sec. ed. p. 335. 



In the collection of Records appended to the Second Part of 
Bishop Burnet's History of the Reformation of the Church of 
England, there is given a list of the Eevisers of 1611, copied, 
as the writer tells us,^ from the paper of Bishop Ravis himself, 
one of the number. The list is thus given : ^ 

Westminster (1). Mr. Dean of Westminster, Mr. Dean of 
Pauls, Mr. Doctor Saravia, Mr. Doctor Clark, Mr. Doctor 
Leifield, Mr. Doctor Teigh, Mr. Burleigh, Mr. King, Mr. 
Tompson, Mr. Beadwell. 

Cambridge (1). Mr. Livelye, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Chatterton, 
Mr. Dillingham, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Spalding, 
Mr. Burge. 

Oxford (1). Doctor Harding, Dr. Reynolds, Dr. Holland, Dr. 
Kilbye, Mr. Smith, Mr. Brett, Mr. Fairclough. 

Cambridge (2). Doctor Dewport, Dr. Branthwait, Dr. Radclife, 
Mr. Ward (Eman.), Mr. Downes, Mr. Boyes, Mr. Warde 

Oxford (2). Mr. Dean of Christchurch, Mr. Dean of Win- 
chester, Mr. Dean of Worcester, Mr. Dean of Windsor, 
Mr. Sairle, Dr. Perne, Dr. Ravens, Mr. Haviner.^ 

Westminster (2). Dean of Chester, Dr. Hutchinson, Dr. 
Spencer, Mr. Penton, Mr. Rabbet, Mr. Sanderson, Mr. 

^ Hist, of Eef, part ii. book iii. p. 406, ed. 1681. 
2 Collection of Records, part ii. book iii. number 10. 
' Probably a misprint for Harmer. 


Some difference of opinion has existed in reference to the 
date of this document. Its date is determined within com- 
paratively narrow limits by internal evidence. 

The writer, Dr. Eavis, describes himself as Dean of Christ 
Church; it must therefore have been written before March 19, 
1605, when he was consecrated Bishop of Gloucester. He also 
refers to the Dean of Worcester (Dr. Eedes), who died Novem- 
ber, 1604, and hence he may be assumed to have written before 
that date also. The difficulty is that he describes Dr. Barlow, 
who is known to have taken part in the work, as Dean of 
Chester, and it must therefore have been written after Barlow's 
appointment of this office. This appointment, as stated by 
Cardwell, took place in December, 1604 ;i but the correctness 
of that date is open to some doubt. ^ 

The names contained in the above given list have, with 
some few exceptions, been satisfactorily identified ; namely, as 
follows : 


Dr. Launcelot Andrews, Dean of Westminster.^ 

Dr. John Overall, Dean of St. Paul's.^ 

Dr. Adrian de Saravia. 

Dr. Eichard Clark, Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. 

Dr. John Layfield, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Dr. Eobert Tighe, Yicar of All Hallows, Barking. 

^ Cardwell, Documentary Annals, vol. ii. p. 110. 

2 Barlow was present at the Hampton Court Conference in January, 
1604, and all accounts describe him as then Dean of Chester ; and his 
narrative of the Conference, published in 1604, is described as "con- 
tracted by William Barlow, Doctor of Divinity, and Dean of Chester." 
Sir Peter Leycester, Hist. Antiq. of CJicshire, p. 169, states that Barlow 
was appointed Dean in 1603. 

' Bishop of Chichester, N^ovember 3rd, 1605 ; Bishop of Ely, 1609 ; 
Bishop of "Winchester, 1619. 

* Bishop of Lichfield, April, 1614 ; Bishop of ^N'orwich, 1618. 

THE REVISERS OF 1611. 239 

[Dr. Francis Burley, Fellow of King James's College, Chelsea.] 
Mr. Geoffry King, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. ^ 
Mr. Richard Thomson, Clare Hall, Cambridge. 
Mr. William Bedwell, Vicar of Tottenham. 


Mr. Edward Lively,^ Eegius Professor of Hebrew, Cambridge. 
Mr. John Eichardson,^ Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. 
Mr. Laurence Chaderton, Master of Emmanuel College, Cam- 
Mr. F. Dillingham, Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. 
Mr. Thomas Harrison, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 
Mr. Roger Andrews.^ 

Mr. Robert Spalding,^ Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. 
Mr. Andrew Byng, Fellow of Peter House. 


Dr. John Harding, Eegius Professor of Hebrew, and President 

of Magdalen. 
Dr. John Rainolds, President of Corpus Christi College. 
Dr. Thomas Holland,^ Regius Professor of Divinity. 
Dr. Richard Kilbye, Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford. 
Dr. ]Miles Smith, ^ Brasenose College, Oxford. 
Dr. Richard Brett, Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. 
Mr. Richard Fairclough, Fellow of Xew College, Oxford. 

^ Subsequently Regius Professor of Hebrew, Cambridge. 

2 Lively died May, 1605, and hence could not have taken any active 
part in the Revision. 

^ Afterwards d.d., and successively Master of Peterhouse and of Trinity 

* Succeeded Dr. Duport in the Mastership of Jesus College, Cambridge. 

5 Succeeded Mr. Lively as Regius Professor of Hebrew. 

6 Afterwards Rector of Exeter College, Oxford. 

7 Afterwards Bishop of Gloucester. 



Dr. John Duport, Master of Jesus College. 

Dr. William Branthwaite, Master of Caius College. 

Dr. Jeremiah Radclifife, Fellow of Trinity College. 

Mr. Samuel Ward, Fellow of Emmanuel College. ^ 

]\Ir. Andrew Downes, Eegius Professor of Greek. 

Mr. John Bois, Fellow of St. John's, and Rectot of Boxworth. 

Mr. Ward, FeUow of King's College.^ 


Dr. Thomas Ravis, Dean of Christ Church. ^ 

Dr. George Abbot, Dean of Winchester.* 

Dr. Richard Eedes, Dean of Worcester.* 

Dr. Giles Thomson, Dean of Windsor. 

Mr. Henry Saville,^ Warden of Merton and Provost of Eton. 

Dr. John Perin, Fellow of St. John's College. 

[Dr. Ralph Ravens, Fellow of St. John's College.] 

Dr. John Harmer, Regius Professor of Greek. 

To these, Wood, who does not mention the names of either 
Eedes or Ravens, in the list given in his History of the Uni- 

1 Master of Sidney College, January, 1609 ; Archdeacon of Taunton, 
1615 ; Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge, 1620 ; Lady Margaret Professor of 
Divinity, 1621. 

2 Afterwards D.D., Prebendary of Chichester, and Rector of Bishop's 
Waltham, Hants. 

3 Bishop of Gloucester, March 19th, 1605 ; Bishop of London, May 
18th, 1607. 

4 Bishop of Lichfiekl and Coventry, 1609 ; Bishop of London, 1610. 

^ Died November, 1604, and hence coukl have taken no part in the 
work of the Company. His name is not mentioned by Wood in the list 
given in Hist, et Antiq. Univ. Oxon., i. p. 311, ed. 1674. 

^ Knighted at Windsor, September 21st, 1604. 

THE REVISERS OF 1611. 241 

versity of Oxford^ adds the following two ; they were probably 
appointed to take the places of some removed by death : 

Dr. John Aglionby/ Principal of Edmunds Hall. 
Dr. Leonard Hntten,- Canon of Christ Church. 


Dr. William Barlow, Dean of Chester. 

Dr. Hutchinson. (?) 

Dr. John Spenser, Chaplain to King James.^ 

Mr. Roger Fenton, Pembroke Hall, Oxford. 

[Mr. Michael Rabbett, Rector of St. Vedast, Foster Lane.] 

[Mr. Thomas Sanderson, Rector of All Hallows] 

Mr. William Dakins, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

^ Wood, Athcncc Oxoniensis, i. 355. 

2 Ibid, i. 570. 
* ^ Subsequently, on the death of Rainokls, President of Corpus Cliristi 
College. Dr. Westcott, History of English Bible, sec. ed. p. 117, and 
Dr. MouLTOX, History of English Bible, p. 196, both have Dr. T. 
Spencer, but his name, as inscribed on the monument in the Chapel of 
Corpus Christi College, is.IOHANNES SPEK'SER, and is so given by 


Dean Stanley (Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, p. 440) 
states generally that the Assembly of Divines removed from Henry YII.'s 
Chapel to the Jerusalem Chamber at the end of September. The exact 
date is, as stated in the text, October 2nd. In the Minutes of the Sessions 
of the Assembly, preserved in Dr. Williams's Library, there occurs at the 
close of the sixty-fifth session the entry, "Adjourned to the Hierusalem 
Chamber on Monday, at ten o'clock," and the following session, the sixty- 
sixth, is dated Monday, October 2nd. The permission to adjourn to the 
Jerusalem Chamber from Heniy YII.'s Chapel, "on account of the cold- 
ness of the said chapel," was granted by Parliament on September 21st, 



Abbot, Dr. Ezra, 115 
iElfric's Heptateuch, 12, 13 
Aiken, Dr. C. A., 115 
Ainswortli, H., his Cominentaries, 

Aldhehn, Bishop of Sherborne, 11 
Alexander, Dr. W. L., 109. 
Alexandrine Manuscript, 83 
Alford, Dean, 104, 107, 110, 112, 

Alfred, King, 12 
Allen, Archdeacon, 107 
Andrews, Dr. Launcelot, 41 
Anglo-Saxon Gospel, 12 
Angus, Dr. Jos., 110, 125 
Authorized Version, tirst suggestion 

of, 40 

ordered by King James, 41 

a revision, not a translation, 

rules followed by the revisers, 


misprints in, 54 

obsolete words in, 57-59 

imperfect renderings of, 62 

preface to, 199 , 

list of its revisors, 237 


Bancroft, Archbishop, 41, 45 

Barrow, Dr. John, 104 

Bede, 11 

Benslej^, Mr. R. K, 111 

Bentley, Dr. Richard, his proposals 
for revised texts of the Greek 
New Testament and of the Vul- 
gate, 100 

Beza's Codex, 83 

Beza, Theodore, his edition of tlie 
Greek 'New Testament, 84, 86. 

Biber, Dr. G. F., 103 

Bible, earliest form of, 4 

Authorized Version of, 39 

Bishops', 30, 37, 39 

Coverdale's, 18, 36 

Douai, 33, 38 

Genevan, 26, 37, 39 

Great, 21, 36 

Matthew's, 20 

Purvey 's, 15, 36 

Taverner's, 22 

Wycliffe's, 13, 14, 35 

Biekersteth, Dean, 107, 110, 125 

Bilson, Bishop, 49 

Birrell, Rev. J., Ill 

Bishops' Bible, 30, 37, 39 



Bishops' Bible, preface thereto, 


translators of, 235 

Blakesley, Dean, I06n, 107, 110, 

Bodley, John, bears the expenses 

of the Genevan Bible, SOn 
Bois, John, 46, 49 
Broughton, Hugh, 92 
BrowTi, Dr. David, 112, 125 
Browne, Dr. E. H. (Bishop of 

Winchester), IO671, 107, 109 



Chambers, Dr. T. AV. 
Chance, Dr. F., Ill 
Chenery, Professor, 109 
Cheyne, Rev. T. K., Ill 
Claromontane Manuscript, 83 
Clergymen, Five, their revision of 

the Gospel of John, 104 
Collation of Manuscripts, 82 
Complutensian Polyglot, 84 
Conant, Dr. T. J., 114 
Coverdale, first edition of his Bible, 

his Prologue thereto, 160 

prepares the Great Bible, 21 

issues a second and other edi- 
tions of the Great Bible, 23 

a refugee at Geneva, 27 

Cranmer, his opinion of Matthew's 
Bible, 20n 

his Prologue to the second 

edition of the Great Bible, 23 
Cromwell, Thomas, patron of Cover- 
dale, 18 

promotes the preparation of 

the Great Bible, 23 
Crooks, Dr. G. R., 115, 116 

Davidson, Dr. A. B., 109 
Davies, Dr. B., 109 
Day, Dr. G. E., 114 
De Witt, Dr. J., 114 
Dort, Synod of, 44, 49 
Douglas, Dr. G., Ill 
Downes, A., 49 
Driver, Mr. S. R., Ill 


Eadie, Dr. J., 110, 112 
Ellicott, Bishop, 104, 105, 110, 125 
Elliott, Rev. C. J., 112 
Ephraem Codex, 83 
Erasmus, his editions of the Grt?lv^ 
New Testament, 85 

Fairbairn, Dr. P., 109 
Field, Dr. F., 109 


Geddes, Dr. A., his projected trans- 
lation of the Bible, 98 

Geden, Professor, 112 

Gell, R., his essay upon the amend- 
ment of the Authorized Version, 

Genevan Bible, 26-30, 37 

popularity of, 32, 52 

preface to, 172 

Genevan Psalter, 27 

Genevan New Testament, 28, 29 

Ginsburg, Dr., 109 

Gotch, Dr. F. W., 109 

Green, Dr. W. H., 114 

Gutenberg Bible, 17^1 

Guthlac of Croyland, 11, 12 




Hackett, Dr. H. B., 115, 116 
Hadley, Dr. J., 115, 116 
Hampton Court Conference, 40 
Harding, Dr. J., 41 
Hare, Dr. G. E., 114 
Harrison, Archdeacon, 109 
Harwood, E., his translation of the 

New Testament, 97?i 
Hereford, Nicholas de, 14 
Hervey, Bishop, 107 
Heywood, James, his motion in the 

House of Commons for a new 

revision, 103 
Hodge, Dr. C, 115, 116 
Holbein, his design for title-page of 

Great Bible, 22n 
Hort, Dr. F. J. A., 110, 120, 125 
Humphry, Prebendary, 104, 110, 


Itala, The, 9 



Jebb, Dr. J., 106/i, 107, 109 
Jerome, revises the old Latin ver- 
sion, 9 

translates Old Testament, 9 

Jerusalem Chamber, 117, 127, 242 
Jessey, Henry, his attempted re- 
vision of Authorized Version, 95 
Johnson, Anthony, his Historical 
Account, 27n 

Kay, Dr. W., 106n, 107, 109 
Kendrick, Dr. A. C, 115 
Kennedy, Canon, 110, 125 
Kennicott, Dr. B., 100 
Kilbie, Dr. R., 47 
Krauth, Dr. C. P., 115 


Latin Versions, 8, 9 

Lawrence, T., his notes of errors in 
the Bishops' Bible, 32 

Leathes, Dr. S., 109 

Lee, Archdeacon, 110, 125 

Lee, Dr. A., 115 

Lewis, Dr. T., 115 

Lewis, John, his History of the 
English Bible, 41, 49?i 

Lightfoot, Dr. J., urges upon Par- 
liament the revision of the Eng- 
lish Bible, 92 

Lightfoot, Dr. J. B. (Bishop of 
Durham), 101, 110, 125 

Lindisfarne Gospels, 12n 

Lively, Ed., 41 

Lumby, Rev. J. R., 112 

Lyra, Nicholas de, 17 

Mace, "W., his Greek and English 

New Testament, 96 
Marsh, Bishop, on the Authorized 

Version, 102 
Manuscripts of the New Testament, 

Mazarin Bible, l7n 
McGill, Professor, 109 
Mead, Dr. C. M., 115 
Merivale, Dean, 112, 125 
Mill, Dr. J., 99 
Milligan, Dr. W., 110, 125 
Moberly, Bishop, 104, 110, 125 
Moulton, Dr. W. F., Ill, 125 
Miinster, Sebastian, 22, 31 

Newcome, Archbishop, his revised 

New Testament, 98 
Newth, Dr., Ill, 125 




Ollivant, Bishop, 105, 106/i, 107, 

Onnulum, The, 13 
Osgood, Dr. H., 115 


Packard, Dr. J., 115 

Pagniims, his Latin translation, 19, 


Palmer, Archdeacon, 112, 125 

Parker, Archbishop, superintends 
the preparation of the Bishops' 

• Bible, 30-32 

his letter to Cecil, 30?^ 

Payne Smith, Dean, 110 

Penn, Grenville, his revised text 
and translation of New Testa- 
ment, 99 

Perowne, Dean, 110 

Plumptre, Dr. E. H., 110 

Printed Bible, the first, 17 

Printing, invention of, 17 

Psalter, Genevan, 27 

Guthlac's, 11?? 

Prayer Book, 9n, 39 

■ Rolle's, 13 

Schorham's, 13 

Purver, A., his translation of the 
Bible, 97 

Purvey, John, Wycliffe's friend and 
fellow-labourer, 15 

Quotations in early Christian Writ- 
ings, 87-89 

Eainolds, Dr. J,, moves for a new 
revision, 40 

Rainolds, Dr. J., appointed one of 
King James's revisers, 47 

— — works at the revision on his 
death-bed, 47 

Revisers, the American, 114, 116 

of 1568, 235 

of 1611, 237 

of 1881, 109-112 

Riddle, Dr. M. B., 115 

Roberts, Dr. A., Ill 

Rogers, John, the probable editor 
of Matthew's Bible, 20 

Rolle, Richard, 13 

Rose, Archdeacon, 106n, 107, 110 

Rossi, J. B. de, 100 

Sayce, Rev. A. H., 112 
Schaff, Dr. Philip, 114, 115 
Scholefield, Professor, on an im- 
proved translation of the New 
Testament, 102 
Schorham, W. de, 13 
Scott, Dean, 111, 125 
Scribes, primary function of, 3 
Scrivener, Dr. F. H., 56, 100, 111, 

120, 125 
Selwyn, Canon, 103, 107, 110 
Septuagint Version, 6 
Short, Dr. C, 115 
Sinaitic Manuscript, 82 
Smith, Dr. G. Vance, 111, 125 
Smith, Dr. H. B., 115, 116 
Smith, Dr. J. Pye, his testimony 

in favour of revision, 101 
Smith, Dr. Miles, 47, 49 
Smith, Professor, W. R., 112 
Stanley, Dean, 107, 111, 125 
Stephen, Robert, his editions of the 

Greek Ncav Testament, 85 
Stephen, Henry, 86n 



Stowe, Dr. C. E., 115 
Strong, Dr. J., 115 
Syriac Version, 8, 87 

Taverner, John, Tin 
Taverner, Richard, 22 
Testament, New, Genevan, 28 

Rheims, 33 

Tyndale's, 18 

Whittingham's, 25 

See " Bible " 

Thayer, Dr. J. H., 115 
Tliirhvall, Bishop, 105, 106, 110 
Tischendorf, Dr. C, 100 
Transcription, errors of, 3 
Tregelles, Dr. S. P., 100, 109?i 
Trench, Archbishop, 111, 125 
Tyndale, W., his translations, 18 
his Prologue to New Testa- 
ment, 137 

his Epistle to the Reader, 152 

his Preface to the Pentateuch, 


Ussher, A., his revised version, 9-4?i 


Vatican Manuscript, 83 
Van Dyke, Dr. C. V. A., 115 
Vaughan, Dean, 111, 125 
Version, iEthiopic, 87 

Annenian, 87 

Gothic, 87 

Italic, 8 

Memphitic, 87 

Old Latin, 8 

Septuagint, 6 

Version, Syriac, 8 

Thebaic, 87 

Vulgate, 9 

Wakefield, G., his translation of 

the New Testament, 98 
"Walker, Anthony, his Life of Bois, 

46w, 49?t 
Walton's Polyglot, 99 
Ward, Dr. S., iin 
Ward, T., his Errata to the Protes- 
tant Bible, 33u, 93 
Warren, Dr. W. F., 115, 116 
Weir, Dr. D. H., 112 
Wemyss, T., his Reasons in favour 

of a new translation, 102 
Westcott, Canon, 22;i, 41n, 111, 125 
Whittiugham's New Testament, 25 
his version and the Genevan 

compared, 28, 29 
Wicked Bible, 54?i 
Wilberforce, Bishop, 105, 106, 111, 

Woolsey, Dr. T. D., 115 
Wordsworth, Dr. Christopher 

(Bishop of Lincoln), 107, ]10 
Wordsworth, Dr. Charles (Bishop 

of St. Andrews), 112, 125 
Worsley, J., his translation of the 

New Testament, 97 
Wright, Dr. W., 109n, 112 
Wright, Mr. W. A., 110, 113 
Wyclitfe, John, 13, 14 

his Bible, 16, 35 

preface to his Bible, 129 

Zurich Bible, 19 

W. Brendan and Son, Plymouth. 


Date Due 



y t <990