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(From a Geneva Bible in the author's library) 

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Philadelphia, Pa. 





















Many excellent books have been written on Bible his- 
tory. Some have dealt with manuscripts only, others with 
the English versions; some have given more details of the 
external history, others the internal structure and changes; 
some are written mainly for the scholar, others for the 
general reader. A few contain illustrations of persons, 
places, manuscripts, and versions, but many of the most 
useful are not illustrated. Some of the most valuable are 
now out of print. It therefore seemed good to the writer 
of this book to given an outline of the whole story of Bible 
production and transmission from the original manuscripts 
to the latest revisions, and to add thereto a plentiful supply 
of illustrations, because they help materially to a proper 
appreciation of the wonderful story. 

To a work of this kind the saying of the wise man, 
that there is nothing new under the sun, seems specially 
applicable. It is possible only to present, in a somewhat 
new form, facts which are old and which have been pre- 
sented many times before. The author is indebted to the 
excellent works listed in the Bibliography for the main 
facts; but, in addition, he has had the opportunity to 
examine copies of the first editions of every version from 
Tindale's to the Revised, and the dedications, prefaces, and 
prologues have in most instances been taken verbatim et 
literatim from those originals. A number of the title-pages 
have been specially photographed. For this privilege 
thanks are due to the Librarian of the New York Public 
Library and his courteous assistants. To the Directors of 


viii The Book of Books 

the British Museum, London, and the Bibhotheque Na- 
tionale, Paris, the author is indebted for some photographs 
specially taken for this volume; to the John C. Winston 
Company, Philadelphia, Thomas Nelson and Sons, New York, 
and the Religious Tract Society, London, for illustra- 
tions from their publications; to the University of Chicago 
Press for the use of illustrations from The Biblical World; 
to the Rector of Lutterworth and the Rector of Little 
Sodbury for the excellent photographs in the chapters 
on Wiclif and Tindale; to the Bishop of Hereford for the 
picture of the chained library; to the American Bible 
Society and the British and Foreign Bible Society for several 
illustrations and some statements of eminent persons; to 
Mr. Charles H. Clarke, Miss A. M. Smith, Mr. Charles J. 
Cohen, and the Evening Bulletin for the use of plates; 
to the Bishop of Worcester, the Dean of Westminster, Miss 
Perowne, and Miss Troutbeck, all of England; the presi- 
dents, secretaries, and Hbrarians of Yale, Harvard, and New 
York Universities, Hartford, Andover, New Brunswick, 
Princeton, and Western Theological Seminaries, and Union 
and Haverford Colleges; and many relatives of the late 
American Revisers, for their uniform courtesy and cordial 
assistance in securing photographs. Sincere thanks are here 
given to all. 

The names of the early translators were spelled variously 
— for example, WicUf's name has been spelled in twenty- 
eight different ways. The following have been adopted in 
this book after much careful consideration: John Wiclif, 
William Tindale, and Myles Coverdale. As regards the 
reproduction of dedications, prefaces, and prologues, they 
are given in full because they contain important details 
concerning the work and interesting dissertations on the 
contents of the Bible and their application to the times. 
The quaint spelling and phraseology have been retained in 

The Book of Books ix 

most instances, because, as Dore says, "to modernise the 
orthography is to destroy one of the charms of these old 
Bibles, and seems to me to be in a bad taste as attempting 
to improve their quaint diction." A little practice will 
enable anyone to read them with ease. The u's are often 
put for v's and v's for u's, and an accent is put over a letter 
(usually a vowel) to denote the omission of a letter after- 
ward (usually "n" or "m"), as "tio" for "tion," the object 
being to save space in a full line. The spelling is so varied 
that three or more forms of the same word may be met 
with in as many lines. The language was in process of 
fixation, and it took a long time — and even today we are 
afflicted with "standard," "simplified," and other varieties 
of spelling. 

With a consciousness that the work is not without fault, 
and with a hope that the readers may derive as much 
pleasure in perusing as the author had had in compiling, 
this volume is now sent forth to Bible-loving Christians 
irrespective of creed or denominational affiliation. 

John W. Lea 

1520 N. Robinson Street 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

August I, 1922 



I. Introduction i 

II. The Popularity of the Bible 17 

III. The Testimony of Eminent Persons to the 

Value of the Bible in the Life of the 

Individual and the Nation 26 

IV. Chronological Table and Maps. 53 

V. Ancient Writing and the Bible Manu- 
scripts 58 

VI. Ancient Versions and Quotations 91 

VII. Early English Paraphrases and Versions 100 
VIII. John Wiclif and the First English Bible 105 
IX. Three Great Developments: The Re- 
naissance, THE Reformation, the In- 
vention of Printing 116 

X. William Tindale and the First Printed 

English New Testament 134 

XI. Myles Coverdale and the First Printed 

English Bible 174 

XII. Matthew's Bible and Taverner's Bible. 196 

XIII. The Great Bible and Cranmer's Bible.. 211 

XIV. The Geneva Bible 219 

XV. The Bishops' Bible 235 

XVI. The Rheims New Testament and the 

DouAY Old Testament 240 

XVII. The Authorized Version 244 

XVIII. The Revised Versions 278 

XIX. Conclusion 340 

XX. Bibliography 343 



The Garden of Eden Frontispiece 

Bible House, New York i6 

Huxley, T H 25 

Penniman, J. H 25 

Farrar, F. W 27 

Presidents of the United States (George Washington, John 
Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Andrew 

Jackson, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln) 34 

Presidents of the United States (Ulysses Simpson Grant, 

Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley) 36 

President Roosevelt's Bible 38 

Presidents of the United States (Theodore Roosevelt, Wood- 
row Wilson) 38 

President Warren G. Harding 42 

Map of Bible Lands 52 

Map of England and Wales 57 

Egyptian Hieroglyphics 59 

The Rosetta Stone 60 

The Stele of Hammurabi 61 

Cylinder of Cyrus H 62 

A Cuneiform Inscription 63 

A Tel el-Amarna Tablet 64 

The Papyrus Reed 65 

A Papyrus Fragment 66 

Papyrus Documents 67 

The Moabite Stone 68 

Portion of a Hebrew Manuscript 7° 

A Modern Pentateuch Roll 71 

A Megillah or Book of Esther, and a Small Torah, or Book of 

the Law 73 

The Old Illuminator 74 

Convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai 80 

A Page of the Sinaitic Manuscript 82 

- Main Hall of the Vatican Library 84 

A Page of the Vatican Manuscript 85 

A Volume of the Alexandrian Manuscript 86 

A Page from the Alexandrian Manuscript 87 

A Page of the Ephraem Palimpsest 89 

The Samaritan Pentateuch • 90 

Part of the Samaritan Pentateuch 92 

Ancient Rolls and Container 93 


xiv The Book of Books 


Fragment of Septuagint Psalter 94 

Portion of Jerome's Vulgate 96 

Portion of a Syriac Manuscript 98 

Portion of a Coptic Manuscript 99 

John Wiclif 104 

Lutterworth Church 108 

A Page of Wiclif's Bible iii 

The River Swift. 113 

Wiclif Tablet in Lutterworth Church 114 

A Page of the Biblia Pauperum 117 

Gutenberg Statue at Strasburg 118 

Gutenberg Taking an Impression 120 

An Old Wooden Printing Press 121 

A Modern Newspaper Press 122 

Martin Luther 124 

A Page of the Gutenberg Bible 126 

A Page of the Complutensian Polyglot 128 

Dr. Tregelles and Dr. Tischendorf 131 

Dr. Westcott, Bishop of Durham 132 

William Tindale 135 

The Tindale Memorial at North Nibley 136 

Little Sodbury Manor House 137 

Ruins of Tindale's Church 138 

St. Adehne's Church, Little Sodbury 139 

Interior of St. Adeline's Church 140 

How the People Received the English Bible 144 

How the Clergy Received the English Bible 145 

Facsimiles from the Grenville Fragment 147, 148, 150, 152 

Facsimile Page of Tindale's Octavo Testament, 1525 162 

Title-page of Tindale's 1534 Testament 170 

Vilvorde Castle 173 

Myles Coverdale 175 

Title-page of Coverdale's Bible 177 

A Page of Coverdale's Bible 193 

John Rogers 197 

Thomas Cromwell 198 

Title-page of Matthew's Bible 200 

Title-page of Taverner's Bible 208 

Title-page of the Great Bible 213 

A Chained Library 215 

Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury 216 

Title-page of New Testament in Geneva Bible, i860 224 

The Bishops' Bible Title-page 234 

Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury 236 

A Page of the Bishops' Bible 238 

A Chained Bible 243 

Title-page of the Authorized Version, 161 1 248 

A Page of the Authorized Version, 161 1 250 

The Book of Books xv 


Title-page of a Modern Edition of the Authorized Version. . . 252 

The Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster Abbey 277 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (Bishops Ollivant, 

Thirlwall, Hervey, and Browne) 280 

Three English Revisers of the Old Testament (Bishop Chris- 
topher Wordsworth, W. L. Alexander, and R. L. Bensly) 282 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (John Birrell, 

Thomas Chenery, A. B. Davidson, and Benjamin Davies) 284 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (G. C. M. 

Douglas, S. R. Driver, C. J. Elliott, and Frederick Field) 286 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (J. D. Geden, 

Benjamin Harrison, C. D. Ginsburg, and F. W. Gotch). . 288 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (William Kay, 

Stanley Leathes, J. R. Lumby, and J. J. S. Perowne) . . . 290 

Four English Revisers of the Old Testament (E. H. Plumptre, 

William Selwyn, R. P. Smith, and A. H. Sayce) 292 

Three English Revisers of the Old Testament (W. A. Wright, 

W. R. Smith, and D. H. Weir) 294 

Three English Revisers of the New Testament (Henry Alford, 

Bishop Wilberforce, and John Troutbeck) 296 

Twenty English Revisers of the New Testament (Bishops 
Ellicott, Moberly, and Lightfoot, A. P. Stanley, Robert 
Scott, J. W. Blakesley, E. Bickersteth, Archbishop 
Trench, Bishop Charles Wordsworth, Joseph Angus, 
David Brown, John Eadie, F. J. A. Hort, W. C. Hum- 
phry, B. H. Kennedy, William Lee, William Milligan, 
W. F. Moulton, Samuel Newth, and Edwin Palmer) .... 298 

Four English Revisers of the New Testament (Alexander 
Roberts, G. V. Smith, F. H. A. Scrivener, and C. J. 
Vaughan) 300 

Four American Revisers of the Old Testament (C. A. Aiken, 

T. W. Chambers, G. E. Day, and T J. Conant) 314 

Four American Revisers of the Old Testament (John De Witt, 

W. H. Green, G. E. Hare, and C. P. Krauth) 316 

Four American Revisers of the Old Testament (C. E. Stowe, 

Tayler Lewis, Joseph Packard, and C. M. Mead) 318 

Van Dyck, C. V. A 319 

Four American Revisers of the New Testament (Ezra Abbot, 

Thomas Chase, Howard Crosby, and Timothy Dwight) . 320 

Four American Revisersof the New Testament (H. B. Hackett, 

A. C. Kendrick, Charles Hodge, and James Hadley) . . . 322 

Four American Revisers of the New Testament (Bishop Lee, 

H. B. Smith, T D. Woolsey, W. F. Warren) 324 

Three American Revisers of the New Testament (M. B. Riddle, 

PhiHp Schaff, and J. H. Thayer) . 326 

Title-page of the English Revised Version 328 

Title-page of the American Standard Revised Version 329 

The Jewish Revisers 332 


Holy Bible, Book Divine, 
Precious treasure, thou art mine: 
Mine to tell me what I am. 
Mine to tell me whence I came, 
Mine to tell of joys to come. 
Light and life beyond the tomb. 




THE foundation upon which Christendom is based is that 
the Bible is true, that it is God's revelation to man 
concerning matters which are of supreme importance in 
relation to human destiny, and that it is the only reliable 
source of information in this respect. It is not our present 
purpose to demonstrate the existence of God, important as 
that is stated to be by the writer of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, who declares that ''without faith it is impossible 
to be well-pleasing unto Him; for he that cometh to God 
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them 
that seek after Him." It is assumed that those who read 
these pages admit the existence of God and are satisfied 
that Nature renders abundant testimony to His majesty 
and power. 

Nor are we particularly concerned at present with 
demonstrating the genuineness or authenticity of the com- 
positions that make up the Bible. We assume a recognition 
that they are the writings of those who claim to be their 
authors, or for whom such claim has been made by individual 
Christians or ecclesiastical organizations for generations past. 
The discussions as to text and substance belong to a branch 
of study separate and distinct from that which is about to 
engage our attention. Our object is, recognizing the exist- 
ence of God and the genuineness of the Scriptures as a reve- 
lation from Him through His accredited messengers, to trace 
the wonderful history of those Scriptures from their origin 
in the far-distant past to the form in which we possess them 


2 The Book of Books 

Again, it is not our intention here to discuss the teach- 
ing of the Bible, except in a general way. We do not intend 
to discuss the theological dogmas which have been such 
fruitful sources of controversy within the churches ever since 
the days of the apostles, but our considerations in this regard 
will be limited to a general view of the nature and structure 
of the Bible and its value in the lives of individuals and 
nations, along with a simple account of the wonderful story 
of its transmission. We wish to arouse a right appreciation 
of the Holy Writings, with an intelligent understanding of 
their general message to humanity. 

The Epistle to the Hebrews commences with the decla- 
ration: "God having of old time spoken unto the fathers 
in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, 
hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in a Son." 
God hath spoken! The voice of Nature has not been left 
alone to tell of God's existence, but He has directly revealed 
Himself to individuals of our race, and it is the record of 
His varied revelation which is known to us today as the 
Bible. At times God spake with an audible voice, as when 
He gave to Moses, at Mount Sinai, the code of laws by which 
Israel, as a nation, was to be governed, and the instructions 
concerning the erection of a tabernacle in which He might 
hold communion with men. A portion of the people, the 
priesthood, was separated to participate in this close com- 
munion with God, the priests alone being permitted to enter 
the holy place where God promised to meet His people, and 
the high-priest alone entering the holiest of all once a year. 
Thus did God reveal Himself during the existence of Israel 
as a nation, and by the oracle of Urim and Thummim on 
the breastplate of the high-priest He answered the inquiries 
of His people. On some occasions God made known His 
purposes through dreams, as when He caused King Nebu- 
chadnezzar to dream of that wonderful metallic image which 
symbolized the destiny of the principal nations of the world 
for a period of more than two thousand years. Many 
prophets were commissioned to bear messages from God to 
the children of Israel, and in some instances angels have 
appeared to men and brought tidings from the God of 
heaven. Lastly, God revealed Himself in a Son, the Lord 

Introduction 3 

Jesus Christ, the transcending revelation of Himself, in 
whom He has given to mankind an expression of His own 
attributes, and whom He has constituted a glorious pattern 
of what He purposes that all who will may become. Jesus 
is the perfect revelation of God to man — as He said on one 
occasion, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." 

The record of these divine revelations has been made 
by men who wrote by inspiration of God. "Men spake 
from God," said Peter, "being moved by the Holy Spirit," 
and their utterances and their writings have been preserved 
by divine providence, so that we, in these late days, when 
no open vision is beheld, when no audible voice is heard 
from heaven, when no accredited divine messenger is in our 
midst, may rest our confidence in God upon a belief of those 
things which He did in the days of old. 

The Bible consists of sixty-six distinct sections written 
by almost as many writers, who lived in countries and at 
periods often far apart — the earliest being probably the first 
five books usually understood to have been written by 
Moses more than three thousand years ago, and the latest 
the Revelation given to John in Patmos over eighteen hun- 
dred years ago — a period of about fifteen hundred years 
intervening. The writers include persons from all ranks of 
society, from the king to the captive and the peasant. Many 
of the psalms in Israel's marvelous collection of national 
songs of praise were the work of the sweet singer of Israel, 
David the king, and the Book of Proverbs contains the wise 
sayings of his son and successor, Solomon. Some of the 
prophecies were written by Ezekiel in exile on the banks of 
the river Chebar, in Assyria, and by Daniel, a captive prince 
at the court of the king of Babylon. Jeremiah and Ezekiel 
were of the priestly order. Amos was a herdsman when 
called to be the Lord's prophet. Saul of Tarsus, afterward 
called Paul, was a lawyer of high distinction, a Pharisee of 
the Pharisees. Peter and John were humble fishermen. 
Matthew belonged to the despised taxgatherers. Luke is 
spoken of as the beloved physician. Men of all ranks and 
stations in life were commissioned to be bearers of the divine 
message to mankind. And yet, with such diversity of 
authorship, and so wide a range of time, the result is a collec- 

4 The Book of Books 

tion of writings which unite in presenting varied details of 
one divine message. There is but one conclusion to be drawn 
from so wonderful a fact — that behind these various writers, 
and through all the fifteen centuries, there was a guiding 
and controUing power exercised by God, which secured the 
uniformity and the accuracy of the testimony. The inspira- 
tion of God can alone account for the presentation of so 
harmonious a revelation by such diversified means. As one 
of our poets has asked: 

Whence but from heaven could men, unskilled in arts, 
In different ages born, in different parts, 
Weave such agreeing truths, or how, or why 
Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie? 
Unasked their pains, ungrateful their advice, 
Starving their gains, and martyrdom their price. 

In a little pamphlet on the inspiration of the Bible 
H. L. Hastings supposes a picture drawn by a number of 
different artists, unknown to each other, who each entered 
the room and, without conference with the others, painted 
in turn a portion on the canvas, with the result that the 
complete picture was a wonderful expression of a single and 
perfect idea. What conclusion could be come to in regard 
to the painting? None but that all had received their 
inspiration from the same original source though unac- 
quainted one with another. 

The Bible reveals God to man. It corroborates the 
testimony of Nature as to His majesty and power, and, in 
addition, makes known His wisdom and His love. It reveals 
Him as the Creator and Sustainer of all things animate, 
for in Him "all live and move and have their being." It 
reveals Him as the Eternal and the Source of all light and 
life; as omnipresent, filling all space and working His 
will by His Spirit; as omniscient, knowing all things and 
foreseeing the end of all His works from the beginning; 
as omnipotent, working all things according to His own 
wise counsels. It reveals man, on the other hand, as weak, 
frail, and mortal, the head of all animate creation, but of 
the same perishing nature with the rest. Beyond this, it 
opens up to mankind a glorious possibility of attaining to 
the divine nature, setting forth the conditions which the 

Introduction 5 

Almighty has laid down, upon the observance of which He 
will ultimately raise the faithful among the sons of men to 
His own unending being. It offers to men salvation from 
sin and death, through Jesus Christ — the Way, the Truth, 
the Life. "In none other is there salvation, for neither is 
there any other name under heaven that is given among 
men, wherein we must be saved." 

There are many persons who consider themselves good 
Christians, but who disregard entirely, or almost entirely, 
the Old Testament Scriptures, declaring them to have been 
fulfilled and that the New Testament has now superseded 
them as a saving power. Let such bear in mind that it was 
to the Old Testament Scriptures the apostle Paul referred 
when he wrote to Timothy: "Evil men and impostors shall 
wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But 
abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast 
been assured of; knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 
and that from a babe thou hast known the Sacred Writings 
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through 
faith which is in Jesus Christ. Every Scripture is inspired 
of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correc- 
tion, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man 
of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every 
good work." It was to the same Old Testament Scriptures 
that Jesus referred in the closing words of the parable of the 
Rich Man and Lazarus: "If they hear not Moses and the 
prophets, neither will they be persuaded if one rose from the 
dead"; and when He rebuked the unbelieving Jews: "Ye 
search the Scriptures, because ye think that in them ye have 
eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me; 
and ye will not come to Me, that ye may have life. . . . 
Think not that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one 
that accuseth you, even Moses, on whom ye have set your 
hope. For if ye believed Moses ye would believe My words." 
It was of the Old Testament that Paul wrote to the Roman 
believers: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime 
were written for our learning, that through patience and 
through comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope." 
And again he referred to the Old Testament when he declared 
before King Agrippa: "Having therefore obtained the help 

6 The Book of Books 

that is from God, I stand unto this day testifying both to 
small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and 
Moses did say should come." Therefore whatever the New 
Testament may contain, it cannot be in contradiction to the 
Old, but can only serve to amplify its teaching or indicate 
more particularly the method by which its promises are to 
become facts. 

Emphasis must be laid upon the fact that the Bible is 
the only reliable source of information upon matters per- 
taining to human destiny. The apostle Peter's exhortation 
is applicable in this respect, that if any man speak he should 
do it "as it were oracles of God." It is asserted by some 
that the voice of "the church" is of more value than the 
Word itself, and that it is impossible to understand the 
Bible apart from the guidance of popes, cardinals, bishops, 
and councils. It was by its blasphemous claims that this 
"church" kept the Word of God from the people of England 
for many centuries, and it endeavored to protect its assump- 
tions by conducting its services in a foreign tongue until, 
in the mercy and providence of God, a few earnest souls, 
as John Wichf and WilUam Tindale, feeling that the real 
reason why the priests kept the Bible from the people was 
because it denounced them and their claims, determined 
that the people should, by God's help, have His message in 
such a form that they could read and understand it. By 
the grace of God they succeeded, though the opposition of 
priestcraft was exercised in its bitterest and most violent 
forms. From then till now successive generations have 
witnessed the spread of the divine light, until today no book 
has so wide a circulation or is produced in so inexpensive a 
form as the Bible. 

How little most people appreciate the glorious privilege 
which their ancestors suffered so much to obtain for them! 
The very fact that today the Bible is so easily to be acquired 
seems to be a cause of little real interest being taken in its 
contents. Time was when large sums of money were will- 
ingly paid for the possession of a single copy, and great risks 
were run in order to hear portions read. Any kind of biblical 
study was then prosecuted under great difficulties and with 
constant fear of persecution. Foxe has said: 

Introduction 7 

Certes, the fervent zeal of those Christian days seemed much 
superior to these our days and times, as manifestly may appear 
by their sitting up all night in reading and hearing; also by their 
expenses and charges in buying books in English, of whom some 
gave five marks [about two hundred dollars], some more, some less, 
for a book; some gave a load of hay for a few chapters of St. James 
or of St. Paul in English. . . . To see their travails, their earnest 
seekings, their burning zeal, their readings, their watchings, their 
sweet assemblies, . . . may make us now, in these days of free 
profession, to blush for shame. 

The above was written nearly two hundred years after 
Wiclif's Bible was published, and now, more than three 
hundred years later, it is equally true. Even when the 
Bible is read, it is done in a variety of ways and for a variety 
of ends. Some read to learn and some to scoff; some that 
they may find precious messages from God to man, and 
some in the expectation that they may find contradictions 
which they may utiHze for undermining its influence; some 
read it merely with an antiquarian interest, viewing it as a 
literary curiosity of no more practical value than the writings 
of any ancient scribe; some study it that they may ascertain 
what are the truths it contains; and others read it with 
their minds already made up, and endeavor to make all its 
statements fit in with the theories they hold. The wisest 
course, acknowledging it to be a revelation from God to 
man, is devoutly to study the truths it reveals and render 
willing obedience to its commands. 

The composition of the Bible is as varied as its author- 
ship. Every kind of writing finds a place therein. Its 
histories are mainly concerned with the dealings of the 
Creator with the creatures He has formed, and, while the 
history of the Jews is more particularly treated of, events 
transpiring in Gentile lands are frequently dealt with. 

It is not long since a favorite argument of the enemies 
of the Bible was that its history was unsubstantiated and 
therefore unreliable. But the past century has witnessed 
the verification of much that was disputed. The sites of 
ancient Babylon and Nineveh were unknown a hundred 
years ago: their existence even was questioned; but today, 
thanks to the efforts of Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir Austen 
Layard, and a host who have followed in their steps, those 
grand and giant cities of the distant past have been found; 

8 The Book of Books 

the accumulated alluvium and the dust of centuries have 
been removed by the excavator's spade, and temples and 
palaces and libraries have been opened to view. Devoted 
students have followed up the labors of the excavators, and 
the unearthed records may now be read. Patient effort has 
been rewarded with an understanding of the strange cunei- 
form or wedge-shaped letters, and the grammatical rules 
that governed the use of the words formed from them. The 
archaeological records have confirmed the Bible stories con- 
cerning the military exploits and imperial splendor of the 
two great nations of Babylonia and Assyria. 

At the middle of last century the Hittites were unknown 
outside the Bible histories; but today they stand revealed 
as a powerful people, whose capital city has been unearthed 
and the records of whose exploits have been found and 
deciphered, just as have the Assyrian and the Babylonian. 
The story of oriental exploration is as wonderful and fasci- 
nating as the story of Bible transmission, but we have not 
space to follow it farther than to note the testimony it bears 
to the accuracy and consequent value of the Holy Scriptures. 
The following quotation from the beginning of Dr. A. H. 
Sayce's book. The Hittites, the Story of a Forgotteyi Empire, 
will admirably point the lesson: 

We are told in the Second Book of Kings (7 : 6) that when 
the Syrians were encamped about Samaria and the Lord had sent 
a panic upon them, "they said one to another, 'Lo, the king of 
Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Egyptians, to come 
upon us.'" About the year 1843 a distinguished scholar selected 
this passage for his criticism. Its " unhistorical tone," he declared, 
"is too manifest to allow of our eaSy belief in it. . . . No Hittite 
kings can have compared with the king of Judah, the real and 
near ally, who is not named at all . . . nor is there a single mark 
of acquaintance with the contemporaneous history." 

Recent discoveries have retorted the critic's objection upon 
himself. It is not the biblical writer but the modern author who 
is now proved to have been unacquainted with the contemporan- 
eous history of the time. The Hittites were a very real power. 

The monuments erected by the kings in celebration of 
their victories, and the inscriptions on the rocks, with pic- 
tures of the campaigns, speak in loud and indisputable tones 
in support of the biblical narratives and records. 

Introduction 9 

Another kind of writing in the Bible is prophecy, which 
someone has aptly defined as "history written before- 
hand." Such indeed it is, and it is here that the divine 
inspiration of the Bible is more plainly seen, perhaps, than 
anywhere else. The Bible foretells the histories of nations 
hundreds, yea, thousands, of years beforehand. This is 
something beyond the power of man. No human being can 
foretell, with any degree of accuracy, the destinies of indi- 
viduals, nations, or empires for a few years, or even months 
or days, as evidenced by the fallacious guesses of politicians, 
statesmen, and newspaper writers for the past few years in 
relation to the nations of Europe. Who would have said 
ten years ago, or even less, that the mighty nation that 
aspired to world empire and sought to attain it in full con- 
fidence of its military supremacy, would today be at the 
mercy of those whom it esteemed "contemptible," or that 
its vain-glorious monarch would be wasting his years as an 
inglorious fugitive? Nations have gone and others have 
taken their places; empires and monarchies have given way 
to republics; kings have been deposed and presidents elected 
in their stead; and international relations are in a state of 
perpetual change. An Irishman is credited with the remark 
that "it isn't wise to prophesy till after the event," and, like 
many other Irish sayings, there is much wisdom in it — that 
is so far as human prophesying is concerned. But with 
divine prophecies, with Bible prophecies, it is a different 
matter. In them the destinies of nations are predicted for 
thousands of years, and without a single error in the pre- 
dictions; this would have been as impossible for human 
foresight then as now. Mighty empires should vanish 
entirely; some then unknown should arise; and others, 
weak by comparison, should continue to be. Babylon and 
Assyria, glorious when the prediction was made, should 
become waste, howling wildernesses. Tyre, the mart of 
nations, should become a place for the fisherman to spread 
his net. Egypt should continue, but be the basest of king- 
doms. Moab and Ammon should pass completely off the 
scene. The empires of Persia, Greece, and Rome should 
rise and flourish and decay. The small, feeble, despised 
Jewish nation should endure terrible persecution and oppres- 

lo The Book of Books 

sion, and in dispersion the Jews should maintain their 
individuaHty and identity, and they should at last be restored 
to favor among the nations and return to their land. In 
every instance the prophecy was literally fulfilled, testifying 
unequivocally to the divine inspiration that was back of 
them all. 

Biography, or the history of individuals, is dealt with, 
not as men are wont to write the life-stories of their fellows — 
prejudiced to give prominence to either the good deeds or 
the bad; but faithfully recording the facts of the lives it 
makes mention of, neither sparing the sins of the king nor 
obscuring the good deeds of the poorest and most humble. 
Its poetry is of the purest and loftiest character. Its songs 
are in celebration of some great event that actually has 
happened or prophetic of things that will surely come to 
pass. Its metaphors are the most beautiful and expressive. 
What writings can compare with the Psalms for lofty imagery 
and spiritual thought ? Its code of laws is the most equitable 
that ever was framed, and a community founded upon and 
controlled by the ethics of the New Testament would approx- 
imate very closely to the perfect ideal. 

The sixty-six books of the Bible as we have it today 
are divided into the Old Testament, containing thirty-nine 
books, and the New Testament, containing twenty-seven. 
These are the books that are universally recognized as of 
divine origin and so have been assigned a place in what is 
called the "canon" and are therefore "canonical." Some 
Bibles today contain a number of other books known collec- 
tively as the Apocrypha and placed between the Old and 
the New Testaments. The Apocrypha is contained in the 
Roman Catholic, or Douay Bibles, but since about a hun- 
dred years ago has been omitted from the Authorized 
Version. The evidence for the genuineness and divine origin 
of these apocryphal books has been so much questioned 
that they have now been eliminated. Besides these canon- 
ical and apocryphal books a place has been claimed for some 
others, but it was very early recognized that they were 
spurious, and they were not admitted into the Bible. Such 
are some apocryphal gospels, whose absurd stories concern- 
ing Jesus readily convinced devout Christians of their 

Introduction ii 

unreliability. The sixty-six books that remain in the canon, 
or recognized list of genuine and divine books, are there 
because the evidence for their divine origin is entirely satis- 
factory to scholars and theologians. 

The Bible books were originally written by hand, prin- 
cipally on parchment or vellum, made from the skins of 
sheep, calves, and antelopes. These originals and early 
copies of them are known as "manuscripts" or hand- 
writings. It was a tedious job to make copies by hand, 
which was the only way known until a little more than four 
and a half centuries ago, and the copyists were known as 
scribes or writers, from the Latin word scribo, "I write." 
The products of the scribes' labors were known as "scrip- 
tures" or "writings." Today we speak of the Bible as the 
Holy Scriptures, or Holy Scripture, that is, the holy writings, 
or writings about holy or sacred things. The scribes, on 
account of being famiHar with the contents of the writings, 
became teachers and were held in considerable esteem. 

Another form of writing was by impressing soft clay 
with the edge of a hard substance, making a deeper impres- 
sion at one end than at the other, and giving wedge-shaped 
characters. The clay tablets, having been baked, could be 
stored indefinitely. Many such tablets, containing school 
lessons, legal documents, religious records, and other matters, 
have been found in the oriental excavations and may be 
seen in the museums of this and other lands. 

In Egypt, especially, the stems of the papyrus plant 
were dried and used for writing on with ink, much in the 
same way that in Canada birch bark is split into thin sheets 
and used for writing. 

No original manuscripts of the books of the Bible are 
known to exist today. Time, fire, war, and other causes 
have destroyed them all. Nor are there any very early 
copies of the originals. The earliest Greek manuscripts 
belong to the fourth century and the earliest Hebrew to the 
tenth century of the Christian Era. 

When the contents of the ancient manuscripts were 
translated from the languages in which they were first written 
into other languages, such translations were known as "ver- 
sions" or "turnings." The originals of the Old Testament, 

12 The Book of Books 

having been written principally in Hebrew, with a small 
portion in Aramaic, were later translated into Greek, Samar- 
itan, Syriac, Latin, and other languages. The New Testa- 
ment, most of which, if not all, was written in Greek, was 
translated into Latin, Syriac, and other languages. Versions 
have now been made of both Testaments in nearly all 
languages of the world. 

In the early Christian centuries it was a custom, as it 
is now, for theological writers and teachers to make reference 
to, or quotations from, the Holy Scriptures in their addresses, 
letters, or commentaries, just as Jesus and the apostles fre- 
quently referred to, or quoted from, the Old Testament 
Scriptures. It has been said that the whole of the New 
Testament may be found in the patristic writings — the 
writings of the early Christians, or the Fathers of the early 

The originals having been lost, it is from the manuscript 
copies in the original languages, the versions in other lan- 
guages, and the patristic quotations that we get our knowl- 
edge of what the originals contained. Infidels have made 
much of the mistakes that exist in the modern English 
Bible and have declared it to be unreliable on that account. 
That there are mistakes in the present copies of the Bible 
no reasonable person will deny; but that for the principal 
object of the book, the salvation of mankind, it is untrust- 
worthy does not necessarily follow. Is it to be wondered 
at that there are a few mistakes in a book that was written 
by half a hundred persons, who lived during a period of 
fifteen hundred years, who wrote in difi^erent languages and 
different lands; a book written by all sorts and conditions 
of men and women; a book that has been revised, edited, 
and copied time after time, translated and retranslated into 
language after language? Is it to be wondered at that some 
small item should be left out by some copyist or translator, 
or that some details, especially numbers, should have been 
copied erroneously? It is not. The wonder would be if 
there were no mistakes at all. Let any who have had experi- 
ence in copying — and, at times, in copying things almost, if 
not quite, illegible — calmly think over the fact that a book 
which has had such a long and wonderful history should be 

Introduction 13 

as free from errors as it is. It must be admitted that there 
are errors in the Bible as we have it; he would be ignorant 
or foolish who would deny the fact. But whatever errors 
there are, they do not in any wise affect the authenticity, 
the genuineness, or the intrinsic value of the Bible as a 
whole or of any of its constituent books in particular. 

Some errors are purely errors of transcription, when a 
scribe mistook one letter for another. That was easily 
possible, for some letters have such sHght differences that a 
careless scribe would not make them distinct, and the next 
copyist would probably mistake one letter for another; such 
mistakes would result in a word of different meaning getting 
into the text, and the error would in all probability be 
repeated in subsequent copies. It will easily be seen from 
this that the earlier the manuscript, the more probability 
there is of its being correct — although a late copy made 
from a correct manuscript would in all likelihood be more 
accurate than an earlier copy made from an incorrect 
manuscript; therefore it is not an invariable rule that 
the earlier the manuscript, the more correct it is. The 
importance of the early manuscripts will appear later in our 

Again, a scribe may have omitted something, and on 
going over it again may have noticed the omission and put 
the missing portion in the margin. Later on, another copy- 
ist may have left the marginal portion out entirely, not 
knowing whether it really belonged in the text or was 
merely a side-note made by a previous scribe. 

Again, an early scribe may have done something of the 
same kind as has been done in our modern printed Bibles. 
He may have put some note of his own in the margin, by 
way of comment or explanation, which another copyist may 
have put into the text, thinking it originally belonged there 
and that the former scribe had at first omitted it and then 
put it in the margin. That error would be repeated in 
subsequent copies. 

Yet again, after theological disputations had arisen in 
the church, things may have been either deliberately inserted 
to uphold an argument, or put on the side and later incor- 
porated by a copyist. 

14 The Book of Books 

Instances of errors of these kinds occur at the present 
day, as anyone can testify who has had anything to do with 
copying manuscript, especially if the work is long and 
tedious: they were just as likely to happen at any period 
of the past. Men's eyes grew tired then, as now, and errors 
doubtless arose from that cause, as well as from carelessness 
or deliberate intention. 

A peculiarity of the early manuscripts may have been 
the cause of some errors. They were written with capital 
letters only, and without spaces between the words. When 
divisions were made, a scribe may have made a division in 
the wrong place and so have made an incorrect copy, or a 
translator may have mistaken the words and given a wrong 
translation — just as the little boy is said to have done with 
the motto his father put up in his room. The father was an 
infidel and put up the following letters: godisnowhere. 
He intended it to be read: "God is nowhere," but his son 
read it, "God is now here." 

In copying it is easy for the eye to rest on the wrong 
line, and a portion is either skipped or dupUcated, according 
to whether the eye has gone forward or backward in its 
glance. Even in printed matter errors of this kind are 
made. In the first edition of the King James Version of 
1611, a duphcation of three lines is made in the tenth verse 
of the fourteenth chapter of Exodus. 

Enormous labor has been bestowed by scholars in 
examining the manuscripts and versions with a view to 
getting as near as possible to the original text, and although 
there have crept in many thousands of various readings in 
the centuries that have elapsed since the originals were 
penned, many of them are of minor importance and many 
are dupHcations, and the really important ones that are 
still matters of discussion are now few indeed. One of the 
members of the American Revision Committee, Dr. Ezra 
Abbot, has said in his Critical Essays: 

The number of "various readings" frightens some innocent 
people, and figures largely in the writings of the more ignorant 
disbelievers in Christianity. "One hundred and fifty thousand 
various readings!" Must not these render the text of the New 
Testament wholly uncertain, and thus destroy the foundation of 
our faith .^ 

Introduction 15 

The true state of the case is something like this. Of the one 
hundred and fifty thousand various readings, more or less, of the 
text of the Greek New Testament, we may, as Mr. Norton has 
remarked, dismiss nineteen-twentieths from consideration at once, 
as being obviously of such a character, or supported by so little 
authority, that no critic would regard them as having any claim 
to reception. This leaves, we will say, seven thousand five hun- 
dred. But of these, again, it will appear, on examination, that 
nineteen out of twenty are of no sort of consequence as affecting 
the sense; they relate to questions of orthography, or grammatical 
construction, or the order of words, or such other matters as have 
been mentioned above, in speaking of unimportant variations. 
They concern only the form of expression, not the essential mean- 
ing. This reduces the number to perhaps four hundred which 
involve a difference of meaning, often very slight, or the omission 
or addition of a few words, sufficient to render them objects of 
some curiosity or interest, while a few exceptional cases among 
them may relatively be called important. But our critical helps 
are now so abundant that in a very large majority of these more 
important questions of reading we are able to determine the true 
text with a good degree of confidence. In the text of all ancient 
writings, there are passages in which the text cannot be settled 
with certainty; and the same is true of the interpretation. 

It was good advice which the great scholar Bengel gave 
to his pupil Reuss, to whom he wrote: 

Eat simply the bread of the Scriptures, such as you find it; 
and be not disturbed if perchance you find here and there a little 
fragment of the millstone which has fallen into it. You may now 
dismiss all the doubts which once horribly tormented me. If the 
Holy Scriptures, which have been copied so often, and which have 
so often passed through the imperfect hands of fallible men, were 
absolutely without variations, the miracle would be so great that 
faith in it would be no more faith. I am astonished, on the con- 
trary, that there has resulted from all the transcribing a no 
greater number of different readings. 

In an article in the North American Review, a writer 
made some interesting comparisons between the writings 
of Shakespeare and the Scriptures, which show that much 
greater care must have been bestowed upon the biblical 
manuscripts than upon other writings, even when there was 
so much more opportunity of preserving the correct text by 
means of printed copies than when all the copies had to be 
made by hand. He said: 


The Book or Books 

It seems strange that the text of Shakespeare, which has been 
in existence less than two hundred and eight years, should be far 
more uncertain and corrupt than that of the New Testament, now 
over eighteen centuries old, during nearly fifteen of which it 
existed only in manuscript. . . . \yith perhaps a dozen or twenty 
exceptions, the text of every verse in the New Testament may be 
said to be so far settled by general consent of scholars, that any 
dispute as to its readings must relate rather to the interpretation 
of the words than to any doubts respecting the words themselves. 
But in every one of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays there are 
probably a hundred readings still in dispute, a large portion of 
which materially affects the meaning of the passages in which 
they occur. 

3 3 T^':^'^ 

1 "Vj^ii'^T^"^ 

'Till;? '^i^'n'"^ 

1 'rnn Till 111 ^ 




THE Bible has often been spoken of as the Book of Books- 
For this there is a twofold justification. In the first 
place it is the Book of Books because it is one book contain- 
ing many. It is, in fact, a library in itself. Its name, the 
Bible, is derived from hihlia, "the books." There are sixty- 
six books of varied authorship and composition, each com- 
plete in itself, yet each connected with all the others by a 
unity of thought and purpose. 

In the second place, it is pre-eminently the Book of 
Books because of all books it is the best known and the most 
revered. It has had a more interesting history than any 
other book, and it excels all in its importance to, and influ- 
ence upon, mankind. 

It is wonderful that the Bible should hold the position 
that it does in the minds and hearts of all civilized people, 
in view of the persistent efforts of its enemies to displace it. 
No more bitter words or deeds have ever been directed 
toward any book than those wherewith the Bible has been 
assailed by its enemies: yet today it stands supreme — the 
Book of Books. Men have endeavored to list the best books 
in the world, and they always include the Bible and usually 
assign to it the first place. No " best seller " has ever approx- 
imated the sale of the Bible. Millions upon millions of 
complete copies or parts have been sold in nearly every 
country of the world. It may be had in several hundred 
languages and dialects, comprising translations into almost 
every spoken tongue. Missionary enterprise and colpor- 
teurs' energy have carried it to the remotest portions of the 
globe. People the world over have desired the Bible and 
its message. As Bishop Heber so beautifully expressed it: 


1 8 The Book of Books 

From Greenland's icy mountains, from India's coral strand, 
Where Africa's sunny fountains roll down their golden sand. 
From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain, 
They call us to deliver their land from error's chain. 

What though the spicy breezes blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle. 
Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile; 
In vain, with lavish kindness, the gifts of God are strown; 
The heathen, in his blindness, bows down to wood and stone. 

Can we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high — 
Can we to men benighted the lamp of life deny-f* 
Salvation! O Salvation! the joyful sound proclaim, 
Till each remotest nation has learned Messiah's name. 

Although the Bible is so well known and may be had 
for small cost in any land; although in every civilized 
country there are few homes which do not contain one or 
more copies of the whole or some part; yet there is much 
ignorance as to its origin and structure, its content and 
meaning, and its wonderful history. 

With a vague idea that the Bible is divine, there are 
persons so simple-minded as to imagine that it fell down 
from heaven direct and complete, in much the same form as 
Moses received the tables of the law, graven by the hand of 
God; or as the Ephesians in Paul's day fancied that the 
image of Diana fell down from Jupiter. Such, however, is 
not the case. It is a long story and a wonderful one, the 
story of how God inspired men to write His messages and to 
record His dealings with, and His promises to, mankind — 
how, first by word of mouth, and then by writing in various 
tongues, that record has come down to us in its present form 
and in our mother-tongue. This wonderful story will be 
unfolded as we proceed in our considerations. 

It cannot be too much emphasized that the Bible is of 
divine origin. Its preservation against the attacks of its 
enemies has been watched over by the providence of its 
Author. H. L. Hastings has forcibly illustrated the way in 
which the Bible has survived the attacks of infidelity and 
skepticism, in the following words: 

Infidels for eighteen hundred years have been refuting and 
overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock. 
Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and 

Popularity of the Bible 19 

read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assaults, make 
about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack- 
hammer would on the Pyramids of Egypt. When the French 
monarch proposed the persecution of the Christians in his domin- 
ion, an old statesman and warrior said to him, "Sire, the Church 
of God is an anvil that has worn out many hammers." So the 
hammers of infidels have been pecking away at this book for ages, 
but the hammers are worn out, and the anvil still endures. If 
this book had not been the book of God, men would have destroyed 
it long ago. Emperors and popes, kings and priests, princes and 
rulers have all tried their hand at it; they die and the book still 

To use another simile, the v^aves of infidelity have 
dashed themselves against the rock and been broken and 
rolled back, but the rock remains uninjured and still stands 
firm. As the hymn says: 

Vain floods that aim their rage so high! 
At His rebuke the billows die. 

The remarkable popularity of the Bible is mainly the 
result of the eflPorts of the British and Foreign Bible Society, 
the American Bible Society, and other similar agencies. For 
more than a century these excellent organizations have been 
engaged in issuing copies of the Scriptures and in sending 
forth messengers to distribute or to sell the versions in 
various lands. The circulation of no other book has in any 
way approximated the circulation represented in the activi- 
ties of the various Bible Societies. 

The British and Foreign Bible Society was organized 
in London, England, in 1804, and its present headquarters 
are at the Bible House, 146 Queen Victoria Street, in that 
city. The president for the year 1921-22 is H. R. H. the 
Duke of Connaught, and the numerous vice-presidents, some 
of whom have held ofl&ce since 1877, include high dignitaries 
of the Episcopal and Nonconformist churches, noblemen, 
statesmen, and prominent business men. The society had, 
at the end of its one hundred and seventeenth year, 5128 
auxiliaries, branches, and associations in England and 
Wales, and outside Great Britain about 4750 auxiliaries 
and branches, mostly in the British Dominions and Colonies. 

The expenditure of the society for the year which ended 
March 31, 1921, was £447,183, or ^2,177,781, and the total 


The Book of Books 


Popularity of the Bible 21 

expenditure since March, 1804, has been £18,919,374 17s od, 
or ^92,137,351. In its one hundred and seventeenth year 
the society issued 801,796 complete Bibles, 727,307 New 
Testaments, and 7,126,678 portions of the Bible, making a 
total of 8,655,781. The largest number of issues in any one 
year was 11,059,617 for the year ending March 31, 1916. 
The total of the issues in one hundred and seventeen years 
is 319,470,209, made up of 63,750,833 Bibles, 98,630,630 
New Testaments, and 157,088,746 portions. Complete 
Bibles have been issued in 135 languages. New Testaments 
in 126 more, and portions of the Bible in 277 more, making 
a total of 538 languages to March 31, 1921. A number of 
editions in other languages have been issued since that date, 
and others are being added right along. 

The Bible House of the British and Foreign Bible 
Society is a handsome structure, as will be seen from the 
illustration. It is in the very heart of London near the 
Bank of England and the office of The Times. The dome 
of St. Paul's Cathedral shows behind the house, and 
the red-brick church of St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe is 
next to it. The Bible House is built near the site of the 
old Blackfriars Monastery where Wiclif was tried before 
the papal legate on a charge of heresy. Over the entrance 
door are the words, "The Word of the Lord endureth for 
ever." The foundation stone of the present building was 
laid June 11, 1866, by the late King Edward VII when he 
was Prince of Wales. The library contains over twelve 
thousand volumes in more than five hundred languages, 
having been enriched in 1890 by the addition of more than 
twelve hundred English Bibles and Testaments collected by 
the late Francis Fry, to whom reference will be made later; 
and in 1909 by the remarkable collection of one of the 
Revisers of 1870-188 5, Dr. Christian D. Ginsburg, which 
includes many early printed Hebrew and German Bibles. 
There are many of the "curious" Bibles and an interesting 
relic, a chained Bible; and a showcase illustrates the history 
of the English printed Bible from Tindale's New Testament 
to the late Revised Version. Anyone visiting London should 
not fail to visit the Bible House. 

22 The Book of Books 

The American Bible Society was formed in 1816. 
Societies had existed for several years previous to that year 
in various parts of the Eastern States. The first was founded 
in Philadelphia in December, 1908; the next in Connecticut 
in May, 1809; the next in Massachusetts in July, 1809; the 
next in New York in November, 1809; and the next in New 
Jersey in December, 1809. Numerous other societies 
sprang up in various parts of the United States, and the 
British and Foreign Bible Society helped them all with 
congratulations and the State societies with funds; by 18 16 
more than fifteen thousand dollars had been thus contributed. 

In May, 18 16, Elias Boudinot, president of the New 
Jersey Bible Society, called a meeting of representatives of 
the various societies, and the American Bible Society was 
organized with Mr. Boudinot as its first president. Since 
that time the American Society has been working along 
similar lines to those of the British and Foreign Society, 
and in the year 1920 there were issued by it 313,757 Bibles, 
717,319 New Testaments, and 2,776,325 portions of the 
Bible, making a total of 3,825,401. The total issues for 
one hundred and five years, 1816-1920, were 25,280,930 
Bibles, 116,448,410 New Testaments and portions of the 
Bible, or a total of 141,729,340. The largest annual issue 
was 7,761,377 in 1916. 

The American Bible Society has its headquarters at the 
Bible House, Astor Place, New York City, where since 1853 
its presses have been printing the Scriptures in 68 languages 
and six embossed forms for the blind. Other presses are 
owned and operated by the Society in some of its foreign 
agencies. The expenditures of the society for the year 
1919 totaled ^858,348.52. 

Two testimonies to the value of the Bible Societies may 
be given here. 

John Jay, first chief Justice of U. S. A., said; 

By conveying the Bible to the people we certainly do them a 
most interesting act of kindness. 

Guizot, the French historian, said: 

Bible societies are but instruments and servants of the divine 
activity which it is not within the power of man to baffle or 

Popularity of the Bible 23 

From the great presses of the Universities of Oxford 
and Cambridge, and from numerous private presses as well, 
many more copies are issued annually, and it has been 
estimated that twenty-five millions would not be an extrava- 
gant figure for the total annual output of Bibles and portions 
of the Scriptures at the present time. 

When the Revised Version was published in England 
in May, 188 1, it was simultaneously published in the United 
States. Before the date of publication the English publishers 
had received orders for more than a million copies. In New 
York the streets were blocked with wagons waiting for 
copies of the book as they came over from England, The 
contents were telegraphed to Chicago on Saturday, and 
nearly a hundred compositors and proofreaders worked on 
Sunday editions of two Chicago newspapers that printed the 
whole of the Gospels, Acts, and Romans, the day after pub- 
lication in New York. Before the end of that year nearly 
half a million copies of the English edition were sold by one 
publishing house in New York, and a number of American 
editions were printed and many thousands of copies sold. 
No other book ever created such a sensation as that. The 
Book of Books is indeed a wonderful book. 

Concerning the popularity of the Bible, an eminent 
American preacher, Theodore Parker, has said: 

This collection of books has taken such a hold on the world 
as no other. ... It goes equally to the cottage of the plain man 
and the palace of the king. It is woven into the literature of the 
scholar, and colors the talk of the street. The bark of the mer- 
chant cannot sail the sea without it; no ship of war goes to the 
conflict, but the Bible is there. It enters men's closets, mingles 
in all the grief and cheerfulness of life. The affianced maiden 
prays God in Scripture for strength in her new duties. Men are 
married by Scripture; the Bible attends them in their sickness, 
when the fever of the world is on them; the aching head finds a 
softer pillow when the Bible lies underneath; the mariner, escap- 
ing from shipwreck, clutches this first of his treasures, and keeps 
it sacred to God. 

In "Present Day Tracts," No. 23, The Vitality of the 
Bible, Professor Blackie comments on the influence the Bible 
has had upon individual, family, and social life, and draws 
the conclusion that it is indeed "the Word of God that 

24 The Book of Books 

liveth and abideth for ever." He further says that we 
should be perplexed, "were we to set about counting all 
the Uterature that has sprung from the Bible, to glance at 
the history of Art, to try to reckon all the paintings of the 
first quahty that have been founded on Bible scenes, or the 
music that has been inspired by Bible truths, or the poetry 
that has owed its soul to Bible influences, or the civilizations 
it has moulded, or the legislations it has controlled, or the 
institutions it has created." Again he says, "The Bible is 
a unique phenomenon. It holds and has held in this world 
a place never equaled, never even approached by any other 
book. ... It never becomes antiquated, never survives 
its usefulness, never acquires a decrepit look; Time writes 
no wrinkles on its brow; it flourishes in the vigor of immortal 

Two recent examples of the popularity of the Bible 
have been found in the public press. The Bluefield Daily 
Telegraph, at Bluefield, West Virginia, on May 4, 1922, 
commenced the publication, in serial form, of the New 
Testament, printing at the head of a double column, "Read 
the Bible with us," and printing an editorial caUing atten- 
tion to the fact. 

In the Evening Bulletin , Philadelphia, there appeared 
on February 9, 1922, the following editorial note: 

Bible the Best Seller 

Best sellers come and best sellers go from season to season as 
authors and publishers manage to strike the vagrant fancy of 
American readers. Their circulation may be reckoned by the 
hundred thousand, and in a few instances like "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin" and "Ben Hur," may boast of millions, with "David 
Harum" leading the van for best sellers written in the past quar- 
ter century. But year in and year out the Book of Books laughs 
all others to scorn as puny competitors when annual sales are 

Taking the United States alone, and leaving out of account 
the energetic operations of British and other European agencies 
for the circulation of the Scriptures, the American Bible Society 
reports that last year it distributed 4,286,380 Bibles, New Testa- 
ments and portions of each. The field covered included both 
home and foreign missions. This, however, is apart from the 
enormous sales of Holy Writ by the private publishing firms, who 
chiefly supply the well-to-do church-going population. 

Popularity of the Bible 


The cultural value of this profuse dissemination of sacred 
literature is incalculable. In spite of the disconcerting ignorance 
of the Bible which is frequently encountered among college stu- 
dents, there is reason to feel that the reading of the Old and New 
Testaments enters into the religious exercises of as large a propor- 
tion of the people as ever before. 

College men are being brought to perceive that ignorance of 
the Bible is less excusable than almost any other form of ignorance, 
and under the leadership of Dr. Josiah H. Penniman, Acting 
Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, the undergraduates 
are getting acquainted with the Scriptures. Similar reports come 
from other colleges and universities. The work of the Gideons 
in placing a Bible in every hotel room in the United States and 
Canada is another influence which brings the traveling public in 
touch with the treasures of the Bible. So its primacy as a best 
seller, unapproachable by any other book, is permanently assured. 

A Famous English Professor 


Acting Provost 
University of Pennsylvania 

(PhoCo. by GiUekunst) 



I WAS present some years ago at the annual meeting of 
the Birmingham auxiUary of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society, when a great bibhcal scholar and editor, 
Dr. J. J. S. Perowne, Bishop of Worcester, presided, and 
another great scholar and writer. Dr. F. W. Farrar, Dean 
of Canterbury, delivered the principal address. It was 
entitled "The Bible," and the lecturer gave expression to 
his own high estimate of the sacred book, and, from his great 
store of knowledge concerning men and their writings, 
referred to the statements of great men in varied walks of 
life who all gave it the highest place in their esteem. So 
far as I know, that address was not published, though it 
richly deserved to be; but as I took complete shorthand 
notes I shall here reproduce it. Some of the testimonies 
it contains may be found in some of the volumes of Dr. 
Farrar's sermons and essays. 

The Bible 

One great reason — there are multitudes of reasons, of course, 
why the Bible is better adapted for the instruction of all mankind — • 
but one reason is because the Bible is not one book, but many 
books — thirty-nine of the Old Testament and twenty-seven of the 
New. The very word "Bible" means "the books"; and there 
has been considerable discussion of late years as to what are the 
best hundred books. Well, I can tell you in one breath sixty-six 
of the best of them, and those are the sixty-six books of the Bible. 

More than that, the Bible is not a book, it is a literature; and 
as the great Edmund Burke said, "It is an infinite collection of 
the most venerable and the most varied literature." The Bible 


Testimony of Eminent Persons 


consists, then, not only of one complete revelation, but also of 
many separate elements of truth, beauty, and grandeur. It is as 
the wide sea; it is as the great sea-shore; it is as a paradise filled 
with the forest trees of God. On the wide sea every separate 
wave may flash in the sunlight with innumerable laughter; and 
on the wide sea-shore every single sand grain, as it catches the 


gleam, may flash forth into an emerald or into a pearl; and in this 
paradise of the trees of God every single leaf is for the healing 
of the nations. But still, the sea and the shore and the forest 
are greater than the waves, than the sand grains, than the sep- 
arate leaves. And the Bible in its immensity as one revelation 
transcends even the special beauty and instructiveness of its 
many separate and glorious truths. 

28 The Book of Books 

Now, one great element in the adaptation of the Bible as the 
best fitted for the elevation of the lives of all mankind is, as I have 
said, its immense variety. The Bible is everything for some and 
it is something for all. It would be a great loss to us if the Bible 
were like the Zend Avesta of the Persians or like the writings of 
Confucius among the Chinese — if it were the work of one limited 
and monotonous mind. Again, it would be a great loss to us if 
the Bible were entirely or mainly like the Vedas of the Hindu — 
poetry. It would be a great loss to us if, like the books of the 
Buddhists, it had been written centuries after the events which it 
records and by those who are entirely forgotten. 

We are saved from these elements of imperfection in the Bible. 
By the very power of its structure it appeals to all sorts and condi- 
tions of men. The Bible was written not only by the poor but by 
the rich, by the lowly as well as by the exalted, by kings and 
peasants, by warriors and husbandmen, by poets and chroniclers, 
by ardent enthusiasts and calm, dispassionate reasoners, and, 
touched by so many fingers, our hearts can but respond to one 
note or other of that manifold music. At the mere turning of a 
page we may discourse with Solomon the magnificent or with Amos 
the humble gatherer of sycamore fruit; we may be listening to 
David the psalmist warrior or to Matthew the Galilean publican. 

Now consider the New Testament by itself. You have Peter, 
a bold, impetuous, and practical Galilean. In Paul you have a 
fusile apostle, transformed as it were by one flash of lightning; 
from a narrow-minded persecutor becoming, indeed, the foremost 
champion of truth and liberty and light. In James, again, you 
have an esthetic, a nazarite; he rises, as it were, to speak to us 
with the long locks of the nazarite streaming over his shoulders 
and over the white linen robes which he habitually wore. John 
again, totally different from the others, is the listener whose whole 
soul is bathed in the light of eternal ideas, as though a white cloud 
palpitated splendor because it had been cradled near the setting 
sun. And each of these great apostles has a different aspect of 
truth and a different lesson for us. 

The Bible may be compared to a great mountain on which 
are many stones. You walk over the mountain and pick up what 
looks like a common brown flint. You are about to throw it 
away. Something perhaps makes you strike it with your hammer, 
and you find that inside it there is what is called a crucic cavity, 
that is to say, a hole filled with amethysts of the most lovely 
purple. In the same way there is many a text that is filled with 
something which the careless reader lacks — an ordinary and not 
very significant text, you think. You break it open by the ham- 
mer of prayerful meditation, and find it full of crystals of purple 
of a "light that never shone on land or sea." a, j 

The Bible, as Augustine so finely said, has shallows which 
men may ford and depths which the elephant cannot swim. It 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 29 

has mountains and valleys, sunrise and sunset; it has barren 
deserts and green pastures; it has lilies of the field and the shadow 
of a great rock in a weary land. 

I could not dwell too much upon the infinitude and variety 
of riches which you may find in the sacred page; but that you may 
not take my evidence for it, I want to bring before you five entirely 
separate testimonies of men as different from each other as it is 
possible to be, every one of whom agrees in overwhelming and 
eloquent testimony to the grandeur and riches of the Scriptures. 
One shall be a Romish cardinal, another shall be a Jewish lit- 
terateur, the third shall be an American Unitarian, the fourth shall 
be a German critic, and the fifth shall be a French agnostic; and 
if all these five agree in speaking in the same language, in exactly 
the same terms in which I have spoken, I think you will agree that 
I am only speaking the innermost conviction of mankind. 

Let us begin with the Roman cardinal. He was your neigh- 
bor. He lived in Edgbaston and died in Edgbaston — the great 
Cardinal Newman. He said: "Its light is like the vault of heaven 
in its clearness; its vastness is like the bosom of the sea; its vari- 
ety is like the scenes of Nature." 

I will go on to the Jewish skeptic, Heinrich Heine. He was 
by birth a Jew and by religion an unbeliever. He spent a day in 
the unusual task of studying the Scripture. When he closed it 
in the evening he exclaimed: "What a book! The whole world 
is in it — sunrise and sunset, promise and fulfilment, birth and 
death; the whole drama of humanity is in this book. It is rooted 
in the deepest abysses of creation, and it towers up behind the 
blue gate of heaven." 

I will pass on from the Jewish skeptic to the American Uni- 
tarian, Theodore Parker, an eloquent and eminent preacher. He 
said: "The literature of Greece, which rises as incense from that 
land of temples, has never had half the influence on the world 
which has this book of a despised people. The sun never sets 
upon its gleaming page." 

I will pass on from the American Unitarian to the great 
German critic, Heinrich Ewald. One day Dean Stanley paid 
him a visit in his home in Germany. While they were talking 
together a New Testament which stood on the table opposite 
them fell to the ground. Ewald stepped forward, picked up the 
book, and with indescribable enthusiasm exclaimed: "In this 
little book is all the best wisdom of the world." 

Now take the French unbeliever whose writings have added 
much to the unbelief of the world, Ernest Renan. Renan said: 
"The Bible is, after all, the great consoling book of humanity." 

Having quoted five such remarkable testimonies, we can 
fairly say of the Scripture, as someone has said, that its eclipse 
would be the return of chaos, and that its extinction would be the 
epitaph of history. 

30 The Book of Books 

And yet, in the midst of all this immense variety, there is 
still a great, sublime unity. The Old Testament, we are told in 
our article, does not contradict the New. No; the Old does not 
contradict the New, but it is different from the New, just in the 
same way as a splendid vestibule is different from the golden 
shrine of the temple, and just in the same way as the rosy dawn 
differs from the noonday of the Sun of Righteousness rising with 
healing in His wings. 

In the Old and the New Testaments alike, the whole of their 
hidden meaning pointed forward by the medium of prophecy, or 
backward by the glance cast by those who succeeded Him, to 
Christ. Sin and salvation, the law and the gospel, the foe and the 
deliverance, are the meaning of the old and new dispensations. 
And in the whole of the teaching also of Christ Himself, as through 
the rest of Scripture, there runs one rich, golden thread which is 
the majestic supremacy of God and the moral law, of which a 
great German philosopher said that it was the only thing which 
could compare in its awe-inspiring power to the starry heaven 
above. Only consider how that magnificent lesson of the eternal 
sanctity of the moral law runs through the whole of the Bible! 
You read of Noah that he was to the antediluvians a preacher of 
righteousness. You see Moses descend from the mount, his face 
shining with the epiphany of God: he then says to the people: 
"Observe the law that I have commanded, for it is not a vain 
thing for you: for it is your life." You see Samuel speaking to 
the disobedient king who thought so much of the duty of sacrifice, 
and saying to him: "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to 
hearken than the fat of rams." You go on to Micah, and he says: 
"What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love 
mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.^" You ask Isaiah, and 
he says: "Bring no more vain oblations. Wash you; make you 
clean." You go to Hosea, and in the favorite quotation of our 
Lord he says: "I will have mercy rather than sacrifice." It is 
the one lesson of all the mighty Hebrew prophets, and Israel 
was to the nations, pre-eminently, the uplifter of the banner of 

You come to the New Testament, and Peter says to you: 
"Add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to 
knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to 
patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to 
brotherly kindness, charity." And James says to you: "Faith 
without works is dead." And Paul says to you that the end of the 
law is charity out of a pure heart. And John says to you that 
love is the fulfilling of the law. And if you go to the law of Christ, 
again you have the answer to the most solemn question that can 
possibly be framed by the lips of man. The young ruler came 
to Him, running, kneeling, prostrating himself before Him and 
saying to Him: "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 31 

He said unto him: "But if thou wouldst enter into Hfe, keep the 
commandments." Throughout the whole of the Bible, then, Old 
and New Testaments alike, runs that majestic unity of the one 
lesson that the end of all the scheme of salvation is to procure 
that forgiveness of sins which shall restore man, not by his own 
efforts, but by the grace of Christ, to righteousness, and so recon- 
cile him to God. 

It is because of the sublime unity of that lesson that we are 
not in the least afraid of attempting to put the Bible, without 
note or comment, without gloss or inference, into the hands of all 
mankind. The page of the Bible stands like the cerulean arch, 
which is majestic in its simplicity. But the notes and comments, 
glosses and inferences of man, and especially of age after age of 
erring priests with their perpetual bickering and strife, only tend 
to obscure its beauty. It is for this reason that the Bible is and 
ever must be the special Book for the education of the human race. 
I am in favor of a biblical education, so that it be an education 
honestly biblical. I believe that in the foundation of education, 
the Bible, lie all the great eternal truths of Christianity, and I 
will quote to you the very eloquent and remarkable testimony of 
a man whom at any rate you will not suspect of being a bibliolator. 
I will quote to you the testimony of a leading man of science, 
Professor Huxley. He made a memorable speech before the 
London School Board, in which he used these words: "I have 
been seriously perplexed to know how the religious feeling, which 
is the essential base of conduct, can be kept up without the use 
of the Bible. . . . By the study of what other book could children 
be made to feel that each figure in the vast historical procession 
fills, like themselves, but a momentary space in the interval 
between the eternities, and earns the blessings or the curses of all 
time, according to its efforts to do good and to hate evil, even as 
we also are earning the payment for our work.^"' 

I cannot add any testimony at any rate more emphatic, more 
eloquent, and more unsuspected than that as to the value of the 
Bible as the main instrument in the education of the people. 
Although much, of course, might be added to it, it is a testimony 
both valuable and eloquent. 

Then let me pass on to another point. I want to show you 
that all we have now said of the Bible is confirmed by all history, 
by all belief, and by all experience. Take the case of the individual. 
I will only take those who have epoch-making names. I will 
show you how in one or two instances their whole history was 
influenced by the power with which a single text took hold upon 

No man, probably, has ever had a greater influence on the 
Christian church than Augustine. What wrought his conversion? 
Mainly, a single text. You all know that he was sitting in his 
garden and heard a voice singing, " Tolle, lege; tolle, lege" — "Take 


32 The Book of Books 

and read; take and read.'f He had never heard of any childish 
game in which these words were used; he made up his mind, there- 
fore, that it was to him a voice from heaven. He went back to a 
copy of the Epistle of the Romans that had been lying on his 
table. He opened it and put his finger upon the first text at which 
he opened. /That text was: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, 
not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying; but 
put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the 
flesh"; and that text acted like a volcanic outburst upon all that 
was best within him. 

Take another instance, the one man who more than any other 
effected the "bright and blissful Reformation," in which we see, 
as one writer says, "the truth of the returning gospel bathing men's 
souls in the fragrancy of heaven" — the case of Martin Luther^ 
also as the case of Augustine, how he was influenced by the mes-\ 
sage of a single text. You know that he was endeavoring at Rome,i 
to perform the tedious works that were required, and the whole]) 
course of his life was changed by the text: "The just shall lifqt/' 
by faith." 
r Take one instance more, the case of David Livingstone. 
1 When Stanley found him in Central Africa, he said he was moved 
l^hy the influence of the single text: "Leave all and follow Me." 

So you see in instances like that whole epochs of the word 
have been influenced by the power with which even one single 
text has taken hold upon the minds of men. 

Take the case of a statesman. One of the most eloquent 
American statesmen was Daniel Webster. He was not a religious 
man, but when he lay upon his deathbed his physician read to him 
the verse: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow 
of death, yet will I fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod 
and Thy staff, they comfort me." And the dying giant was just 
able to murmur, "Thy rod. Thy rod, Thy staff, Thy staff! Yes; 
that is what I want." 

So in instances far too numerable even to touch upon, you 
have countless instances that this book has been precious to the 
greatest intellects as well as to the humblest. Let me add but 
one. If you were to ask me to name the greatest man of science 
I should reply "Michael Faraday." Sir Henry Latham told me 
that he once visited Michael Faraday in his room and found him 
in tears. He said to him, "Mr. Faraday, I am afraid you are 
much worse. I am sorry to see you in tears." Faraday said; 
"No; it is not that." And, pointing to the open Bible before 
him, he said with emotion: "If this precious book could guide 
them, how could thy people go so wrong as they do.?" So on, 
then, in instance after instance, in the greatest men of science and 
the greatest statesmen, and the greatest poets; their one basis 
for hope has been the Bible. 

And it has been the same not only with men, but with nations. 
' Take the case of the American President, Andrew Jackson. When 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 33 

he was lying upon his deathbed he pointed his physician to the 
Bible and said; "Sir, that Book is the rock on which our Republic 

We have no time to go farther than merely to mention the 
case of England. In Mr. Green's history, England is described 
as having been so great and so prosperous, so progressive and so 
fortunate, because in the reign of Elizabeth it became emphatically 
the people of one book, and that book was the Bible. 

In spite of these testimonies from men of the highest intellect 
in the world, and even from the greatest nations of the world, 
which I might indefinitely multiply, there are men so foolish, so 
shallow, so ignorant, that they think they can demolish the Bible, 
and they venture to scoff at the Bible. Demolish the Bible.? — 
they might as well try to demolish the Himalayas. Scoff at the 
Bible.'' — they might certainly as wisely scoff at the starry heavens 
themselves. Why, all that is best and greatest in the literature 
and in the intellects of men is to be found in the Bible. All the 
best books, all the best pieces of music, all the best pictures are 
in it. It occupied for years the exhaustive labors of men of high 
genius like Origen and Jerome; it fired the burning eloquence of 
Augustine and of Savonarola; it kindled the intrepid daring of 
Livingstone; it fired the burning zeal of Whitfield; it inspired 
the fancy of John Bunyan. 

Therefore, to conclude, I say we ought with all our hearts to 
thank God for the possession of this holy book, and also thank 
God for this society, which has translated it into so many of the 
tongues of earth, and so far as possible is handing it to the poorest, 
the youngest, and the humblest of our population — a book for 
the possession of which in former years even princes yearned in 
vain. We thank God for that possession, because in that book, 
from beginning to end, is written the name of Christ, and even 
the divine law is perpetually spelling out for us that one word — 

We thank God for that book and we thank God for that 
society which disseminates it. I think you will be struck with 
the words of Sir Walter Scott, which even Lord Byron wrote on 
the first page of his Bible: 

"Within this awful volume lies 
The mystery of mysteries. 
Happiest they of human race 
To whom God has given grace 
To fear, to read, to hope, to pray, 
To lift the latch and find the way. 
Better had they ne'er been born 
Who read to doubt or read to scorn." 


The Book of Books 


George Washington 

John Adams Andrew Jackson 

Thomas Jefferson 

John Quincy Adams Zachary Taylor 

Abraham Lincoln 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 35 

Testimonies of United States Presidents 

( George Washington, the first President of the United 

J States: 

1 It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and 

\ the Bible. 

Above all, the pure and benign light of revelation has had a 
meliorating influence on mankind, and increased the blessings of 

I now make my earnest prayer that God would be most 
graciously pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, 
and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific 
temper of mind which were the characteristics of the divine Author 
of our blessed religion. 

John Adams, the second President of the United States: 

It contains more of my little philosophy than all the libraries 
that I have seen; and such parts as I cannot reconcile to my 
Httle philosophy I postpone for future investigation. 

Thomas Jeflferson, the third President of the United 
States : 

I always have said, and always will say, that the studious 
perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better 
fathers, and better husbands. 

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United 

The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal 
attention is the Bible. The Bible is the Book of all others to be 
read at all ages and in all conditions of human life; not to be read 
once or twice through and then laid aside, but to be read in small 
portions of one or two chapters every day, and never to be inter- 
mitted except by some overruling necessity. ... I have for many 
years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year. . . . 
It is an inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue. . . . 

The earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident 
will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens of their country 
'and respectable members of society. 

The testimony of Andrew Jackson, the seventh Presi- 
dent of the United States, that the Bible is the rock on v^hich 
the Republic rests, has already been referred to in Dean 
Farrar's address. 


The Book of Books 

Zachary Taylor, the twelfth President of the United 
States : 

It was for the love of the truths of this great and good Book 
that our fathers abandoned their native shore for the wilderness. 
Animated by its lofty principles, they toiled and suffered till the 
desert blossomed as the rose. 

Ulysses Simpson Grant 

Benjamin Harrison 

William McKinley 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 37 

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United 
States : 

I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of 
this Book upon reason that you can and the balance by faith, and 
you will live and die a better man. ... In regard to the Great 
Book, I have only to say that it is the best Book which God has 
given to men. 

President Grant, the eighteenth President of the United 
States, delivered the following message to the Sunday 

Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet anchor of your liberties. 
Write its precepts on your hearts and practice them in your lives. 
To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress 
made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide 
in the future. 

Benjamin Harrison, the twenty-third President of the 

United States: 

If you take out of your statutes, your constitutions, your 
family hfe all that is taken from the Sacred Book, what would 
there be left to bind society together.? 

William McKinley, the twenty-fifth President of the 
United States: 

The more profoundly we study this wonderful Book, and the 
more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens 
we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation. 

The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined 
with our whole civic and social life that it would be hterally — I do 
not mean figuratively, I mean literally — impossible for us to figure 
to ourselves what that life would be if these teachings were removed. 

The following extracts are from speeches by the late 
Theodore Roosevelt, the twenty-sixth President of the 
United States, in reference to the Bible: 

Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the 
sum of human achievement of which the race is proud, of which 
our people are proud, almost every such man has based his life- 
work largely upon the teachings of the Bible. 

This Book, which in almost every civilized tongue can be 
described as "The Book," with the certainty of all understandmg 
you when you so describe it. 


The Book of Books 


Presented by the Harvard Republican Club on his inauguration as 
Vice-President. Alwa3^s kept on the reading stand at Sagamore Hill 

(Courtesy of American Bible Society) 

Theodore Roosevelt Woodrow Wilson 

{Copyright Underwood & Undencood) 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 39 

The great debt of the EngHsh-speaking peoples everywhere 
is to the translation of the Bible that we all know — I trust I can 
say, all here know — in our homes; the Bible as it was put forth 
in English three centuries ago. No other book of any kind ever 
written in English — perhaps no other book ever written in any 
other tongue — has ever so affected the whole life of a people as 
this Authorized Version of the Scriptures has affected the life of 
the English-speaking peoples. 

I ask that the Bible be studied for the sake of the breadth 
it must give to every man who studies it. 

By courtesy of Mr. Herman Hagedorn, secretary of 
the Roosevelt Memorial Association, I am able to give an 
account of "Bible Point," a spot made famous because of 
its connection with President Roosevelt, and novvr bearing 
testimony to his habit of Bible-reading. The following is 
summarized from a brief article issued by the Association, 
entitled "A Roosevelt Shrine in the Maine Woods," by 
C. T. Hastings. More than forty years ago, while a student 
at Harvard, Roosevelt made a vacation trip to Lake Matta- 
wamkeag, some ten miles distant from Island Falls, and was 
so taken up with the spot that he returned many times. 
On one occasion he discovered a grove of hemlock, birch, 
and poplar in a quiet spot at the river's edge a mile or so 
below the dam. Here he went for hours at a time to read 
his Bible, and his companions named it Bible Point. A 
bench has been set between two tall poplars by "Bill" 
Sewall, the owner of the vacation camps, and on a tree nearby 
is a zinc box similar to a country mail-box, containing a 
Bible which has on its fly-leaf the following inscription in 
"Bill" Sewall's handwriting: 

Theodore Roosevelt as a young man came to this place to 
read his Bible. Friend, this book has been placed here for your 
use. May you receive from it the inspiration to noble living and 
high endeavor which he received. 

Look up especially the sixth chapter of Micah, eighth verse. 
Mr. Roosevelt quoted this passage frequently as expressing his 
ideal of high-spirited living. 

It is as applicable to national as to personal experience. 

The verse referred to is: "He hath shewed thee, O 
man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, 
but to do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly 
with thy God." 

40 The Book of Books 

A sign, fastened to the tree to call the attention of the 
passer-by to the meaning of the spot, reads as follows: 

This place, to which a great man in his youth liked to come 
to commune with God and with the wonder and beauty of the 
visible world, is dedicated to the happy memory of Theodore 

Stranger, rest here, and consider what one man, having 
faith in the right and love for his fellows, was able to do for his 

Woodrow^ Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the 
United States, at the official celebration of the Centennial of 
the American Bible Society, in Washington, May 7, 1916, 
closed his address on the Bible with these words: 

To my mind the colporteurs, the agents of the Bible Society, 
tramping through country-sides or traveling by every sort of 
conveyance, in every sort of land, carrying with them little car- 
goes of books containing the Word of God, and spreading them, 
seem like the shuttles in a great loom that is weaving the spirits 
of men together. A hundred years cannot accomplish that 
miracle, a hundred years cannot realize that vision. But if the 
weaving goes on, if the light continues to be spread, if men do not 
lose heart in this great ideal enterprise, it will some day be accom- 
plished, and a light will shine upon the earth in which men cannot 
go astray. 

At a meeting in Denver, May 7, 191 1, in celebration of 
the Tercentenary of the Authorized Version of the Bible, 
President Wilson, at that time Governor of New Jersey, 
referred to the Bible as "the Magna Charta of the human 
soul," and concluded his address with the following declara- 
tion and request: 

America was born a Christian nation. America was born to 
exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which 
are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture. I have a very 
simple thing to ask of you. I ask of every man and woman in 
this audience that from this night on they will realize that part 
of the destiny of America lies in their daily perusal of this great 
book of revelations — that if they would see America free and pure, 
they will make their own spirits free and pure by this baptism of 
the Holy Scripture. 

Again, speaking of a knowledge of the Bible, President 
Wilson said: 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 41 

A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world 
who has deprived himself of this, . . . There are a good many 
problems before the American people today, and before me as 
President, but I expect to find the solution of those problems just 
in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word 
of God. 

It is very difficult indeed for a man or for a boy, who knows 
the Scripture, ever to get away from it. It haunts him like an 
old song. It follows him like the memory of his mother. It 
forms a part of the warp and woof of his life. 

Warren G. Harding, the twenty-ninth President of the 
United States and the present incumbent of that high office 
(1922), is well known to have a great regard for the Bible 
and a sincere desire to exemplify its precepts. The following 
answer to a request for a special message for this volume 
will be evidence of this: 

The White House 
December 16, 1921 

My dear Mr. Lea: 

Replying to yours of December thirteenth, I am enclosing, 
in compliance with your request, a little statement of the Presi- 
dent's, concerning the Bible, which I think will precisely serve 
your purpose. 

Very sincerely, 

Geo. B. Christian, Jr. 

Secretary to the President. 

Mr. John W. Lea, 
1520 N. Robinson St., 
Philadelphia, Pa. 

The properly conducted Sunday School seems to me to be a 
very important feature of religious work, because it serves the 
young people at a time when they are most impressionable and, 
particularly, because it affords them opportunity for an intimate 
acquaintance with that monument of splendid literature, the 
Bible. Both as literature and as inspiration, the Bible has a 
value with which no other work can be compared, and every 
activity that expands and popularizes the knowledge of it is 
extremely worth while. 

(Signed) Warren G. Harding. 


The Book of Books 


Inaugurated President of the United States, March, 1921 

{Copvright Undenoood & Underwood) 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 43 

In a letter to Mr. Jim Hicks, of Chicago, who is engaged 
in distributing Bibles to prisons and reformatory and indus- 
trial schools, dated March 28, 1921, President Harding said: 

I have always believed in the inspiration of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, whereby they have become the expression to men of the 
word and will of God. I believe that from every point of view 
the study of the Bible is one of the most worthy to which men 
may devote themselves, and that, in proportion as they know 
and understand it, their lives and actions will be better. 

Testimonies of Statesmen and Generals 

The Right Honorable William Ev^art Gladstone, v^ho 
was for many years Prime Minister of England during the 
reign of Queen Victoria, published a book in advocacy of 
the Bible, under the title. The Impregnable Rock of Holy 
Scripture. Speaking of the divine origin of the Bible he says : 

The memories of men, and the art of writing and the care of 
the copyist, and the tablet and the parchment, are but the second- 
ary or mechanical means by which the Word has been carried 
down to us along the river of the ages; and the natural and inherent 
weakness of these means is in reality a special tribute to the gran- 
deur and vastness of the end, and of Him that wrought it out. 

The conviction which this great statesman and scholar 
would impress upon the minds of his readers is thus stated: 

That the Scriptures are well called Holy Scriptures; and that, 
though assailed by camp, by battery, and by mine, they are never- 
theless a house builded upon a rock, and that rock impregnable; 
that the weapon of offense, which shall impair their efficiency for 
aiding in the redemption of mankind, has not yet been forged; 
that the Sacred Canon, which it took (perhaps) two thousand 
years from the accumulations of Moses down to the acceptance 
of the Apocalypse to construct, is like to wear out the storms and 
the sunshine of the world, and all the wayward aberrations of 
humanity, not merely for a term as long, but until time shall be 
no more. 

At the end of the first chapter, in which he has dealt 
with some of the aspects of modern criticism, he places this 

For the prerent, I have endeavored to point out that the 
operations of criticism properly so called, affecting as they do the 
literary form of the books, leave the questions of substance, namely. 

44 The Book of Books 

those of history, miracle, and revelation, substantially where they 
found them. I shall, in some of the succeeding chapters, strive 
to show, at least by specimens, that science and research have 
done much to sustain the historical credit of the books of the Old 
Testament; that in doing this they have added strength to the 
argument which contends that in them we find a divine revelation; 
and that the evidence, rationally viewed, both of contents and of 
results, binds us to stand where our forefathers have stood, upon 
the impregnable rock of Holy Scripture. 

Not long before his death Mr. Gladstone w^rote: 

If I am asked what is the remedy for the sorrows of the heart — 
what a man should chiefly look to in his progress through life as 
the power that is to sustain him under trials, and enable him man- 
fully to confront his aflflictions — ^I must point to something which 
in a well-known hymn is called "the old, old story," told in an 
old, old Book, and taught with an old, old teaching, which is the 
greatest and best gift ever given to mankind. . . . 

I have known ninety-five great men of the world in my time, 
and of these eighty-seven were all followers of the Bible. . . . 
My only hope for the world is in bringing the human mind into 
contact with Divine Revelation. 

Daniel Webster, some of whose words have been quoted 
in Dean Farrar's address, also said: 

If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible our country 
will go on prospering and to prosper, but if we and our posterity 
neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden 
a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury our glory in profound 

Charles W. Fairbanks, a former Vice-President of the 
United States, said: 

The more the Bible is put into the minds and hearts and daily 
lives of the people, the less concern we may have with respect to 
our political laws. Take out of our lives the Scriptures and you 
would strike an irreparable blow to our national progress and to 
those high ideals which we associate with America and Americans. 

Honorable Wm. J. Bryan, Secretary of State in Presi- 
dent Wilson's Cabinet, in an address entitled "The Book 
of Supreme Influence," at the Tercentenary Celebration of 
the King James Version of the Bible, in Chicago, May 4, 
191 1, said: 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 45 

Wherever the moral standard is being lifted up — wherever 
life is becoming larger in the vision that directs it and richer in 
its fruitage, the improvement is traceable to the Bible and to the 
influence of the God and Christ of whom the Bible tells. 

Thomas R. Marshall, another Vice-President of the 
United States, on May 7, 1916, in an address at the cele- 
bration of the Centennial of the American Bible Society, 
on the eastern front of the Capitol in Washington, D. C, 
referred to the inaugural ceremony every fourth year, when 
the new President, at the conclusion of his oath of office, 
kisses a Book held in the hands of the Chief Justice, and 
added, "That Book is the Holy Bible — the Book of Books!" 
He called attention to the fact that three Presidents of the 
United States and several Justices of the Supreme Court 
had been vice-presidents of the American Bible Society, and 
toward the end of his address he said concerning man and 
the Bible: 

Whenever he finds his hands upon the Bible he finds some- 
thing not only secure but something that lights up his own life 
and the lives of those about him. It becomes, indeed, a lamp unto 
his feet and a light unto his pathway. He may stumble and err 
and wander in by and forbidden paths, but it will bring him back 
most assuredly to the King's highways. . . . 

That this Bible ought to be printed in every tongue, treas- 
ured by every human being, and exalted in every home, goes 
without saying — and no sting of any creed is in the statement. 
It contains wise counsel for the statesman and comfort for the 
criminal. There is no age, no clime, no race, and no condition 
about which it does not speak words of wisdom, of encouragement 
and consolation. 

But more particularly ought this Book, in this land, to be 
exalted high. If I were to have my way, I would take the torch 
out of the hand of the Statue of Liberty, in New York Harbor, 
and in its stead place an open Bible. 

At the same meeting in Washington, Champ Clark, at 
that time Speaker of the House, spoke on "The Bible and 
Public Life." In that address he said: 

The Bible, considered entirely apart from its religious value — 
which I leave to the preachers and Vice-President Marshall to 
expound — is of inestimable value. Considered solely as litera- 
ture, it is the greatest depository of splendid literature in the wide, 
wide world. It is the best book ever put between covers — to 
quote from before judges, before juries, in Congress, on the stump, 

46 The Book of Books 

on the lecture platform, or anywhere else. A fitting quotation 
from the Bible goes like a bullet to its mark. . . . 

When I get brain fag, which frequently occurs there in that 
large, tumultuous assembly, I read King Solomon's Proverbs and 
St. Paul's Epistles, as an intellectual tonic. There's nothing like 
it in the literature of the world. . . . 

If you want to learn the best English that there is extant, 
read the Bible; and this American Bible Society has done a great 
work and a great good by circulating the Bible so as to be within 
the reach of all. 

Napoleon, French General and Emperor, said of the 

I never omit to read it, and every day with the same pleasure. 
Nowhere is to be found such a series of beautiful ideas, admirable 
moral maxims, which produce in one's soul the same emotion 
which one experiences in contemplating the infinite expanse of 
the skies resplendent upon a summer's night with all the brilliance 
of the stars. Not only is one's mind absorbed, it is controlled, 
and the soul can never go astray with this Book for its guide. 

Lord Roberts, British Field Marshal: 

You will find in this little book guidance when you are in 
health, comfort when you are in sickness, and strength when you 
are in adversity. 

Marshall Foch, hero of the World War and General- 
issimo of the Allied armies: 

The Bible is certainly the best preparation that you can give 
to an American soldier about to go into battle, to sustain his 
magnificent ideal and his faith. 

General Garibaldi, the great Italian soldier and patriot: 

The best of allies you can procure for us is the Bible. That 
will bring us the reality of freedom. 

General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Southern 
forces in the American Civil War: 

The Bible is a book in comparison with which all others in 
my eyes are of minor importance, and which in all my perplexities 
and distresses has never failed to give me light and strength. 

General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the 
American Expeditionary Forces in the World War, in a 
cable to the American Bible Society, said: 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 47 

I am glad to see that every man in the Army is to have a 
Testament. Its teachings will fortify us for our great work. 

Admiral A. T. Mahan, of the American Navy, in an 
address to the cadets at West Point, said : 

Speaking after much experience of bad and good, of religion 
and irreligion, I assure you, with the full force of the convicton 
of a lifetime, that to one who has mastered the Word of God, 
even imperfectly, it brings a light, a motive, a strength, and a 
support which nothing else does. 

Testimonies of Philosophers, Famous Writers, and 


Professor Huxley, in the address before the London 
School Board from which Dean Farrar's address contained 
one extract, also said: 

Consider the great historical fact that for three centuries 
this Book [the Bible] has been woven into the life of all that is 
noblest and best in our history, and that it has become the national 
epic of our race; that it is written in the noblest and purest 
English, and abounds in exquisite beauties of mere literary form; 
and, finally, that it forbids the veriest hind, who never left his 
village, to be ignorant of the existence of other countries and 
other civilizations and of a great past, stretching back to the 
farthest limits of the oldest nations in the world. . . . 

The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and of 
the oppressed. Down to modern times, no State has had a con- 
stitution in which the interests of the people are so largely taken 
into account; in which the duties, so much more than the privi- 
leges, of rulers are insisted upon, as that drawn up for Israel in 
Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Nowhere is the fundamental truth 
that the welfare of the State, in the long run, depends upon the 
righteousness of the citizen, so strongly laid down. The Bible 
is the most democratic book in the world. 

John Ruskin wrote much concerning the Bible in his 
various books, but perhaps the most comprehensive is the 
following brief testimony : 

All that I have taught of Art, everything that I have written, 
whatever greatness there has been in any thought of mine, what- 
ever I have done in my life, has simply been due to the fact that, 
when I was a child, my mother daily read with me a part of the 
Bible, and daily made me learn a part of it by heart. 

48 The Book of Books 

Again : 

Read your Bible — make it your daily business to obey it in 
all you understand. To my early knowledge of the Bible I owe 
the best part of my taste in literature. 

Thomas Carlyle, the famous essayist and historian, has 
said : 

There is no book like the Bible: there never was and there 
never will be such another. 

Jean Jacques Rousseau, a French savant, said: 

I must confess to you that the majesty of the Scriptures 
astonishes me. ... If it had been the invention of men, the 
inventor would be greater than the greatest heroes. 

Immanuel Kant, a well-known German philosopher, 

The existence of the Bible as a book for the people is the 
greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. 

Heinrich Heine, a German Jewish poet and critic, who 
spoke of the Bible as "Jehovah's Diary," at the close of his 
life wrote: 

I attribute my enlightenment entirely and simply to the 
reading of a book, . . . and this book is the Book, the Bible. 
With right is it named the Holy Scriptures. He who has lost his 
God can find Him again in this Book, and he who has never known 
Him is here struck by the breath of the Divine Word. 

Rajah Sir Harnam Singh, of India, said: 

I think it may be said that modern educated India is to a 
great extent the product of Christian thought and teaching which 
have been imbibed from Christian literature through missionary 
institutions. One of the Brahmo Samaj religious books consists 
to a great extent of quotations from the Bible; and non-Christians 
acknowledge Christ as one of the greatest of teachers, and look 
upon his life as most exemplary. The Bible rises above all national 
and racial distinction and makes its appeal to the general heart 
of humanity. 

A Brahmin of South India said: 

Where do the English people get their knowledge, intelligence, 
cleverness, and power .f" It is their Bible that gives it to them. 
And now they bring it to us, translate it into our language and 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 49 

say, "Take it and see if it is not good." Of one thing I am con- 
vinced, that, do with it what we will, oppose it as we may, it is 
the Christian's Bible that will sooner or later work out the regen- 
eration of our land, 

James A. Froude, an English historian: 

The Bible, thoroughly known, is a literature of itself — the 
rarest and richest in all departments of thought and imagination 
which exists. 

Lord Macaulay said that the English Bible was 

a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, 
would alone suffice to show the extent of its beauty and power. 

Charles Dickens, in a letter to his son, said: 

I put a New Testament among your books for the very same 
reasons and with the very same hopes that made me write an easy 
account of it for you when you were a little child — because it is 
the best book that ever was or will be known in the world, and 
because it teaches you the best lessons by which any human crea- 
ture who tries to be truthful and faithful to duty can possibly 
be guided. 

Hall Caine, a famous English novelist, wrote in 
McClures's Magazine concerning the Bible. 

There is no book in the world like it, and the finest novels 
ever written fall far short in interest of any one of the stories it 
tells. Whatever strong situations I have in my books are not of 
my creation, but are taken from the Bible. The Deemster is the 
story of the Prodigal Son; The Bondman is the story of Esau and 
Jacob; The Scapegoat is the story of Eli and his sons, but with 
Samuel as a little girl; and The Manxman is the story of David 
and Uriah. 

Arthur Henry Hallam, an English essayist: 

I see that the Bible fits into every fold of the human heart. 
I am a man, and I believe it to be God's book because it is man's 

Count Tolstoy, the Russian author: 

I do not know a book which gives in such compact and poetic 
form every phase of human ideas as the Bible. Without the Bible 
the education of the child in the present state of society is 

50 The Book of Books 

Dostoevsky, another Russian author: 

I recommend you to read the whole Bible through in the 
Russian translation. The book makes a remarkable impression 
when one thus reads it. One gains, for one thing, the conviction 
that humanity possesses, and can possess, no other book of equal 

Coleridge the poet says in his Confessions of an Enqtiir- 
ing Spirit: 

For more than a thousand years the Bible collectively taken 
has gone hand in hand with civilization, science, law — in short, 
with the moral and intellectual cultivation of the species, always 
supporting and often leading the way. 

When Sir Walter Scott was dying, he said to his friend 
Lockhart, "Bring me the book," and when Lockhart said 
"What book?" Sir Walter said, ''The Book— the Bible; 
there is only one." 

Charles A. Dana, former editor of the New York Sun: 
Of all books, the most indispensable and the most useful, the 
one whose knowledge is most effective, is the Bible. There is no 
book from which more valuable lessons can be learned. 

George Herbert in "The Synagogue": 

The Bible.? That's the Book, the Book indeed, 

The Book of Books 

On which who looks, 
As he should do, aright, shall never need 

Wish for a better light 

To guide him in the night. 

Sir Isaac Newton, a famous philosopher: 

We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime 

Jacob Gould Schurman, President of Cornell University: 

The Bible is the most important document in the world's 
history. No man can be wholly uneducated who really knows 
the Bible, nor can anyone be considered a truly educated man 
who is ignorant of it. 

Sir Wm. Jones, a great orientalist and linguist who was 
acquainted with twenty-eight languages: 

Testimony of Eminent Persons 51 

The Scriptures contain, independent of a divine origin, more 
true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, purer morality, more 
important history, and finer strains, both of poetry and eloquence, 
than would be collected within the same compass from all other 
books that were ever composed in any age or in any idiom. The 
two parts of which the Scriptures consist are connected by a 
chain of compositions which bears no resemblance in form or style 
to any that can be produced from the States of Grecian, Indian, 
Persian, or even Arabian learning. The antiquity of these com- 
positions no man doubts, and the unstrained application of them 
to events long subsequent to their publication, is a solid ground 
of belief that they were genuine productions, and consequently 

Dr. J. H. Penniman, Acting-Provost and Professor of 
English literature in the University of Pennsylvania, in 
A Book About the English Bible, speaks of it in his epilogue 
as "that treasure-house of wisdom and beauty commonly 
known as the Holy Scriptures, contained in the Old and the 
New Testaments," and on the first two pages of the book 
pays the following eloquent tribute: 

The greatest book is the Bible, and the reason for the place 
assigned to it is that it contains interpretations of human life, 
actual and ideal, which reveal man to himself, in his joys and 
sorrows, his triumphs and his defeats, his aspirations and his 
possibilities, his relations to other men, and, comprehending and 
enveloping all, his relations to God. Men may differ about what 
the Bible is, but the fact remains that for centuries millions of 
men, of all grades of intelligence and learning, have believed that 
the Bible speaks to them as no other book has ever spoken, and 
that what it says comes with an authority derived from God him- 
self. The primary spiritual problem of man is his relations to 
God. Men, everywhere, recognize the existence of an intelligent 
power outside and higher than themselves that controls and regu- 
lates the universe. The individual who doubts or denies the 
existence of God is exceptional, and his opinions are at variance 
with human belief and experience. The Bible, concerned as it 
is in its component parts with the revelation of God to man, and 
the relation of man to God, has held the attention of men because 
it is true to the truths of life and satisfying to the yearnings of 
the human spirit. Men have found it so, and there is an abiding 
faith that men will continue to find it so. . . . 

Reverence for the Bible is increased by a knowledge of the 
history of its transmission down the centuries, through many 
languages, and many versions, preserving always its distinctive 
qualities unimpaired by the frailties of human copyists, and 
unchanged through the lapse of time. 


The Book of Books 




I— ( 




THE subjoined chronological table will serve as a back- 
ground to the succeeding chapters, the main political 
and ecclesiastical events being given for comparison with 
the particular dates of events connected with the produc- 
tion and translation of the Bible. The maps will serve for 
the geographical identification of the same events. 


721 Fall of Samaria after siege of two years by Shalmaneser. 
678 Esarhaddon completes the exile of the Israelites and sends 

men of various nations to Samaria from Babylon, Cuthah, 

Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim (2 Kings 17 : 24). 
606 Babylonian Empire fully developed. 
587 The Temple at Jerusalem destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, 

king of Babylon. 
538 Fall of Babylon and beginning of Medo- Persian Empire. 
536 Edict of Cyrus for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 
432 Establishment of worship of Jehovah at Samaria by Manas- 

seh, who was expelled from the priesthood at Jerusalem. 
326 Alexander the Great. 
285 Translation of the Septuagint Version begun at Alexandria 

(completed about 130 b.c). 
168 The Temple at Jerusalem profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes, 

king of Syria. 
165 Judas Maccabeus and his followers defeat the Syrians and 

expel them from the Temple. 
63 Jerusalem captured by Pompey, the Roman. 
55 Julius Cesar subdues Gaul and Britain. 
4 Birth of Jesus Christ. 


29 Death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and founda- 
tion of the Christian church. 

70 Destruction of Jerusalem and burning of the Temple by the 
303 Diocletian issues an edict for the persecution of the 



54 The Book of Books 


306 Constantine the Great becomes emperor of Rome. 

312 Constantine is converted to Christianity. 

313 Edict of Toleration issued. Pagan Roman Empire falls. 

324 Constantinople founded by Constantine. 

325 Council of Nice. 

364 Roman Empire divided into Eastern and Western. 

395 Division complete under Arcadius (Eastern) and Honorius 

410 Rome sacked by Alaric and the Goths. 
432 Rome attacked by Attila, " the scourge of God," and his 

449 English land in Britain. 
455 Rome plundered by the Vandals. 
476 End of the Western Roman Empire. 
527 Justinian becomes emperor at Constantinople. 
533 Justinian's decree constituting the bishop of Rome " head 

of all the holy churches." 
570 Birth of Mahomet at Mecca. 

607 Decree of the emperor Phocas constituting Boniface III, 
bishop of Rome, head over all the churches of Christendom, 
or pope. 
622 The Mohammedan Era begins with the flight of Mahomet 

from Mecca to Medina. 
632 Death of Mahomet. 
637 Jerusalem captured by the caliph Omar and building of 

the Mosque of Omar begun. 
640 Alexandria captured by the Saracens. 
663 Pope Vitalian orders use of Latin only in the services of 

the church. 
768 Charlemagne. 
800 Charlemagne becomes emperor of the restored Roman 

871 Alfred the Great becomes king of the Anglo-Saxons. 
1066 Norman conquest of England. 
1096 The First Crusade. 
1 1 24 Council of Toulouse. The laity forbidden to read the 

Scriptures except the Psalter, and that only in Latin. 
1 147 The Second Crusade. 
1 170 Peter Waldo and the Waldenses begin preaching against 

the papacy and are persecuted by Rome. 
1 187 The Third Crusade. 
1 189 Richard I becomes king. 
1 199 John becomes king. 
1202 The Fourth Crusade. 
1204 Latin Empire established in the East. 

1206 Foundation of the Inquisition, and persecution of the 

Chronological Table 55 


1215 Magna Charta signed by King John. 

1216 Henry III becomes king. 

1217 The Fifth Crusade. 
1221 Friars land in England. 

1228 The Sixth Crusade. 

1229 Council of Toulouse. 
1248 The Seventh Crusade. 

1261 Restoration of the Greek Empire. 

1268 The Eighth Crusade — the last. 

1274 Edward I becomes king. 

1299 The Ottoman Empire adopts the device of the Crescent. 

1307 Edward II becomes king. 

1324 John Wiclif born. 

1327 Edward III becomes king. 

_I374 Wiclif declares the pope to be Antichrist. He starts 
preaching at Lutterworth. 

1377 Richard II becomes king. 

1378 The Great Schism — rival popes. Gregory XI denounces 
Wiclif's heresy. 

• — 1380 Wiclif's New Testament completed. 

1382 Urban VI and Clement VII popes. Wiclif condemned at 

^ Blackfriars. Wiclif's complete Bible issued. 

1384 Death of Wiclif. 

1388 Purvey's revised edition of Wiclif's Bible issued. 

^^398 John Huss preaches at Prague against the papacy. 

1399 Henry IV becomes king. 

1408 The use of English Bibles forbidden, unless authorized by 

the priests. 

141 3 Henry V becomes king. 

1422 Henry VI becomes king. 

143 1 End of the Great Schism. 

1447 Nicholas V becomes pope. 

1450 Printing from movable type invented (exact date uncertain). 

T-ii453 Fall of Constantinople. End of the Eastern Roman 

Empire and establishment of the Ottoman, May 29th. 

1456 First Bible printed at Mainz, Germany (in Latin). 

1461 Henry VI becomes king. 

1476 Printing introduced into England by William Caxton (exact 

date uncertain). 

1483 Martin Luther born at Eisleben. Richard III becomes 

1484 Zwingli born. <^ Y 
-V 1484 WilHam Tindale born. '^ i.H 

1485 Henry VII becomes king. | '} .^b 
1492 America discovered by Columbus. 

1497 Melancthon born. 

56 The Book of Books 


1505 John Knox born. 

1509 Henry VIII becomes king. 

1510 Luther visits Rome. 

15 13 Leo X becomes pope. His sale of indulgences through the 
agency of John Tetzel precipitates the Reformation. 

1 5 14 Rise of Cardinal Wolsey to power. 

1516 First printed Greek New Testament published by Erasmus. 

1517 Luther publishes at Wittenberg his ninety-five theses 
against indulgences. 

1520 Luther publishes his Babylonish Captivity of the Church and 
denounces the papacy. 

1 52 1 Henry VIII granted by Leo X the title of " Defender of 
the Faith " because of his Defense of the Seven Sacraments 
against Luther. 

1522 Luther's German New Testament printed. 
^ 1525 Tindale's New Testament first printed. 

1530 Fall of Wolsey. Dies November 28th. 
,^1530 Tindale's English translation of the Pentateuch printed. 
1534 Papal supremacy in England abrogated and Henry VIII 
recognized as head of the English church. 

1534 Luther's German Bible printed. 

1535 Coverdale's Bible printed. 

y^iS3^ Tindale martyred at Vilvorde, near Brussels. 

1537 Matthew's (Rogers') Bible printed, and distributed by 

authority of Henry VIII. 
1539 The Great Bible published. 

1539 Taverner's Bible published. 

1540 Cranmer's edition of the Great Bible published. 

1545 Council of Trent. 

1546 Death of Martin Luther. 

1547 Edward VI becomes king. 

1549 English Book of Common Prayer published. 

1553 Mary becomes queen. Popery restored and Protestants 
persecuted. John Rogers the first martyr. 

1555 Ridley and Latimer burned at Oxford. 

1556 Cranmer burned at Oxford. 

1557 The Geneva New Testament published. 

1558 Elizabeth becomes queen. 
1560 The Geneva Bible published. 
1568 The Bishops' Bible published. 

1582 The Rheims New Testament published. 

1603 James I becomes king. 

1609-10 The Douay Bible published. 

\ 161 1 The Authorized (or King James) Version of the Bible issued. 

-^ 1 88 1 The Revised Version of the New Testament published in 

/" England. 

1885 The Revised Old Testament published in England. 

Chronological Table 57 


1895 The Revised Apocrypha published in England. 

1901 The American Standard (Revised) Version published at 

New York. 
191 7 The Jewish Revised Version published at Philadelphia. 




WRITING is a very ancient art, but when or where 
it originated history does not definitely tell. The 
materials used have been of many kinds. Hard cutting 
instruments have been used for making impressions in soft 
clay and in hard rock; softer pointed instruments have 
been used for making impressions in soft materials or for 
leaving portions of their own substance upon the material 
written upon; and various devices have been adopted for 
making stains or deposits with liquids upon writing surfaces 
of various kinds. The chisel, the stylus, the pencil, the 
brush, and the pen have been used upon clay, stone, wood, 
leather, wax, papyrus, parchment, vegetable bark, paper, 
and textile materials. Originally one copy was made; 
later, mechanical devices were used for multiplying copies 
and saving time, as will be detailed in a section of a later 
chapter devoted to the development of printing, "the art 
preservative of all arts." 

In the childhood of the world, as in the childhood of 
the individual, early attempts at writing were pictorial 
representations of objects of nature or art. The child today 
learns to read by associating the letters of the alphabet with 
pictures, as "A is for apple, C is for cat, K is for kettle, 
M is for man." So one of the earliest forms of writing, if 
not the earliest, was the hieroglyphic, in which the charac- 
ters used for letters and words were pictorial representations 
of animals and things. Very ancient examples of hiero- 
glyphics may be seen in our museums. Statues, wall tablets 
or paintings, mummy-cases and coffins, ornamented with 
hieroglyphics, have been taken from their original positions 
in Egypt and placed in the museums of many lands; and 


Ancient Writing 59 

in the two greatest cities of the world may be seen two of 
the oldest and finest Egyptian obeHsks, the so-called Cleo- 
patra's needles, erected about four thousand years ago in 
front of the Temple of the Sun at Heliopolis and later 
removed to Alexandria. One is on the Thames Embank- 
ment, London, and the other in Central Park, New York — - 
each a solid block of granite covered with hieroglyphics. 

Of almost equal antiquity with these Egyptian hiero- 
glyphics are the cuneiform, or wedge-shaped, inscriptions of 
Babylonia and Assyria. With a sharp edge, impressions 


wider at one end than at the other were made upon soft 
clay, and with the chisel similar forms were made in hard 
rocks and stones. The clay was in the shape of bricks or 
tablets and was written on one or more sides and afterward 
baked hard. Letters, contracts, legal documents, school 
lessons, and royal records were kept on these clay tablets. 
Many of them may be seen in our museums today. Scholars 
have learned to read them, and their testimony has given 
wonderful corroboration to the Bible narratives. 

Kings had their laws, records, and proclamations 
inscribed in cueniform characters on large stone steles, or 
pillars; on small cylinders, round, oval, or hexagonal; and 
on wall tablets and the face of the rock. 

6o The Book of Books 

As explorers began, a century or so ago, to excavate in 
Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt, these stones and rock 
inscriptions and tablets were discovered, and the next great 
problem was to decipher and translate them. They con- 
tained the dead languages of dead peoples; there was no 

■<-<'•;t1-^/^yl..^lv^.^*.Al,(lU.,■i.l.:/^^,^,:..-_-, ,.,p,,>-,j-(i-i'|,-.«4,»<.«.i»-..,.,j./-o-,.jiii.,^'''" 


,',„ ._,^._.^_ .^.-~.^-..; .^_..;.--,{._. , . 

.', ,(."^;' .^y.. 


"«f?i"o*iVa'iH--("T*lV..T6X»i/i'(^^I."'r ' i'-* 



fi'?iSssSsHi;iK';sK£SHv" .' 


i'^iln7T""t""t'i'M^*u.^.'iTy;;ji^'o«"rt"'U'' ■ ■ ,„,„L.r;.o 

«>.ii-miAiu.i«»tT~««Tini<.-><»i«i»i»l»-""'» • 


native exponent living. But the patient toil and persistent 
endeavor of diligent students gradually solved the mystery. 
Some very important finds gave the key to the problem. 
The Rosetta Stone was discovered at Rosetta, in the Delta 
of the Nile, in 1799, and in 1802 was placed in the British 
Museum. It contained an inscription in three languages: 

Ancient Writing 



At the top the king is 
represented in an atti- 
tude of worship, receiv- 
ing the laws from the 
Sun-God, Shamesh. The 
lower part of the stele is 
inscribed with the laws 
which the king promul- 
gated for his subjects. 
This stele is of black 
diorite about seven feet 
high, and was originally 
set up in the temple of 
E-sagili at Babylon, but 
was later carried off by 
an Elamite conqueror to 
Susa, where it was dis- 
covered, broken into 
three pieces, in Decem- 
ber, 1901, and January, 
1902. The laws have 
been deciphered and 
translated, and they 
bear a remarkable simi- 
larity in many parts to 
the Law of Moses. They 
throw an interesting 
light on the life and cus- 
toms of Babylonia nearly 
four thousand years ago. 

The original is in 
Paris, but casts may be 
seen in various museums. 

(From Winston's "International Bible Dlcllonary") 


The Book of Books 


In this cylinder the 
capture of Babylon is 
mentioned. The origi- 
nal is of baked clay and 
is in the British Museum, 

{From Winston's "Handy Bible Encyclopedia") 

Ancient Writing 


hieroglyphic, the writing of the priests; Egyptian script, or 
demotic, the writing of the people; and Greek. In 1818 
Champollion began a comparative study of these inscrip- 
tions, and, working on the theory that they were the same 
matter in three languages, and knowing the Greek, he dis- 
covered the key to the decipherment and translation of the 
other two. Similarly in Persia a rock inscription in three 
languages, Babylonian, Elamitic, and Persian, at Behistun, 
was deciphered by RawHnson between 1833 and 1851, and 
the key to the cuneiform writing was discovered. Subse- 
quent study of both Egyptian and cuneiform inscriptions 

^1 ^|5:^^ <^- 

r^n^^^ ^ i^^^ 



From a brick of Nebuchadnezzar 

(From Winston's "International Bible Dictionary") 

has substantiated and developed the discoveries, so that now 
both Egyptian and various cuneiform languages are sub- 
jects of study in the universities, and scholars have trans- 
lated many tablets and inscriptions which have shed light 
upon the biblical histories. 

In 1887 a remarkable find of tablets was made at Tel 
el-Amarna in Egypt. There were more than three hundred 
tablets, mostly correspondence between Egyptian and 
Asiatic kings, fourteen to fifteen centuries B.C. These 
letters revealed much concerning the strength of the Hittites 
at the time they were written. 

Papyrus is a very ancient writing material of Egypt, 
used to a small extent in other countries as well. The 
papyrus grew abundantly in Egypt, and the name of the 


The Book of Books 

reed was given to the writing material made from it; the 
name "paper" is a modification of "papyrus," given to 
modern writing material because it somewhat resembles in 
appearance the papyrus of Egypt. The stem of the reed 
was cut into long strips which were laid side by side on a 
board, and over these another layer was placed crosswise. 
The layers were moistened, pressed or hammered^together, 
and dried in the sun, being made smooth by polishing with 
ivory or shells. Sometimes a little glue was used in the 


iFrom the "Biblical World") 

water to increase the adhesion. The sheets could be cut 
into convenient sizes, and a number of sheets could be fast- 
ened together edge to edge to make a roll. The rolls varied 
in length, some being known as long as 144 feet, but usually 
they were only from 20 to 30 feet. The writing was done 
with reed pens, and ink made from'vegetables. A specimen 
of papyrus in Paris is considered to be from about 260c B.C., 
and an even earlier date is claimed for some. There have 
been several important finds of papyrus documents within 
the past half-century, including fragments from the Sep- 

Ancient Writing 


tuagint and the New Testament, especially the Psalter and 
the Gospels, with apocryphal writings and some Greek 
classics as well. 

The Israelites in bondage must have been familiar to 
some extent with the wntmg in Egypt, also with the writ- 
ing of the Assyrians and Babylonians, or the earlier forms 


(From Winston's "International Bible Dictionary") 

of these languages, Elamitic and Sumerian. Therefore there 
is no difficulty in understanding the numerous references to 
the writing of the law, and the tables of stone, in the Penta- 
teuch and in the Book of Joshua. In the Psalms and the 
Prophets are references to pens, penknives, inkhorns, and 

Another form of tablet was sometimes used, consisting 
of a flat surface covered with wax, on which writing was 


The Book of Books 


,,' --r:''' tV^'V' «;;,,»*■ .«^^SjjJ^^^ 


(.From the " Biblical World") 

Ancient Writing 


done with a sharp pointed stylus. Thus, it will be remem- 
bered, at the birth of John the Baptist, his father, Zacharias, 
being unable to speak when appealed to concerning the 
child's name, asked For a writing tablet and wrote that it 
was John. This was a wooden tablet, coated with wax, 
or it may have been with sand. 

Modern paper has been in use as a writing material 
for at least a thousand years. The origin of the art of mak- 
ing paper is obscure. It was originally made from the fibers 
of such plants as cotton and flax, and rags were used later; 
more recently numerous varieties of grass, straw, and wood 




^"^ - • - '-^^^^^-^^ 



(From Winston's "International Bible Dictionary") 

fiber have been used. The material is first made into a 
pulp, and ingredients are added for giving the desired tex- 
ture and color; and, after all have been well beaten together, 
the pulp is spread in thin layers or sheets on screens of wire 
and dried. Very little paper is now made by hand — only 
the best quality from the best materials. The process has 
been greatly cheapened and expedited by machinery for the 
production of the large sheets and long rolls that are fed 
to the mammoth presses in the making of modern news- 
papers and books. 

As papyrus began to get scarce recourse was had to a 
material which had been used to some extent from very 


The Book of Books 


(From Winston's '•Handy Bible Encyclopedia") 

Ancient Writing 69 "^ 

early times, namely, the skins of animals. Such material 
was called "parchment," a name said to be derived from 
Pergamum, where its manufacture was stimulated by 
Eumenes, as Pliny states, on account of the refusal of 
Ptolemy to allow the papyrus to be exported. Skins dressed 
on one side only could be used for rolls; those for books in 
leaf form must be dressed on both sides. The Encyclopcedia 
Britannica says of the modern process of preparing skins, 
that it "is by washing, liming, unhairing, scraping, washing 
a second time, stretching evenly on a frame, scraping a 
second time and paring down inequahties, dusting with 
sifted chalk, and rubbing with pumice." Parchment is the 
name given to the prepared skins of sheep and goats; but 
those of calves, kids, and lambs are called vellum. Some- 
times the vellum was dyed purple, and a number of manu- 
scripts on such purple vellum are extant; the writing was j 
then done in silver or gold. — -' 

The earliest Hebrew writing known is on the Moabite 
Stone. This stone was found at Dibon in 1868. After 
impressions of it had been taken and several attempts to 
purchase it had failed, the Arabs destroyed it by fire. The 
fragments, however, were recovered and pieced together, 
and it is now in the Louvre at Paris. It contains records 
of Mesha, king of Moab, in which are detailed the oppres- 
sion of Moab by Omri, king of Israel, and the subsequent 
revolt and conquest of Israel by Mesha, the date being 
about 850 B.C. 

The Manuscripts 

The originals of the Old Testament were written in 
Hebrew, with the exception of a few small portions in Chal- 
dean or Aramaic. They were written in rolls, and later 
some were written in book form. The oldest extant Hebrew 
manuscript is about a thousand years old, dating from the 
early part of the tenth century, or perhaps the end of the 
ninth. Either the manuscript of the Prophets at Petrograd 
or one of the Pentateuch in the British Museum is the oldest 
known. The original Hebrew manuscripts were written 
with consonants only, the vowel points having been added 
at a much later date by the Massoretes. Somewhere about 

70 The Book of Books 

the seventh or eighth century these points were added in 
the form of dots and dashes, much Hke the diacritical marks 
placed in pronouncing Bibles today by some publishers to 
indicate the pronunciation of proper names. The Masso- 
retes were students who had studied the text to make it as 
accurate as possible. Without the vowel points the conso- 



(Exodus 26 : 7) from the earliest dated Hebrew manuscript, now in the 
British Museum; of the tenth century 

(From i^elsons' " Eneyclopcedia) 

nants might be taken for any one of several words, with 
different meanings in many cases, and this accounts for a 
number of errors in some editions of the Bible. 

I am indebted to Mr. Charles J. Cohen for the excellent 
illustrations of modern synagogue rolls and for some inter- 
esting details concerning them. The Sepher Torah, a scroll 

The Manuscripts 



{Courtesy of Charles J. Cohen) 

72 The Book of Books 

of the Law, is in use in Philadelphia, at the Mikve Israel 
Synagogue, and the ornaments at the top of the rods are 
silver bells. "In ancient Judean days the king was required 
to have a copy to be kept near his throne and carried into 
battle," but from the histories of the Chronicles it seems 
that at times things got so bad that the book of the law was 
lost, and special mention is made of its being found again. 
Heads of families had to possess copies also, and were only 
permitted to dispose of them m case of extreme distress or 
to pay a teachers' fee or one's own marriage expenses. The 
scrolls used in the synagogues do not contain vowels or 
accents, and are not divided into verses or chapters. Each 
book of the Law is divided into fifty-four sections, called 
parashyot, so that a section may be read each week, and 
the whole in a year — the fifty-four being accounted for by 
the extra month occurring in some Jewish years (the Ve- 
Adar), and, when there are only twelve months, two portions 
are read some weeks to get the fifty-four in the year. 

The small Torah, or book of the Law, shown in the 
illustration, originally belonged to the Simon-Gratz family, 
Mr. Cohen's great-grandfather being household Rabbi. 
It illustrates the practice that when a place of worship was 
unknown in a small town, the devout carried with him his 
Torah in its small ark. 

Extreme care was taken by the Hebrew scribes who 
copied the rolls for the synagogues, and precise rules are 
given in the Talmud for their guidance in the work. Manu- 
scripts must be transcribed from ancient and approved 
copies only, and the skins of clean animals, prepared spe- 
cially by a Jew, must be used. The fastenings of the sheets 
must be made from the sinews of a clean animal. Each 
skin must have an exact number of columns, of equal length 
and width, with an even number of lines and words. Black 
ink must be used, prepared from soot, charcoal, and honey, 
mixed into a paste, allowed to harden, and then dissolved 
in water and an infusion of galls. The scribe must look at 
the copy for each word, consider it carefully, and pronounce 
it orally before writing. Three lines must be left between 
books. The fifth book of Moses must end exactly with a 
line. The scribe must be attired in full Jewish costume 
when at work. When any of the divine names had to be 

The Manuscripts 


written the pen must be washed, and before writing the 
name JHVH (Jehovah or Yahweh) the scribe must wash 
his whole body; and he must be so attentive to his work 
that even if a king should speak to him he could not answer 


{(.'ourtesy of Charles J. Cohen) 

till he had finished the name. The copy had to be exammed 
as soon as finished and if there were additions or omissions, 
or if poetry was written as prose or prose as poetry, or if 
two letters touched each other the sheet was spoiled. 


The Book of Books 

The monks who toiled in copying the Greek manuscripts 
did not observe such detailed rules as did the Hebrew scribes, 
but they spent their lives in carefully transcribing and 
decorating the Scriptures. Those who did such work were 


(From an old palming) 

excused from the manual labor in garden and house. Long- 
fellow has put into the mouth of Friar Pacificus the following 
lines, which describe the reverence and care that were exer- 
cised in the scriptorium by the old illuminator: 

The Manuscripts 75 

'Tis growing dark! Yet one line more, 

And then my work for today is o'er. 

I come again to the name of the Lord! 

Ere I that awful Name record 

That is spoken so hghtly among men, 

Let me pause awhile and wash my pen; 

Pure from blemish and blot must it be 

When it writes that word of mystery! 

Thus have I labored on and on, 

Nearly through the Gospel of John. 

Can it be that from the lips 

Of this same gentle Evangelist, 

That Christ Himself perhaps has kissed, 

Came the dread Apocalypse.? 

It has a very awful look 

As it stands there at the end of the Book 

Like the sun in an eclipse. Ah me! 

When I think of that vision divine, 

Think of writing it line by line, 

I stand in awe of the terrible curse. 

Like the trump of doom, in the closing verse. 

God forgive me, if ever I 

Take aught from the Book of that prophecy. 

Lest my part too should be taken away 

From the Book of Life on the Judgment Da}'. 

This is well written, though I say it; 

I should not be afraid to display it 

In open day, on the self-same shelf 

With the writings of St. Thecla herself, 

Or of Theodosius, who of old 

Wrote the Gospels in letters of gold. 

That goodly folio standing yonder. 

Without a single blot or blunder, 

Would not bear away the palm from mine 

If we should compare them line for line. 

There, now, is an initial letter! 

St. Ulric himself never made a better, 

Finished down to the leaf and the snail, 

Down to the eyes on the peacock's tail. 

And now, as I turn the volume over, 

And see what lies between cover and cover. 

What treasures of art these pages hold, 

All ablaze with crimson and gold; 

God forgive me! I seem to feel 

A certain satisfaction steal ' 

Into my heart and into my brain. 

As if my talent had not lain 

Wrapped in a napkin, and all in vain. 

76 The Book of Books 

Yes, I might almost say to the Lord, 
Here is a copy of Thy Word, 
Written out with much toil and pain; 
Take it, O Lord, and let it be 
As something I have done for Thee. 

s/ Greek manuscripts are of two kinds, uncials and cur- 
sives. The oldest are the uncials, so called because they 
are written entirely in capital letters. They were written 
without spaces between the words, and without punctua- 
tion. Gradually, means were adopted for dividing the 
matter up into sections for convenience of reference. Letters, 
or letters and numbers, were placed in the margins. Some 
manuscripts were written stychometrically, that is, with 
just sufficient on one line to be read without stopping. 

There are not many more than a hundred Greek uncial 
manuscripts of the New Testament known, and of these 
only two contain the whole. They are known to scholars 
by English, Greek, and Hebrew letters preceded by the 
word "Codex" which means "book" — Codex A, Codex B, 
Codex >^, etc. 

The known cursives, which are so called from being 
written in a running hand, or with capital and small letters, 
number between two and three thousand. They date from 
the tenth to the sixteenth centuries and are not nearly so 
valuable from a critical point of view as the uncials. There 
are also more than a thousand Lectionaries, or reading lists, 
that is, lessons from the New Testament to be read during 
the year. The cursive manuscripts are listed by numbers. 

The work of scholars is to determine as nearly as pos- 
sible the original text. The older the manuscript, the more 
valuable from a textual point of view, ordinarily; though a 
more recent copy from an older original would be likely to 
be more correct than an older copy from a later original. 
There are other considerations which weigh in considering 
the textual value of a manuscript, and in a later chapter will 
be found a summary of the rules which guide the textual 
critics, as given by Dr. Philip SchafF in his Companion to 
the Greek Testament and English Version. 

The three most ancient and valuable uncial manuscripts 
are the Vatican (Codex Vaticanus, or Codex B) in the 

The Manuscripts 'j'j 

Vatican, at Rome; the Alexandrian (Codex Alexandrinus, 
or Codex A), in the British Museum, London; and the 
Sinaitic (Codex Sinaiticus, or Codex «), in the Imperial 
Library at Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Another valuabe 
manuscript is the Codex Ephraem, Codex Ephraemi Syri, 
or Codex C. This is known as a paHmpsest, that is, a manu- 
script in which the original writing has been erased to make 
room for something else. Another valuable manuscript, 
with Greek and Latin on opposite pages, is the Codex Bezae, 
or Codex D. The remaining uncials are in most cases very 
fragmentary, but on account of their age are more valuable 
than most of the cursives. 

The Sinaitic Manuscript (Codex .^ ) is probably the 
oldest Greek manuscript extant, being supposed to date 
from the fourth century. It is in the Imperial Library at 
Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia. It was found by 
Tischendorf in the Convent of St. Catherine, on Mount 
Sinai, and, though the story of the finding has often been 
told, it will be interesting to read the full account as given 
by Tischendorf himself in a little book entitled, When Were 
Our Gospels Written? 

The literary treasures which I had sought to explore have 
been drawn in most cases from the convents of the East, where, 
for ages, the pens of industrious monks have copied the sacred 
writings, and collected manuscripts of all kinds. It therefore 
occurred to me whether it was not probable that in some recess 
of Greek or Coptic, Syrian or Armenian monasteries, there might 
be some precious manuscripts slumbering for ages in dust and 
darkness? And would not every sheet of parchment so found, 
covered with writings of the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, 
be a kind of literary treasure, and a valuable addition to our 
Christian literature.? . . . 

I here pass over in silence the interesting details of my travels 
— my audience with the Pope, Gregory XVI, in May, 1843 — my 
intercourse with Cardinal Mezzofanti, that surprising and cele- 
brated linguist — and I come to the result of my journey to the 
East. It was in April, 1844, that I embarked at Leghorn for 
Egypt. The desire which I felt to discover some precious remains 
of any manuscripts, more especially Biblical, of a date which 
would carry us back to the early times of Christianity, was realized 
beyond my expectations. It was at the foot of Mount Sinai, in 
the Convent of St. Catherine, that I discovered the pearl of all 
my researches. In visiting the library of the monastery, in the 
month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall 

yS The Book of Books 

a large and wide basket full of old parchments; and the librarian, 
who was a man of information, told me that two heaps of papers 
like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to 
the flames. What was my surprise to find amid this heap of papers 
a considerable number of sheets of a copy of the Old Testament 
in Greek, which seemed to me to be one of the most ancient that 
I had ever seen. The authorities of the convent allowed me to 
possess myself of a third of these parchments, or about forty-three 
sheets, all the more readily as they were destined for the fire. 
But I could not get them to yield up possession of the remainder. 
The too lively satisfaction which I had displayed had aroused their 
suspicions as to the value of this manuscript. I transcribed a 
page of the text of Isaiah and Jeremiah, and enjoined on the 
monks to take religious care of all such remains which might fall 
in their way. 

On my return to Saxony there were men of learning who at 
once appreciated the value of the treasure which I brought back 
with me. I did not divulge the name of the place where I had 
found it, in the hopes of returning and recovering the rest of the 
manuscript. I handed over to the Saxon Government my rich 
collection of Oriental manuscripts in return for the payment of 
all my traveling expenses. I deposited in the library of the Uni- 
versity of Leipzig, in shape of a collection, which bears my name, 
fifty manuscripts, some of which are very rare and interesting. 
I did the same with the Sinaitic fragments, to which I gave the 
name of Codex Frederick Augustus, in acknowledgment of the 
patronage given to me by the King of Saxony; and I published 
them in Saxony in a sumptuous edition, in which each letter and 
stroke was exactly reproduced by the aid of lithography. 

But these home labors upon the manuscripts which I had 
already safely garnered did not allow me to forget the distant 
treasure which I had discovered. I made use of an influential 
friend, who then resided at the Court of the Viceroy of Egypt, to 
carry on negotiations for procuring the rest of the manuscripts; 
but his attempts were, unfortunately, not successful. "The 
monks of the convent," he wrote to me to say, "have, since your 
departure, learned the value of these sheets of parchment, and 
will not part with them at any price." 

I resolved, therefore, to return to the East to copy this price- 
less manuscript. Having set out from Leipzig in January, 1853, 
I embarked at Trieste for Egypt, and in the month of February 
I stood for the second time in the Convent of Sinai. This second 
journey was more successful even than the first, from the dis- 
coveries that I made of rare Biblical manuscripts; but I was not 
able to discover any further traces of the treasure of 1844. I for- 
get: I found in a roll of papers a little fragment, which, written 
over on both sides, contained eleven short lines of Genesis, which 
convince me that the manuscripts originally contained the entire 

The Manuscripts 79 

Old Testament, but that the greater part had been long since 

On my return, I reproduced in the first volume of a collection 
of ancient Christian documents the page of the Sinaitic manu- 
script which I had transcribed in 1844, without divulging the 
secret of where I had found it. I confined myself to the statement 
that I claimed the distinction of having discovered other docu- 
ments — no matter whether published in Berlin or Oxford — as I 
assumed that some learned travelers, who had visited the convent 
after me, had managed to carry them off. 

The question now arose how to turn to use these discoveries. 
Not to mention a second journey which I made to Paris in 1849, 
I went through Germany, Switzerland, and England, devoting 
several years of unceasing labor to a seventh edition of my New 
Testament. But I felt myself more and more urged to recom- 
mence my researches in the East. Several motives, and more 
especially the deep reverence of all Eastern monasteries for the 
Emperor of Russia, led me, in the autumn of 1856, to submit to 
the Russian Government a plan of a journey for making systematic 
researches in the East. This proposal only aroused a jealous and 
fanatical opposition in St. Petersburg. People were astonished 
that a foreigner and a Protestant should presume to ask the sup- 
port of the Emperor of the Greek and Orthodox Church for a 
mission to the East. But the good cause triumphed. The interest 
which my proposal excited, even within the imperial circle, inclined 
the Emperor in my favor. It obtained his approval in the month 
of September, 1858, and the funds which I asked for were placed 
at my disposal. Three months subsequently my seventh edition 
of the New Testament, which had cost me three years of incessant 
labor, appeared; and in the commencement of January, 1859, I 
again set sail for the East. . . . 

By the end of the month of January I had reached the Con- 
vent of Mount Sinai. The mission with which I was entrusted 
entitled me to expect every consideration and attention. The 
prior, on saluting me, expressed a wish that I might succeed in 
discovering fresh supports for the truth. His kind expression of 
goodwill was verified even beyond his expectations. 

After having devoted a few days in turning over the manu- 
scripts of the convent, not without alighting here and there on 
some precious parchment or other, I told my Bedouins, on the 
4th February, to hold themselves in readiness to set out with 
their dromedaries for Cairo on the 7th, when an entirely fortuitous 
circumstance carried me to the goal of all my desires. On the 
afternoon of this day I was taking a walk with the steward of the 
convent in the neighborhood, and as we returned toward sunset, 
he begged me to take some refreshment with him in his cell. 
Scarcely had he entered the room, when, resuming our former 
subject of conversation, he said: "And I, too, have read a Sep- 


The Book of Books 

tuagint" — i. e., copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. 
And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky 
kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. 
I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not 
only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken 
out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the 
New Testament complete, and, in addition, the Epistle of Barna- 
bas and a part of the Pastor of Hermas. Full of joy, which this 
time I had the self-command to conceal from the steward and the 
rest of the community, I asked, as if in a careless way, for per- 
mission to take the manuscript into my sleeping chamber to look 
over it more at leisure. There by myself I could give way to the 
transport of joy which I felt. I knew that I held in my hand the 


most precious Biblical treasure in existence — a document whose 
age and importance exceeded that of all the manuscripts which I 
had ever examined during twenty years' study of the subject. 
I cannot now, I confess, recall all the emotions which I felt in 
that exciting moment with such a diamond in my possession. 
Though my lamp was dim, and the night cold, I sat down at once 
to transcribe the Epistle of Barnabas. For two centuries search 
has been made in vain for the original Greek of the first part of 
this Epistle, which has only been known through a very faulty 
Latin translation. And yet this letter, from the end of the second 
down to the beginning of the fourth century, had an extensive 
authority, since many Christians assigned to it and to the Pastor 
of Hermas a place side by side with the inspired writings of the 

The Manuscripts 8i 

New Testament. This was the very reason why these two writ- 
ings were both thus bound up with the Sinaitic Bible, the trans- 
cription of which is to be referred to the first half of the fourth 
century, and about the time of the first Christian Emperor. 

Early on the 5th of February I called upon the steward. I 
asked permission to take the manuscript with me to Cairo, to 
have it there transcribed completely from beginning to end; but 
the prior had set out only two days before also for Cairo, on his 
way for Constantinople, to attend at the election of a new arch- 
bishop, and one of the monks would not give his consent to my 
request. What was then to be done.f* My plans were quickly 
decided. On the 7th, at sunrise, I took a hasty farewell of the 
monks, in hopes of reaching Cairo in time to get the prior's con- 
sent. Every mark of attention was shown me on setting out. 
The Russian flag was hoisted from the convent walls, while the 
hillsides rang with the echoes of a parting salute, and the most 
distinguished members of the order escorted me on my way as far 
as the plain. 

The following Sunday I reached Cairo, where I was received 
with the same marks of goodwill. The prior, who had not yet set 
out, at once gave his consent to my request, and also gave instruc- 
tions to a Bedouin to go and fetch the manuscript with all speed. 
Mounted on his camel, in nine days he went from Cairo to Sinai 
and back, and on the 24th February the priceless treasure was 
again in my hands. The time was now come at once boldly and 
without delay to set to work to a task of transcribing no less than 
a hundred and ten thousand lines — of which a great number were 
difficult to read, either on account of later corrections, or through 
the ink having faded — and that in a climate where the thermometer 
during March, April, and May is never below ']']° of Fahrenheit 
in the shade. No one can say what this cost me in fatigue and 

The relation in which I stood to the monastery gave me the 
opportunity of suggesting to the monks the thought of presenting 
the original to the Emperor of Russia as the natural protector of 
the Greek Orthodox faith. The proposal was favorably enter- 
tained, but an unexpected obstacle arose to prevent its being acted 
upon. The new archbishop, unanimously elected during Easter 
week, and whose right it was to give a final decision in such matters, 
was not yet consecrated, or his nomination even accepted by the 
Sublime Porte. And while they were waiting for this double 
solemnity, the Patriarch of Jerusalem protested so vigorously 
against the election, that a three months' delay must intervene 
before the election could be ratified and the new archbishop 
installed. Seeing this, I resolved to set out for Jaff"a and Jerusalem. 

Just at this time the Grand Duke Constantine of Russia, 
who had taken the deepest interest in my labors, arrived at Jaffna. 
I accompanied him to Jerusalem. I visited the ancient libraries 


The Book of Books 

of the holy city, that of the monastery of Saint Saba on the shores 
of the Dead Sea, and then those of Beyrout, Ladikia, Smyrna, 
and Patmos. These fresh researches were attended with the 
most happy results. At the time desired I returned to Cairo; 
but here, instead of success, only met with a fresh disappointment. 
The Patriarch of Jerusalem still kept up his opposition, and as he 
carried it to the most extreme lengths, the five representatives of 
the convent had to remain at Constantinople, where they sought 
in vain for an interview with the Sultan to press their rights. 
Under these circumstances the monks of Mount Sinai, although 
willing to do so, were unable to carry out my suggestion. 

I HDKXh II rt-iW <■> 
MuKdl <)-,>< AKOI 
riKH fK7 luyu7f>, 

n>ii- KrrfA'i^) 

'.:yN< iiPNKAlMi- 


i-:YA"kia» MI I r*.'""" 


M<riMu>,Ki I rni 

nifKAMJt i iliNO 
(I Alil('< IMI id/T; 

K*,K1>< AM«l)YAl) 
[XK)Y(.A.I l(,K\Kf 

I ACKX 11 M >>jsj ti 1 1.- 
M AKAf K) U ! ( 0<J>tMi>, 
\RAt--r K-l<-A«--IXj; 

Am tipc><j>in*JK*j 

RM-lAel 0HO< AM-r 


ncANGn Hi(ciii 

f ONt'Mt IC<l)OAc 



ArA» I H t:6 1 CK WT 

0N »-'OYt--:f.f>AKf7M' 

KAfM*-' ' wYKAf 
KXIO'OAII II I, t >-> 

ifoyKKK ^l<iAl,|^. 
AIAM'M Ai\)yKxi 
. I<>MI IM I'torw. ,i; 
iliC.ct K( IXIHilll- 
NCAY i<no;-()<iK- 
Alii-Ntl"n.; loyi- 
1 K>KlKAi/ni-ti 

<>A<='t>l AUJMMK w 

tiKrAiXy'iDiji 111. 

» If oil- lOMl'l^lKAl 

ri<"t(- 1 iMMoyiixi' 

«l OUf I XU>ls Al A»( 
<-"rA<CITfcTI <^l IP"" 

eiiit>t w it-e;^, ,ii*~ 

<>HNX>4^-K|r< ( ) I 
M UVXfsir iKX(><ti 
KYClANAt l(-f«r 
I KKXrtKXl Hf /l 
':k(i I lOXtIK K'l 

cxMAfi riKAt-ri- 
»>AFyu)rj« rxoiN 

l\"AII IfOft-AlHllw 




t<IXI tnw-iClNI 

e criANXi^Kiou 



Kf M-m>ri xh >,<),<., 

KXI.II I' HXy |Xl> 

n l^ iiM Kill riK, 

. , KAH> I lANIIl'.. 
M lAM ' Kl l< < {^|■|-- 
< lOfJC fXlX-i.lPM- 
\l I t)Al I "j^i'l'-OI II- 

loyi'Drj rFKDK) 


'X>in-i oruMxri^ 

I'M I 111 OMT'-Hil- 

I ( lycxn CI xcuAt" 
in u-Nor K)iHi>{ 

YU t^Xt-i >(;m tTXYTi 
c-l II t-MX«--ATI 'I K-*''' 


I u»i<;loMti|iiJO*" 
xi-ui>i K)ceye«.:OA> 
Avu)yc<Ay • I ucy)-'"^ 
<*pr4'-;ii.-KtJ^MMll . 


I fM 1 l>vt:-| )|Cf>N<>ll»- 


3. A"! ClAyYOMKIO 
IMXt I >t4AJ%<l)<4"> 

KxxoyMtm IMA. - 

ri AM KAI I IXf XKX'd; 

< n ; ( ) I cAi I poL-f:.). j„»; 
I ioAxt-rc^Yi<V!i 
ht)Y< ""JAoron 
AY loy- iixinxr 
oAin f II <-iixitjii- 
f II u>AXi imXixk- 

1 1 1 i<~rACAAt-t:m'N 
«*oy M eAi CO) o 
n n AijA'Acf- 1 1 M oy 

<--| Mt-oyNAY^iMi 



oAi rtn N AeeoT/yfiA 

I U ^<0<.-MA,'*IA>IAJ 

II I H XI A( >l I NMe)'/ 
AXO < XtriX'tOHm* 


TAlTlYillCKAl' i<^ 

►-< t roijMrtijfi rJX- 


■nHtufoiu yXUM- 
KI OM <.i>i-t n xyr^ 

lUt-l Mt->niC!<iJu 

iipotxY IU( 'KCXI 
AAjtowMMAfi ir— 
eyXtJCOAl KXO«»Jii" 

eA) A xuBNToyt; 

M At) HTA<--Aj~n>y 
<,-i r I exXKAfroiO" 

• I M-IM f ( >Ct-YX 11'-' 



«-Xf >>'n»H kACIAi 

At;oy 'till io»n~ 

|XH>«-A» I MAC"'/<"' 

t- Moy pxM <i 'py T- 

. X'AifcMifi I'- n>i I 

;< xp-n>HMi ui)»^|<,u 

V <| litr)-..i(,i ixficii 


KXI>.v.|>l CMMIirjA' 

AMAf i,)>vrHM<i>n 

a>CKAI ATloiXvpi^ 

xie/siixrt) K>«p» 



1 1 M ACflcr I IfXiM-" 

fc-X«.- lOxXO H/< A> f C 

ptyircri xi r i pc > «->r 


•I XfiXpi KroNM'J, 


I AooM ttyi t>^t>- 


xf e K X I o y KcfX "•"- 

( •XI'XOKCO"'"'''^ 




In this embarrassing state of affairs the archbishop and his 
friends entreated me to use my influence on behalf of the convent. 
I therefore set out at once for Constantinople, with a view of 
there supporting the case of the five representatives. The Prince 

The Manuscripts 83 

Lobanow, Russian ambassador to Turkey, received me with the 
greatest goodwill, and as he offered me hospitality in his country 
house- on the shores of the Bosphorus, I was able the better to 
attend to the negotiations which had brought me there. But our 
irreconcilable enemy, the influential and obstinate Patriarch of 
Jerusalem, still had the upper hand. The archbishop was then 
advised to appeal himself in person to the patriarchs, archbishops, 
and bishops; and this plan succeeded — for before the end of the 
year the right of the convent was recognized, and we gained our 
cause. I myself brought back the news of our success to Cairo, 
and with it I also brought my own special request, backed with 
the support of Prince Lobanow. 

On the 24th of September I returned to Cairo. The monks 
and archbishop then warmly expressed their thanks for my zealous 
efforts in their cause, and the following day I received from them, 
under the form of a loan, the Sinaitic Bible, to carry it to St. 
Petersburg, and there to have it copied as accurately as possible. 

I set out for Russia early in October, and on the 19th of 
November, I presented to their Imperial Majesties, in the Winter 
Palace at Tsarkoe-Selo, my rich collection of old Greek, Syriac, 
Coptic, Arabic, and other manuscripts, in the middle of which 
the Sinaitic Bible shone like a crown. I then took the oppor- 
tunity of submitting to the Emperor, Alexander II, a proposal of 
making an edition of this Bible worthy of the work and of the 
Emperor himself, and which should be regarded as one of the 
greatest undertakings in critical and biblical study. 

I did not feel free to accept the brilliant offers that were made 
to me to settle finally, or even for a few years, in the Russian capi- 
tal. It was at Leipzig, therefore, at the end of three years, and 
after three journeys to St. Petersburg, that I was able to carry to 
completion the laborious task of producing 7\. facsimile copy of this 
codex in four folio volumes. 

In the month of October, 1862, I repaired to St. Petersburg 
to present this edition to their majesties. The Emperor, who had 
liberally provided for the cost, and who approved the proposal of 
this superb manuscript appearing on the celebration of the Mille- 
nary Jubilee of the Russian empire, has distributed impressions of 
it throughout the Christian world, which, without distinction of 
creed have expressed their recognition of its value. Even the 
Pope, in an autograph letter, has sent to the editor his congratu- 
lations and admiration. The two most celebrated universities 
of England, Cambridge and Oxford, desired to show me honor 
by conferring on me their highest academic degree. "I would 
rather," said an old man — himself of the highest distinction for 
learning — "I would rather have discovered this Sinaitic manu- 
script than the Koh-i-noor of the Queen of England." 

But that which I think more highly of than all these flattering 
distinctions is the fact that Providence has given to our age, in 


The Book of Books 

which attacks on Christianity are so common, the Sinaitic Bible, 
to be to us a full and clear light as to what is the real text of God's 
Word written, and to assist us in defending the truth by establish- 
ing its authentic form. 

The manuscript consists of 346^ leaves, and is of fine 
vellum, made from antelope skins; the writing is in four 
columns to each page (except some of the poetical portions, 
which are two columns to the page), and the page is 13K 
inches wide and 14^/^ inches high. Originally it contained 
the Old Testament complete, the New Testament complete, 
together with the Epistles of Barnabas and the "Shepherd" 


{From "The Biblical World") 

(or Pastor) of Hermas, these last being two apocryphal 
books which were highly regarded in the early Christian 
centuries. Part of the Old Testament is now missing, and 
part of the Shepherd of Hermas. 

The Convent of St. Catherine is at the foot of Mount 
Sinai, and was built by the Emperor Justinian in 527 a.d. 
There is in the convent a chapel called the "Chapel of the 
Burning Bush," and one of its wells is supposed to be the 
one where Moses met Reuel's daughters and helped them 
water their flocks. Other valuable manuscripts have been 
found there besides Codex X . 

The Manuscripts 85 

Copies of the beautiful four-volume facsimile edition of 
Codex .^ published by Tischendorf may be seen in some of 
the American public and theological libraries. 

The Vatican Manuscript (Codex B) is considered to be 
of about the same age as the Sinaitic, dating from the fourth 
century. It is in the Vatican Library at Rome, where it 
has been, with a brief exception, since the end of the fifteenth 

" 1 /...i-s jtiVl- > o- • 



{From " The Biblical World") 

century at least. It originally contained the whole of the 
Bible, but now the following parts are missing: Genesis to 
the 28th verse of chapter 46; Psalms 105 to 137; Hebrews, 
from verse 14 of the 9th chapter to the end of the book; 
I and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. It 
consists of 759 leaves of vellum, measuring 10^ x 10 inches. 
The writing is in three columns. It is bound in one volume 


The Book of Books 

in red morocco. Facsimile copies may be seen in some of 
our libraries. Napoleon carried the manuscript to Paris 
among his spoils of victory, but it was returned to Rome in 
1815. It was while it was in Paris that its great value 
became known to scholars. 

The Alexandrian Manuscript (Codex A) is in the British 
Museum, London. It is so named because originally it was 
in Alexandria; but it was taken to Constantinople by Cyril 
Lucar when he became Patriarch there, and in 1627 was 





^ jl 


The New Testament, as it lies in its case in the British Museum 

presented by him to Charles I. It remained the possession 
of the English sovereigns till it was presented to the nation 
by George II. 

It consists of four volumes, one of which is represented 
in the illustration. This is the New Testament as it lies in 
its case in the Museum. The writing is in two columns, on 
thin vellum, the size of page being 13 x 10 inches. It orig- 
inally contained the complete Bible, but now about ten 
leaves are missing from the Old Testament, and the New 
Testament lacks the Gospel of Matthew to chapter 24, 

The Manuscripts 


verse 6; John 6 : 50 to 8 : 52; and 2 Corinthians 4 : 13 to 
12:6. The manuscript includes parts of two Epistles of 
Clement, which were highly regarded in the early Christian 
centuries, a letter of Athanasius, and a treatise by Eusebius 
on the Psalms. 

V' >3>.iv. I tic •■<:>(•». mi <>«.(•».••«••'• 
i-t'>O.Kvropt».;tf.UOO >.« ■ >•><>>.• 

\ »j^i 


i>r< IK: iiov'Jl**' >'«iv. ^ |-,i. , 

» If •!< V*.»*J>'Y"»-^ "" ' ' 

^<ii*oi-r<^" «.^V"' ' tf <-it:Ovo 11.- 

^'MXt >A.O*>,vi»Ct.i 1 1% K-| -ci »»■•<-■- 1 1 ^■ 
-<<.v, t rr^ji ii<.ri inKK>->C->^i iiv..| 

^X>J •v* C»l » I .V» I »•-( L| 

OVVi r < i<>Jv[>PH.-oovCl>-" 

>UJI>.JI<.VIt>>»l I 

.VY1 1'Y^Ti II ■•OOVOi.'S«--i-r< fU.M 
<-oi ix«io«JPi-«J>o».v''x^v»<j.>c; 
ciKtx ivxatn ivit P».iH>r»»<rr-H"" 

\Ki X4 u X > V*; W fc.« f <^ n ».-h V A. n>^ I * » , ■ I 

* ««»k»<>Y^«!«." i<-i rn.>-iei.t>c»JOmf 

'-»*«M«.l><ihei<.VI pXVR-^T, n_ij.M.. 

isf •«>v»<c'SO|>r-u>t ■<ixl^<»J«J^«>Il^ rro 

"**e!: Vx.f e^«^TX1YC K r I tL^O V„- 1< --^ I 

<ST ■<.' PXOXtlK! >< K lk.Vi.>YO^ met I" 1 

^ ►Cr'tJf ItlVn-IfJ >.lYf"VI»«;>\-)>.lririi 

I oln;-<<.«>f<;ie ) 11 •►•cpixiir^.., 
fl l^t'"'-''-"'"^'' '-'irriti*».<>ivi\j.. r 



t! i:*.') I' X vc x»J-.^ J k< I 


> OV» 'Txit-:»OY' 
..X.YM »-T nov*. V 1 




0000x1 1 in I H.SY' t'YX: 
i v<>> Kvri-x-i t vol X It I' 
KxiYi n><.:i<xi ifviir I ^^ 

iOK,ll.;r - ' 

vJi. i 

xn: iXTN'HilvxvicivX»M*.>%'XK*»i*.>r 

V A -'Ox-j-|-,.i»v^»x-xini v».tict*Vf^ii<p; ■ 
n ovc><,^f<v I I 1 I K'xtx^*.*, rxxxj«fcV^»i - 
I v<.>Ytlv>» i>. r, 1 vr •■«->i<'«HY-x<> " 



.iVi-xi\)ri if* 

>t: Kxi j>xt>i-'.i:t> 

. ^ — » ■• V . .lOICSOf'oillO 

r I xoxr-xi-vKvi^n: i>,r.,Tv;,<.vj 
..c-.-i lia.Meriii-Ki.ri Kxitvix 

C l-.xi-in<hYC:>l-K-V» •Ofxtrii>t>.r 
'**iit ixoi-xtix^i^xt 4t>Y''-xi;KivY«-*x 

,X>> •l-.-Xl<vl>lr.l<.;j:T,l,vlV1.,.V,^^ 
. i.vf>..)fOY OnxyoiCYXoroT 

I . -n'l tin .< >4 KXr, i T■.v,<xn;^,VY... 
l•»^x • i^rvl >x^ v'O.V-l VtVt N, n,v^,,i^ 
I-; V^,^<^^^/l^.!|l^>«.■>r<^1■v•'■»■l•^l>Ml^■,«• 
HO^V•.»>l<i'<>V■XY"l>V< 'mx.xii,.- 
<.:•■. >.'rx-t,-|-X'»'Yxt>I-iXKxlivx.Txi»». 
^ >YX P 1 « .WCX(.] ^o I ► <l J V'l-NV » xor 

■ 1 -».• M^M 1 1-4 i-.c t > V I f^ 1 iT . t r • I . n •«.»- 
.x>-int:«.ii ntORi-YC .<\>>VY><Y 
Kxi-j-«in>»i<Poi • «..««i.NY>»A-"<"x»xx,» 

i^f X 41 • t^<yy-<A' i< t It- >. XI xori IX 1 10 1 
jiixxTi itixDOt; YK'^'^'Y' ■v;x,xY>s--^ ' 
r-xv><Vi lOIWOXIVx^.l>)>• 
| 'ioc:<><lyt><:i<xjt.rri-i<.n>t x<«.k*t»*'M|' 
x-» I r-»:XM."^x-i-vJl >i:i<-|-r <C'i<x.xihj: ' 

s-YiX "0<%0> I xxi-»ii>t>*;r»«<xTrj- 
<Ox-«e>- • i> lAvxtrF ««flot>i-v><> 
Kii^xix/«*.>i»m*xi iO'i.rirTyY»xp 

.xi<x-r->-o-iXOix icxrrinx? t<K«y 
,xc")r-r-jt r-xi^f.^.x • 



There is a tradition that the manuscript was written 
by Thecla the martyr, and an Arabic inscription on the first 
sheet so states, but this origin is considered to be very 
doubtful. It is believed to date from the fifth century. 

88 The Book of Books 

Codex Ephraem (Codex C) is the most valuable palimp- 
sest, or rewritten manuscript, known. It is in the Biblio- 
theque Nationale, at Paris. Palimpsests are manuscripts 
in which the original writing has been erased and something 
else written over. In this instance a Greek manuscript 
dating from the fifth century was used, about the twelfth 
century, for writing thereon some of the works of Ephraem 
the Syrian, a preacher of the fourth century. At the end 
of the seventeenth century it was noticed that there were 
traces of an earlier writing beneath that of Ephraem. The 
manuscript doubtless contained the complete Old and New 
Testaments, but there are only 64 leaves of the Old and 
145 of the New now remaining. Numerous attempts were 
made to decipher the earlier text, but without much result. 
Later a chemical was found capable of strengthening the 
older writing, but still there was great difficulty in decipher- 
ing it. However, in 1840 Tischendorf began to labor dili- 
gently at the task, ahd in 1843 and 1845 published an almost 
complete reading, which has been of very great value to 
students of the Greek text. Some idea of the difficulties 
involved in the work may be gathered from the illustration 
for which a special photograph was taken. 

Codex Bezae (Codex D) is a bilingual manuscript, hav- 
ing Greek on one page and Latin on the other. It is probably 
of the sixth century, and may be earlier. It was presented 
to the University of Cambridge in 1581 by Theodore Beza, 
a reformer and a friend of Calvin. He found it in the 
Monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons in 1562. It contains 
the Gospels and Acts, and part of the 3d Epistle of John.. 
This manuscript is a good example of stichometry. 

Codex Claromontanus was discovered by Beza at 
Clermont in 1582 and is now in the Bibliotheque Nationale 
at Paris. It is of very thin vellum, with Greek and Latin 
in parallel columns. It is of the sixth century, and contains 
the Epistles of Paul and the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

Codex Purpureus is a beautiful example of a vellum 
manuscript stained purple, with the writing in silver and 
divine names in gold. There are only 45 leaves, of which 
4 are in the British Museum, London; 6 in the Vatican 
Library, in Rome; 2 in the Imperial Library, in Vienna; 
and 33 in the Monastery of St. John, in Patmos. 

The Manuscripts 89 

Codex Laudianus, of the Acts, is in the Bodleian 
Library, Oxford. It is so called because presented to the 
Library by Archbishop Laud, in 1636. It is of the sixth 

.^twj J5>f i?mjaoau»(,! i-*<«-ss£(X-,o' 

-j-i -L- 

i •(.Ml K.( I A<M'.| Jt 

, _|r>^,» «4:c 

_jG -f < <vQ- ' , .-i^Q, —sijni>/dtrii it Ota. C , 

■ irk^.v I 

i:A!i >" ,V4 ir J» U:\'^'i ■■! m ll:l<Ul» J<lWi>ii»s. 


century and was probably taken from Tarsus to England 
in the end of the seventh century and used by the Venerable 
Bede early in the eighth century. 


The Book of Books 

Codex Rossanensis is another manuscript of purple 
vellum with silver letters, and the three first lines of each 
gospel, in each of its two columns, in gold. It was found 
by Drs. Gebhardt and Harnack in 1879, at Rossano in 
Italy. It is remarkable for a number of pictorial illustra- 
tions of gospel history in water-colors. It contains only 
the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, and is of the sixth 


(From "The Biblical World") 


NEXT in importance to the manuscripts in the same 
languages as those in which the originals were written 
are the versions, or translations into languages other than 
those in which the Scriptures were originally written. 

The Samaritan Pentateuch is one of the most famous 
manuscripts extant. It belongs to the small Samaritan 
colony at Shechem, which is descended from the mixed 
people who were sent to Samaria in the seventh century 
B.C. by the king of Assyria, as recorded in 2 Kings 17 : 24. 
These Samaritans are referred to in Ezra 4 : 9, 10, as "the 
nations whom the great and noble Asnapper brought over 
and set in the cities of Samaria." There was always ill 
feeling between the Samaritans and the Jews, and this 
was increased when a grandson of Eliashib, the high-priest, 
was found to be among those who had married heathen 
wives, and Nehemiah says "Therefore I chased him from 
me." Josephus says this was Manasseh, and that he went 
to Samaria with his wife and his father-in-law Sanballat, 
and a rival temple was set up on Mount Gerizim. 

The Samaritans did not recognize any part of the Scrip- 
tures but the Pentateuch, and an inscription on the chief 
Samaritan copy of it says it was written by "Abishua the 
son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the 
priest in the thirteenth year of the settlement of Israel in 
the land of Canaan," but this is not supposed by scholars 
to be accurate, and the manuscript is considered to be 
about a thousand years old. 

After the return of the Jews from the Babylonian cap- 
tivity, Hebrew gradually ceased to be the common language 
of the people, and another Semitic language, Aramaic, 



The Book of Books 

took its place, and Hebrew became the sacred language. 
It therefore became necessary for an interpreter to stand 
beside the preacher and translate the Hebrew that the people 


"^ /v 

'•'5S; '^/JlUDr-j 'J4^>-J^cic>f ''^Ja 

"^ ~r 

v^Vi 'X' 



,. ^J- ^^t^-^-AT^'^'^^'^'"^'' 



(From Winston's "Handy Bible Encyclopedia") 

might understand it; and later on the interpreters took to 
explaining as well, and there arose the Targums, or Aramaic 
paraphrases of the Old Testament, when the interpretations 
were committed to writing. They are known by the nan es 

Ancient Versions 


of the authors or the places where they were written and 
used. There are three Targums on the Pentateuch: the 
Targum of Onkelos or the Babylonian Targum; the Jeru- 
salem Targum of Jonathan; and a second Jerusalem Tar- 
gum of part of the Pentateuch; one on the Prophets, the 
Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel; and several less valuable 
Targums on the Hagiographa (that is, the writings other 
than the Law and the Prophets). These Targums took 
definite form in the early Christian centuries. 

The most famous of the Old Testament versions is 
the Septuagint (LXX), or the version of the Seventy, This 
was made at Alexandria for the benefit of the Jewish colony 
there, but there is much uncertainty as to the date and 


(From Winston's "Handy Bible Encyclopedia") 

method of the translation. There is a tradition that the 
work was done by seventy-two Jews, specially brought from 
Palestine, in seventy-two days. Another tradition says 
that the translators worked independently, and, when they 
had finished, their translations were absolutely identical. 
These are traditions only; scholars now are agreed that the 
work was begun about 280 B.C. Greek had by then become 
the common language ofthe countries around the eastern end 
of the Mediterranean, and the Septuagint became very pop- 
ular among the Jewish residents there. It was the version in 
use in the days of Jesus and the apostles, and their quota- 
tions are made from it. The Septuagint is valuable as being 
made from Hebrew manuscripts much older than any 


The Book of Books 

Hebrew manuscripts now extant. The Old Testament 
portions of the Sinaitic, Vatican, Alexandrian, and Ephraem 
manuscripts are the Septuagint version. 

A Greek version was made by Aquila, who was a Jewish 
proselyte of Pontus, in the early part of the second century. 
It was a strictly literal translation for the Jews to use in 
contending with the Christians, but it was used by Christians 
as well as Jews. 

"ff-l'OC -^-^rrt^^yuLfiy^x 

'1 u ,(k; . 

X^ ^?h^ i^^f H Nine QYX^-rr. i>j 


. ^^^^,.% 


(Psa. II : 7 ff.) Found in Egypt, 1892; now in the British Museum 

Probably of the third century 

(From Nelsons' " Encyclopadia) 

Theodotion, supposed to be a Jewish proselyte, also 
from Pontus, made a Greek translation in the latter half of 
the second century, which is mainly a revised version of 
the Septuagint. 

Symmachus, an Ebionite of the latter half of the second 
century, made a very faithful translation of the Hebrew, 
and his style was superior to that of the two just mentioned. 

Ancient Versions 95 

His version was made use of by Jerome when he made his 
Latin version, the Vulgate. 

These three Greek versions are referred to by the 
revisers who prepared the Authorized Version, in the remark- 
able preface which is reproduced in a later chapter, and by 
the Jewish revisers in their preface to the new translation 
of 1917, the latest of the revised versions at the date of this 

In the early part of the third century a great scholar 
flourished at Alexandria, named Origen. He was dissatis- 
fied with the Greek version then existing and himself revised 
the Septuagint. He published his "Hexaplar," or six- 
version edition, with the following columns side by side: 
(i) The Hebrew text; (2) the Hebrew text transliterated into 
Greek; (3) Aquila's translation; (4) the translation of 
Symmachus; (5) his own revision of the Septuagint; (6) 
Theodotion's translation. 

Several minor revisions of the Septuagint were made 
in the fourth century; one by Eusebius, of Caesarea, for 
use in Palestine; one by Htsychius, of Alexandria, for use 
in Egypt; and one by Lucian, of Antioch, for use in Asia 

The most important translation of the Old Testament 
into Syriac is known as the "Peshito" or "simple." It was 
probably made in the second century, and was referred to 
by Ephraem the Syrian in the fourth century. It was most 
likely made by Jews who had become Christians. 

Another Syriac version was made early in the seventh 
century by Bishop Paul, of Telia, and it is a translation 
from the Greek of Origen's Hexaplar. 

The Latin version known as the Vulgate, because trans- 
lated into the common or vulgar tongue, is the chief Latin 
translation. There had been others before it, which are 
known as the Old Latin, but there were great variations 
between those in use in different parts. An African Latin 
version and an Italian Latin version were the principal; 
some of the early English paraphrases and translations were 
made from the Old Latin, not from the Vulgate. 

The Vulgate was translated by Jerome at the request of 
Pope Damasus. Jerome was born about 340 a.d. at Stridon 
on the border of Dalmatia, and was undoubtedly the greatest 


The Book of Books 

scholar of his day. He traveled considerably in Italy and 
the east and studied at Constantinople under Gregory 
Nazianzen. He went to Rome again in 382, where he became 

p.. Mr; 


f^07>unc-\ch CccrxJ 

1! vfii '■-'.'-ziaflinreifeptr- 

'nn;:.^cit.toa: uie.v'uu'm c'caui/i-.-^tV!;! 
\titJXC- Xcfkrnilix ryiitlz.\h~i:rritl' Lr^!:cl: tiir I'dc- 

(Itv- Cr'"!rnmrirf"iu'>i:.\!i.Oir, r7-ityj>rx>rof7u.v/"ur>.\ f"i- 

Jifi'conuttin tfiirctlwz .\-accf'iA-< Ct Ut f,c^-':'-r (LU-' i ' 
(^cnfltf^^iKr c-ftluciiL' ciffh-d\\t (•(.■■Loir.vti/rApfi'n.'u 
lot" 'C^tccb.\z tyuni ■ f^ffht'Tt-pcci.wiiCTityc f^Utmn 
CrbcriLxii^.et'inzcino incordib-lliir ftcf^cid'.KZ lob 
g ^ ii.vcf.vii.vurt'c/irai'MtirtirAJrrr^tjii/rur.vciAifn^ 

Now in the 

(Job I.) Written a. d. 840, with gold and silver initials. 

British Museum 

(From Nelsons' " Encyclopadia) 

closely associated with the pope and undertook, at his 
request, a revision of the Old Latin, and later the translation 
of the Scriptures from the originals. He commenced this 
work at Rome, and issued first the Gospels, then the Acts 

Ancient Versions 97 

and the rest of the New Testament, and then the Psalter 
fiom the Old Testament. After the pope's death in 384, 
Jerome went to Palestine and settled at Bethlehem where 
he lived until 420, and continued his work of translation. 
His complete Old Testament appeared about 404 and was 
met with considerable criticism, especially from those who 
objected that the language of his translation departed 
greatly from that of the older versions which they regarded 
with a feeling akin to reverence. After his death, however, 
the Vulgate gradually superseded the other Latin versions, 
and became the standard of the church. It was the source 
of Wiclif's version, greatly influenced the English transla- 
tions of Tindale and his successors, and was the sole basis 
of the Roman CathoHc translation of 1582 and 1609. The 
text has been revised on several occasions: for the Complu- 
tensian Polyglot by Cardinal Ximenes in 15 17, the revised 
version issued in 1590 by Pope Sixtus V, and the version 
issued by order of Pope Clement VIII in 1592. This last 
is still the standard version of the Vulgate. 

Egyptian, or Coptic, versions were made in the third 
or fourth century, from the Septuagint. They included the 
Memphitic, or Bahiric, for Lower Egypt; the Thebaic, or 
Sahidic, for Upper Egypt. 

A Gothic version was published in the end of the fourth 
century by Ulphilas, bishop of the Western Goths. 

Besides, there have been Ethiopic (for Abyssinia), 
Arabic, Armenian, Persian, and others, but they were issued 
later, and, beyond their value for those who spoke the par- 
ticular languages, they are of Uttle value from the viewpoint 
of the history of the text, most of them being translations 
of the Septuagint or the Vulgate. 

The great value of the Septuagint and the Vulgate Hes 
in the fact that they are translated, especially in the case 
of the Hebrew, from manuscripts much older than any now 

Of the Syriac New Testament there are several versions. 
The Peshito, or "simple," omits 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, 
Jude, and Revelation. It is the version that has been used 
by the Syrian church from at least the fifth century. The 
Philoxenian was a revision of the Peshito made about 508, 
and this was revised again in 616 by Thomas of Heraklea in 


The Book of Books 

Mesopotamia, his version being known as the Harkleian. 
The Curetonian Syriac is a version in a manuscript found 
in the Nitrian Desert in Egypt, in 1847, and pubhshed in 
1858 by Canon WiUiam Cureton. The manuscript is now 

IttU^f-^ - ^^^z^ 

v ^4Lpec3J^-^^a^p?^etcpcMt, 




(Luke 7 : 44747-) 
Found in the Convent of Mount Sinai, by Mrs Lewis in 1892 

in the British Museum. It is of the fifth century, but the 
version may be older than the Peshito. The same version 
is represented in a paHmpsest manuscript discovered at 
Mount Sinai in 1892 by Mrs. Lewis. 

Ancient Versions 


The Church Fathers quoted directly and indirectly 
from manuscripts which were older than any extant today, 
and therefore such direct quotations are likely to be 
nearer the original than the existing manuscripts — and 
where they coincide with the existing readings they are 
valuable corroborative evidence. Frequently the substance 
only is given, and from a textual point of view such 
quotations are not of much value. The absence in the early 


{From Nelsons' " Encyclopadia") 

writings of any reference to the much discussed verse, 
I John 5 : 7, of which we shall have occasion to take notice 
again in a later chapter, is presumptive evidence that it 
did not exist in the original or any early copies, because the 
question of the Trinity was discussed at an early date, and 
such a text would undoubtedly have been brought into the 
controversy, if it existed then. 



FROM the seventh to the fourteenth centuries, that is, 
for a period of nearly seven hundred years, there were 
numerous attempts at translating into early English or 
paraphrasing portions of the Scriptures, the manuscripts of 
some of which are extant today. There were no known 
attempts at translating the whole Bible into the languages 
and dialects spoken in Britain. Outside the few existing 
manuscripts, very little is known of either the translators 
or their work. It does not appear that the translations or 
paraphrases were for the benefit of the common people, but 
for the help of the clergy and monks, who in many instances 
were not well educated. Very few of the people could read 
or write, and if translations into the vernacular were to be 
had easily, which was not the case, even then they would 
be unintelligible to all except a few. Again, it was no more 
the desire of the clergy and monks in those early centuries 
to give the Word of God to the people in their own tongue 
than it was in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, when 
the opposition of the priests to Wiclif, Tindale, and others 
was so fierce. 

The earliest known attempt to render any portion of 
the Scriptures into Anglo-Saxon was made by Caedmon, 
and the following story is told by Bede in his Ecclesiastical 
History. The custom was for persons to play with the harp 
and extemporize some lines to sing to it, in the same way 
that the Welsh bards used to do — and the custom has not 
even yet died out in Wales; the writer has been present at 
such events. Caedmon, a servant of the Abbey at Whitby, 


Early English Versions ioi 

was unable to take his part with his companions, so absented 
himself. One night he had a vision, and a voice told him to 
awake and sing. He said he could not; but the voice assured 
him that he should sing of the beginning of things and of 
the love of God. He felt an inspiration, and, on relating 
the story, was taken under the protection of the abbess, 
Hilda, and the monks, and given an opportunity to develop 
his gift of song. Bede says that he made poetical para- 
phrases of the creation of the world, and the origin of the 
human race, of the exodus of Israel from Egypt and their 
entry into the promised land, and many other Scripture 
stories, of the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascen- 
sion of the Lord, of the coming of the Holy Spirit, and the 
doctrine of the apostles. Caedmon died about 680 a.d. 

Of Aldhelm, abbot of Malmesbury and bishop of Sher- 
borne, it is said that he sang his songs on a bridge that 
passers-by might learn something of religion. Some of his 
songs are said to have lived till King Alfred's day. He is 
also said to have paraphrased the Psalms, but there is no 
indisputable evidence extant. Aldhelm lived a little later 
than Caedmon, and died about 706. 

Guthlac, a hermit of Croyland, near Peterborough, is 
supposed to have made a version of the Psalms about the 
same time as Aldhelm. 

Bede, a monk of Jarrow-on-Tyne, generally called the 
Venerable Bede, undoubtedly the greatest scholar of his 
day, wrote commentaries and an ecclesiastical history and 
translated the gospel of John. It is thought by some that 
he only translated part of the Gospel, from the beginning 
to the 9th verse of the 6th chapter. Cuthbert, a pupil of 
Bede, wrote in a letter to a fellow-pupil named Cuthwin, 
that on the day before Bede died (he died on Ascension Day, 
May 27, 735), he was dictating his translation and said, 
"Go on quickly, I know not how long I shall hold out, and 
whether my Maker may not soon take me away." On the 
morrow he resumed his task. At length Cuthbeit said, 
"Dear master, there is but one sentence still left undone." 
Said Bede, "Write quickly." And when Cuthbert said, 
"Master it is finished," Bede said, "Thou hast said well; 
it is finished," and having said the doxology he fell asleep. 

I02 The Book of Books 

King Alfred the Great translated the Ten Command- 
ments and part of the Psalms. He is sometimes supposed 
to have translated also the New Testament and part of the 
Old, but there is no evidence for it other than the Ten 
Commandments. It may be that he even intended to give 
the whole Bible to his people in English, but it is not known 
that he accomplished much toward it. He died in 901. 

Besides these Anglo-Saxon versions, or paraphrases of 
portions of the Scriptures, there were some interlinear trans- 
lations, or glosses. In these the Latin version was written 
on one line and the Anglo-Saxon translation on another. 

One such gloss is known as the Durham Book. It is 
in the British Museum (Nero, D IV). It is also known as 
the Cuthbert Gospels, as it is supposed to have been used 
by Cuthbert, the pupil of Bede. Another name for it is the 
Lindisfarne Gospels. The Latin was written by Eadfrith, 
bishop of Lindisfarne, at the end of the seventh century, 
and the Anglo-Saxon gloss was added by Aldred, a priest 
of Holy Isle, two centuries later. 

The West Saxon Gospels are another example of the 
interlinear translation, but the author is unknown. 

The Rushworth Gloss is of the end of the tenth or 
beginning of the eleventh century, and the manuscript is 
in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. It is Jerome's Vulgate 
Latin, with an Anglo-Saxon gloss, and an inscription states 
that it was written by an Irishman named MacRegol. 

About the beginning of the eleventh century Aelfric 
(called Grammaticus, "The Grammarian") translated the 
Heptateuch and some other portions of the Old Testa- 
ment into Anglo-Saxon, of the Western dialect. 

The above-mentioned paraphrases and translations 
were made before the Norman Conquest, and the Anglo- 
Saxon is almost, if not quite, unintelligible to ordinary 
modern readers, as the following version of the Lord's 
Prayer will show: 

Faeder ure thu the eart on heofenum, si thin nama gehalgod; 
to becume thin rice. Gewurthe thin willa on eorthan swa swa on 
heofenum. Urne daeghwamlicam hlaf syle us to daeg; and forgyf 
us ure gyltas, swa swa we forgifadh urum gyltendum; and ne 
galaed thu us on costnunge. Ac alys us of yfele. Sothlice. 

Early English Versions 103 

After the Norman Conquest, there does not appear to 
be any further attempt to translate the Scriptures for a 
hundred years or more. Then there began to appear 
metrical paraphrases and homilies. About the year 1200 
Orm, or Ormin, an Augustinian monk, wrote a long poem 
on the Gospels and the Acts, known as the "Ormulum." 
Manuscript copies are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
The book is dedicated by Orm to his brother. Eadie gives 
a sample couplet with translation as follows: 

Ice hafe wennd inntill Ennglisshe 

Goddspelless hallghe lore 
I have turned into English 

Gospel's holy lore. 

Another long poem was called the Sowlehele, or Salus 
Animi, containing many Scripture narratives. This also is 
in the Bodleian Library. 

Of numerous versions of the Psalms, two literal trans- 
lations are best known, one of which is attributed, though 
with some doubt, to William of Shoreham, vicar of Chart- 
Sutton, in Kent, about 1327; the other to Richard Rolle, 
a priest of Hampole, in Yorkshire, about 1349. 

It was stated by Sir Thomas More that there were 
Enghsh translations of the whole Bible earlier than Wiclif's. 
Caxton stated that John of Trevisa had translated the Bible, 
among other things; but while the others have survived, 
that of the Bible, if it ever existed, has not survived. It is 
also referred to in the Preface to the King James Version, 
"In our King Richard the seconds dayes. lohn Treuisa 
translated them into English, and many Enghsh Bibles in 
written hand are yet to be seene with divers, translated, 
as it is very probable, in that age." It is not to be supposed 
that the King James revisers had seen one of Trevisa's, 
though they may have seen many of Wiclif's. 

Concerning John De Trevisa, Baber says in his 
Wycliffe's New Testament (18 10), "John de Trevisa, who 
flourished towards the end of the fourteenth century, enjoys 
the reputation in the estimation of some men of letters of 
having produced an English translation of the Bible; but 
his title to this same has hitherto eluded all attempts I have 
made to trace it." 


The Book of Books 

No traces have been found of any translation by 
Trevisa — only a few texts on the walls of Berkeley Church 
and the chapel at Berkeley Castle, where he was chaplain. 
In fact, no earlier translation of the whole Bible or of the 
complete New Testament is known than Wiclif's. 



But to outweigh all harm, the sacred book 

In dusty sequestration wrapt too long 

Assumes the accent of our native tongue; 
And he who guides the plow or wields the crook 
With understanding spirit now may look 

Upon her records, listen to her song 

And sift her laws. 

— Wordszvorth. 

JOHN WICLIF was born about 1320 or 1324 near Rich- 
mond, Yorkshire, and was educated at Oxford. He was 
one of the "Schoolmen" who made Oxford famous as a 
great center of learning, and was called the "Evangelical 
Doctor." He came into public prommence about 1366 and 
remained one of the foremost figures, if not the foremost, 
in his age until his death in 1384. Just what college he first 
studied at is not known, but he became Master of Balliol 
in 1361. He is considered by some to be the same John 
Wiclif who was at one time Fellow of Merton College and 
later Warden of Canterbury Hall, and to have been con- 
nected with Queen's College; but concerning these associa- 
tions there is some doubt. An excellent little volume is 
that of Prof. Montagu Burrows, entitled Wiclif s Place in 
History, containing three lectures delivered at Oxford in 
1881, just prior to the quincentenary celebration. From 
this I shall make extracts concerning Wiclif and his work. 
.Professor Burrows quotes the words of one of Wiclif's con- 
temporaries, a bitter opponent, who had, however, to confess 
that he "came to be reckoned inferior to none of his time in 
philosophy, and incomparable in the performance of school 


io6 The Book of Books 

exercises, a man of profound wit, and very strong and power- 
ful in disputations." He was, indeed, "the foremost man 
of his University at one of its loftiest periods." 

Wiclif lived at a very important period in the political 
and religious history of England, and his training and charac- 
ter fitted him for the great work he did. He recognized the 
low estate to which the church had fallen, and did his best 
to expose the wickedness of the clergy; and, having come 
to see that a great factor in liberating the people from the 
iniquity, tyranny, and exactions of the existing church sys- 
tem would be the possession of the Bible in the English 
tongue, he set about the task of supplying it — not alone, 
but with the assistance of faithful followers who obtained 
their inspiration from him. Professor Burrows says: 

To Wiclif we owe, more than to any one person who can be 
mentioned, our English language, our English Bible, and our 
reformed religion. ... In Wiclif we have the acknowledged 
father of English prose, the first translator of the whole Bible 
into the language of the English people, the first disseminator of 
the language of the English people, the first disseminator of that 
Bible amongst all classes, the foremost intellect of his times brought 
to bear upon the religious questions of the day, the patient and 
courageous writer of innumerable tracts and books, not for one, 
but for all the different classes of society, the sagacious originator 
of the whole system of ecclesiastical reformation, which in its 
separate parts had been faintly shadowed forth by a genius here 
and there, but which acquired consistency in the hands of the 
master. By him and by those he had trained that Reformation 
was so firmly planted that it took deep root in the land, and after 
giving the impulse to similar and later movements on the con- 
tinent, issued at last in the great system under which we live, one 
almost identical with that of the Rector of Lutterworth, who 
died a century and a half before his work had fulfilled its appointed 

Wiclif founded no colleges, for he had no means; no human 
fabric enshrines his ideas; no great institution bears his name. 
The country for which he lived and died is only beginning to wake 
up to a sense of the debt it owes his memory. And yet so vast is 
that debt, so overpowering the claim, even when thus briefly 
summarized, that it might be thought no very extravagant recog- 
nition if every town in England had a monument to his memory, 
and every university a college named in his honor. . . . 

Consider what a portent this Oxford Doctor (or Professor, as 
he virtually was) must have appeared in the fourteenth century. 

Wiclif's Bible 107 

attacking from his chair, close to this very spot, every portion of 
the existing Church system, from the pope at the head to the friar 
at the foot, not with the vulgar weapons of reckless fanaticism 
sharpened upon popular prejudice, still less with the weapons of 
professed unorthodox sentiment, but with the well-tempered steel 
of philosophical reasoning, based on an appeal to the Scriptures 
and the Primitive Church, and invested with the defensive panoply 
of a strictly moral, industrious, self-sacrificing, courageous life. 

The church livings were held by foreign incumbents 
who received large incomes therefrom, but did no service; 
the vacancies were filled by the pope, contrary to the English 
law; the Mendicant Orders (Dominicans, or Black friars; 
Francisians, or Grey friars; Carmelites, or White friars; and 
Augustinians) originally introduced into England with a 
view to suppressing evils, had become degenerate, and, 
instead of ministering to were fleecing the people. Tn the 
words of an old English song, 

No baron or squire or knight of the shire 
Lives half so well as an holy friar. 

Wiclif preached and wrote pamphlets against these 
evils, and his "Poor Priests," called Lollards, circulated his 
literature among the people. He quoted freely from Scrip- 
ture, and came to see that the greatest help in freeing the 
people from priestly tyranny and imposition would be the 
possession of the Bible. 

In 1374 Wiclif was one of the members of a commission 
sent to Bruges to discuss with commissioners from the pope 
some of the thmgs which not he alone, but the king and par- 
Hament also, had taken objection to, among them being the 
practice of the pope to fill the English benefices and appoint 
foreign absentees who drew the income but did no work. 
Here he undoubtedly got a deeper insight into the abuses 
that needed remedying, and returned more determined than 
ever to do his best to reform them. Soon after this, in 1378, 
the great papal schism occurred, with rival popes at Rome 
and Avignon, each cursing the other and giving the lie to 
any claim to real church headship. 

In 1374, ori his return from Bruges, WicHf was made 
Rector of Lutterworth, a position which he held until his 


The Book of Books 

Wiclif was twice tried for heresy; first at Blackfriars, 
London, in May, 1378, and second, by the convocation at 
Oxford in 1382, but though condemned and excommunicated, 
he was permitted to return to Lutterworth, where he con- 
tinued his work of attacking the church system and trans- 
lating the Bible. 

One of the canons passed at the Council of Toulouse, 
in 1229, prohibited the possession of the Bible, in the follow- 
ing words: 


We also forbid the laity to possess any of the books of the 
Old or New Testament, except, perhaps, the Psalter or Breviary 
for the Divine offices, or the Hours of the Blessed Virgin, which 
some, out of devotion, wish to have; but having any of these 
books translated into the vulgar tongue, we strictly forbid. 

Therefore any attempt to translate the Bible for the 
use of the common people was contrary to the canons of the 
church. But Wiclif proceeded with the work in spite of the 
ecclesiastical prohibition, and, having first published an 
English translation of the Revelation (Apocalypse) of John, 
he followed it with the Gospels and, about 1380, the com- 
plete New Testament. An edition with the Old Testament 

Wiclif's Bible 109 

added, making the complete Bible, was finished about 1382, 
although this is partly the work of Nicholas of Hereford. 
The Apocrypha was included, and at Baruch 3 : 20, in the 
manuscript which is preserved in the Bodleian Library, 
there is an abrupt termination. This is taken to indicate 
that Nicholas of Hereford was arrested after he had got 
that far, and the remainder was done by Wiclif or some of 
his followers. There is at present considerable doubt 
expressed by scholars as to the part Wiclif himself took in 
the work of translation, some even asserting that he did 
very Httle, if any, and that the work was done by others at 
his instigation and under his supervision. However this 
may be, the work must be credited to Wiclif in some form 
or another, and to him must be given the credit of furnishing 
the English people with a complete Bible in their own tongue. 
Concerning Wiclif being the translator, Baber says in 
his Historical Account: 

Some authors have doubted whether Wiclif ever translated 
the Scriptures. When Huss, a martyr to Wiclif's principles, and 
one nearly his contemporary, speaks of such a production; when 
amongst the accusations brought against the reformer by Knygh- 
ton, this pious labor seems in the opinion of this author to be his 
highest offence; when Wiclif in one of his homilies mentions the 
severe usage he met with because he dared to enable the people at 
large to read in their own tongue the revealed word of God; and 
when, in every list given of his works by his numerous biographers, 
mention is always made of his having translated the Scripture 
into English, every doubt upon this point must, one would think, 
for the future vanish. 

Wiclif's version is a translation from the Vulgate, not 
from the original Greek and Hebrew. It therefore shares 
any defects which the Vulgate possesses. Wiclif was seized 
with a paralytic stroke on December 29, 1384, while offici- 
ating at Mass, and died on the 31st, being buried in the 
chancel of his church. 

Walsingham is quoted by Eadie as thus expressing him- 
self in relation to Wiclif's sudden death: 

In the ninth yere of this kyng, John Wiclif, the orgon of the 
devel, the enmy of the Cherch, the confusion of men, the ydol of 
heresie, the meroure of ypocrisie, the norischer of scisme, be the 
rithful dome of God, was smet with a horibil paralsie threwoute 
his body. 

no The Book of Books 

Another enemy of Wiclif thus expressed himself con- 
cerning him and his work: 

This Master John WyclifFe hath translated the Gospel out of 
Latin into English, which Christ had intrusted with the clergy 
and doctors of the Church, that they might minister it to the laity 
and weaker sort, according to the state of the times and the wants 
of men. So that by this means the Gospel is made vulgar, and 
laid more open to the laity, and even to women who can read, than 
it used to be to the most learned of the clergy and those of the best 
understanding! And in this way the gospel pearl is cast abroad 
and trodden under foot of swine, and that which used to be precious 
to both clergy and laity is rendered as it were the common jest of 
both. The jewel of the clergy is turned into the sport of the laity, 
and what was before the chief gift of the clergy and doctors of the 
Church, is made forever common to the laity. 

It is not to be wondered at that the priests were incensed 
at Wiclif and did their best to suppress the Bible. A bill 
was brought into Parliament in 1390 for that express pur- 
pose, but thanks to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, it 
was not passed. The Duke said: 

We will not be the dregs of all. Seeing other nations have the 
Law of God, which is the law of our faith, written in their own 
language, I will maintain our having this law in our own tongue, 
against those, whoever they be, who first brought in this bill. 

In 1408, at the Convocation of Canterbury, when Arch- 
bishop Arundel presided, one of the constitutions contained 
a clause of which the following translation is given by A. W. 
Pollard in his Records of the English Bible: 

We therefore enact and ordain that no one henceforth on his 
own authority translate any text of Holy Scripture into the 
English or other language, by way of a book, pamphlet, or tract, 
and that no book, pamphlet, or tract of this kind be read, either 
already recently composed in the time of the said John Wyclif, or 
since then, or that mRy in future be composed, in part or in whole, 
publicly or privily, under pain of the greater excommunication, 
until the translation itself shall have been approved by the dio- 
cesan of the place or if need be by a provincial council. Whoever 
shall do the contrary to be punished in like manner as a supporter 
of heresy and error. 

Arundel referred to Wiclif as "that pestilent wretch, 
the son of the old serpent, the forerunner of Antichrist," 
who had "completed his iniquity by inventing a new trans- 
lation of the Scriptures." 

Wiclif's Bible 


But the constitutions of the Canterbury Convocation 
were powerless to prevent the spread of the Bible when once 
it had been put into such form that the people could read it. 

•Cove van ttir^ 

•jiuuuii Wltlod 



'apoaijsi'i cf Dooiii popft.' U'lw 

I Uf (l)«c u-afl Diwu up oowbnnA WniioleiimiitA tuktliuftuiuxof 

of ou'mctc \it \viurt)C is btdM 
ifmrnifui; ijaiifufx vcioiuticit 

of RUiLi>Otli:U(0 WlldlK \lMlM 

m nimir m m j/c (bitpiuar \)li(t- 
:pl'n wcitnu up ui'jif iirja-piKf 
U>l)(T po tfwcittti pmr J loou; 
mcs I fluOitiiipiMUpj ftfotttes- 

OtfRVtiKll (/('III rft'UIjlClKJjlf 

111 i'i»jt)'uif. frtiflit \mi itOoKK 
j(t|)uiri»(tu' cfvMtifoUdpc urfo 
Ct to'tjfnt-ft 19 iwtidmv ft: n 
fiuic Uticuff pc tvuia q.' iimiic 4 
ita-'ptiHlniije \>c ftKntjapptatt 
miii6pii6cf. Giit^ \ct cdiuittiihc 
|T ufj-ni o(. pt tiootp crvo(tatiui>fi- 
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This is from a copy in the British Museum 

(From Nelsons' " Encyclopadla") 

The version of 1382 was revised by some one or more of 
Wiclif's followers, the work usually being attributed to John 
Purvey, and a new edition was published in 1388, the original 

112 The Book of Books 

copy of which is in the Ubrary of DubHn University. So 
numerous were the copies of the two versions, that after all 
the efforts to suppress it, and after all the destruction of 
time and circumstance, there are still extant, according to 
Westcott, about a hundred and fifty copies, thirty being of 
the earlier version and the others of the later. 

The people were glad to get such a Bible. They met 
in secret to read it or hear it read. Few could own copies 
on account both of the slowness of multiplying them by 
hand and of the expense of such multiplication. But 
Martineau has said: 

Those who could not give money would give a load of hay 
for a few favorite chapters, and this in times when the possession 
of such a manuscript might very probably be the means of bringing 
the owner to the dungeon or the stake. They were forced to 
hide their treasure under the floors of their houses, and sit up all 
night, or retire to the lonely fields or woods, to hear and read 
without interruption the word of the Book of Life. 

Many suffered for reading the Bible. Some were 
burned with copies around their necks; others were executed 
for teaching their children; they were hunted by the clergy 
like wild beasts. 

Though Wiclif did not die a violent death at the hands 
of his enemies, as it might have been expected he would, 
and though the pope had refused to order Wiclif's body to 
be exhumed and dishonored, the Council of Constance in 
141 5 ordered his bones to be disinterred and burned, a decree 
which was not carried into effect till 1428, and of which the 
following quaint account is given by Thomas Fuller in his 
Church History: 

Hitherto the Corpse of John Wickliffe had quietly slept in 
his grave, about one and four ty years after his death, till his body 
was reduced to bones, and his bones almost to dust. For though 
the Earth in the Chancel of Lutterworth in Leicester-shire, where 
he was interred, hath not so quick a digestion with the Earth of 
Acheldama, to consume Flesh in twenty foure houres, yet such the 
appetite thereof, and all other English graves, to leave small rever- 
sions of a body after so many years. 

But now such the spleen of the Council of Constance, as they 
not only cursed his Memorie, as dying an obstinate Heretick, but 
ordered that his bones (with this charitable caution, if it may be 
discerned from the bodies of other faithful people) to be taken out 
of the ground and thrown farre off, from any Christian buriall. 

Wiclif's Bible 113 

In obedience hereunto Richard Fleming Bishop of Lincoln, 
Diocesan of Lutterzvorth, sent his Officers (Vultures with a quick 
sight scent at a dead Carcase) to ungrave him accordingly. To 
Lutterworth they come, Sumner, Commissarie, Official, Chancellour, 
Proctors, Doctors, and the Servants (so that the Remnant of the 
body would not hold out a bone, amongst so many hands) take, 
what was left, out of the grave, and burnt them to ashes, and cast 
them into Swift a Neighbouring Brook running hard by. Thus 
this Brook hath conveyed his ashes into Jvon; Avon into Severn; 
Several into the narrow Seas; they, into the 7nain Ocean. And 
thus the Ashes of Wickliff are the Emblem of his Doctrine, which 
now, is dispersed all the World over. 


Into this river Wiclif's bones were cast forty years after his death. The 

church tower is visible in the background 

Fuller, after quoting from a popish manuscript that 
Wiclif had recanted and died a good Catholic, and having 
asked if he had why was not the Catholic Church sufficiently 
reconciled without burning his body after so many years, 
goes on to say: 

But though Wickliff had no Tombe, he had a7i Epitaph, such 
as it was, which a Monk afforded him, and that it was no worse, 
thank his want, not of malice, but invention, not finding out worse 

The Divels l7istrument, Churches "Enemie, Peoples con- 
fusion, Hereticks Idol, Hypocrites Mirror, Schisms Broacher, 
hatreds sower, lyes forger, flatteries sinke, who at his death 

114 The Book of Books 

despaired like Cain, and stricken by the horrible Judgements of 
God, breathed forth his wicked Soul to the dark mansion of the 
black Di^ell. 

In Lutterworth Church a tablet has been placed to 
Wiclif's memory, of which through the courtesy of the 
present rector, Rev. T. H. Croxall, I am able to present an 
excellent illustration. 


The inscription is as follows: "Sacred to the memory of JOHN 
WICLIF the earliest champion of ecclesiastical reformation in England. 
He was born in Yorkshire in the year 1324. In the year 1375 he was pre- 
sented to the rectory of Lutterworth, where he died on the 31st of Decem- 
ber, 1384. At Oxford he acquired not only the renown of a consummate 
schoolman, but the far more glorious title of the Evangelic Doctor. His 
whole life was one impetuous struggle against the corruptions and 
encroachments of the papal court and the impostures of its devoted 
auxiliaries, the mendicant fraternities. His labours in the cause of 
scriptural truth were crowned by one immortal achievement, his transla- 
tion of the Bible into the English tongue. This mighty work drew on 
him, indeed, the bitter hatred of all who were making merchandize of the 
popular credulity and ignorance." 

The following example of Wiclif's style will show the 
great advance that EngUsh had made, by his time, over the 

Wiclif's Bible 115 

Anglo-Saxon specimen of the Lord's Prayer given in an 
earlier chapter: 

Oure fadir that art in heuenes: halowide be thi name / thi 
kyngdom come to / be thy wille done: as in heuene & in erthe / 
gif to vs this day: oure brede ouer other substaunce / and forgyue 
to vs oure dettis: as we forgyuen to oure dottours / and leede vs 
not into temptacon but delyuer vs fro al euyl amen/ 

The Lord's Prayer as above given is from a reprint of 
Wiclif's 1380 New Testament made from a manuscript in 
the collection of Lea Wilson, of Norwood, at one time the 
property of Bishop Reynolds, of Norwich, 1670, and later of 
the Monastery of Sion, in Middlesex, to whom it was pre- 
sented by the widow of Sir Wm. Danvers, "In the viij yeere 
of the reigne of kyng Henry the Eytethe. Jn the yeere of 
o"^ lord god a m. fyve hundred and seventeen," partly in the 
hope that by the gift "she the moore tenderly may be 
comytted vnto the mercy of o'' lord god by the hooly dem- 
erytes of mastre confessor and his Bretherne aforeseid," 
printed 1848 for William Pickering, London. This was the 
first time the 1380 Testament was printed. The New Testa- 
ment of the 1382 edition had been printed on several previous 
occasions (by Lewis in 173 1; Baber in 1810; in Bagster's 
Hexapla, 1841), and in 1850 Rev. Josiah Forshall and Sir 
Frederic Madden published the whole 1382 Bible in four 
large volumes, through the University Press at Oxford. 



BETWEEN the publication of Wiclif's manuscript Bible 
in 1382 and the first printed English New Testament by 
Tindale in 1525 an important period of nearly a hundred 
and fifty years intervened. During that time there had 
been great developments, the three most important of 
which were the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the 
invention of the art of printing from movable type. 

Before the invention of printing from movable type, a 
process of printing from wooden blocks had been in opera- 
tion, but for how long is not known. In the early fifteenth 
century there were wood-engravers and block-printers, and 
the art is said to have been practiced for a long time before 
in oriental countries. It is called xylography. The paper 
was laid on the inked block and rubbed. 

The most notable example of this kind of printing is the 
Bihlia Paupernm which consisted of leaves on which were 
printed illustrations and some Latin texts descriptive of 
them. One of them is reproduced here. The Biblia Pau- 
perum was not a Bible, strictly speaking, as only a few 
incidents and scenes were used. In 1884 the Smaller Bihlia 
Pauperum was published in facsimile, with an mtroduction 
by Dean Stanley. 

There is considerable uncertainty as to just how, when, 
and where the incident occurred which is supposed to have 
given the original idea from which modern printing has 
developed, and as to who is entitled to the credit for the 
invention. It is generally supposed that Johan Gansfleisch 
better known by his maternal name of Gutenberg which he 


Three Great Developments 


adopted in later life, was cutting letters from the bark of a 
tree, and either that he wrapped them up and noticed after- 
ward the stain that was left on the wrapping by the moist 
letters, or that he accidently dropped one in some purple 
dye that was standing near, and, after lifting it out, again 
accidentally dropped it upon a dressed skin, whereon it left 

Original in the British Museum 

(From Nelsons' " Encyclopadia") 

a bright purple mark. Whatever truth there may be in 
the story about Gutenberg, it is tolerably certain that some 
such apparently trivial circumstance originated the idea of 
putting the principle to practical use. It is also true that 
about the middle of the fifteenth century movable type was 
being used for printing books. 


The Book of Books 

The invention is by some attributed to Laurens Jans- 
zoon Coster, of Haarlem, in Holland, and the improvement 
of it to Gutenberg. The Encyclopc^dia Britannica devotes 


(Courtesy of Miss A. M. Smith) 

many pages to the pros and cons of the question and declares 
for Coster; but the more general opinion is in favor of 
Gutenberg. One of the earliest references to the subject 

Three Great Developments 119 

is a statement by John SchoefFer, son of Peter Schoeffer, in 
the German translation of Lioz pubhshed at Mainz in 1505: 
"The admirable art of printing was invented in Mentz by 
the ingenious Johan Gutenberg and was subsequently 
improved and handed down to posterity by the capital and 
labor of Johan Fust and Peter SchoefFer." 

In 1456 a Latin Bible was printed at Mainz by Guten- 
berg. This is variously known as the Mazarin Bible, the 
42-Hne Bible, and the Gutenberg Bible. Other works were 
issued from the same press by Gutenberg and his partner, 
Fust, and later by Fust and SchoefFer. 

About 1470 the first English printing press was set up 
by William Caxton at the sign of the Red Pale, in the 
Almonry, London, under the shadow of Westminster Abbey. 
He had learned the art on the continent. Of the works he 
printed some are still extant. 

The first printing press in North America was estab- 
lished at Harvard College in 1639, but printing was done at 
an earlier date in South America. 

Wooden presses were first used for applying the pres- 
sure necessary to make the imprint of the inked type upon 
the paper. At the beginning of the eighteenth century iron 
hand-presses were introduced. Later, as mechanical devel- 
opment advanced, presses were operated by power — first 
steam, then the gas-engine, and lastly electricity — ranging 
from presses to print small jobs in one color to the gigantic 
newspaper and multi-color presses of the present day. 

Side by side with the development of the presses has 
been the improvement in regard to type. Typesetting by 
hand has been largely replaced by machine composition, 
and the art of illustration has so progressed that there is 
little use at the present day for the once valuable wood- 
engraver, and his art has given way to the various photo- 
chemical processes by which the modern single-color and 
multi-color work is produced. 

There is a statue in honor of Gutenberg at Mainz, and 
another at Strasburg, and he is represented as having just 
pulled from the press a sheet of paper having the imprint 
Fiat lux. What a splendid motto that was! It was adopted 
by the first English printer, William Caxton, who set up his 


The Book of Books 

press at Westminster about 1470 — Fiat lux, "Let there be 
light," the Latin form of the divine command which caused 
day to scatter the darkness of primeval night. That great 
printer is buried in Westminster Abbey, not far from where 
his press stood, and in the adjacent St. Margaret's Church 
is a Caxton window for which Dr. Farrar, then Archdeacon 
of Westminster, requested Lord Tennyson to write an 
inscription which reads as follows: 

His cry was, " Light, more light, while time shall last "; 

He saw the glories growing on the night, 
But not the shadows which that light shall cast 

Till shadows vanish in the Light of Light. 


(Courtesy of Miss A. M. Smith) 

The Museum Plantin-Moretus at Antwerp contains a 
good collection of early printing presses and early printed 
Bibles. Christopher Plantin was a famous printer who 
established himself at Antwerp in 1549 and worked there 
for forty years, till his death in 1589. The Museum possesses 
a Bible in three parts printed in folio by A. Pfister in 1460, 
the Bihlia Latina. The most important Bible published by 
Plantin is the Bihlia Regia, or Polyglot Bible, in nine volumes 
folio, issued by order of King PhiHp II from 1568 to 1573. 

Three Great Developments 


It seems a far cry from the crude presses of Gutenberg 
and Caxton to the giant presses of today; but though there 
has been wonderful progress in regard to size and speed, 
those who have had the opportunity to examine the first 

As used in Caxton's days 

book known to have been printed, the Gutenberg Bible, are 
impressed with the beauty of the work; the brightness, after 
nearly five hundred years, of the jet-black ink; the clean- 


The Book of Books 

Three Great Developments 123 

cut type; and the excellence and durable whiteness of the 
paper. For exquisite workmanship it compares very favor- 
ably with modern products; for durability it far surpasses 
most of them. 

It may be of interest to give a few details of a modern 
press in contrast to the wooden press as used in Caxton's 
days. The writer saw the wooden press (of which an illus- 
tration is given) in operation at the printing exhibition in 
London in 1906, when Mr. McAnally was running off 
souvenir sheets headed "Let there be Hght," for sale at one 
penny each. By courtesy of the proprietor of the Evening 
Bulletin, Philadelphia, I am able to present an illustration 
of one of the largest modern presses, the size of which may 
be judged from the workmen upon and around it. At the 
Bulletin plant five of these enormous presses were installed 
in 1 92 1, four others are being added at the moment of writing 
(1922), and there are twelve of four-fifths the capacity, and 
when the twenty-one are in operation they will print 300,000 
copies of a forty-page newspaper in an hour, which is equiva- 
lent to 5,000 a minute, or 800 a second. The paper is fed 
to these presses from rolls weighing more than half a ton 
each, and as each day's issue is about half a million copies, 
there is a daily consumption of 140 tons of paper. The 
typesetting, or composition, is chiefly done by machinery, 
and such wonderful progress has been made in the art of 
engraving that illustrations of current events can pass 
through the stages of photographing, engraving, and printing 
and be in the hands of the pubhc in about an hour. These 
presses not only print, but cut, fold, count, and dehver the 
newspapers to a traveling belt, at the rate above mentioned. 

One cause which contributed to the invention and 
progress of the art of printing was the movement known as 
the Renaissance. For three or four centuries there had been 
a growing feeling of discontent, amounting later to revolt, 
at the idea that the church was of paramount authority 
over the lives and circumstances of men. The study in the 
universities was fitting men to lead in the attack upon the 
church- — its authority, and its morals — and in the emanci- 
pation of the people. The principles which found expression 
in the writings and sermons of Wiclif, and which spread both 


The Book of Books 

in England and on the continent, ultimately led to the Refor- 
mation. The spread of learning created a demand for 
books, and the art of printing facilitated their production. 
Almost simultaneous with the invention of printing was the 
capture of Constantinople by the Turks in May, 1453, and 
the consequent impetus to classical culture and learning 
which followed upon the westward flight of the scholars 
of Greece. 


(Courtesy of Charles H. Clarke) 

WicHf has been styled the "Morning Star of the Refor- 
mation," but the full day did not come until after the 
Renaissance had prepared the way, and until a powerful 
aid had arisen in the printing press. There had been many 
like WicHf in England and Huss in Bohemia who had pro- 
pagated the principles of the Reformation before Luther, 
Calvin, Melancthon, Zwingli, and Knox, whose names are 
generally associated therewith. Revolt had been spreading 
for several centuries but the break in the church resulting 
in the two sections of Catholics and Protestants, which have 

Three Great Developments 125 

remained separate ever since, did not come until a few noble 
souls had sufficient courage to give open defiance to the 
pope and his aides. Martin Luther was pre-eminent among 
these. He was born November 10, 1483, at Eisleben, in 
Germany, and died there February 18, 1546. He was the 
son of a miner, and was educated at the University of Erfurt 
with a view to becoming a lawyer. But he entered the 
Augustinian convent at Erfurt in 1505 and was ordained 
priest in 1507. In 1508 he became a professor at the Uni- 
versity of Wittenberg and in 15 10 visited Rome. His 
spirit was stirred by the corruptions of the church, and 
later he saw the strong contrast between faith, as expounded 
in the Epistle to the Romans, and the works of the church. 
Particularly was he incensed at the sale of indulgences by 
Tetzel, the emissary of the pope, and on October 31, 15 17, 
he nailed his famous ninety-five theses to the door of the 
church at Wittenberg. He was excommunicated by the 
pope in June, 1520, and burned both the pope's bull and 
the canon law. At the Diet of Worms in 1521 he came 
under the ban of the emperor as well. In 1530 the Lutheran 
Confession of Faith was expounded at Augsburg and the 
break between the church and the Reformers was complete. 

In Switzerland, Scotland, and other countries the 
Reformation spread. In England a break with Rome 
came because of personal differences between King Henry 
VIII and the pope rather than for doctrinal reasons. 

The Gutenberg Bible was printed in Latin, and the 
type was an excellent imitation of the manuscripts. It was 
printed between 1450 and 1456 but does not contain any 
date or name of printer. It is also called the 42-Une Bible, 
from the fact that it had 42 lines to the page; another a few 
years later had 36 lines. Another name for it is the Mazarin 
Bible, because a copy was found in the library of Cardinal 
Mazarin. It was in two volumes, with a total of 641 leaves 
which were not numbered. The printing is jet black, and 
the copies are variously ornamented by hand. In some 
there is little but the coloring of the capital letters in red 
and blue, with headlines of alternate red and blue letters; 
others were richly decorated in the margins in addition to 
the capitals and initials. About forty copies are extant, 


The Book of Books 


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This page is in the library of the University of Pennsylvania 

Three Great Developments 127 

some printed on vellum; and the prices obtained for copies 
at sales in recent years have made records. A copy was 
sold in New York in 191 1 for fifty thousand dollars. A 
mutilated copy was split up into separate leaves in 1922, 
which sold with a neat leather case and descriptive circular 
for one hundred and fifty dollars each. A beautiful copy is 
in the New York PubHc Library, and there are not more 
than eight in the United States. 

The Gutenberg Bible is printed in two columns, and 
the only indication when a new book begins is the use of a 
six-line initial letter and a new headline to the page. A 
new book begins anywhere in the column. The first volume 
has eight pages of introduction before Genesis and ends 
with the Psalms part way down the first column of the last 
page. The second volume has one and a quarter columns 
of prologue to Solomon's Proverbs. The Apocrypha ends 
in the middle of the first column of the first page of the leaf, 
and the second page is blank. The New Testament is 
prefaced with two pages of prologue to Matthew. From a 
bibhographical point of view it is the most interesting book 
in the world. 

With the Reformation and the Renaissance and the 
advent of printing, Greek students turned to a consideration 
of the text of the New Testament. Erasmus published his 
first Greek Testament in 15 16 at Basle in Switzerland. 
It was bilingual, having Greek and Latin in two columns. 
It was produced in great haste and with a poor supply of 
manuscripts, and while of great use was also very defective. 
Other editions were published in 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535. 

An interesting fact about the Greek Testaments of 
Erasmus is that the much discussed verse, i John 5 : 7, is 
not in the first or the second edition, and it is said that when 
he was taken to task about its omission he said he left it out 
because it was not in the manuscript he used, and that if a 
manuscript was found which contained it he would insert it 
in a later edition. This he did in his third edition, because 
a manuscript had been found, the Codex Montfortianus, 
which contained it. It would appear that the manuscript 
was specially made to contain it, for it may be seen in 
Trinity College, Dublin, and while there are 455 leaves, 


The Book of Books 


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V If 


(From "The Biblical World") 

Three Great Developments 129 

the one with that verse on is of different material from the 
rest; and Dr. Scrivener, in a note on p. 173 of his Plain 
Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, quotes the 
follov^ing remark of a witty Irish prelate: "We often hear 
that the text of the Three Heavenly Witnesses is a gloss; 
and anyone that will go into the College Library may see 
as much for himself." That leaf was glazed; the other 
leaves were not. 

Erasmus was a Protestant, but before he began the 
preparation of his Greek New Testament, another was being 
prepared for printing by a Catholic cardinal, Francis ,' 
Ximenes de Cisneros, in Spain. This was commenced in 
1502 and completed in 15 14, but was not published till 
1520, three years after the cardinal's death. This version 
is known as the Complutensian Polyglot, being published 
at Complutum, in Spain, and containing, in parallel columns, 
Latin and Greek. The Old Testament contained Hebrew, 
Latin, and Greek. It was frequently reprinted, sometimes 
with considerable revision. 

In 1534 Simon de Colines published, at Paris, a Greek 
Testament, combining the Erasmus and Complutensian 
texts with various readings of his own introduction. 

Robert Stephens (or Estienne), step-son of De Colines, 
published new versions in 1546, 1549, and 1550 at Paris, 
and in 1551 at Geneva. The text mainly followed that of 
Erasmus in his 1527 and 1535 editions. In the 1551 edition 
the text is divided into verses for the first time; a division 
into chapters had already been made. 

Theodore Beza, a noted reformer, issued a Greek Testa- 
ment, based on that of Stephens, with some changes, in 
1565, at Geneva, with several later editions until 1605. He 
had the use of the Codex Bezae already referred to and the 
Codex Clarmontanus, which earlier revisers had not. 

In 1624 an edition was published at Leyden in Holland, 
by two brothers, Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir. It 
was repubhshed in 1635 and 1641, and was practically a 
reprint of Beza's version. From a phrase used in the preface 
to the second edition, "textum receptum" it has been called 
the textus receptus or the "received text." As Stephens' 
and Beza's were substantially that of Erasmus, his was in 
reality the received text. 

130 The Book of Books 

In 1675 an edition was published by Bishop Fell, at 
Oxford, and another by John Mill in 1707. These did not 
differ materially from Stephens' text, but there were added 
to Mill's edition about thirty thousand various readings. 
Manuscripts of great value were now available for the 
scholars, and they had begun to use them critically upon the 
text. Later versions transferred many of the readings to 
the text. The very early and valuable Alexandrian and 
Vatican manuscripts had become available, and a proposal 
was made by Dr. Richard Bentley, in 1720, to substitute 
for the received text that of the early centuries. 

Bengel issued a Greek Testament at Tubingen in 1734, 
in which he retained the received text, and noted variations 
in the margin. 

In 175 1 Wetstein pubHshed a version at Amsterdam, 
which was the received text, mainly from the Elzevir edi- 
tions, with notes as to the various readings, and extensive 
quotations from the Fathers and Greek, Latin, and Hebrew 

With Johann Jakob Griesbach there came a transition 
from the received text based on the late cursive manuscripts 
to one according to the earlier uncials. His first edition 
was pubHshed in 1775, but his second edition, 1796-1806, 
was much more valuable, and a third was pubHshed in 1827, 
fifteen years after his death, edited by David Schulz and 
with considerable critical additions. 

In 1830 an edition was pubHshed by J. M. A. Scholz, 
which differed very Httle from Griesbach's. 

With Carl Lachmann's edition of 1 842-1 850 came the 
complete reversion to the oldest manuscripts. He ignored 
the received text and cursive manuscripts and translated 
direct from the uncials. But the most valuable of all the 
old manuscripts, the Sinaitic, had not then been found; and 
there was room for further amendment after Tischendorf 
had published his facsimile edition of Codex ^ . 

Constantin Tischendorf, born at Lengenfeld, in Saxony, 
January 18, 181 5, deciphered the Ephraem paHmpsest in 
1 840-1 843 and discovered the Sinaitic manuscript 1844 and 
1859. With all the critical, textual material that had been 
collected previously he had greater faciHties for revising the 

Three Great Developments 


Greek text than any had had before him. Altogether he 
pubUshed eight editions of the Greek Testament, the first 
in 1841 and the last from 1864 to 1872. He died at Leipzig, 
December 8, 1874. 

Samuel Prideaux Tregelles was born at Falmouth, 
January 30, 18 13, and died at Plymouth, April 24, 1875. 
He was a dihgent scholar and published a Greek Testament 
in parts from 1857 to 1872. 


Editor Greek New Testa- 
ment and one of the 
Revisers, 1870 -1875 


Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury, published a Greek 
Testament in four volumes from* 1849 to 1861. Each 
passed through several editions, and improvements were 
made as new and valuable materials were discovered. 

In 1881 appeared the revised text of Westcott and 
Hort, in two volumes, the first containing the text and the 
second an introduction and extensive notes. This is still 
recognized as the oldest and best text which it is possible 
to obtain with the material at present available. No 


The Book of Books 

important discovery of manuscripts affecting the text has 
been made since the Sinaitic manuscript was pubHshed. 

Dean Alford, Bishop Westcott, and Mr. Hort were all 
members of the English Revision Committee, and their 


Joint editor with Prof. F. J. A. Hort of the Greek Testament, and one of 
of the Revisers, 1870-1881 

labors in textual criticism had prepared them admirably for 
the work. Two other members of the revision committee 
issued volumes of the Greek Testament just about the time 
that the Revised English Version was pubHshed, 1881. Dr. 
Scrivener gave the received text, as followed by the revisers 

Three Great Developments 133 

in the Authorized Version, together with the variations 
adopted by the revisers. Archdeacon Palmer gave the 
Greek Testament as followed by the Revision Committee 
of 1870. 

The following is a summary of the rules followed by 
the editors of the Greek text as summarized by Dr. SchafF: 

1. Knowledge of documentary evidence must precede the 
choice of readings. 

2. All kinds of evidence, external and internal, must be taken 
into account, according to their intrinsic value. 

3. The sources of the text must be carefully sifted and classi- 
fied and the authorities must be weighed rather than numbered. 
One independent manuscript may be worth more than a hundred 
copies which are derived from the same original. 

4. The restoration of the pure text is founded on the history 
and genealogy of the textual corruptions. 

5. The older reading is preferable to the later because it is 
presumably nearer the source. In exceptional cases later copies 
may represent a more ancient reading. 

6. The shorter reading is preferable to the longer, because 
insertions and additions are more probable than omissions. 

7. The more difficult reading is preferable to the easier. 
Transcribers would not intentionally substitute a harsh, ungram- 
matical or unusual reading for one that was unobjectionable. 

8. The reading which best explains the origin of the other 
variations is preferable. 

9. "That reading is preferable which best suits the peculiar 
style, manner, and habits of thought of the author; it being the 
tendency of copyists to overlook the idiosyncrasies of the writers." 
— Scrivener. 

10. That reading is preferable which shows no doctrinal bias 
whether orthodox or heretical. 

11. The agreement of the most ancient witnesses of all classes 
decides the true reading against all medieval copies and printed 

12. The primary uncials, X B, C, and A — especially X and 
B — if sustained by other Greek uncials (as D, L, T, H, Z) and 
first-class cursives (as 33), by ancient versions, and ante-Nicene 
citations, outweigh all later authorities, and give us presumably 
the original text of the sacred writers. 



WILLIAM TINDALE was born at or near North 
Nibley, near Berkeley in Gloucestershire, about the 
year 1484. The exact place and date are not known. A 
monument has been erected at Nibley Knoll, of which the 
following particulars are taken from the record of the inaug- 
uration, 1866. It is a cenotaph (or empty tomb) consisting 
of a square tower 26 feet 6 inches wide at the base and 
1 1 1 feet high, exclusive of the cross at the top. It is entered 
on the east side, and a staircase within leads to a gallery. 
It commands an extensive view from Warwickshire to the 
Bristol Channel, over the Severn, into Wales, covering 
thirteen counties. The foundation stone was laid by Colonel 
Berkeley, A4ay 29, 1863, and it was inaugurated November 
6, 1866, by the Earl of Ducie. The cost was about eight 
thousand dollars. 

Very little is known of Tindale's family or of his early 
years. For the best information on the subject the reader 
is referred to William Tyndale, a Biography, by R. Demaus. 
Some interesting items are given in Acts and Monuments, 
by George Foxe, who styles Tindale the "Apostle of Eng- 
land." He says that "he was brought vp from a child in 
the Vniuersitie of Oxford, where he by long continuance 
grew vp, and increased as wel in the knowledge of tounges, 
and other liberall Artes, as especially in the knowledge of 
the Scriptures; whereunto his mynde was singularly 
addicted." The family of Tindale had adopted the name 
Hychyns (Hitchins or Hotchyns), possibly, as Arber sug- 
gests, for the sake of concealment during the Wars of the 
Roses; so he is sometimes referred to by this name in 
extracts which follow. He is supposed to have taken his 


William Tindale 


degree of Master of Arts at Oxford in 15 15 and to have 
been ordained to the priesthood about 1520 or 1521. From 
Magdalen Hall, Oxford, Tindale went to Cambridge and in 
all probability attended lectures there by Erasmus. 

About 1520 he went as tutor and chaplain in the family 
of Sir John Walsh, at Little Sodbury Manor, about fifteen 
miles from Bistol and not far from the place of his birth. 
By courtesy of the present rector of Little Sodbury (Rev. 
H. Hy. Golledge), I am enabled to present some excellent 


(Photo by Murray Doivding from an old engraving) 

illustrations from photographs taken by Mr. Murray Dowd- 
ing, of Chipping Sodbury. It was doubtless while at Sir 
John Walsh's that Tindale made up his mind to translate 
the Bible into English and print it for the enhghtenment of 
his fellow-men. He had opportunity while there to come 
into close touch with the ignorance and wretchedness of the 
clergy. Demaus says that religion had degenerated "into 
a round of superstitious customs and ceremonial observ- 
ances"; and it is recorded that at a later date Bishop Hooper 


The Book of Books 

(of Gloucester), in the reign of Edward VI, found many 
clergy in Gloucestershire who could not repeat the Ten 
Commandments, name the author of the Lord's Prayer, or 
say where it could be found. The Convocation of Canter- 
bury had forbidden the translation of Scripture into English 


{Photo by Murray Dowding) 

or the reading of such translations without authority of the 
bishop. Foxe says: 

The sayde Tyndall beyng schole maister to the sayde maister 
Welche his children, and being in good fauour with his maister, 
sat moste commonly at his owne table, whiche kept a good ordin- 
ary, having resort to hym, many tymes diuerse great beneficed 

William Tindale 


men, as Abbots, Deanes, Archedeacons, and other diuerse doctors, 
and learned men. Amongst whome commonly was taike of learn- 
ing, as well of Luther and Erasmus Roterodamus, as of opinions 
in the scripture. The saide Maister Tyndall being learned and 
which had bene a studient of diuinitie in Cambridge, and hade 
therein taken degree of schole, did man}^ times therein shewe his 
mynde and learnyng, wherein as those men and Tyndall did varie 
in opinions and iudgementes, then maister Tyndall would shewe 
them on the booke the places; by open and manifest scripture, 
the whiche continued for a certaine season, diuerse and sondry 
tymes vntyll in the continuance thereof, those great beneficed 
doctors waxed weary and bare a secret grudge in their hartes 
against maister Tyndale. 


The residence of Sir John Walsh, who was champion to Henry VHI 
at his coronation. Henry visited the manor house with his queen, Anne 
Roleyn, and it is said that she watched the sports from the bay window 
of the upper story at the right of the picture. 

(Photo by Murray Dowding) 

The ecclesiastical authorities were aroused against him. 
He was cited to appear before them and was told that 
he was "a heretic in sophistry, a heretic in logic, a heretic'in 
his Divinity," that he bore himself very boldly, and that he 
should be otherwise talked with. Foxe continues: 


The Book of Books 

And sone after Maister Tyndall happened to be in the com- 
panie of a learned man, and in communing and disputing with 
him, droue him to that issue that the learned manne sayde, we 
were better be without Gods lawe then the Popes: Maister Tyndall 
hearing that, answered hym, I defie the Pope and all his lawes, 
and sayde, if God spare my lyfe ere many yeares, I wyl cause a 
boye that dryueth y^ plough, shall knowe more of the scripture 
then thou doest. 


The old church of St. Adeline at Little Sodbury dates from 1500. 
It was disused and dismantled in 1858. The two yew trees are about 
five hundred years old and were most likely there in Tindale's days. 
On the hill to the right is a Roman camp inside a British camp. The 
top part of the manor house may be seen at the left of the picture. 

{Photo by Murray Dowding) 

Realizing that the opposition to him was becoming 
very great, he resolved to leave his position, and so one day 
said to Sir John Walsh, "I perceive that I shal not be suflPered 
to tary long here in this countrey, nor you shalbe able to 
kepe me out of their handes, and what displeasure you 
might haue therby is harde to knowe, for the whiche I 
should be ryght sory." 

William Tindale 


So in the summer of 1523 he went to London, his mind 
fully made up to translate and print the Bible if a way could 
possibly be found to do it. Humphrey Monmouth, a London 
draper, assisted Tindale, and shortly after, in 1528, was 
charged with heresy, and in his answer to the charge in his 
petition to Wolsey and the Council he gives some details 
of Tindale's stay with him. He says: 

The stones from the old church were carted down and used to build the 

present church 

(I'hoto by Murray Dowding) 

Upon iiii yeres and a half past and more I herde the foresaid 
Sir William preach ii or iii sermons at St. Dunstan's in the west, 
in London; and after that I chaunced to meet with him and with 
communication I examyned what lyving he had. He said he had 
none at all; but he trusted to be with my Lord of London in his 
service. And therefore I had the better fantasy to him. And 
afterward he went to my Lord and spake to him, as he told me, 
and my L. of London answered him, that he had Chaplaines 
inough, and he said to him, that he would have no more at that 
tyme. And so the Priest came to me againe, and besought me to 
help him, and so I took him into my house half a yere: and there 
he lived like a good Priest, as methought. He studied most part 
of the day and of the night, at his book. 


The Book of Books 

Tindale stayed in London nearly a year, and then, 
deciding that there was no chance to get his translation 
printed there, went to the continent. It is a matter of 
doubt whether he ever visited Luther at Wittenberg. Some 
scholars think he did and there finished his translation; 
others think he did not; but there is no definite evidence 
either way. At any rate, he was at Cologne in 1525 super- 
intending the printing of his New Testament by Peter 


This shows the stained glass window and the martyr's pulpit. The 
figures are those of Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Hooper, Ridley and 
Latimer, and William Tindale. The photograph was taken by Mr. 
Murray Dowding, of Chipping Sodbury, a descendant of Bishop Ridley. 

Quentel. Along with him was William Roye, who, accord- 
ing to Tindale's own statement, which will be quoted later, 
had helped him in his work of translation. The fact that 
he was printing the New Testament leaked out, and the 
chief agent in the opposition to the work has himself given 

William Tindale 141 

an account of how he discovered it. His name is John 
Cochlaeus, or Johann Dobneck, and, writing of himself in 
the third person, he says: 

Two English apostates, who had been sometime at Witten- 
berg, sought not only to subvert their own merchants (who 
secretly favored and supported them in their exile) but even hoped 
that, whether the king would or not, all the people of England 
would in a short time become Lutherans, by means of the New 
Testament of Luther, which they had translated into the English 
language. They had already come to Cologne, that thence they 
might convey, secretly, under cover of other goods to England, 
the Testament so translated, and multiplied by printers into 
many thousands. For they had so much confidence of managing 
the business well, that, at the first onset, they asked from the 
printers six thousand to be given from the press. But fearing lest 
they should meet with a very heavy loss, if anything happened 
unfortunately, they only put three thousand to the press; which, 
if the}' should happily be sold, could with ease be printed anew. . . . 

At that time, John Cochlaeus, Deacon of the Church of the 
Blessed Virgin at Frankfort, lived as an exile at Cologne. . . . 

Having become more intimate and familiar with the Cologne 
printers, he sometimes heard them confidently boast, when in 
their cups, that whether the King and Cardinal of England would 
or not, all England would in a short time be Lutheran. He heard 
also that there were two Englishmen lurking there, learned, skilful 
in languages, and fluent, whom, however, he never could see or 
converse with. Calling, therefore, certain printers into his lodging, 
after they were heated with wine, one of them, in more private 
discourse, discovered to him the secret by which England was to 
be drawn over to the side of Luther — namely. That three thousand 
copies of the Lutheran New Testament, translated into the English 
language, were in the press, and already were advanced as far as 
the letter K in ordine quarter nionum. That the expenses were 
fully supplied by English merchants; who were secretly to convey 
the work when printed, and to disperse it widely through all 
England, before the King or Cardinal could discover or prohibit it. 

Cochlaeus, being inwardly affected by fear and wonder, dis- 
guised his grief, under the appearance of admiration. But another 
day, considering with himself the magnitude of the grievous dan- 
ger, he cast in mind by what method he might expeditiously 
obstruct these very wicked attempts. He went, therefore, 
secretly to Herman Rinck, a patrician of Cologne and Military 
Knight, familiar both with the Emperor and the King of England, 
and a Counsellor, and disclosed to him the whole affair, as, by 
means of the wine, he had received it. He, that he might ascertain 
all things most certainly, sent another person into the house where 

142 The Book of Books 

the work was printing, according to the discovery of Cochlaeus: 
and when he had understood from him that the matter was even 
so, and that there was great abundance of paper there, he went to 
the Senate, and so brought it about that the printer was inter- 
dicted from proceeding farther in that work. The two Enghsh 
apostates, snatching away with them the quarto sheets printed, 
fled by ship, going up the Rhine to Worms, where the people were 
under the full rage of Lutheranism, that there, by another printer, 
they might complete the work begun. Rinck and Cochlaeus, how- 
ever, immediately advised by their letter the King, the Cardinal, 
and the Bishop of Rochester that they might, with the greatest 
diligence, take care lest that most pernicious article of merchandise 
should be conveyed into all the ports of England. 

The secret being discovered, Tindale fled to Worms, 
and there issued his small, or octavo, New Testament, in 
an edition of three thousand printed by Peter Schoeffer. 
If the larger one, the quarto, begun at Cologne, was ever 
completed, it was completed at Worms, but there is doubt 
whether any further printing was done on that edition. 
At any rate, no complete copy has ever been found, and 
only one fragment is extant. It was discovered in 1836 by 
a bookseller in London and came into the possession of the 
Right Hon. Thomas Grenville, and is part of the Grenville 
Library in the British Museum. It contains only the 
Prologue and the first twenty-one chapters of Matthew and 
a portion of chapter twenty-two. It has been reproduced 
in facsimile by Edwin Arber (1871) with copious intro- 
duction, and the illustrations here given are from that 

Of the octavo edition two copies are extant. One, with 
only the title-page missing, is in the Library of the Baptist 
College, Bristol, and was reproduced in facsimile in 1862, 
by Francis Fry. The illustration here given is from that 
facsimile. The other copy is incomplete; it is in the library 
of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. 

Warned by Cochlaeus, the clergy were on the look-out 
for Tindale's Testaments as soon as they were issued. Other 
warnings had been sent also. At that time Henry VIII had 
not broken off relations with Rome and declared against 
the supremacy of the pope. 

William Tindale 143 

Edward Lee, Almoner of Henry VIII, was traveling on 
the continent in 1525 and wrote to the king from Bordeaux 
on December 2d, in part as follows: 

Please it your Highnesse moreover to undrestand that I am 
certainlie enformed as I passed in this contree that an Englishman, 
your subject, at the sollicitation and instance of Luther, with 
whome he is, hatha translated the Newe Testament in to English, 
and within fewe dayes entendethe to arrive with the same em- 
printed in Englond. I neede not to advertise your Grace what 
infection and daunger may ensue heerbie, if it be not withstonded. 
This is the next waye to fulfill your realme with Lutherians. For 
all Luthers perverse opinions bee grownded opon bar wordes of 
Scriptur not well taken ne vnderstonded, wiche your Grace hathe 
opened in sondrie places of your royall Booke. All our forfadres, 
governors of the Churche of Englond, hathe with all diligence for- 
bed & exchued publication of Englishe bibles, as apperethe in Con- 
stitutions provincall of the Churche of Englond. Nowe, Sire, as 
God hathe endued your Grace with Christen courauge to sett 
forthe the standard against thies Philistees and to venquish them, 
so I doubt not but that he will assist your grace to prosecute and 
performe the same, that is to vndre treade them that they shall 
not nowe againe lift vppe their hedds, wiche they endevor nowe by 
meanes of Englishe Bibles. They knowe what hurte suche books 
hath doone in your Realme in tymes passed. 

Hithretoo, blessed be God, your Realme is save from infection 
of Luthers sect, as for so mutche that althowg anye peradventur 
bee secretlie blotted within, yet for fear of your royall Majestic, 
wiche hathe drawen his swerd in Gods cause, they dar not openlie 
avowe. Wherefor I can not doute but that your noble Grace will 
valiauntlie maignetaine that you have so noblie begonne. 

Copies were smuggled into England in various ways. 
They were put in barrels and packages and reached some 
who were ready and willing to distribute them; but the 
distributors were afterward persecuted as well as the pub- 
lishers. The clergy were greatly incensed and took all 
possible measures to suppress the books. Foremost among 
the enemies of Tindale was the bishop whose help he had 
first sought — Cuthbert Tonstal, Bishop of London. The 
following portion of a letter will serve as a specimen of the 
attitude of the clergy to Tindale's Testaments. It is from 
Robert Ridley, chaplain to Tonstal, to Henry Golde, chap- 
lain to Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. 


The Book of Books 

Maister Golde, I hartly commande me vnto you. As con- 
cernyng this common and vulgare translation of the new testament 
in to englishe, doon by Mr. William Hichyns, otherwais called 
Mr. W. Tyndale, and frear William Roy, manifest lutheranes 
heretikes and apostates, as doth oppynly apeir, not only by their 
daily and continuall company and familiarite with Luther and his 
disciples, bot mych mor by their commentares and annotationes in 
Mattheum et Marcum in the first print, also by their preface in 
the 2d prent, and by their introduccion in to the epistle of Paule 
ad Romanos al to gither most posoned and abhominable hereses 
that can be thowght; he is not filius Ecclesiae Christi thet wold 

Gathering in secret to hear it read 

(From Stoughton's "Bible Translations and Translators." Courtesy of the Religious Tract Society) 

receaue a godspell of such damned and precised heretikes, thowh 
it wer trew, lyk as Paule and our Saviour Christ wold not take the 
trew testimonial of Evil Spretes that prased Criste trew saying 

Quod filius dei erat. 

An interesting story is told in Halle's Chro7iicles of the 
efforts made by Tonstal to secure the whole of the Testa- 
ments and burn them: 

William Tindale 


Here it is to be remembred, that at this present tyme, Willyam 
Tyndale had newly translated and imprinted the Newe Testa- 
ment in Englishe, and the Bishop of London, not pleased with the 
translacion thereof, debated with hymself, how he might compasse 
and deuise, to destroye that false and erronious translacion (as he 
saied). And so it happened that one Augustine Packyngton a 
Mercer and Merchant of London, and of a greate honestie, the 
same tyme was in Andwarp, where the Bishope then was, and this 
Packyngton was a man that highly fauored William Tindale, but 
to the bishop vtterly shewed himself to the contrar3^ The bishop 
desirous to haue his purpose brought to passe, commoned of the 
New Testamentes, and how gladly he would bye them. Packyng- 
ton then hearj^ng that he wished for, saied vnto the bishop, my 

Burning New Testaments at St. Paul's 

{From Stougfilon's "Bible Translations and Translators." Courtesy of the Religious Trad Society) 

Lorde, if it bee your pleasure I can in this matter dooe more I 
dare saie, then moste of the Merchauntes of Englande that are 
here to sell, so that if it be your lordshippes pleasure, to pay for 
theim, for otherwise I cannot come by them, but I must disburse 
money for theim, I will then assure you, to haue euery boke of 
them, that is imprinted and is here vnsolde. The Bishop thinkyng 
that he had God by the too, when in deede he had (as after he 
thought) the Deuell by the fiste, saied, gentle Master Packyngton, 
do your diligence and get them and with all my harte I will paie 
for them, whatsoeuer thei cost you, for the bokes are erronious 
and naughtes and I entende surely to destroy theim all, and to 

146 The Book of Books 

burne theim at Paules Crosse. Augustine Packyngton came to 
Willyam Tyndale and saied, Willyam I knowe thou arte a poore 
man, and hast a hepe of newe Testamentes, and bokes by thee, 
for the whiche thou hast both indaungered thy frendes, and beg- 
gared thy self, and I haue now gotten thee a Merchaunt, whiche 
with ready money shall dispatche thee of all that thou hast, if 
you thykne it so proffitable for your self. Who is the Merchant 
said Tyndale.^ The bishoppe of London, saied Packyngton, O 
that is because he will burne them saied Tyndale, ye Mary quod 
Packyngton, I am the gladder said Tyndale for these two benefites 
shall come therof, I shall get money of hym for these bokes, to 
bryng myself out of debt (and the whole world shall crie out vpon 
the burnynge of Goddes worde.) And the ouerplus of the money, 
that shall remain to me, shall make me more studious to correct 
the said Newe Testament, and so newly to Imprint the same once 
again, and I trust the second will much better like you, then euer 
did the first: And so forward went the bargain, the bishop had 
the bokes, Packyngton had the thankes, and Tyndale had the 

Afterward when mo newe Testamentes were Imprinted, thei 
came thicke and threfolde into Englande, the bishop of London 
hearyng that still there were so many Newe Testamentes abrode, 
sent for Augustyne Packyngton and saide vnto him: Sir how 
commeth this, that there are so many Newe Testamentes abrode, 
and you promised and assured me that you had bought al.^ then 
saied Packyngton, I promes you I bought all that then was to bee 
had: but I perceiue thei haue made more sence, and it will neuer 
bee better, as long as thei haue the letters and stampes, therefore 
it wer best for your lordshippe to bye the stampes to, and then 
are you sure: the bishop smiled at hym and saied, well Packyngton 
well, and so ended this matter. 

The Prologue to Tindale's quarto edition of 1525, the 
Grenville Fragment, is as follows: 

The. Prologge. 

I haue here translated (brethern and susters moost dere and 
tenderly beloued in Christ) the newe Testament for youre spiritual 
edyfyinge / consolacion / and solas: 

Exhortynge instantly and besechynge those that are better 
sene in the tonges then y / and that haue hyer gyftes of grace to 
interpret the sence of the scripture / and meanynge of the spyrite / 
then y / to consydre and pondre my laboure / and that with the 
spyrite of mekenes. And yf they perceyue in eny places that y 
have not attayned the very sence of the tonge / or meanynge of 
the scripture / or haue not geven the right englysshe worde / that 
they put to there handes to amende it / remembrynge that so is 
there duetie to doo. For we have not receyved the gyftes of god 

William Tindale 



li:>m fittt ttmRattti 

Cbwtbcman^ fufrer6mcofl^erc<ln^ 
tcnUtly bePcueb inCbiifl D tijcncs: 

^)?ft'in0e/confc»lacton/anb fol«6: 
Vi)cl>o:tyit0c in(hnrl)>ani> bt(cd}yn$c 
tbo|etl>ar Are bcmr fcnc in tfecton^f 
then y / m'Cf t\}at b^vc ^j?cr 0)>|1f of 
pracc to interpret tjjc fence of t^e (Vr^ 
iprurc /ant" meanj>nge of t|)c fpyiitf: 
te/tben j>/toconjyt»je dn^ pon^:c m)^ 
Ubourc / anb tbftt tritb t^e (py«'tc 
of mefence. 2(n^ yf tbey perceyre in eny places r J? ar^ i>Avc 
not atta)?ne^ t||)e very jencc of tbe ton^c / ot mzAnyn^t of 
tbe fmpturc / ot b^u^ not gevm tbcri^btcn^lyfTbe v»o:Jie/ 
tb<it tbe)(> put to tbcre b«n^f to « m cn^c it/rememb:)>n^c f b«t (^ 
fgtbere^lIeticto t>a>. goitre barenorrecej^re^tbe^fyflfof^ob 
fo: oure (cfiie^ only/o* fo:to by^e tb^ni: but fo:to bef^o we tbem 
i?nto tbe bononrin^f of 0o& an^ cb Jif^/«n^ i^yfyingi 6 ft^s f on^ 
0rc0acion /wcbicb i& tbc bot>y ofcbiifJ. 

C^The ca«|c^ tb^t move> metotranflate /y tbou£(l;t better 
iViozi every fuppofel* yt fuperflnoii^ / fo: tc\)0 yefo b^nl>e to 
ftretrby ly^bt rbtJlt>e be fbcwe^ to tbcm tb«t walFc tn &ercf;^ 
ne&/ wbere tbey cannot but flomble/an^»^)bereto flombfir )f^ 
tbet>Aun^er ofeterrtAfTtJammacion / otbcr fol»efpy^b^fuff 
tbAtbeu?oll»eenpye cnyman Cr fpeaPe nott bi^ biotber) fo 
neceffary * tb»n£fe/ orfobe^lcm maM>e toa(fy:mc tb^t 0oo^ 
t> t\^c n«tu^aff*caufeofylleff'/ftn^^erfne5 to proce^c oute of 
^y0h^ I an?) tbat Ij?in^e f b»l^c be ^roun^e^ in tron^b ^^ 
reryrie / an^ nott rfttber cfcnc contrary / tljat \yQ\)X ^eflro ^ 
yetb^ercFne^/an^ ve rttic reprorctb a(f manner l>in^e. 

Z i| 


(front Arber's reprint) 

148 The Book of Books 

for oureselues only or forto hyde them: but forto bestowe them 
vnto the honouringe of god and christ / and edyfyinge of the con- 
gregacion / which is the body of christ. 

T[ The causes that moved me to translate / y thought better 
that other shulde ymagion / then that y shulde rehearce them. 


n Cbe^orpdlore.tTlarF^ 

iii Ihe^cfpcIIcf^XuI^e 

iii^ 2:^c0orpclcf0.3bon . ^ , . 

V Cbc Artes of t|>c apc»ftlc$ tt>:itrm bv ^JLutC 

vii <Ehe fyrfi piixk of 0^aul to the (Torrinrh'an^ 
oiij <r^c fcconb pt(We of o.paul to tbc €ovtim1^me 
ix C>epifik of 0.p<ixil to tU (Bakr^iane. 

Cl)c pifHe of 0.pAul to t^e jEpiefian$, 

ri irbcpi(ilcof6.p<tnIto rl?cp^ilippiane 

ri/ <n)c piftlc of0.pftul to the e oIb(|tand 

jrii| ^be fyrftpifllcof S.paul vnto tbe Srcjfifaloftfans 

riiij ^U rccont>c piftie of @.paul vnto tl)c tcffaloni^ns 

rt) ^I>c ff rf^ piiltc of 6.paul to Zimothc, 

xvi ^U Mn>e pifllc of O. pauI to (Timot^e. 

iPij «Eb£pif?lcof@.pauItotitiJ6 

r Pii| 2^c pifJJc of 6.pftul rnto pf>ilcmott 

rijr ^^c fyrf! piftrc f S.pctcr 

XK ^|c fee on^c piftlc of 0.peter 

xxi 2^bcfyr|l piftlc of <5.3bon 

xxi^ 4r^cfccortbcpi(lIeof<5.3l>on 

xxiij Cl^ct][>rfb pifllc of 0.3i[>on 

Zbt piftie vnto tF)ci6btu«& 
^(> e pifHc of 0.3<^mc£> 
^l>c pilule of 3ubc 
^l^c rcvelaaon of 3^ort . 


{From Arber's repTlnt) 

^ More over y supposed yt superfluous / for who ys so blynde to 
axe why lyght shulde be shewed to them that wallce in dercknes / 
where they cannot but stomble / and where to stumble ys the 
daunger of eternall dammacion / other so despyghtfull that he 
wolde envye eny man (y speake nott his brother) so necessary a 

William Tindale 149 

thinge / or so bedlem madde to afFyrme that good is the naturall 
cause of yuell / and derknes to precede oute of lyght / and that 
lyinge shulde be grounded in trougth and verytie / and nott rather 
clene contrary / that lyght destroyeth dercknes / and veritie 
reproveth all manner lyinge. 

^ After hit had pleasyd god to put in my mynde / and also to 
geue me grace to translate this forerehearced newe testament into 
oure englysshe tonge / howesoever we haue done it. I supposed 
yt very necessary to put you in remembraunce of certayne poyntes/ 
which are: that ye well vnderstonde what these wordes meane. 
^ The olde testament. ^ the newe testamet. ^ The lawe. 
T[ The gospell. ^ Moses. ^ Christ. ^ Nature. ^ Grace. 
^ Workinge and belevynge. ^ Dedes and faythe / Lest we 
askrybe / to the one that which belongeth to the other / and make 
of Christ Moses / of the gospell the Lawe / despise grace and 
robbe faythe: and fall from meke lernynge into ydle despicious / 
braulinge and scoldynge aboute wordes. K The olde testamet is 
a boke / where in is wrytten the lawe and comaundmetes of god 
and the dedes of them which fulfill them / and of them also which 
fulfill them nott. 

1[ The newe testamet is a boke where in are coteyned the 
promyses of god and the dedes of them which beleue them or 
beleue them nott. 

^ Euagelio (that we cal the gospel) is a greke worde / & sig- 
nyfyth good / mery / glad and ioyfull tydinges / that maketh a 
mannes hert glad / and maketh hym synge / daunce and leepe for 
ioye. As when Davyd had kylled Golyath the geaiit / cam glad 
tydinges vnto the iewes / that their fearful and cruell enemy was 
slayne / and they delyvered oute of all daunger: for gladnes were 
of/ they songe / daunsed / and wer ioyfull. In lyke manner is 
the evangelion of god (which we call gospell / and the newe tosta- 
met) ioyfull tydinges / and as some saye: a good hearing pub- 
lisshed by the apostles through oute all the worlde / of Christ the 
right Davyd howe that he hathe fought with synne / with dethe / 
and the devill / and over cume them. Whereby all me that were 
in Bddage to synne / wouded with dethe / ouercu of the devill are 
with oute there awne merrittes or deservinges / losed / iustyfyed / 
restored to lyfe / and saved / brought to libertie / and reconciled 
vnto the favour of god / and sett at one with hym agayne: which 
tydinges as many as beleve / laude prayse and thancke god / are 
glad / synge and daunce for ioye. 

^ This evangelion or gospell (that is to saye / suche ioyfull 
tydinges) is called the newe testament. Because that as a man 
when he shall dye apoynteth his gooddes to be dealte and dis- 
tributed after hys dethe amonge them which he nameth to be his 
heyres. Even so Christ before his dethe commaunded and ap- 
poynted that suche evangelion / gospell / or tydynges shulde be 
declared through oute all the worlde / and there with to geue vnto 


The Book of Books 

all that beleve all his gooddes / that is to saye / his lyfe / where 
with he swalowed and devoured vp dethe: his rightewesnes / 
where with he banyshed synne: his salvacion / where with he 
overcam eternall damancion. Nowe can the wretched man (that 

Ibp0 VBtht bobr of 

rbcrftneracioof 3efo«<J^^«'ifft(Kro^ * ^btaljam art& 
fie of earib/Cf)* fonne alfo of 3bia gS^^J^!.;? 

3|Aacbe^att3ftcol): djefiy promtfeb 

3acob bc0att3ui>«6 <"i^ Jjyebics vntorl2<tti. 

3u&Aeb«0atp^arc6: (t^rcn; 

«nb 3«ram of tljamflr: 

P^aree bc0att iEfrom: 
. jEfrombe0att21ram: 


2lmmft&ab bc0att naaffan: 
j;laftflonbe0att Salmon; 
3Boo6 be0ftrt obcb of riir^ : 
3c|Tc hc^Att SAvib tbc Fj'nge: 
C0«»»b tht fyngt bcgart @olomon/of I)«r t|>«t voX6 r^ 
©olomon begarroboam: C^f'yft cfrry: 

l^oboftm be 0att: 2tbt«; 
3oram bc0att<D(i«&J 
3oat^Am bc0a« Z(i)&&i 
3d)«abe0atr5£3ed)ia6 .- 
JH}e(^ia6 be0fttt i^TI Aiiaffes; 
ITJanalfce bc^attSinJon; 

2[monbc0att3oria6: -Degarrori?iowY 

3op«6be0fttt3c(^orti«e«nb^i5 brct^rmftboutt^ctymeor fc icfre belj^n^e 
tbe caprif itcof bftbifon l?vm after l?ist>e<> 

levctl? out certc^ 
^ne gcneracions/ 
riftcs U'fiage from 
so!omo/aftcr tl?e 
betlj it nccofo^ng 
tl?an folomosbr^ 
we callerl? t^em 
a manncs cljitere 
t»l?id? I?is brooer 


{From Arber's reprint) 

is wrapped in synne / and is in daunger to dethe and hell) heare 
no moare ioyus a thynge / then suche glad and comfortable tyd- 
inges of Christ. So that he cannot but be glad and laugh from the 
lowe bottom of his hert / if he beleve that the tydynges are trewe. 

William Tindale 151 

^ To strength such feythe with all / god promysed this his 
evagehon in the olde testament by the prophettes (as paul sayth 
in the fyrst chapter vnto the romans). Howe that he was chosen 
oute to preache goddes evangeUon / wchich he before had promysed 
by the prophettes in the holy scriptures that treate of his sonne 
wchich was borne of the seed of davyd. In the thryd chapter of 
gennesis / god saith to the serpent: y wyll put hatred bitwene the 
and the woman / bitwene thy seede and her seede / that silfe seede 
shall tread thy heed under fote. Christ is this womans seede / he 
it is that hath troden vnder fote the devylles heed / that is to saye 
synne / dethe / hell / and all his power. For with oute this seede 
can no man avoyde synne / dethe / hell and euerlastynge danacion. 

^ Agayne gen. xxii. god promysed Abraham sayige: in thy 
seede shall all the generatios of the erthe be blessed. Christ is 
that seede of Abraham sayth saynct Paul in the thryd to the 
galathyans He hach blessed al the worlde through the gospel. 
For where Christ is not / there remaineth the cursse that fel on 
ada as soone as he had synned / So that they are in bondage vnder 
the dominacion of synne / dethe / and hell. Agaynste this cursse 
blesseth nowe the gospell all the worlde / in asmoche as it cryeth 
openly / who so ever beleveth on the seede of Abraha shalbe 
blessed / that is / he shalbe delyvered fro synne / dethe and hell / 
and shall hence forth contynue righewes / lyvinge / and saved for 
euer / as Christ hym sylfFe saith (in the xi of John) He that belev- 
eth on me shall never more dye. 

^ The lawe (saith the gospell of John in the first chapter) was 
geven be Moses: but grace and veritie be Jesus Christ. The lawe 
(whose minister ys moses) was geven to brynge vs vnto the knowl- 
ege of oure selves / that we myght there by fele and perceave what 
we are of nature. The lawe condemneth vs and all oure dedes / 
and is called of Paul (in the thyrd chap, of the second pistle vnto 
the corrinthians) the mynystracion of dethe. For it kylleth oure 
consciences and driveth vs to desperacion / in as moche as it 
requyreth of vs that whych is vnpossible for vs to doo. It requy- 
reth of vs the dedes of an whole / man. It requyreth perfecte 
love from the lowe bottome and grounde of the hert / as well in 
all thinges whych we sufFre / as in tho thinges whych we doo. 
But saith John (in the same place) grace and veritie is gevin vs 
in christ. So that when the lawe hath passed vppon vs / and 
cddemned vs to deth (whych is his nature to doo) then have we 
in Christ grace / that is to saye favoure / promyses of lyfe / of 
mercy / of perdon frely by the merites of Christ / and in Christ 
have we veritie and trouthe / in that god fulfillith all his promyses 
to the that beleve. Therfore is the gospell the ministracion of 
lyfe. Paul calleth hit / in the forerehearced place of the secod 
chap, to the cor. the mynistracion of the spyrite / and of rightewes- 
nes. In the gospell when we beleve the promyses / we receave 
the spyrite of lyfe / and are justified in the bloud of Christ from 

1^2 The Book of Books 

6.i1tAtbct». S^')^^ 

utUnmc/ic>nC)ttmtt€ forme. Zni>^etl>Mt<\>nctt\)y& 
crofleanbfclowetl) me/is noh mete fot inc. ^ct^Mfyribci\f ^Jntl^enAtneofA 
h^6lyfc/{l)amc{c iv.arib f)c tf)«r lofi'tl) ^ie lyfe fcr tny faFe/ pzopl?er/a riQ^tm 
f^ftll fynbc it. ^^ nian/o: a Dffctp ^ 

2^ar.i>C:^erI)fltreceapit^ you/reccavit^metftnbI>c tljflt receft^ fba^b7nJ?fS'neb 
^ttC'if vit^ me/receat)it() f)im r^fttfeiitmc. J(oe t^ar receat?it|> a pro^ j^jg^^jj ^ f^ iClJnft. 
fj>et*intljcitflmepfApropI;et/f|)flI!rcc:eax'capropl)ertj' rc^ 
u?arbe,^nb |)e r^ar reccavitl) a rigI>teoii6 mS i r ^c n Amc of a. 
rj>0^teouem*/ft)al(receapet^erc\»arb of6Tt0l)reou& ma. 
2rnbrobofoepcr(l)flll0ePctmtoroonoff!)efeIyHeTOoneefo/ rf-^^„^„ 

bfc acuppcofcolbc p ..areron(j./mfbcnAmeofa^ 
plc;3teny'0«ofamJftl)/^« f|)al(notrIofef)ye rerrflrbc. ©ne greater tl?en a// 

m it mm to Bflfff w(rm 5t^ e\?n"arti:?p7J;j? 

fui5 ^ab enbeb bie precept^ viito \>i6 bifciplee/^e ";,^^^,^^S/vL'J 


Ctt?^en3bont>ent^cm prcfonI)erbetf)ett)oil=fof c^rr(?/f)e tljo:owoure allt^e 
fcnttrooofbi'e bifti'pIecAnbfrtybevnfo^mt. 2(rte t^ou |)e neweteftamct bero 
t^fttjT)anfomc;orf^aI(rDcloFcfo:anor^er.3cr"^ A"r"p««b kewtl? to tecaver 

m. ki M'c> faybc vnto rljem.^o anbn)cn>e3l>ontol)atye ^auebe:^^ ?'^,^" I^l?I*Jr.. 
bcanbrenc.Sf>cblynbfc/t(>ef>«lt£jce/tbcIypper6ardcnrcb; ^Z^^ItO^ziKl^ 
Cljebeef beare/tbebccb are reyfeb vp ageinc/anb t^e 0ofpcII as but a carpertrare* 
i6p:eA4>ebetotI)cporrc. 2fnb I)«ppy ie>l>nl>ati^ noot t:;^ foe astl^ei fuppo^ 
hurtebyme. feo/i l?e^jmfe!fe 

CJErenaet^eybepArreb / Sefue bc^An to fpcflFe t>nto tlfc t^'ll^^ktiiYlfS 
people of 3bon. . tP^At trentye for to fe m tl)c wylbernef^- lowe cegre niofeoj 
n?etyeouttofcArebeti?at>enn0ett)it^tbewynbc:'obert»^At ver \»l?en rl?ey fa^ 
t»entyeout for to feft»enryeto fc a man clor^eb in fcofte ray^^ xcefym put tofo vf 
mentfBebolbe/tljey tt)Af wearefccfre dot^yn^c Aretn fyn0f leafeeej/fellcleup 
t)oufei>.^uttol)attretre out for to fe:froet ye out to i(hx proj^ [JJ MtMei7 
pi>€tiyt3faycvcitoyou/an'bmorcd)e&pvcp^ct.3oit\>i&i6 ■ " 

2fi)Ala . be oftpbom it ie trry ttc.^ebolbe/3febe my meffenger before 

u'i • tb)> i'Ace vp\)id) fbAll prepAire tby u>aye before tbe. 

C Perely y fayef ntoyou/ Amo^e rbc d;ylbren ofroomen Aro^ 
fet^erc nott a gretter tj>en 3J)on b(Jptifl» ^ot witI>fTott^' 


(From Arbcr's reprint) 

William Tindale 153 

all thinges where of the lawe condemned vs. Of Christ it is written 
in the fore rehearced first chapter of Jho: This is he of whose 
aboundaunce / or fullnes / all we haue receaved / grace for grace / 
or favoure for favoure. That is to saye / for the favoure that god 
hath to his sonne Christ / he geveth vnto vs his favour / and good 
will / as a father to his sonnes. As affirmeth Paul sayinge: whych 
loved vs in his beloved before the creation of the worlde. For the 
love that god hath to Christ / he loveth vs / and not for oure aune 
saikes. Christ is made lorde over all / and is called in scripture 
goddes mercy stole whosoever flyeth to Christ / can nether heare 
nor receave of god eny other thinge save mercy. 

Tf In the olde testament are many promyses / whych are 
nothinge els but the evangelion or gospell / to save those that 
beleved them / from the vengaunce of the lawe. And in the newe 
testament is ofte made mencion of the lawe / to condem them / 
whych beleve nott the promyses. Moreouer the lawe and gospell 
maye never be seperate: for the gospell and promyses serve but 
for troubled consciences whych ar brought to desperacion and fele 
the paynes of hell and dethe vnder the lawe / and are in captivitie 
and bondage vnder the lawe. In all my dedes y muste have the 
lawe before me to condem myne vnperfectnes. For all that y doo 
(be y never so perfecte) is yet damnable synne / when hit is com- 
pared to the lawe / whych requyreth the grounde and bottoom of 
myne hert. I muste therefore have alwayes the lawe in my sight / 
that y maye be meke in the spyrite / and gyve god all the laude 
and prayse / ascrybinge to hym all rightewesnes / and to my sylfe 
all vnrightewesnes and synne. I muste also have the promyses 
before myne eyes that y despeere nott / in whych promyses y se 
the mercy / favoure / and good wyll of god apon me in the bloud 
of his Sonne Christ whych hath made satisfaction for myne vnper- 
fectnes / and fulfilled for me / that whych y coulde nott doo. 

^ Here maye ye perceave that two manner of people are fore 
deceaved. Firste they whych iustifie themsilfe with outewarde 
dedes / in that they abstayne outwardly from that whych the 
lawe forbiddeth / and doo outwardly that whych the lawe com- 
maundeth. They compare themselves to open synners and in 
respecte of them iustifie themselues condemnynge the open syn- 
ners. They se nott howe the lawe requyreth love from the bottom 
of the hert. If they dyd they wolde nott condene there neghbours. 
Love hydeth the multitude of synnes / saith saynct Peter in his 
first pistle. For whom y love from the depe bottom and grounde 
of myne hert / hym condem y nott / nether recke his synnes / 
but suffre his weaknes and infirmytie / as a mother the waknes of 
her sonne / vntill he growe vppe in to a perfecte ma. 

*|y Those also are deceaved whych with oute all feare of god 
gave themselves vnto all maner vices with full cosent and full 
delectacio / havinge no respecte to the lawe of god (vnder whose 
vegeaunce they are locked vp in captivitie) but saye: god is merci- 
full and christ dyed for vs / supposinge that suche dremynge and 

154 The Book of Books 

ymaginacid is that fayth whych is so greatly comeded i holy 
scripture. Naye that is nott fayth / but rather a folisshe opynion 
spryngynge of there awne nature / and is nott geuen them of the 
spyrite of god. Trewe fayth is (as sayth the apostle Paul) the 
gyfte of god and is geven to syners after the lawe hath passed apon 
them and hath brought there constiences vnto the brym of despera- 
cion / and sorowes of hell. 

^ They that have this right fayth / consent to the lawe that 
it is rightewes and good / and iustifie god which made the lawe / 
(nott withstondinge that they can nott fullfill it / for there weak- 
nes) and they abhorre whatsoever the lawe forbyddeth / though 
they cannott avoyde it. And there greate sorowe is / because 
they cannot fulfill the will of god in the lawe / and the spyrite 
that is in them cryeth to god nyght and daye for strength and 
helppe with teares (as sayth Paul) that cannot be expressed with 

^ The firste / that is to saye a iusticiarie / which iustifyeth 
hym silfe with his outwarde dedes c5senteth nott to the lawe 
inwarde / nether hath delectacion therein / ye / he wolde rather 
that no suche lawe were. So iustifieth he nott god / but hateth 
hym as a tyrat / nether careth he for the promyses / but will 
with his awne stregth be faveour of hym silfFe: no wyse glori- 
fyeth he god / though he seme outwarde to doo. 

^ The seconde / that is to saye the sensewell persone / as a 
volupteous swyne / nether feareth god in his lawe / nether is 
thankfuU to hym for his promyses and mercy / which is sett forth 
in Christ to all them that belewe. 

^ Te right christen mam consenteth to the lawe that hit is 
rightwes / and iustifieth god in the lawe / for he afFyrmeth that 
god is rightwes and iuste / which is autor of the lawe / he beleveth 
the promyses of god / and so iustifieth god / iudgynge hym trewe 
and belevinge that he will fulfyll hys promyses. With the lawe 
he condeneth hym sylfe and all his dedes / and geveth all the 
prayse to god. he beleueth the promyses / and ascribeth all 
trouth to god / thus every where iustifieth he god / and prayseth 

^ By nature through the faule of adam / are we the chyldren 
of wrath / heyres of the vegeaunce of god by byrth / ye and from 
oure concepcion / we haue oure fellowshippe with the damned 
devylles vnder the power of derknes vnd rule of satan / whyle we 
are yett in oure mothers wombes / though we shewe not forthe 
the freutes of synne / yett are we full of the naturall poyson where 
of all synfull dedes sprynge / and canott but synne outwardes (be 
we never so yonge) yf occasion be geven / for oure na nature is 
to doo synne / as is the nature of a serpent to stynge And as a 
serpent yet y5ge / or yett vnbrought forthe is full of poyson / and 
cannott afterwarde (when the tyme is come and occasion geven) 
butt brynge forthe the freutes there of. And as an edder / a 

William Tindale 155 

toode / or a snake is hated of man / (nott for the yvell that it 
hath done / but for the poyson that is in it and hurt which it can- 
nott but doo) So are we hated of god for that naturell poyson 
which is conceaved and borne with vs / before we doo eny out- 
warde yvell. And as the yvell / which a venumous worme doeth / 
maketh it nott a serpent: but be cause it is a venumous worme. 
therefore doeth it yvell and poysoneth. And as the frute maketh 
not the tree yvoll: but because it is an evyll tree / therefore bryng- 
eth it forth evyll frute / when the season of frute is. Even so doo 
nott oure evyll dedes makes vs evyll: but because that of nature 
we are evell / therefore we bothe thynke and doo evyll / and are 
vnder vengeaunce / vnder the lawe / convicte to eternall dam- 
nacidn by the lawe / and are contrary to the will of god in all oure 
wyll / and in all thynges consent to the wyll of the fende. 

% By grace (that is to saye by favoure) we are plucked oute 
of Adam the grounde of all evyll and grafFed in Christ the rote of 
all goodnes. In Christ god loved vs his electe and chosen / before 
the worlde bega / and reserved vs vnto the knowlege of his sonne 
and of hys holy gospell / and when the gospell is preached to vs 
he openeth oure hertes and geveth vs grace to beleve and putteth 
the spirite of Christ in vs / and we knowe hime as oure father 
moost mercyfull / and consent to the lawe / and love it inwardly 
in oure hert / and desyre to fulfyll it / and sorrowe because we 
cannot / which will (synne we of frayltie never so moche)is suffi- 
cient till more strength be geve vs / the bloud of Christ hath made 
satisfaction for therefte: the bloud of Christ hath obteyned all 
thiges for vs of god. Christ is oure satisfaction / redemer / delyv- 
erer / saveour from vengeaunce and wrath. Obserue and merke 
in the pistles of Paul / and Peter / and in the gospell and pistles 
of Jhon what Christ is vnto vs. 

^ By fayth are we saved only in belevynge the promyses / . 
And though faith be never with oute love and good werkes / yet 
is oure savinge imputed nether to loue nor vnto good werkes / but 
vnto fayth only. For loue and werkes are vnder the lawe which 
requyreth prefection / and the grounde and fontayne of the hert / 
and daneth all imperfectnes. Nowe is faith vnder the promyses 
wich dane not: but geve all grace / mercy and favour / and what 
soever is conteyned in the promyses. 

*[[ Rightewesnes is divers / Blynde reason ymageneth many 
maner of rightewesnesses. As the iuste ministracion of all manner 
of lawes / and the observing of them / and morall vertues werein 
philosophers put there felicitie and blessednes / which all are 
nothige in the sight of god. There is in lyke maner the iustifyige 
of ceremones / some ymagio them there one selves / some conter- 
faicte other/ sayinge in there blynde reason: suche holy persons 
dyd thus and thus / and they were holy me / therefore yf y doo 
so lyke wyse y shall please god: but they have none answer of 
god / that that pleaseth. The iewes seke rightewnes I there 

156 The Book of Books 

ceremonies which god gave vnto them / not for to iustifie: but 
to describe and paynt Christ onto them / of which iewes testifieth 
paul sayinge howe that they have affectio to god: but not after 
knowledge / for they go aboute to stabHsshe there one iustice / 
and are not obediet to the iustice or rightewesnes that cometh of 
god. The cause is verely / that excepte a man caste awaye his 
awne ymaginacion and reason / he cannot perceave god / and 
vnderstonde the vertue and power of the bloud of Christ. There 
is the rightewesnes of workes (as y saide before) whe the hert is 
a waye / they fele not howe the lawe is spiritual! and cannot be 
fulfilled / but from the bottom of the hert. Ther is a full right- 
ewesnes / when the lawe is fulfilled from the groiide of the hert. 
This had nother Peter nor Paul 1 this lyfe perfectly: but syghed 
after yt. They were so farforth blessed in Christ / that they 
hugred and thursted after it. Paul had this thurste / he cdsented 
to the lawe of god / that it ought so too be / but he founde an 
other luste in his membres cotrary to the luste and desire of his 
mynde / and therfore cryed oute sayinge: Oh wretched man that 
y am: who shall delyvre me from this boddy of dethe / thankes 
be to god throwe Jesus Christ. The rightewesnes that before god 
is of value / is to beleve the promyses of god / after the lawe hath 
confovnded the conscience. As when the temporall lawe ofte 
tymes condeneth the thefe or morderer and bryngeth hym toE 
execution / so that he seith nothinge before hym but present 
dethe / and then cdmeth good tydiges / a charter from the kynge 
and delyvereth him. Lykewyse when gooddes lawe hath brought 
the synner into knowlege of him sylfe / and hath c5founded his / 
conscience / and opened vnto him the wrath and vengeaunce of 
god / then cometh good tydinges / the Evagelion sheweth vnto 
him the promyses of god in Christ / and howe that Christ hath 
purchesed perdon for him hath satisfied the lawe for him / and 
peased the wrath of god / and the povre synner beleveth / laudeth 
thanketh god / throwe Christ / and breaketh oute into excedige 
inward ioy and gladnes / for that he hath escaped so greate wrath / 
so hevy vegeaunce / so fearfuU and so everlastinge a dethe / and 
he hence forth is an hiigred and a thurst after more rightewesnes / 
that he might fulfill the lawe / and morneth contynually com- 
medinge his weaknes vnto god in the bloud of oure saviour Christ 

^ Here shall ye se compendiously and playnly sett oute 
the order and practise of every thynge afore rehearsed. 

^ The faule of adam hath made vs heyres of the vegeauce 
and wrath of god / and heyres of eternall danacion. And hath 
broughtus into captivite and bondage vnder the devyll. And the 
devyll is oure lorde / and oure ruler / oure heed / oure governour / 
oure prince / ye and oure god. And oure wyll is locked and knet 
faster vnto the will of the devyll / then coude an hundred thowsand 

William Tindale 157 

cheynes bynde a man vnto a post. Vnto the devylles will cosent 
we / with all oure hertes / with all oure myndes / with al oure 
myght / power / strength / will and luste. With what poysened / 
deadly / and venunous hate / hateth a man his enemy! With 
howe greate malice of mynde inwardly doo we fley and murther! 
With what violece and rage / ye and with howe fervent luste 
comytt we aduoutrie / fornicacion / and such lyke vnclennes! 
with what pleasure and delectation inwardly serveth a glotton 
his belly! With what diligece disceave we! Howe busyh seke 
we the thynges of this world! What soever we doo / thynke or 
ymmagion / is abominable in the syght of god. And we are as it 
were aslepe in so depe blyndnes / that we can nether se / not fele 
in what misery / thraldom / and wretchednes we are in / tyll 
moses come and wake vs / and publesshe the lawe. When we 
heare the lawe truly preached / howe that we ought to love and 
honoure god with all oure strengthe and myght / from the lowe 
bottom of the hert: and oure neghbures (ye oure enemys.) as 
oureselues inweardly from the groude of the hert / and to doo 
whatsoever god biddeth / and absteyne from what soever god 
forbiddeth / with all love and meknes / whit a fervent and a 
burnynge luste / from the center of the hert / then begynneth 
the conscience to rage aginst the lawe / and agenst god / No see 
(be hit never se greate a tempest) is so vnquiet. It is not possyble 
for a naturall man to consent to the lawe / that hit shuld be good / 
or that god shuld be rightewes / which maketh the lawe. Mannes 
witte / reason / and will / are so fast glued / ye nayled and 
cheyned vnto the will of the devyll. Nether can eny creature 
lowse the bodes / save the bloud of Christ. 

^ This is the captivitie and bondage whece Christ delyvred 
vs / redemed / and lowsed vs. His bloud / his deethe / his 
pacience / in sufFrynge rebukes and wronges / his preyaers and 
fastynges / his mekenes and fulfillynge of the vtmost poynte of 
the lawe / peased the wrath of god / brought the faver of god to 
vs agayne / obteyned that god shuld love vs fyrste / and be oure 
father / and that a mercyfull father / that will consydre oure 
infirmitates and weaknes / and will geve vs his spyrite ageyne 
(which was taken awaye in the fall of Adam) to rule govern and 
strength vs / and to breake the bondes of Satan / wherein we 
were so streyte bounde. When Christ is thus wyse preached / 
and the promyses rehearced / which are conteyned in the prophet- 
tes / in the psalmes / and in diveres places of the fyve bokes of 
moses: then the herttes of them which are electe and chose / 
begin to wexe softe / and to melte att the boQteous mercy of god / 
and kyndnes shewed of Christ. For when the evagelion is preached 
/ the spyrite of god entreth i to them which god hath ordeined and 
apoynted vnto eternall life / and openeth there inward eyes / and 
worketh such belefe in the. Whe the wofull coscieces fele & taste 
howe swete a thige the bytter dethe of Christ is / & howe mercy- 

158 The Book of Books 

full & lovinge god is through Christes purchesynge and merittes / 
They begyn to love agayne / and to consentt to the lawe of god / 
howe that hit is good / and ought so to be / and that god is 
rightewes whych made it / And desyre to fulfill the lawe / even 
as a sicke ma desyreth to be whole / and are anhongred / and a 
thirst after more rightewesnes / and after more stregthe / to ful- 
fill the lawe more perfectly. And in all that they doo / or omitt 
and leave vndone / they fele goddes honoure / and his will with 
meknes / ever condemnynge the onperfecnes of there dedes by 
the lawe. 

^ Nowe Christ stondeth vs in doble stede / and serveth vs 
two maner wise. First he is oure redemer / delyverer / reconciler / 
mediator / intercessor / advocat / atturney / soliciter / oure hoope 
/ comforte / shelde / proteccion / defender / strength / helthe / 
satisfaction / and salvacion. His bloud / his death / all that he 
ever dyd / is oures. And Christ himsilfFe / with all that he is or 
ca doo / is oures. His bloud shedynge and all that he dyd / doeth 
me as good service / as though y mysilfFe had done it. And god 
(as greate as he is) is myne with all that he hath / throw Christ 
and his purchasynge. If Secondaryly after that we be overcome 
with love and kyndnes / and nowe seke to doo the will of god 
(whych is a christen manes nature) Then have we Christe, an 
ensample to counterfet / as saith christ him silfFe in Jhon: I have 
geven you an ensample. And in another evangeliste / he saith: 
He that wilbe greate amonge you shalbe youre servaunt and min- 
ister / as the s5ne of ma ca to minister and not to be ministered 
vnto. And Paul saith: Counterfet Christ. And Peter saith: 
Christ died for you / and lefte you an ensample to folowe his 
steppes. What soever therfore faith hath receaved of god throw 
Christes bloud and deservynge / that same must love shed oute 
everywhitt / and bestowe hit on oure neighboures vnto there 
proffer / ye and that though they be oure enemys. Be faith we 
receave of god / and be love we shed oute agayne. And that must 
we doo frely after the ensample of Christ with oute eny other 
respecte / save oure neghboures welth enly / and nether loke for 
rewarde in erth / ner yett in heven for oure dedes: but of pure 
love must we bestowe oureselves / all that we have / and all that 
we ar able to doo / even on oure enemys to brynge them to god / 
considerynge nothynge but there welth / as Christ dyd oures. 
Christ dyd nott his dedes to obteyne heven therebi (that had bene 
a madnes) heven was his alreddy / he was heyre thereof/ hit was 
his be enheritaunce: but dyd them freely for oure sakes / cosider- 
inge no thinge but oure welth / and to brynge the favour of god 
to vs agayne / and vs to god. As no naturall sonne that is his 
fatheres heyre / doeth his fatheres will because he wolde be heyre / 
that he is alreddy be birth: his father gave him that yer he was 
borne / and is lothther that he shuld goo with oute it / then he 
himsilfe hath witt to be: but of puer love doeth he that he doeth. 

William Tindale 159 

And axe him why he doeth eny thynge that he doeth / he answer- 
eth: my father bade / it is my fatheres will / it pleaseth my 
father. Bondservauntes worke for hyre / Children for love. For 
there father with all he hath / is theres alreddy. So doeth a 
christen man frely all that he doeth / considereth nothynge but 
the will of god / and his neghboures welth only. Yf y live chaste / 
I doo hit nott te obteyne heven thereby. For then shulde y doo 
wronge to the bloud of Christe: Christes bloud hath obteyned me 
that / Christes merettes have made me heyre thereof. He is 
both dore and waye thetherwardes nether that y loke for an hyer 
roume in heve / then they shall have whych live in wedlocke / 
other then a hoare of the stewes (yf she repent) for that were the 
pryde of lucifer: But frely to wayte on the evangelion / and to 
serve my brother with all / even as one hande helpeth another / 
or one membre another / because one feleth anotheres grefe / and 
the payne of the one is the payne of the other. What soever is 
done to the leest of vs (whether it be good or bad) it is done to 
Christ. And whatsoever is done to my brother (if y be a christen 
man) that same is done to me. nether doeth my brotheres payne 
greve me lesse then myne awne. Yf hit were not so: howe saith 
Paul.'' let him that reioyseth / reioyse in the Lord, that is to 
saye christ / whych is lorde over all creatures. Yf my merettes 
obteyned me heve / or an hyer roume there / then had y wherein 
y myght reioyse besydes te Lorde. 

^ Here se ye the nature of the lawe / and the nature of the 
evagelion. Howe the Lawe byndeth and daneth all me / and 
the Evalion lowseth them agayne. The lawe goeth before / and 
the evagelio foloweth. When a preacher preacheth the Lawe / he 
byndeth all consciences / and when he preacheth the Gospell / he 
lowseth them agayne. These two salves (y meane the Lawe and 
the Gospell) vseth God and his preacher to heale and cure synners 
with all. The lawe dryveth oute the disease / and maketh hit 
apere / and is a sharppe salve and a freatinge corsey / and kylleth 
the deed flesshe / and lowseth and draweth the sores out by the 
rotes / and all corrupcion. It puUeth from a man the trust and 
confidece that he hath in himsilfe / and in his one workes / merittes 
/ deservinges and ceremones. It killeth him / sendeth him downe 
to hell / and bryngeth him to vtter desperacion / and prepayreth 
the waye of the lord / as hit is wrytten of Jhon the Baptest For 
hit is nott possible that Christ shuld come to a man / as loge as he 
trusteth in himsilffe / or in eny worldly thynge. Then commeth 
the Evangelion / a more gentle plaster / whych sowpleth / and 
swageth the wondes of the conscience / and bryngeth helth. It 
bryngeth the spyrite of god / whych lowseth the bondes of Satan / 
and copleth vs to god. and his will throw stronge faith and fervent 
love / with bondes to stronge for the devyll / the world / or eny 
creature to lowse them. And the povre and wretched synner 
feleth so greate mercy / love / and kyndnes in god / that he is 

i6o The Book of Books 

suer in himsilfe howe that it is nott possible that god shuld for- 
sake him / or withdrawe his mercy and love from him. And boldly 
cryeth out with Paul sayinge: Who shall seperate vs fr5 the love 
that god loveth vs withall? That is to saye, what shall make me 
beleve that god loveth me nott? Shall tribulacio? Anguysshe? 
Persecucion? Shall hiiger? Nakedness? Shall a swearde? 
Nay / I am sewer that nether deeth / ner lyfe / nether angell / 
nether rule / ner power / nether present thynges / ner thynges to 
come / nether hye ner lowe / nether eny creature is able to seperate 
vs fro the love of god which is in Christ Jesu our lorde. In all 
suche tribulacions a Christen man perceaveth that god is his 
father / and loveth hym / even as he loved Christ when he shed 
his bloud on the crosse. Fynally / as before / whe y was bod to 
the devyll and his will y wroght all maner evyll and wickednes / 
nott for belles sake which is the rewarde of syne / but because y 
was heyre of hell by byrth and bondage to the devyll / dyd y 
evyll. for I could none other wese doo. to doo syn was mi nature. 
Even so nowe sence y am copied to god by Christes bloud / doo y 
well / nott for hevens sake: but because y am heyre of heven by 
grace and Christes purchesynge / and have the spyrit of god / I 
doo good frely / for so is my nature. As a good tree bryngeth 
forth good frute / and an evyll tree evyll frute. By the frutes 
shall ye knowe what the tree is. a mannes dedes declare what he 
is within but make him nether good ner bad &c. We must be 
first evyll yer we doo evyll / as a serpent is first poysened yr he 
poysen. We must be also good yer we doo good / as the fyre 
must be first hott yer hit warme eny thynge. Take an ensample. 
As those blynde which are cured in the evangelion / coude nott se 
tyll Christ had geven them sight / And defF coude nott here / tyll 
Christ had geven them hearynge / And those sicke coude nott doo 
the dedes of an whole man / tyll Christ had geven them health: 
So can no man doo good in his soule / tyll Christ have lowsed him 
oute of the bondes of sata / and have geve him wherewith to doo 
good /ye and firste have powred into him that selfe good thynge 
whych he shedeth forth afterwarde on other. Whatsoever is oure 
awne is synne. Whatsoever is above that / is Christes gyfte / 
purches / doynge / and workynge. He bought it of his father 
derely with his bloud / ye with his moost bitter death and gave 
his lyfe for hit. Whatsoever good thynge is in vs / that is 
geven vs frely with oute oure deservynge or merettes. for 
Christ's bloudes sake. That we desyre to folow the will 
of god / it is the gyfte of Christes bloud. That we nowe 
hate the devylles will (where vnto we were so 
fast locked / and coulde nott but love hit) is 
also the gyfte of Christes bloud / vnto 
whom belongeth the preyse and 
honoure of our good dedes / 
and nott vnto us. 

William Tindale i6i 

The following is the Lord's Prayer from the Grenville 
fragment. A great advance in the language will be seen 
in comparison with the specimens given of Anglo-Saxon and 
from Wiclif : 

O oure father / which art in haven halowed be thy name. 
Let thy kyngdom come. Thy wyll be fulfilled / aswell in erth / as 
hit ys in heven. Geve vs this daye oure dayly breade. And 
forgeve vs oure treaspases / even as we forgeve them whych 
treaspas vs. Lede vs nott in to temptacion. but delyvre vs 
from yvell / Amen. 

The quarto edition had notes in the outer margin and 
references in the inner. There were ninety-one notes, and 
the majority of these were from Luther's translation. In 
translating, Tindale made use of the Greek translation of 
Erasmus (which had been printed in 1516 and reprinted in 
1 519), the Vulgate, the Latin text printed with Erasmus' 
Greek, and Luther's German translation which had been 
pubhshed in 1522. He did not base his translation on 
Wichf's, but made it independently. 

The octavo edition published at Worms contained only 
the text of the New Testament and a three-page address 
"To the Reder." There were 12 wood cuts, no notes or 
marginal references, and no chapter headings. The address 
follows : 

To the Reder. 

GEve diligence Reder (I exhorte the) that thou come with a 
pure mynde / and as the scripture sayth with a syngle eye / vnto 
the wordes of health / and of eternall lyfe: by the which (if we 
repent and beleve them) we are borne a newe / created a fresshe / 
and enioye the frutes off the bloud of Christ. Whiche bloud cryeth 
not for vengeaunce / as the bloud of Abel: but hath purchased 
lyfe / love / faveour / grace / blessynge / and whatsoever is prom- 
ysed in the scriptures / to them that beleve and obeye God: and 
stondeth bitwene vs and wrathe / vengeaunce / cursse / and what- 
soever the scripture threateneth agaynst the vnbelevers and dis- 
obedient / which resist / and consent not in their hertes to the 
lawe of god / that it is ryght / wholy / iuste / and ought soo to be. 
Marke the playne and manyfest places of the scriptures / and 
in doubtfull places / se thou adde no interpretacion contrary to 
them: but (as Paul sayth) let all be conformable and agreynge to 
the fayth. 

i62 The Book of Books 

Note the difference of the lawe / and of the gospell. The one 
axeth and requyreth / the wother perdoneth and forgeveth. The 
one threateneth / the wother promyseth all good thynges to them 
that sett their trust in Christ only. The gospell signifieth gladde 

me ^oiifl*e/4b itwae net owif ttwoww twawf^ 
\twasiicowit>€!CfCntHr^e. ^nbtobofoever 
htavath &rim tlK^efdlsf^^^ t>«rb not tbcfrtme^ 
tifA\be(yfenet^Vntoafo\yi\> m^/wt)i^ biltXfis 
^ouffeapcn tb« ^on^e/fln^ 4bun&«iMTce eftap 
t>fbleioe/ant>be€tvpp9n tbat^oti{Tr^4bt'twa8 

2tnbi'tc«mtoprt|f<r/tl>attp^e jfcfu^^flbcm 
beb rb«(er«ftt0f/tbepeple wo-c Afldni'e&4tl)ie 
boctryne. ^oi ^ taught ti)tm oAonc ptnynQt 
poooct/ Anb not<w tbe fcnbe«. 

\Y/ ^«n 3r«r«^ i»<»* f 0^^ bcrone from tl^e 
W monntAyncyin(K^pccpUfchtxKt>i}im, 
jJlnblo/ tbitecamalepzt/ <inb ivoifl^eb {)im 
faynae; in<tfUr/ if tt?ou t»ylt/ tl?^uc4nffc wwl^^ 
tw c&w.-^eputtf<«tbcbi«b^b wb tcmcbebb» 
jrtyn^/^tw'li -'be d cri£/<in6 iro met>('rt riy bteU« 
piOjV »«««ef«b .2Jnb ^r^ii^ r<wb ^nto bi'm. 0e 
ptcfk <irtb d|fer tb«j5W^*t>'»t'^<'l«*^<>"»»"*"^ 
t)eb to be off re&^ mt»i tnes to tt»m. 

Xpb^;jcfu« wA«fttebin roCapem<mtn/t^^ 
re<am t)ntob<ma»rt<iytie(C^turion^b«r«b;^n5 
rttt j?oftieofftpepAiryc^5b ilftgrewuflypAyneb. 
2lnb ^efus wybt>nto bim: ^ tvpU c om«4nb c»^ 
t^ b'tt^'^be ^l^urton afwcT^ anb faib^.'Syr 
'S Am nottpojt^t^AttbbU f^b^ comvnbec 


{From the reprint by Francis Fry) 

tydynges / and is nothynge butt the promyses off good thynges. 
All is not gospell that is written in the gospell boke: For if the lawe 
were a waye / thou couldest not know what the gospell meante. 
Even as thou couldest not se perdon / favour / and grace / excepte 

William Tindale 163 

the lawe rebuked the / and declared vnto the thy sinne / mysdede / 
and treaspase. 

Repent and beleve the gospell as sayth Christ in the fyrst of 
Marke. Applye all waye the lawe to thy dedes / whether thou 
finde luste in the bottom of thyne herte to the lawe warde: and 
soo shalt thou no dout repent / and feale in the silfe a certayne 
sorrowe / payne / and grefe to thyne herte: because thou canst 
nott with full luste do the dedes off the lawe. Applye the gospell / 
that is to saye the promyses /vnto the deservynge off Christ / 
and to the mercye of god and his trouth / and soo shalt thou nott 
despeare: butt shalt fele god as a kynde and a mercifull father. 
And his sprete shall dwell in the / and shall be stronge in the: and 
the promises shalbe geven the at the last (though not by and by / 
lest thou shuldest forgett thy sylfe and be negligent) and all 
threatenynges shalbe forgeven the for Christis blouddis sake / to 
whom commit thy silfe all togedder / with out respect / other of 
thy good dedes or of thy badde. 

Them that are learned Christenly / I beseche: for as moche 
as I am sure / and my conscience beareth me recorde / that of a 
pure entent / singilly and faythfully I have interpreted itt / as 
farre forth as god gave me the gyfte of knowledge / and vnder- 
stondynge: that the rudness off the worke nowe at the fyrst tyme / 
offende them not: but that they consyder howe that I had no man 
to counterfet / neither was holpe with englysshe of eny that had 
interpreted the same / or soche lyke thinge in the scripture before- 
tyme. Moreover / even very necessitie and combraunce (God is 
recorde) above strengthe / which I will not rehearce / lest we 
shulde seme to host oureselues / caused that many thinges are 
lackynge / whiche necessaryly are requyred. Count it as a thynge 
not havynge his full shape / but as it were borne afore hys tyme / 
even as a thynge begunne rather then fynnesshed. In tyme to 
come (yf god have apoynted vs there vnto) we will geve it his full 
shape: and putt out yf ought be added superfluusly: and adde to 
yff ought be oversene thorowe negligence: and will enfoarce to 
brynge to compendeousnes / that which is nowe translated at the 
lengthe / and to geve lyght where it is requyred / and to seke in 
certayne places more proper englysshe / and with a table to 
expounde the wordes which are nott commenly vsed / and shewe 
howe the scripture vseth many wordes / which are wother wyse 
vnderstonde of the commen people: and to helpe with a declara- 
cion where one tonge taketh nott another. And will endever oure- 
selves / as it were to sethe it better / and to make it more apte 
for the weake stomakes: desyrynge them that are learned / and 
able / to remember their duetie / and to helpe there vnto: and to 
bestowe vnto the edyfyinge of Christis body (which is the congre- 
gacion of them that beleve) those gyftes whych they have receaved 
of god for the same purpose. The grace that commeth of Christ 
be with them that love hym. Praye for vs. 

164 The Book of Books 

There is no date and although the title-pages are missing 
from the two extant octavo copies, as well as from the Gren- 
ville fragment, it is certain that the name of the translator 
did not appear. To this Tindale makes reference in the 
preface to his Parable of the Wicked Mammon published 
in 1528: 

^ William Tyndale otherwise called Hychins to the reader 

Grace and peace with all maner spirituall fealinge and lyuinge 
worthy of the kyndnes of Chryst, be with the reader and with all 
that thurst the wyl of God Amen. The cause why I set my name 
before this lytle treatyse and haue not rather done it in the newe 
testament is that then I folowed the counsell of Chryst which 
exhirteth men Math. vi. to doo theyr good deades secretly and to 
be content with the conscience of welldoynge (and that god seeth 
vs) and paciently to abyde the rewarde of the last daye which 
Chryst hath purchased for vs and now wold fayne haue done lyke- 
wyse / but am compelled otherwyse to doo. 

Whyle I abode a faythful companyon which now hath taken 
an other vyage vpon him / to preach christ where (I suppose) he 
was neuer yet preached (God which put in his herte thyther to 
goo sende his sprite with him / comforte him and bringe his pur- 
pose to good effecte) one William Roye a man somewhat craftye 
when he cometh vnto new acquayntaunce and before he be thorow 
knowen and namely when all is spent / came vnto me and offered 
his helpe. As long as he had no money / somwhat I could reule 
him: but as sone as he had goten him money / he became lyke 
hym selfe agayne. Neuerthelesse I suffered all thinges tyll yat 
was ended whych I coulde not doo alone wythout one both to 
wryte and to helpe me to compare ye textes together. When 
that was ended I toke my leue and bode him farewel for oure two 
lyues / and as men saye a daye longer. After we were departed 
he went / and gate him new frendes which thinge to doo he passeth 
all that euer I yet knewe. And there when he had stored hym of 
money he gote him to Argentine where he professeth wonderful 
faculties and maketh host of no small thinges. . . . 

Some man wyl aske perauenture why I take ye laboure to 
make this worke, in as mooch as they will brunne it seynge they 
brunt the Gospel I answare, in brunninge the new testamente 
they dyd none other thynge then that I loked for / no more shall 
they do yf the brunne me also, yf it be gods wyll it shall so be. 
Neuerthelesse in translatynge the newe testamente I dyd my 
dutye / and so do I now / and wyll do as moch more as god hath 
ordered me to do. And as I offered that to all men to correcte 
it / who soeuer coulde, euen so doo I this. Who soeuer therfore 
readeth this / compare it vnto the scrypture. If gods worde 
beare recorde vnto it and thou also felest in thine herte that it is 

William Tindale 165 

so be of good comfort and geve god thankes. Iff gods worde 
condemne it, then hold it acursed, and so do all other doctrines. 
As Paul counselleth his galathiens, Beleve not every spyrite 
sodenly, but iudge them by the worde of god which is the triall 
of all doctrine and lasteth for ever. Amen. 

Several editions of Tindale's Testament were issued by 
others than himself before he issued a revised version 
as contemplated in the address to the reader in the 1525 
octavo. Some of these were tampered with in such a manner 
as to provoke his anger. It was 1534 before he issued 
another edition. In the meantime he had published the 
Pentateuch, 1530, and in the preface to Genesis he gives 
the reasons which moved him at first to translate the 

W. T. To the Reader. 

When I had translated the newe testament / I added a pistle 
vnto the latter ende / In which I desyred them yat were learned 
to amend if ought were founde amysse. But oure malicious and 
wylye hypocrytes which are so stubburne and hard herted in their 
weked abhominacions that it is not possible for them to amend 
any thinge at all (as we see by dayly experience when their both 
lyvinges and doinges are rebuked with the trouth) saye / some of 
them that it is impossible to translate the scripture in to English / 
some that it is not lawfull for the laye people to have it in their 
mother tonge / some that it wold made them all heretykes / as it 
wold no doute from many thinges which they of longe tyme have 
falsly taught / and that is the whole cause wherfore they forbyd 
it / though they other clokes pretende. And some or rather every 
one / saye that it wold make them ryse ageynst the kinge / whom 
they them selves (vnto their damnatyon) never yet obeyed, And 
leste these temporal! rulars shuld see their falsehod / if the scrip- 
ture cam to light / causeth them so to lye. 

And as for my translation in which they afferme vnto the 
laye people (as I haue hearde saye) to be I wotte not how many 
thousande heresyes / so that it can not be mended or correcte / 
they haue yet taken so great payne to examyne it / and to com- 
pare it vnto that they wold fayne haue it and to their awne imagi- 
nations and iugglinge termes / and to haue some what to rayle 
at / and vnder that cloke to blaspheme the treuth / that they 
myght with as little laboure (as I suppose) haue translated the 
moste parte of the bible. For they which in tymes paste were 
wont to loke on no more scripture than they founde in their duns 
or soch like develysh doctryne / haue yet now so narowlye loked 
on my translatyon / that there is not so moch as one I therin if it 

i66 The Book of Books 

lacke a tytle over his hed / but they haue noted it / and nombre 
it vnto the ignorant people for an heresy. Fynallye in this they 
be all agreed / to dryve you from the knowlege of the scripture / 
and that ye shall not haue the texte therof in the mother tonge / 
and to kepe the world styll in darkenesse / to thentent they might 
sitt in the consciences of the people / thorow vayne superstition 
and false doctrine / to satisfye their fylthy lustes / their proude 
ambition / and vnsatiable covetuousnes / and to exalte their awne 
honoure aboue kinge and emperoure / yee and aboue god him silfe. 

^ A thousand bokes had they lever to be put forth agenste 
their abhominable doynges and doctrine / then that the scripture 
shulde come to light. For as longe as they may kepe that doune / 
they will so darken the ryght way with the miste of their sophis- 
trye / and so tangle them that either rebuke or despyse their 
abhominations with argumentes of philosophye and with worldly 
symylitudes and apparent reasons of naturall wisdom. And with 
wrestinge the scripture vnto their awne purpose clene contrarye 
vnto y^ processe / order and meaninge of the texte / and so delude 
them in descantynge vppon it with alligoryes / and amase them 
expoundinge it in manye senses before the vnlerned laye people 
(when it hath but one simple litterall sense whose light the owles 
can not abyde) that though thou feale in thyne harte and arte 
sure how that all is false yat they saye / yet coudeste thou not 
solve their sotle rydles. 

^ Which thinge onlye moved me to translate the new testa- 
ment. Because I had perceaved by experyence / how that it 
was impossible to stablysh the laye people in any truth / except 
y® scripture were playnly layde before their eyes in their mother 
tonge / that they might se the processe / ordre and meaninge of 
the texte: for els what so ever truth is taught them / these enny- 
myes of all truth qwench it ageyne partly with the smoke of their 
bottomlesse pytte whereof thou readest apocalipsis. ix. that is / 
with apparent reasons of sophistrye and traditions of their awne 
makynge / founded with out grounde of scripture / and partely in 
iugglinge with the texte / expoundinge it in soch a sense as is 
impossible to gether of the texte / if thou see the processe ordre 
and meaninge thereof. 

T[ And even in the bisshope of londons house I entended to 
have done it. For when I was so turmoyled in the contre where I 
was that I coude no lenger there dwell (the processe whereof were 
to longe here to reherce) I this wyse thought in my silfe / this I 
sufFre because the prestes of the contre be vnlearned / as god it 
knoweth there are a full ignorant sorte which haue sene no more 
latyn then that they read in their portesses and missales which 
yet many of them can scacely read (except it be Jlbertus de secretis 
mulierum in which yet / though they be never so soryly lerned / 
they pore day and night and make notes therein and all to teach 
the mydwyves as they say / and linzvod a boke of constitutions 

William Tindale 167 

to gether tithes / mortuaryes / offeringes / customs / and other 
pillage / which they calle / not theirs but / godes parte and the 
deuty of holye chirch / to discharge their consciences with all: 
for they are bound that they shall not dimynysh, but encreace all 
thinge vnto the vttmost of their powers and therfore (because 
they are thus vnlerned thought I) when they come to gedder to 
the alehouse / which is their preachinge place / they afferme that 
my sainges are heresy. And besydes yat they adde to of thir 
owne heddes which I never spake / as the maner is to prolonge 
the tale to shorte the tyme with all / and accuse me secretly to 
the chauncelare and other the bishopes officers / And in deade 
when I cam before the chauncelare / he thretened me grevously / 
and revyled me and rated me as though I had bene a dogge / and 
layd to my charge wherof there coude be none accuser brought 
forth (as their maner is not to bringe forth the accuser) and yet 
all the prestes of y® contre were yat same daye there. As I this 
thought the bishope of London came to my remembrance whom 
Erasmus (whose tonge maketh of litle gnattes greate elephantes 
and lifteth vpp aboue the starres whosoeuer geveth him a litle 
exhibition) prayseth excedingly amonge other in his annotatyons 
on the new testament for his great learninge. Then thought I / if 
I might come to this mannes service / I were happye. And so I 
gate me to london / and thorow the accoyntaunce of my master 
came to sir harry gilford the kinges graces countroller / and 
brought him an oration of Isocrates which I had translated out of 
greke in to English / and desyred him to speake vnto my lorde of 
london for me / which he also did as he shewed me / and willed 
me to write a pistle to my lorde / and to goo to him my silf which 
I also did / and delivered my pistle to a servant of his awne / one 
wyllyam hebilthwayte, a man of myne old accoyntaunce. But 
god which knoweth what is within hypocrites / sawe that I was 
begyled / and that that councell was not the nexte way vnto my 
purpose. And therfore he gate me no favoure in my lordes sight. 
^ Wherevppon my lorde answered me / his house was full / 
he had mo then he coude well finde / and advised me to seke in 
london / wher he sayd I coude not lacke a service / And so in 
london I abode almoste an yere / and marked the course of the 
worlde / and herde our pratars / I wold say oure preachers how 
they hosted them selves and their hye authorite / and beheld the 
pompe of oure prelates and how besyed they were as they yet are / 
to set peace and vnite in the worlde (though it be not possible for 
them that walke in darkenesse to continue longe in peace / for 
they can not but ether stomble or dash them selves at one thinge 
or a nother that shall clene vnquyet all togedder) and sawe thinges 
wherof I deferre to speake at this tyme and vnderstode at the laste 
not only that there was no rowme in my lorde of londons palace 
to translate the new testament / but also that there was no place 
to do it in all englonde / as experience doth now openly declare. 

i68 The Book of Books 

^ Vnder what maner therfore shuld I now submitte this boke 
to be corrected and amended of them / which can suffer nothinge 
to be well? Or what protestacyon shuld I make in soch a matter 
vnto our prelates those stubburne Nimrothes which so mightely 
fight agenste god and resiste his holy spirite / enforceynge with 
all crafte and sotelte to qwench the light of the everlastinge testa- 
ment / promyses / and apoyntement made betwene god and vs: 
and heapinge the firce wrath of god vppon all princes and rulars / 
mockinge them with false fayned names of hypocrysye / and 
servinge their lustes at all poyntes / and dispensinge with them 
even of the very lawes of god / of which Christe him silf testifieth 
Matthew. V. yat not so moch as one tittle thereof may perish or 
be broken. And of which the prophete sayth Psalme. cxviij. 
Thou haste commaunded thy lawes to be kepte meod / yat is in 
hebrew excedingly / with all diligence might and power / and haue 
made them so mad with their iugglinge charmes and crafty per- 
suasions that they thinke it full satisfaction for all their weked 
lyvinge / to torment soch as tell them trouth / and -to borne the 
worde of their soules helth and sle whosoever beleve theron. 

^ Not withstondinge yet I submytte this boke and all other 
that I haue other made or translated, or shall in tyme to come (if 
it be goddes will that I shall further laboure in his hervest) vnto 
all them that submytte them selves vnto the worde of god / to be 
corrected of them / yee and moreover to be disalowed & also 
burnte / if it seme worthy when they have examyned it wyth the 
hebrue / so that they first put forth of their awne translatinge a 
nother that is more correcte. 

In the 1530 Pentateuch there was a prologue to each 
of the five books. Genesis and Numbers were printed in 
black letter; Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy in roman 
type. There were 11 woodcuts in Exodus, "the forme of 
Aaron with all his apparell," and objects in the tabernacle. 
There were some marginal notes of a strongly anti-Roman 
tendency. Altogether there were 384 leaves with folios. 
At the end of Genesis was the following colophon: 

Emprented at Marlborow, in the land of Hesse, by me Hans 
Luft, the yere of oure Lorde,, the xvij dayes of 

It was doubtless Tindale's intention to translate the 
whole Bible, but besides the New Testament and the Penta- 
teuch the only other portion published by him was Jonah, 
with the following title: 

The prophet lonas, with an introduction before, teachinge to 
understande him and the right use also of all the scripture. 

William Tindale 169 

He had, however, translated from Joshua to 2 Chron- 
icles, the manuscript of which was used by John Rogers in 
preparing Matthew's Bible. 

An altered version of Tindale's was pubHshed by George 
Joye at Antwerp, August, 1534. The only copy known is 
in the Grenville collection at the British Museum. It had 
the following title : 

The new Testament as it was written and caused to be written 
by them which herde yt Whom also oure sauioure Christ Jesus 
commaunded that they shulde preach it vnto al creatures. 

This edition contained an "Almanack for 18 yeares" 
(i 526-1 543); a "Kalendar" of 12 pages, in black and red; 
and at the end a table to find the Epistles and Gospels after 
the use of "Sarysbuery," occupying 26 pages. There were 
4 woodcuts, no prologues, and only one note. It was 
pubhshed without a name, and the colophon read: 

Here endeth the Newe Testament diligently ouersene and 
corrected and printed now agayn at Antwerpe by me Widowe of 
ChristofFel of Endhoue In the yere of our Lorde. m.ccccc and 
iiij. in August. 

Tindale's revised edition appeared in November of the 
same year, 1534, in which Joye's edition appeared in August. 
The title-page, of which an illustration is here given, reads: 

The newe Testament dylygently corrected and compared with 
the Greke by Willyam Tindale: and fynesshed in the yere of oure 
Lorde God. A.M.D. & xxxiiij in the moneth of Nouember. 

There is an address, "W. T. vnto the Reder," 17 pages; 
"A prologe into the iiii Euangelystes shewynge what they 
were & their auctoryte," 3^2 pages (followed by a separate 
prologue to each of the gospels); "A warning to y^ reader," 
concerning printer's errors that may be found, and calling 
attention to one "in the xxiii chapter of Matthew & in the 
xxxiii leffe on the second s^^de and last lyne," yi page; 
"Willyam Tindale yet once more to the christen reader" 
(in which he deals with the activities of George Joye), 
8>2 pages; after a blank page is a second title-page: "The 
Newe Testament, Imprinted at Antwerp by Marten Emper- 
our. Anno M. D. xxxiiij"; "The bokes conteyned in the 
Newe Testament"; the text, with 22 woodcuts to the Book 


The Book of Books 

of Revelation and 17 in other parts, with quaint headings 
to the books such as: "The Actes of the Apostles wrytten 
by Saynte Luke Euangelist which was present at the doynges 
of them"; "Epistles taken oute of the olde Testament 

CClje tie 

compared ttottlj tje 
Sxtkt bv U^fllpam 
XinDale:anD fpneC^ 




which are red in the church after the vse of Salsburye vpon 
certen dayes of the yere" and "The Epistles of the sayntes 
which are also taken oute of the olde Testament," 32 pages; 

William Tindale 171 

"Table where in you shall fynde the Epistles and the Gos- 
pels after the vse of Salsbury," 18 pages; "These things 
haue I added to fill vp the lefFe with all" (being a few defini- 
tions), 2 pages. There are in all 424 leaves. 

A further edition was pubhshed by Tindale, the text of 
which was printed in 1534 and the title added in 1535. The 
title-page was: 

^t^The newe Testament yet once agayne corrected by Willyam 
Tindale: Where vnto is added a Kalendar and a necessarye Table 
wherin easely and lightelye maye be founde any storye contayned 
in the foure Euangelistes and in the Actes of the Apostles. 

% Prynted in the yere of oure Lorde God. M.D. & xxxv. 

This was followed by "An Almanack for xxi years" 
(1535-1555); a "Kalendar" and "The office of all estates," 
16 pages; "Willyam Tindale vnto the Christian Reader," 
15 pages; "A prologe into the iiii Euangelistes wherein thou 
mayst lyghtly fynde any story conteyned in them" followed 
by "A table for the Actes," 20>^ pages; a second title 
dated 1534, with monogram containing the initials G H; 
"The bokes conteyned in the newe Testament"; the text; 
the Epistles, after the use of Sahsbury; a table to find the 
epistles and gospels — a total of 376 leaves, with notes and 
36 woodcuts. 

There were altogether nine other editions in 1535 and 
1536, and by 1566 more than forty editions had been issued. 
These are all minutely described in Francis Fry's handsome 
volume, published in 1878, J Bibliographical Description of 
the Editions of the New Testament, Tyndale's Version, 

Tindale was treacherously arrested May 23, 1535, and 
imprisoned in Vilvorde Castle, about 18 miles from Antwerp 
and 6 miles from Brussels. While there he labored diligently 
at his task of translation, and the only autograph of his 
extant is a letter written in Latin while he was imprisoned. 
It was found by Mr. Galesloot in the archives of the Council 
of Brabant and was first published by Demaus, In one 
place Tindale asks the governor to send him warmer clothing 
if he is to stay the winter there; and in another he asks for 
a candle in the evening, as it is wearisome to sit in the dark, 
and his Hebrew Bible, grammar, and dictionary that he 
may spend his time in study. 

172 The Book of Books 

After sixteen months' imprisonment Tindale was first 
strangled and then burned at the stake on October 6, 1536. 
As he died his last words were a prayer, "Lord, open 
the King of England's eyes." 

Edwin Arber says in the conclusion of his introductory 
essay to the facsimile reproduction of the Grenville frag- 
ment, published in 1871: 

Of the fruits of the English Scriptures who may sufficiently 
speak? One great tangible result has been the ennobling and 
perpetual elevating of the English character. Had the bishops 
stamped out the Bible, England would have been as Italy and Spain 
were, and much of the world's history would have been differently 
written. Hence the story of the English Bible is forever inter- 
woven with the history of England and of the United States. The 
free Word of God has brought to us freedom of mind, of soul, and 
of estate; and we in this, as in so many other things, now inherit, 
without even a passing thought, principles and privileges which 
our forefathers often times purchased with their lives. May we 
in like manner be found faithful to all that is true and right in 
our day and generation, and hand down intact to our children 
the munificent gifts which we have received, for nothing, from our 

What shall we say of the illustrious translator.'' Strange 
alchemy! by transmuting the thought of one language into the 
expression of another to free a people from ignorance, priestcraft, 
mental and spiritual serfdom. Yet by the grace of God so it was. 
Tyndale saw his life's work accomplished. Ere he was taken 
away the ploughboy came to know the Scriptures. 

James Anthony Froude has written: 

The peculiar genius which breathes through the English 
Bible, the mingled tenderness and majesty, the Saxon simplicity, 
the grandeur^ — unequalled, unapproached in the attempted im- 
provement of modern scholars — all are here and bear the impress 
of the mind of one man and that man William Tyndale. 

Bishop Ellicott says of Tyndale's 1534 Testament, that 
it "will remain to the end of time a monument of the courage, 
patience, learning, competent scholarship, thorough faith- 
fulness, and clear English sense of the noble hearted and 
devoted editor." 

In the preface to Bosworth and Waring's Gothic arid 
Anglo-Saxon Gospels, published in London, 1865, the descent 
of the Authorized Version is thus stated : 

William Tindale 


Our present English Version was based upon the Bishops' 
Bible of 1568, and that upon Cranmer's of 1539, which was a new 
edition of Matthew's Bible of 1537, partly from Coverdale of 1535, 
but chiefly from Tyndale; in other words, our present Authorized 
translation is mainly that of Tyndale made from the original 
Hebrew and Greek. 


(From Demaus' "Life of Tindale." Courtesy of the Rellglom Trad Society) 



MYLES COVERDALE was born in the district of 
Coverdale, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, in or 
about the year 1488. He was educated at Cambridge in 
an Augustinian monastery presided over by Dr. Barnes, 
who later was condemned as a heretic. While at Cambridge 
he studied diligently, possibly under Erasmus, and was pro- 
ficient both in languages and in a knowledge of the Scrip- 
tures. He also while there adopted the principles of the 
Reformers, and after leaving began to preach against some 
of the doctrines and practices of Rome. Because of the 
opposition this stirred he went to the continent about 1527 
or 1529, but it is doubtful whether he ever met Tindale. 

Coverdale's zeal for Bible study is expressed in a letter 
which he wrote to Thomas Cromwell, who for a time was a 
great favorite of Henry VIII, but later fell under his dis- 
pleasure and was executed. In that letter Coverdale said: 

Now I begin to taste of Holy Scriptures: now honour be to 
God! I am set to the most sweet smell of holy letters, with the 
godly savor of holy and ancient doctors, unto whose knowledge I 
cannot attain without diversity of books, as is not unknown to 
your most excellent wisdom. Nothing in the world I desire but 
books, as concerning my learning; they once had, I do not doubt 
but Almighty God shall perform that in me, which he of his most 
plentiful favour and grace hath begun. 

When or where Coverdale did his work of translation 
is not known, but in 1535 he sent forth the first complete 
English printed Bible, including both Old and New Testa- 
ments and Apocrypha. The place of printing is not known 
certainly, but it is supposed to have been printed by 


Myles Coverdale 


Froschouer at Zurich. It is important to note that in 
1534 Henry VIII had broken with Rome and been recog- 
nized as the head of the church in England. 

In 1530, influenced doubtless by the attitude of the 
prelates toward Tindale's New Testament, Henry VIII had 


(From an engraving in the 1838 reprint of Coverdale's 1535 Bible) 

caused it to be known, as quoted by Westcott, from Wilkin's 
Concilia, that he 

by the advice and deliberation of his council, and the agreement of 
great learned men, thinketh in his conscience that the divulging 
of this Scripture at this time in the English tongue to be committed 

176 The Book of Books 

to the people, should rather be to the further confusion and dis- 
traction than the edification of their souls. 

But the work of translation and publication had begun, 
and no ecclesiastical or regal power could stop it. In 1534, 
at a Convocation at Canterbury presided over by Cranmer, 
it was resolved to petition the king to 

vouchsafe to decree that a translation of the Scriptures into 
English should be made by certain honest and learned men whom 
the king should nominate; and that the Scriptures so translated 
should be delivered to the people according to their learning. 
This, however, had no tangible result. 

Coverdale's Bible was issued with the title: 

BIBLIA The Bible / that is, the holy Scripture of the Olde 
and New Testament, faithfully and truly translated out of Douche 
and Latyn in to Englishe. m.d.xxxv. 

S. Paul II Tessa. III. 
Praie for vs, that the worde of God maie haue fre passage, and be 
glorified. &ct. 

S. Paul Col. III. 
Let the worde of Christ dwell in you plenteously in all wysz- 
dome. &ct. 

Josue I. 
Let not the boke of this lawe departe out of thy mouth, but 
exercyse thyselfe therin daye and nighte. &ct. 

Coverdale's 1535 Bible was published complete, in 
1838, by Bagster, the reprint being made from a copy in 
the library of the Duke of Sussex. The illustration here 
given is from that reprint. It will be noted that only one 
of the three verses is in this copy. The title pages differ 
considerably in the various copies, and in those which have 
the three verses there is also a Latin inscription on each side 
between the panels. The title-page may be described thus: 

At the top in the center is the sun with the Hebrew name 
Yahweh from which radiates the word of God. On the left are 
Adam and Eve and the tree of knowledge in which the serpent is 
intertwined, and, on a scroll, " In what daye so euer thou eatest 
thereof, thou shalt dye. Genesis 2." On the right is the risen 
Christ (Mathe 28), with the words, " This is my deare Sonne in 
vhom I delyte, heare him. Matt. 17." In the bottom panel, 
in the center, is Henry VIII, seated on his throne, with the royal 
arms beneath his feet. At the left the bishops are presenting to 

Myles Coverdale 


him the Bible and at the right the peers are kneeling. Behind 
the bishops is David with his harp, and on a scroll, " O how swete 
are thy vvordes vnto my throte: yee more then hony &c. Psal. 
118." Behind the peers is the apostle Paul, and, on a scroll, 
" I am not ashamed of the Gospell of christ for it is the power of 


iFrom the copy in the possession of the Dvke of Sussex, from uMch the 18S8 reprint uas made) 

178 The Book of Books 

god Ro. i." On the left side is Moses with the tables of the law 
(Exo. 21), and, below, Ezra reading the law (Esdre 9). On the 
right side Jesus is speaking to the disciples (Marci 16), and, below, 
the apostle Peter addressing the multitudes (Actvvm 2). 

An act had been passed that books printed abroad 
must be sent to England in sheets that the English binders 
might profit by binding them. So it was possible to change 
the title-pages and introductory matter in different copies. 
The words "Douche and Latyn" were objectionable to the 
clergy, so they were left out in later copies. The earliest 
copies did not contain a dedication to the king, but the later 
ones did. Some early copies mentioned "queen Anne" as 
the king's "dearest just wife, and most virtuous pryncesse"; 
in later ones "Jane" was substituted. 

James Nycholson, of Southwark, London, printed the 
new preliminary pages, and in 1537 printed an edition with 
a line on the title-page, "Set foorth with the Kynges moost 
gracious licence." 

There are no perfect copies of the first edition extant, 
but a very fine example is in the New York Public Library. 
It once belonged to Lord Hampton's library and later to 
J. J. Astor. It is printed in black letter, with roman type 
to distinguish parts now printed in italics. It is a small 
quarto with references at the side and with paragraph letters. 
It is printed in two columns, with many quaint woodcuts. 
There are separate title-pages to the "Prophetes," set before 
Isaiah; to the "Apocripha"; to the New Testament; each 
of which has three rows of three panels, the top and bottom 
being allegorical, and the middle row having the names of 
the books in the center and conventional designs at the sides. 
In the center panel of the title to the Apocrypha the wording 
is as follows: 


The bokes and treatises which amonge the fathers of olde are 
not rekened to be of like authorite with the other bokes of the 
byble, nether are they foude in the Canon of the Hebrue. 

The thirde boke of Eszdras. 

The fourth boke of Eszdras. 

The boke of Tobias. 

The boke of Judith. 

Certayne chapters of Hester. 

Myles Coverdale 179 

The boke of Wyszdome. 


The Storye of Susanna. 

The Storye of Bell. 

The first boke of the Machabees. 

The seconde boke of the Machabees. 
Vnto these also belongeth Baruc, whom we haue set amoge 
the prophetes, next vnto Jeremy, because he was his scrybe, and 
in his tyme. 

The Song of Solomon is headed, "Salomon's Balettes." 
The colophon is as follows: 

Prynted in the yeare of cure LORDE M.D. xxxv. and fyn- 
eshed the fourth days of October. 

The Dedication and Prologue are as follows: 


^ The ryght i^ iust administracyon of the lazves that God gaue 
vnto Moses and vnto losua:. the testimony e of faythfulnes that God 
gaue of Dauid: the -plenteous abundance of wysdome that God gaue 
vnto Salomon: the lucky and ■prosperous age with the multiplicacyon 
of sede zvhiche God gaue vnto Abraham and Sara his zvyfe, be geue 
vnto you most gracyous Prynce, with your dearest iust wyfe, and 
most vertuous Pryncesse, Queue Anne, Amen. 

Caiphas beynge bysshope of that yeare, lyke a blynde prophete 
(not vnderstandyng what he sayd) prophecied, that it was better 
to put Christ vnto death, then that all the people shulde perysshe: 
he meanyng, that Christ was an heretike, a deceauer of the people, 
& a destroyer of the lawe, and that it was better therfore to put 
Christ vnto death, tha to sufFre hym for to lyue, and to deceaue 
the people. &c. where in very dede Christ was the true prophete, 
the true Messias, and the onely true Sauiour of the worlde, sent 
of his heauenly father to sufFre the moste cruell, most shamefull, 
and most necessary death for our redempcyon: accordyng to y^ 
meanynge of the prophecie truely vnderstonde. 

Euen after the same maner y'^ blynde bysshoppe of Rome, 
(that blynde Baalam I saye) not vnderstondynge what he dyd, 
gaue vnto your grace this tytle: Defendour of the fayth, onely 
bycause your hyghnes sufFred your bysshoppes to burne Gods 
worde the rote of fayth, and to persecute the louers and mynisters 
of y® same, where in very dede the blynde bysshoppe (though he 

i8o The Book of Books 

knewe not what he dyd) prophecied, that by the ryghteous admyn- 
istracyon and contynuall diHgence of youre grace, the fayth shulde 
so be defended, that Gods worde the mother of Fayth with the 
frutes therof, shulde haue his fre course thorowe out all Christen- 
dome, but specyally in your realme. 

Yf your hyghnesse now of your pryncely benignite wyll 
pardon me to compare these two bysshoppes (I meane bysshoppe 
Caiphas and the bysshoppe of Rome) & theyr prophecies together, 
I doute not but we shal fynde them agree lyke brethren, though 
the one be a lewe and the other a counterfayte Christian. Fyrst, 
Caiphas prophecied that it was better to put Christ vnto death, 
then that the people shulde perysshe. The bysshoppe of Rome 
also, not knowynge what he prophecied, gaue youre grace this 
tytle: Defendour of the fayth. The trueth of both these prophecies 
is of the holy goost (as was Baalams prophecie) though they that 
spake the, knewe not what they sayd. The trueth of Caiphas 
prophecie is, that it was necessary for mans saluacyon, that Christ 
by his death shulde ouercome death, and redeme vs. And the 
trueth of oure Baalams prophecie is, y^ your grace in very dede 
shulde defende the Fayth, Yee euen the true fayth of Christ, no 
dreames, no fables, no heresie, no papisticall inuencious, but the 
vncorrupte fayth of Gods most holy worde, which to set forth 
(praysed be the goodness of God, and increace youre gracyous 
purpose) your hyghnes with youre most honorable councell, 
applyeth all his studye and endeuoure. 

These two blynde bysshopes now agree in y^ vnderstadyng 
of theyr prophecies: for Caiphas taketh Christ for an heretike, 
Oure Balaa taketh the worde of Christ for heresie. Caiphas 
iudjeth it to be a good dede to put Christ vnto death, that he shulde 
not deceaue the people. Oure Balaam calleth defendynge of the 
fayth, the suppressyng, kepyng secrete, and burnyng of the worde 
of fayth: lest the lyght thereof shulde vtter his darknes: lest his 
owne Decretales & Decrees, his owne lawes and constitucions, his 
owne statutes and inuencious shulde come to none effecte: lest 
his intolerable exactions and vsurpacions shoulde lose theyr 
strengthe: lest it shulde be knowen what a thefe and murtherer 
he is in the cause of Christ, and how haynous a traytoure to God 
and man in defraudynge all Christen kynges & princes of theyr 
due obedience: lest we your graces subiectes shulde haue eyes in 
the worde of God, at the last to spye out his crafty conueyaijce 
and iuglynges: and lest men shulde se, how sore he and his false 
Apostles haue deceaued all Christendome, specyally youre noble 
realme of Englonde. 

Thus your grace seyth how brotherly the lewysh bysshoppe 
and oure Balaam agree together, not onely in myter and outwarde 
appearaunce: but as the one persecuted the Lorde lesus in his 
owne persone, so doth the other persecute his worde and resysteth 
his holy ordynaunce in the auctorite of his anoynted kynges. For 

Myles Coverdale i8i 

so moche nowe as the worde of God is the onely trueth that dryueth 
awaye all lyes, and discloseth all iuglyng and disceate, therefore is 
oure Balaam of Rome so lothe that the scripture shulde be knowe 
in the mother tonge: lest yf kynges and prynces (specially aboue 
all other) were exercysed therein, they shulde reclame and chalenge 
agayne theyr due auctorite, which he falsely hath vsurped so many 
yeres, and so to tye hym shorter: and lest the people beyng taught 
by the worde of God, shulde fall from y® false fayned obediece of 
hym and his disguysed Apostles, vnto the true obedience com- 
manded by Gods owne mouthe: as namely, to obey theyr prynce, 
to obey father and mother. &c. and not to steppe ouer father and 
mothers bely to enter in to his paynted religions, as his ypocrites 
teache: For he knoweth well ynough, that yf the cleare Sonne of 
Gods worde come ones to the heate of the daye, it shal dryue 
awaye all the foule myst of his deuelysh doctrines. Therefore 
were it more to the mayntenaunce of Antichristes kyngdome, that 
the worlde were styll in ignoraunce and blyndnes, and that the 
scripture shulde neuer come to lyghte. For the scripture (both 
in the olde testament and in the new) declareth most aboutdauntly 
that the office, auctorite and power geuen of God vnto kynges, is 
in earth aboue all other powers: let them call the selues Popes, 
Cardynalles, or what so euer they will, the worde of god declareth 
them (yee and commaundeth them vnder payne of dampnacion) 
to be obedient vnto the temporall swerde: As in the olde Testa- 
ment all the prophetes, Prestes and Leuites were. And in the 
new Testament Christ & his Apostles both were obedient them 
selues, and taught obedience of all men vnto theyr prynces ad 
temporall rulers: which here vnto vs in the worlde present the 
persone of God, and are called Goddes in the scripture, bycause 
of the excellecy of theyr office. And though there were no mo 
auctorities but the same, to proue the peminence of the temporall 
swerde, Yet by this the scripture declareth playnly, that as there 
is nothyng aboue God, so is there no man aboue the kynge in his 
realme but that he onely vnder God is the chefe heade of all the 
c5gregacyon and church of the same. And in token that this is 
true, there hath ben of olde antiquite (and is yet vnto this daye) 
a louynge ceremonye vsed in your realme of Englonde, y^ wha 
your graces subiectes reade your letters, or begynne to talke or 
come of your hyghnes, they moue theyr bonettes for a signe & 
token of reuerence vnto your grace, as to their most soueraigne 
lorde & heade vnder God. which thyng no man vseth to do to eny 
bysshoppe. whereby (yf oure vnderstondying were nat blynded) 
we myght euydently perceaue, that euen very nature teacheth vs 
the same, that scripture cdmaQdeth vs: and that lyke as it is 
agaynst Gods worde that a kynge shulde not be the chefe heade 
of his people, euen so (I saye) is it agaynst kynde that we shulde 
knowe any other heade aboue hym vnder God. 

And that no prest nor bysshoppe is exempte (nor can be law- 
fully) from the obedience of his prynce, the scripture is full both 

i82 The Book of Books 

of strayte comaundemetes, & practises of the holyest men. Aaron 
was obedient vnto Moses, and called hym his lorde, though he 
was his owne brother. Eleasar and Phineas were vnder the 
obediece of losua. Nathan the prophete fell downe to the grounde 
before kynge Dauid, he had his Prynce in such reuerence (He made 
not the kynge for to kysse his fote as the bysshope of Rome maketh 
Emperours to do) Notwithstondynge he spared not to rebuke hym, 
and that ryght sharply when he fell from the worde of God to 
adultery & manslaughter. For he was not afrayed to reproue hym 
of his sinnes, nomore than Helyas the prophete stode in feare to 
saye vnto kynge Achab: It is thou and thy father's house that 
trouble Israel, because ye have forsaken y® commaundementes of 
the Lorde, and walke after Baal. And as Johan Baptyste durst- 
saye vnto Kynge Herode: It is not lawful for the to take thy 
brothers wyfe. But to my purpose I passe ouer innumerable mo 
ensaples both of the olde Testament and of the new, for feare lest 
I be to tedyous vnto your grace. SQma, in all godly regiments of 
olde tyme the kynge and teporall iudge was obeyed of euery man, 
and was alwaye vnder God the chefe and suppreme heade of the 
whole congregacyon, and deposed euen prestes whan he sawe an 
vrgent cause, as Salomon dyd vnto Abiathar. who coulde then 
stonde agaynst the godly obedience of his prynce (excepte he 
wolde be at defyaunce with God and all his holy ordinaunces) 
that were well acquaynted with the holy scripture, which so earn- 
estly comendeth vnto euery one of vs the auctorite and power 
geuen of God vnto kynges and temporall rulers? Therefore doth 
Moses so strately forbyde the Israelites to speake so moche as an 
euell worde agaynst the prynce of y^ people, moche lesse than to 
disobeye hym, or to withstonde hym. Doth not leremy the proph- 
ete and Baruc also exhorte the people in captiuite, to praye for 
the prosperous welfare of the kynge of Babilon, and to obeye hym, 
though he was an infidele.'' In the new Testament wha oure 
sauioure Christ (beyng yet fre & Lorde of al kynges & prynces) 
shewed his obedience in payenge the trybute to oure ensample, 
dyd he not a miracle there in puttynge the pece of money in the 
fysshes mouth (that Peter myght paye the customer therwith) 
and all to stablysshe the obedience due vnto prynces? Dyd not 
loseph and Mary the mother of our sauiour Christ departe fro 
Nazareth vnto Bethlee, so farre from home, to showe theyr obedi- 
ence in payenge the taxe to the prynce? And wolde not oure 
Savioure be borne in the same obedience? Doth not Paule pro- 
nounce hym to resyste God hym selfe, that resysteth the auctorite 
of his prynce? And (to be shorte) the Apostle Peter dothe not 
onely stablysshe the obedience vnto prynces and temporall rulers 
but affirmeth playnly the kynge (and no bysshoppe) to be the 
chefe heade. Innumerable places mo are there in scripture, which 
bynde vs to the obedience of oure prynce, and declare vnto vs, 
that no man is nor can be lawfully excepte from the same: but 

Myles Coverdale 183 

that all the mynisters of Goddes worde are vnder the teporall 
swerde: & Prynces onely to owe obedience vnto God & his worde. 

And where as Antichrist vnto youre graces tyme dyd thrust 
his heade into y*' imperiall crowne of your hyghnes (as he doth 
yet with other noble prynces mo) that learned he of Satha the 
authour of pryde, and therin doth he both agaynst the doctryne 
& also agaynst y^ ensample of Christe: whiche because his kyng 
dome was not of this worlde, medled with no temporall matters, 
as it is euydent both by his wordes and practyse: Luc xii. Math, 
xxvi. loh. vi. loh. xviii, where he y* hath eyes to se, maye se: & 
he y* hath eares to heare, maye heare, y^ Christes admynistracion 
was nothyng teporall, but playne spiritual, as he hym selfe affirm- 
eth & proueth in the fourth chapter of saynt Luke out of the proph- 
ete Esay: where all bysshopes and prestes maye se, how farre 
theyr byndynge and lowsynge extendeth, and where in theyr 
office consisteth, namely in preachynge the Gospell, &c. 

wherfore (most gracyous prynce) there is no tonge I thynke, 
that can fully expresse and declare the vntollerable iniuries, which 
have bene done vnto God, to al prynces and to the comynalties 
of all christen realmes, sence they which shulde be onely the min- 
isters of Gods worde, became lordes of the worlde, and thrust y® 
true and iust prynces out of theyr rowmes, whose herte wolde not 
pitie it (yee eue with lamentacyon) to remember but onely the 
vntollerable wronge done by that Antychrist of Rome vnto youre 
graces most noble predecessoure kynge lohn.^' I passe ouer his 
pestilent pykynge of Peter pens out of youre realme: his stealynge 
awaye of youre money for pardons: benefices and bysshoprykes: 
his disceauyng of youre subiectes soules with his deuelyshe doc- 
trynes and sectes of his false religions: his bloudsheddyng of so 
many of your graces people, for bokes of the scripture, whose 
herte wolde not be greued (yee and that out of measure) to call 
to remebrauce, how obstinate and disobedient, how presumptous 
& stubburne that Antychrist made the bysshoppes of youre 
realme agaynst your graces noble predecessours in tymes past,p 
as it is manyfest in y"^ Cronicles? I trust verely there be no suche 
now within youre realme: Yf there be, let them remembre these 
wordes of scripture: Presumptuousnes goeth before destruccio, & 
after a proude stomacke there foloweth a fall. 

what is now the cause of all these vntollerable and nomore 
to be sufFred abhominacions.? Truely euen the ignorance of the 
scripture of God. For how had it els ben possyble, that such 
blyndnes shulde have come in to y"" worlde, had not y'' lyghte of 
Gods worde bene extyncte.? How coulde men (I saye) haue bene 
so farre from the true seruyce of God, and from the due obedience 
of theyr prince, had not the lawe of God bene dene shut vp, 
depressed, cast asyde, and put out of remembraunce.? As it was 
afore the tyme of that noble kynge losias, and as it hath bene also 
amonge vs vnto youre graces tyme: by whose most ryghteous 

184 The Book of Books 

admynistracyon (thorowe the mercyfull goodnes of God) it is now 
founde agayne, as it was in the dayes of that most vertuous kynge 
losias. And praysed be the father, the sonne, and the holy goost 
worlde without ende, which so excellently hath endewed youre 
Pryncely hert with such feruentnes to his honoure, and to the welth 
of youre louyng subiectes, that I maye ryghtuously (by iust 
occasyons in youre persone) copare your highnes vnto that noble 
and gracyous kynge, y*" lanterne of lyghte amonge prynces, that 
feruent protectour and defender of the lawes of God: which 
comaunded straytly (as youre grace doth) that the lawe of God 
shulde be redde and taught vnto all y® people: set the prestes to 
theyr office in the worde of god: destroyed Idolatry and false 
ydols: put downe all euell customes and abusyons: set vp the 
true honoure of God: applyed all his studye and endeuoure to 
the ryghtuous admynistracyon of the most vncorrupte lawe of 
God. &c. O what felicite was amonge y^ people of Jerusalem 
in his dayes? And what prosperous health both of soule & body 
foloweth the lyke mynistracion in youre hyghnes, we begyne now 
(praysed be God) to haue experience. For as false doctryne is 
the origenall cause of all euell plages and destruccyon, so is y® 
true executynge of the lawe of God ad the preachyng of the same, 
the mother of all godly prosperite. The onely worde of god (I 
saye) is the cause of all felicite, it bryngeth all goodnes with it, 
it bryngeth lernynge, it gedreth vnderstondynge, it causeth good 
workes, it maketh chyldren of obedience, breuely, it teacheth all 
estates theyr office and duety. Seynge then that the scripture of 
God teacheth vs euery thynge sufficiently, both what we oughte 
to do, and what we oughte to leaue vndone: whome we are bounde 
to obey, and whome we shulde not obeye: therfore (I saye) it caus- 
eth all prosperite, and setteth euery thyng in frame: and where 
it is taught and knowen, it lyghteneth all darkenesses, c5forteth 
all sory hertes, leaueth no poore man vnhelped, suffreth nothynge 
amysse vnamended, letteth no prynce be disobeyed, permytteth 
no heresie to be preached: but refourmeth all thinges, amedeth 
that is amysse, and setteth euery thynge in order. And why.? 
because it is geuen by the inspiracyon of God, therfore is it euer 
bryngynge profyte and frute, by teachynge, by improuynge, by 
amendynge and refourmyng all the y' wyl receaue it, to make 
them parfecte & mete vnto all good workes. 

Considerynge now (most gracyous prynce) the inestimable 
treasure, frute & prosperite euerlastynge, that God geueth with 
his worde, and trustynge in his infynite goodnes that he wolde 
brynge my symple and rude laboure herin to good effecte, therfore 
as the holy goost moued other me to do the cost herof, so was I 
boldened in God, to laboure in the same. Agayne, consyderynge 
youre Imperiall maiestye not onely to be my naturall soueraigne 
liege Lorde & chefe heade of y*' church of Engldde, but also the 
true defender and maynteyner of Gods lawes, I thought it my 

Myles Coverdale 185 

dutye and to belonge vnto my allegiaunce, whan I had translated 
this Bible, not onely to dedicate this translacyon vnto youre 
hyghnesse, but wholy to commytte it vnto the same: to the 
intent that yf any thynge therin be translated amysse (for in 
many thynges we fayle, euen whan we thynke to be sure) it may 
stode in youre graces handes, to correcte it, to amende it, to 
improue it, yee & cleane to reiecte it, yf youre godly wysdome 
shall thynke it necessary. And as I do with all humblenes sub- 
mitte myne vnderstondynge and my poore translacyon vnto y'^ 
spirite of trueth in your grace, so make I this protestacyon (hauyng 
God to recorde in my coscience) that I haue nether wrested nor 
altered so moch as one worde for the mayntenauce of any maner 
of secte: but haue with a cleare conscience purely & faythfuUy 
translated this out of fyue sundry interpreters, hauyng onely the 
manyfest trueth of the scripture before myne eyes: Trustynge in 
the goodnes of God, that it shalbe vnto his worshippe: quietnes 
and tranquilite vnto your hyghnes: a perfecte stablyshment of all 
Gods ordynaunces within youre graces domynion: a generall 
comforte to all Christen hertes, and a continuall thankfulnesse 
both of olde and yonge vnto god, and to youre grace, for beynge 
oure Moses, and for bringynge vs out of this olde Egypte from the 
cruell handes of our spirituall Pharao. For where were the lewes 
(by ten thousande partes) so moch bounde vnto Kynge Dauid, 
for subduynge of greate Goliath and all theyr enemys, as we are 
to your grace, for delyuerynge vs out of oure olde Babylonycall 
captiuyte? For y" which delyueraunce and victory I beseke oure 
onely medyatoure lesus Christ, to make soch meanes for vs vnto 
his heauenly father, y* we neuer be vnthankfuU vnto him ner vnto 
youre grace: but that we euer increace in the feare of him, in 
obedience vnto your hyghnesse, in loue vnfayned vnto oure 
neghbours: and in all vertue that commeth of God. To whom 
for y® defendynge of his blessed worde (by your graces most 
rightfull administracyon) be honoure and thankes, glory and 
dominyon, worlde without ende. Amen. 

youre graces humble subiecte and daylye oratour, 




Considerynge how excellent knowlege and lernynge an inter- 
preter of scripture ought to haue in the tongues, and ponderyng 
also myne owne insufficiency therin, & how weake I am to per- 
fourme y^ office of a translatoure, I was the more lothe to medle 

i86 The Book or Books 

with this worke. Notwithstondynge when I cosydered how greate 
pytie it was that we shulde wante it so longe, & called to my 
remembraunce y^ aduersite of them, which were not onely of 
rype knowlege, but wolde also with all theyr hertes haue per- 
fourmed y* they beganne, yf they had not had impediment: con- 
siderynge (I saye) that by reason of theyr aduersyte it coulde not 
so soone haue bene broughte to an ende, as oure most prosperous 
nacyon wolde fayne haue had it: these and other reasonable causes 
consydered, I was the more bolde to take it in hande. And to 
helpe me herein, I haue had sondrye translacions, not onely in 
latyn, but also of the Douche interpreters: whom (because of 
theyr sj^ngular gyftes & speciall diligence in the Bible) I huae ben 
the more glad to folowe for the most parte, accordynge as I was 
requyred. But to saye the trueth before God, it was nether my 
laboure nor desyre, to haue this worke put in m ■ hande: neuer- 
theles it greued me y^ other nacyds shulde be more plenteously 
prouyded for with y^ scripture in theyr mother tongue, then we: 
therefore when I was instantly requyred, though I coulde not do 
so well as I wolde, I thought it yet my dewtye to do my best, and 
that with a good wyll. 

where as some men thynke now y^ many translacyons make 
diuisyon in y^ fayth and in the people of God, y* is not so: for it 
was neuer better with the congregacion of god, then whan euery 
church allmost had y^ Byble of a sondrye traslacion. Amonge the 
Grekes had not Origen a specyall translacyon? Had not Vulgarius 
one peculyar, & lykewyse Chrysostom? Besyde the seuentye inter- 
preters, is there not the translacyon of Aquila, of Theodoti5, of 
Symachus, and of sondrye other? Agayne amonge the Latyn 
men, thou findest y* euery one allmost vsed a specyall & sondrye 
translacyon: for in so moch as euery bysshoppe had the knowlege 
of y*^ tongues, he gaue his diligence to haue the Byble of his awne 
translacion. The doctours, as Hireneus, Cyprianus, Tertullian, 
S. Iherom, S. Augustine, Hylarius & S. Ambrose vpon dyuerse 
places of the scripture, reade not y^ texte all alyke. 

Therfore oughte it not to be taken as euel, y' soch men as 
haue vnderstondynge now in oure tyme, exercyse them selues in 
y® tongues, & geue their diligence to translate out of one language 
in to another. Yee we ought rather to geue god hye thankes ther- 
fore, which thorow his sprete stereth vp mes myndes, so to exercise 
them selues therin. Wolde god it had neuer bene left of after y^ 
tyme of S. Augustine, then shulde we neuer haue come in to soch 
blindnes & ignorauce, in to soch erroures & delusyons. For as 
soone as the Byble was cast asyde, & nomore put in exercyse, then 
beganne euery one of his awne heade to wryte what so euer came 
in to his brayne and y' semed to be good in his awne eyes: and so 
grewe y" darknes of mes tradicios. And this same is y*' cause y^ 
we haue had so many wryters, which seldome made mecyon of 
y*^ scripture of the Byble: & though they some tyme aleged it, 

Myles Coverdale 187 

yet was it done so farre out of season & so wycle from y" purpose, 
that a ma maye well perceaue, how that they neuer sawe the 

Seynge then y^ this dihgent exercyse of translatynge doth so 
moch good & edifyeth in other languages, why shulde it do euell 
in oures? Doutles lyke as all nacyons in y^ dyuersite of speaches 
maye knowe one God in the vnyte of faith, and be one in loue: 
euen so may dyuerse translacyons vnderstonde one another, & 
that in the head articles & grounde of oure most blessed faith, 
though they vse sondrye wordes. wherefore me thynke we haue 
greate occasyon to geue thankes vnto God, that he hath opened 
vnto his church the gyfte of interpretacyon & of pryntyng, and 
that there are now at this tyme so many, which with soch diligece 
and faithfulnes interprete y^ scripture to the honoure of God and 
edifyenge of his people, where as (lyke as when many are shut3^nge 
together) euery one doth his best to be nyest the marke. And 
though they can not all attayne therto, yet shuteth one nyer then 
another, and hytteth it better then another, yee one can do it 
better the another, who is now then so vnreasonable, so despyte- 
fuU, or enuyous, as to abhorre him y' doth all his diligence to 
hytte y^ prycke, and to shute nyest it, though he mysse & come 
not nyest the mark? Ought not soch one rather to be commeded, 
and to be helped forwarde, that he maye exercyse himselfe the 
more therin? 

For the which cause (acordyng as I was desyred) I toke the 
more vpon me to set forth this speciall translacyon, not as a 
checker, not as a reprouer, or despyser of other mens translacyons 
(for amonge many as yet I haue founde none without occasyon 
of greate thankesgeuynge vnto god) but lowly & faythfully haue 
I folowed myne interpreters, & that vnder correccyon. And 
though I haue fayled eny where (as there is noman but he mysseth 
in some thynge) loue shall constyrre all to y® best without eny 
peruerse iudgment. There is noman lyuynge y* can se all thynges, 
nether hath god geuen eny man to knowe euery thynge. One 
seyth more clearly then another, one hath more vnderstondyng 
then another, one can vtter a thynge better then another, but 
noman ought to enuye, or dispyse another. He that can do better 
then another, shulde not set him at naught y' vnderstondeth 
lesse: Yee he that hath y'^ more understondyng, ought to remembre 
that the same gyfte is not his but Gods, and y* God hath geue it 
him to teach & enfourme the ignoraunt. Yf thou hast knowlege 
therfore to iudge where eny faute is made, I doute not but thou 
wilt helpe to amende it, yf loue be ioyned with thy knowlege. 
Howbeit wherin so euer I can perceaue by my selfe, or by the 
informacyon of other, that I haue fayled (as it is no wonder) I 
shall now by the helpe of God ouerloke it better & amende it. 

Now will I exhorte the (who so euer thou be y^ readest scrip- 
ture) yf thou fynde oughte therin y* thou vnderstondest not, or 

i88 The Book of Books 

. that apeareth to be repugnaunt, geue no temerarious ner haystye 
ludgmet therof: but ascrybe it to thyne awne ignoraunce, not to 
the scrypture, thynke y^ thou vnderstondest it not, or y^ it hath 
some other meanynge, or y* it is happlye ouersene of y® interpreters, 
or wronge prynted. Agayne, it shall greatly helpe y^ to vnder- 
stonde scripture, yf thou marke not onely what is spoken or 
wrytten, but of whom, & vnto whom, with what wordes, at what 
tyme, where, to what intent, with what circumstaunce, consyder- 
ynge what goeth before, and what foloweth after. For there be 
some thynges which are done & wrytte, to the intente y* we shulde 
do lykewyse: as whan Abraham beleueth God, is obedient vnto 
his worde, & defendeth Loth his kynsman from violent wronge. 
There be some thynges also which are wrytte, to the intente y* 
we shulde eschue soch lyke. As whan Daniel lyeth with Vrias 
wyfe, & causeth him to be slayne. Therfore (I saye) whan thou 
readest scripture, be wyse & circumspecte: & whan thou commest 
to soch straunge maners of speakynge & darke sentences, to soch 
parables & similitudes, to soch dreames or vysions as are hyd from 
thy vnderstondynge, comytte them vnto God or to the gyfte of 
his holy sprete in them y^ are better lerned then thou. 

As for the commendacyon of Gods holy scripture, I wolde 
fayne magnifye it as it is worthy, but I am farre vnsufficiet therto. 
& therfore I thoughte it better for me to holde my tonge, then 
with few wordes to prayse or commede it: exhortynge y^ (most 
deare reader) so to loue it, so to cleue vnto it, & so to folowe it 
in thy daylye conuersacyon, y* other men seynge thy good workes 
& the frutes of y® holy goost in the, maye prayse the father of 
heauen, & geue his worde a good reporter for to lyue after the 
lawe of God, & to leade a vertuous conuersacyon, is the greatest 
prayse y* thou canst geue vnto his doctryne. 

But as touchynge^ the euell reporte and^disprayse that the 
good worde of God hath by the corrupte and euell conuersacyon 
of some, y* daylye heare it and professe it outwardly with theyr 
mouthes, I exhorte y^ (most deare reader) let not y* ofFende the 
ner withdrawe thy mynde fro the loue of y*^ trueth, nether moue 
y*" to be partaker in lyke vnthankfulnes: but seynge y'' lighte is 
come in to the worlde, loue nomore the workes of darknes, receaue 
not the grace of god in vayne. Call to thy remembraunce how 
louynge & mercifuU God is vnto the, how kyndly and fatherly he 
helpeth the in all trouble, teacheth thyne ignoraunce, healeth the 
in all thy sicknesse, forgeueth the all thy synnes, fedeth y*^, geueth 
the drynke, helpeth y^ out of preson, norysheth the in straunge 
countrees, careth for the, & seyeth y* thou wante nothynge. 
Call this to mynde (I saye) & that earnestly, and consydre how 
thou hast receaued of god all these benefites (yee and many mo 
then thou canst desyre) how thou art bounde lykewise to shewe thy 
selfe vnto thy neghboure as farre as thou canst, to teach him yf 
he be ignoraunt, to helpe him in all his trouble, to heale his sycknes, 

Myles Coverdale 189 

to forgeue him his offences, and that hartely, to fede him, to 
cherish him, to care for him, and to se y* he wante nothyng. And 
on this behalfe I beseke the (thou y* hast y® ryches of this worlde, 
and louest God with thy harte) to lyfte vp thyne eyes, and see 
how greate a multitude of poore people renne thorow euery towne: 
haue pitie on thyne awne flesh, helpe them with a good harte, and 
do with thy councell all that euer thou canst, that this vnshamefast 
beggynge maye be put downe, that these ydle folkes maye be set 
to laboure, & that soch as are not able to get theyr lyuynge, maye 
be prouyded for. At the leest thou y* art of councell with soch 
as are in auctoryte, geue them some occasyon to caste theyr heades 
together, and to make prouysyon for the poore. Put the in remem- 
braunce of those noble cityes in other countrees, that by the 
auctoryte of theyr princes haue so rychely ad well prouided for 
theyr poore people, to the greate shame & deshonestye of vs, yf 
we lykewyse receauynge y^ worde of God, shewe not soch lyke 
frutes therof. wolde God y* those men (whose office is to mayn- 
teyne y^ comon welth) were as diligent in this cause as they are 
in other. Let vs bewarre by tymes, for after vnthankfulnes there 
foloweth euer a plage: the mercyful hande of God be with vs, & 
defende vs that we be not partakers therof. 

Go to now (most deare reader) & syt the downe at the Lordes 
fete and reade his wordes, & (as Moses teacheth the lewes) take 
them in to theyr herte, & let thy talkynge & communicacion be 
of them whan thou syttest in thyne house, or goest by y® waye, 
whan thou lyest downe, & whan thou ryseth vp. And aboue all 
thynges fasshyon thy lyfe, & couersacion acordyng to the doctryne 
of the holy goost therin, that thou mayest be partaker of y^ good 
promyses of god in the Byble, & be heyre of his blessynge in Christ. 
In whom yf thou put thy trust, & be an vnfayned reader or hearer 
of hys worde with thy hert, thou shalt fynde swetenesse theryn, 
& spye woderous thynges, to thy vnderstondynge, zo the auoy- 
dynge of all sedicyous sectes, to the abhorrynge of thy olde synfull 
lyfe, & to the stablyshynge of thy godly conuersacyon. 

In the first boke of Moses (called Genesis) thou mayest lerne 
to knowe the almightye power of god in creatynge all of naught, 
his infinite wysdome in ordryng the same, his ryghteousnes in 
punyshynge y® vngodly, his loue & fatherly mercy in comfortynge 
the righteous with his promes. &c. 

In the seconde boke (called Exodus) we se the myghtye arme 
of god, in delyuerynge his people from so greate bondage out of 
Egypte, and what prouysyon he maketh for them in the wildernes, 
how he teacheth them with his wholsome worde and how the 
Tabernacle was made and set vp. 

In the thyrde boke (called Leuiticus) is declared what sacri- 
fices the prestes & Leuites vsed, and what theyr office & Minis- 
tracyon was. 

190 The Book of Books 

In the fourth boke (called Numerus) is declared how the 
people are nombred and mustred, how the captaynes are chosen 
after y® trybes & kynreds, how they wete forth to y'^ battayll, how 
they pitched theyr tentes, & how they brake vp. 

The fyfth boke (called Deuteronomium) sheweth how that 
Moses now beynge olde, rehearseth the lawe of god vnto y^ people, 
putteth them in remembraunce agayne of all the wonders & bene- 
fites that god had shewed for them, and exhorteth them earnestly 
to loue y*' Lorde theyr god, to cleue vnto him, to put their trust 
in him and to herken vnto his voyce. 

After the death of Moses doth losue brynge the people in to 
the l5de of promes where God doth wonderous thynges for his 
people by losue, which distributeth y^ londe vnto them, vnto 
euery trybe theyr possession. But in theyr wealth they forgat 
the goodnes of God, so that oft tymes he gaue the ouer in to the 
hande of theyr enemies. Neuertheles whan so euer they called 
faithfully vnto him, and conuerted, he delyuered them agayne, 
as the boke of Judges declareth. 

In the bokes of the kynges, is descrybed the regiment of good 
and euell prynces, and how the decaye of all nacions commeth by 
euel kynges. For in leroboam thou seyst what myschefe, what 
ydolatrye & soch like abhominacyon foloweth, wha the kynge is a 
maynteyner of false doctryne, ad causeth the people to synne 
agaynst God, which fallinge awaye from gods worde, increased so 
sore amonge them, that it was the cause of all theyr sorowe and 
misery, & the very occasion why Israel first and the luda, were 
caryed away in to captyuite. Agayne, in losaphat, in Ezechias 
and in losias thou seyst the nature of a vertuous kynge. He 
putteth downe the houses of ydolatrye, seyth that his prestes 
teach nothynge but y^ lawe of God, Comaundeth his lordes to go 
with them, and to se that they teach the people. In these kynges 
(I saye) thou seyst the cddicyon of a true defender of y*' fayth, 
for he spareth nether cost ner laboure, to manteyne the lawes of 
God, to seke the welth & prosperite of his people, and to rote out 
the wicked. And where soch a prince is, thou seyst agayne, how 
God defendeth him and his people, though he haue neuer so many 
enemyes. Thus wente it with the in the olde tyme, and euen 
after y^ same maner goeth it now with vs: God be praysed ther- 
fore, ad graunte vs of his fatherly mercy, that we be not vnthank- 
ful: lest where he now geueth vs a losaphat, an Ezechias, yee a 
very losias, he sende vs a Pharao, a leroboam, or an Achab. 

In the two first bokes of Esdras & in Hester thou seyst the 
delyueraunce of the people, which though they were but few, yet 
is it vnto vs all a special! cdforte, for so moch as God is not forget- 
full of his promes, but bryngeth them out of captiuite, acordynge 
as he had tolde them before. 

In the boke of lob we lerne comforte and pacience, in that 
God not onely punysheth the wicked, but proueth & tryeth the 

Myles Coverdale 191 

iust and righteous (howbeit there is noman innocent in his sighte) 
by dyuerse troubles in this lyfe, declaryng therby, y' they are not 
his bastardes, but his deare sonnes, and that he loueth them. 

In the Psalmes we lerne how to resorte onely vnto God in 
all oure troubles, to seke helpe at him, to call onely vpon him, to 
satle our myndes by paciece, & how we ought in prosperite to be 
thankfull vnto him. 

The Prouerbes and the Preacher of Salomon teach vs wys- 
dome, to knowe God, oure owne selues, and the worlde, and how 
vayne all thynges are, saue onely to cleue vnto God. 

As for the doctryne of the Prophetes, what is it els, but an 
earnest exhortacion to eschue synne, & to turne vnto God.^' a 
faythfull promes of the mercy ad pardon of God, vnto all them y* 
turne vnto him, and a threatenyng of his wrath to the vngodly.^* 
sauynge that here and there they prophecye also manifestly of 
Christ, of y^ expulsion of the lewes, and callynge of the Heythen. 

Thus moch thought I to speake of y^ olde Testament, wherin 
almyghtie God openeth vnto vs his myghtye power, his wysdome, 
his louynge mercy & righteousnesse; for the which cause it oughte 
of no man to be abhorred, despysed, or lyghtly regarded, as though 
it were an olde scripture y* nothynge beloged vnto vs, or y^ now 
were to be refused. For it is Gods true scripture & testimony, 
which the Lorde lesus commaundeth the lewes to search, who 
so euer beleueth not the scripture, beleueth not Christ, and who 
so refuseth it, refuseth God also. 

The New Testament or Gospell, is a manyfest and cleare 
testymony of Christ how God perfourmeth his 00th and promes 
made in the olde Testament, how the New is declared and included 
in the Olde, and the Olde fulfylled and verifyed in the New. 

Now where as the most famous interpreters of all geue sondrye 
iudgmentes of the texte (so farre as it is done by y^ sprete of 
knowlege in the holy goost) me thynke noman shulde be offended 
there at, for they referre theyr doinges in mekenes to the sprete 
of trueth in the congregacyon of god: & sure I am, that there 
commeth more knowlege and vnderstondinge of the scripture by 
theyr sondrie translacyons, then by all the gloses of oure sophisti- 
call doctours. For that one interpreteth somthynge obscurely 
in one place, the same translateth another (or els he him selfe) 
more manifestly by a more playne vocable of the same meanyng 
in another place. Be not thou offended therfore (good Reader) 
though one call a scribe, that another calleth a lawyer: or elders, 
that another calleth father & mother: or repentaunce, that another 
calleth pennaunce or amendment. For yf thou be not disceaued 
by mens tradicids, thou shalt fynde nomore dyuersite betwene 
these termes then betwene foure pens and a grote. And this maner 
haue I vsed in my translacyon, callyng it in some place pennaunce, 
that in another place I call repentaunce, and that not onely 
because the interpreters haue done so before me, but that the 

192 The Book of Books 

aduersaries of the trueth maye se, how that we abhorre not this 
word penaunce (as they vntruly reporte of vs) no more then the 
interpreters of latyn abhorre penitere, whan they reade resipiscere. 
Onely our hertes desyre vnto God, is, that his people be not 
blynded in theyr vnderstondyng, lest they beleue pennaunce to 
be ought saue a very repetaunce, amedment, or conuersyon vnto 
God, and to be an vnfayned new creature in Christ, and to lyue 
accordyng to his lawe. For els shall they fal in the olde blasphemy 
of Christes bloude, and beleue, that they the selues are able to 
make satisfaccion vnto God for theyr owne synnes, from the which 
erroure god of his mercy and pleteous goodnes preserue all his. 

Now to conclude: for so moch as all the scripture is wrytten 
for thy doctryne & ensample, it shalbe necessary for the, to take 
holde vpon it, whyle it is offred the, yee and with ten handes thank- 
fully to receaue it. And though it be not worthely ministred vnto 
the in this translacyon (by reason of my rudnes) Yet yf thou be 
feruet in thy prayer, God shal not onely sende it the in a better 
shappe, by the mynistracyon of other that beganne it afore, but 
shall also moue the hertes of them, which as yet medled not withall, 
to take it in hande, and to bestowe the gifte of theyr vnderstond- 
ynge theron, as well in oure language as other famous interpreters 
do in other languages. And I praye God, that thorow my poore 
ministracyon here in, I maye geue them that can do better, some 
occasyon so to do: exhortyng the (most deare reader) in the meane 
whyle on Gods behalfe, yf thou be a heade, a ludge, or ruler of y^ 
people, that thou let not the boke of this lawe departe out of thy 
mouth, but exercise thyselfe therin both daye and nyghte, and be 
euer readyng in it as longe as thou lyuest: that thou mayest lerne 
to feare the Lorde thy God, & not to turne asyde from the com- 
maundement, nether to the right hande ner to the lefte: lest thou 
be a knower of personnes in iudgmet, and wrest the rights of the 
straunger, of the fatherles or of the wedowe, and so ye® curse to 
come vpon the. But what office so euer thou hast wayte vpon it, 
and execute it, to the mayntenaunce of peace, to the welth of thy 
people, defendynge the lawes of God, and the louers therof, and 
to the destruccyon of the wicked. 

Yf thou be a preacher, and hast the ouersight of the flocke of 
Christ, awake and fede Christes shepe with a good herte, & spare 
no laboure to do them good, seke not thy selfe, & bewarre of fylthy 
lucre, but be vnto y*^ flock an ensample, in y^ worde, in cduersacyon, 
in loue, in feruentnes of y^ sprete, and be euer readynge, exhort- 
ynge, & teachynge in Gods worde, that the people of God renne 
not vnto other doctrynes and lest thou thy selfe (whan thou 
shuldest teach other) be founde ignoraunt therin. And rather 
then thou woldest teach the people eny other thynge then Gods 
worde take the boke in thyne hande, & reade the wordes eue as 
they stonde therin (for it is no shame so to do, it is more shame to 
make a lye) This I say for soch, as are not yet experte in the 

Myles Coverdale 


scripture, for I reproue no preachyng without the boke as longe 
as they saye the trueth. 

Yf thou be a man that hast wyfe and childre, first loue thy 
wyfe, acordynge to the ensample of the loue, wherwith Christ 
loued the cogregacion, and remembre that so doynge, thou louest 




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(From •■The Biblical World") 

euen thyselfe: yf thou hate her, thou hatest thine awne flesh: yf 
thou cherishe her and make moch of her, thou cherisest & makest 
moch of thyselfe, for she is bone of thy bones, & flesh of thy flesh. 
And who so euer thou be that hast children, bryng them vp in 

194 The Book of Books 

the nurtour and informacion of the Lorde. And yf thou be ignor- 
aunt, or art otherwyse occupied lawfully that thou canst not 
teach them thy selfe, then be euen as diligent to seke a good master 
for thy childre, as thou wast to seke a mother to beare them: for 
there lieth as great weight in the one as in y^ other. Yee better 
it were for the to be vnborne, then not to feare God, or to be euel 
brought vp. which thynge (I meane bryngynge vp well of chil- 
dren) yf it be diligently loked to, it is the vpholdinge of all comon 
welthes: and the negligence of the same, the very decaye of all 

Fynally, who so euer thou be, take these wordes of scripture 
in to thy herte, and be not onely an outwarde hearer, but a doer 
therafter, and practyse thyselfe therin: that thou mayest fele in 
thine hert, the swete promyses therof for thy consolacion in all 
trouble, & for the sure stablyshinge of thy hope in Christ, and 
haue euer an eye to y^ wordes of scripture, that yf thou be a teacher 
of other thou mayest be within the boundes of the trueth, or at 
the leest though thou be but an hearer or reader of another mans 
doynges, thou mayest yet haue knowlege to iudge all spretes, and 
be fre from euery erroure, to the vtter destruccion of all sedicious 
sectes & straunge doctrynes, that the holy scrypture maye haue 
fre passage, and be had in reputacion, to the worshippe of the 
author therof, which is euen God himselfe: to whom for his most 
blessed worde be glory & domynion now & euer. Amen. 

It is not known certainly who the "five sundry inter- 
preters" referred to by Coverdale are, but they are generally 
supposed to be: Zwingli's Swiss German version of 1527, 
Luther's German New Testament of 1522 and perhaps Old 
Testament of 1534, Pagninus' Latin of 1527, Jerome's 
Vulgate, and Tindale's New Testament and Pentateuch. 

In 1538 Coverdale published a revised edition of the 
New Testament with the Latin of the Vulgate alongside 
the English. 

The following specimens of Coverdale's translation will 
serve for comparison with other versions: 

Psalm 2: Why do the Heithe grudge? why do the people 
ymagyn vayne thinges.'' The kynges of the earth stode vp, and 
the rulers are come together, agaynst the LORDE ad agaynst his 
anoynted. Let vs breake their bondes a sunder, and cast awaye 
their yocke from vs. Neuerthelesse, he that dwelleth in heauen, 
shall laugh the to scorne: yee euen the LORDE himselfF shall 
haue them in derision. Then shal he speake vnto them in his 
wrath, and vexe them in his sore dispeasure. Yet haue I set my 
kynge vpon my holy hill of Sion. As for me I will preache the 

Myles Coverdale 195 

lawe, whereof the LORDE hath sayde vnto me: Thou art my 
Sonne, this daye haue I begotten the. Desyre off me, and I shall 
geue the the Heithen for thine enheritaunce, Yee the vttemost 
partes of the worlde for thy possession. Thou shalt rule them 
with a rodde of yron, and breake the in peces Hke an erthen vessell. 
Be wyse now therefore (o ye kynges) be warned, ye that are iudges 
of the earth. Serue the LORDE with feare, and reioyce before 
him with reuerence. Kysse the sonne, lest the LORDE be angrie, 
and so ye perish from the right waye. For his wrath shalbe 
kindled shortly: blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): O oure father which art in 
heauen, halowed be thy name. Thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll 
be fulfilled vpon earth as it is in heauen. Geue vs this daye oure 
dayly bred. And forgeue vs oure dettes, as we also forgeue oure 
detters. And lede vs not in to teptacion: but delyuer vs from 
euell. For thyne is the kyngdome, and the power, and the glorye 
for euer. Amen. 

Heb. II : By faith he helde Easter, and the effusion of bloude. 

PsA. 1 1 (which is Psa. 23 in modern versions) : Thy staffe & 
thy shepehoke coforte me. 

Judges 9:53: But a woman cast a pece of a mylstone vpon 
Abimelechs heade, and brake his brane panne. 

Job 30: They were the children of fooles & vylanes, which 
are deed awaye fro the worlde. Now am I their songe, & am 
become their iestinge stocke. they abhorre me, they fle farre 
fro me & stayne my face w* spetle. 

We shall have occasion to consider Coverdale again in 
connection v^ith some other English Bibles, but a few details 
of his life may conveniently be stated here. He was in Paris 
in connection with the printing of the Great Bible in 1538, 
but came back to England to complete it. A few years 
later he again went to the continent, and while at Bergza- 
bern married, served as pastor, and taught school. After 
the accession of Edward VI, 1547, he returned to England 
and was made Bishop of Exeter, but m Mary's reign was 
again obliged to flee to the continent. He was with the 
Reformers at Geneva in 1557, but in 1559 again returned 
to England. He was given the living of St. Magnus' 
Church, London, which he resigned in 1566. He died in 
1569. His was the honor of giving to the English people 
the first printed complete Bible. 



MATTHEW'S BIBLE was issued in 1537, but who 
Thomas Matthew was is a matter of speculation. If 
he was an actual person of that name who had an important 
part in the publication of the Bible that bears his name, 
nothing more is known of him than that. The usual opinion 
is, however, that the name is an assumed one, used by John 
Rogers, the real reviser, to hide his identity on account of 
the general prejudice against Tindale (of whose version 
Matthew's Bible was a substantial reproduction in the por- 
tions Tindale translated), and because his personal relations 
with Tindale would be likely to add to that prejudice in 
relation to his own work. The title page was as follows: 

Tl The Byble, whych is all the Holy Scripture: In whych are 
contayned the Olde and Newe Testament truly and purely trans- 
lated into Englysh by Thomas Matthew. 

Esaye i. t^^Hearchento ye Heauens and thou earth geaue 
eare: For the Lorde speaketh. 


Set forth with the Kinges most gracyous lycece. 

John Rogers is notable as the first Protestant martyr 
put to death in the reign of Mary — on February 4, 1555. 
He was born at Deritend, Birmingham, about the year 1500. 
The author of this volume was born at Birmingham, and 
having spent more than thirty years there is familiar with 
the associations of "the Deritend Martyr" with St. John's 
Church. The present vicar. Rev. J. A. Morgan, has sup- 
plied the illustration which is here given and sent a clipping 
from the Birmingham Daily Mail recording the celebration 
of the 365th anniversary of the martyr's death, February 4. 


Matthew's Bible 197 

1920, in which some details are given of Rogers' Hfe and 

John Rogers was educated at Cambridge and took his 
B.A. degree in 1525. After several years as a rector in 
London he went to Antwerp about 1534, was chaplain to 
the English Merchant Adventurers, and became acquainted 
with Tindale. He brought out his edition of the Bible in 
1537 and in the same year married Adriana Pratt, of Bra- 
bant. He had by this time become thoroughly Protestant. 
He remained on the continent until 1548, when he returned 
to England, shortly after the death of Henry VHI and the 
accession of Edward VI. In May, 1550, he was presented 
with the rectory of St. Margaret Moyses and the vicarage 

This Monument was erected Oct. 
25th, 1883, by Public Subscription, in 
grateful memory of John Rogers, M.A. 
Born in Deritend, A. D. 1500. Trans- 
lator in part and Reviser of Matthew's 
Bible, Placed by Authority in all 
Churches, 1537. He was leader also of 
the Noble Army of Martyrs of Queen 
Mary's Reign, and was burnt in Smith- 
field, London, A. D. 1555. J. W. Smith, 
S. Smith, Wardens; W. C. Badger, 
M.A., Minister. 


A bust in St. John's Church, Deritend 

of St. Sepulchre's, London, and in 1551 was promoted by 
Bishop Ridley to be a prebendary of St. Paul's. 

After the accession of Mary he preached frequent ser- 
mons against the Roman Church, and on one occasion, as 
he preached at St. Paul's Cross, the queen herself passed 
and heard his denunciations. He was brought before the 
Council, but dismissed. In 1553 he was ordered by the 
Council to keep within his own house, but later was removed 
to Newgate prison. He was brought a third time before 
the Council and condemned to death, the presiding bishop 
being Gardiner, styled by Rogers "the bloody bishop of 
Winchester." As he was led from Newgate to be burned 
at the stake in Smithiield he was asked to recant. He 
replied, "That which I have preached I will seal with my 

198 The Book of Books 

blood"; and to the sheriff's remark, "Then thou art a 
heretic," he answered, "That will be known when we meet 
at the judgment-seat of Christ." His wife and eleven chil- 
dren sought to bid him farewell as he went to Smithfield, 
but the sheriff would not permit them to speak to him. As 
he was chained to the stake he said God would vindicate 
the truth of what he had taught, and urged the onlookers 
to be true to the Protestant faith. 

Roger's Bible was a revision of Tindale's and Cover- 
dale's, and though no name is given in the colophon it was 
in all probability printed at Antwerp by Jacob van Meteren 
and published by Grafton and Whitchurch. 


{From LoveU's "Printed English Bible." Courtesy of the Religious Tract Society) 

Archbishop Cranmer, on being shown a copy, was so 
pleased with it that he approached Cromwell with a view 
to getting the king to issue a "license that the same may be 
sold and redde of every person withoute danger of any acte, 
proclamation or ordinaunce, hertofore graunted to the con- 
trary," and he added, in reference to the request that had 
been made by the Convocation of Canterbury that the 
king should appoint learned men to make a translation, 
"untill such tyme that we the Bishops shall set forth a 
better translation, which I thinke will not be till a day after 
Domesday." Concerning the translation itself he said. 

Matthew's Bible 199 

"So farre as I haue redde therof I like it better than any 
other translation hertofore made." The license was granted, 
as the title-page on some copies shows. 

A note in the copy in the New York Public Library 
says that it combines the best work of Tindale and Cover- 
dale and is generally considered the real primary version of 
the English Bible. 

The title-page is printed in red and black and the word- 
ing is set in a fine woodcut representing the Garden of Eden 
at the left and the crucifixion of Jesus at the right. At the 
bottom is an allegorical design in two parts representing death 
as victor and death vanquished. 

On the back of the title-page is a summary of contents 
headed, "These thynges ensuynge are ioyned with thys 
present volume of the Byble." "The Kalendar and Alman- 
ack for xviij yeares," from 1538, occupies 4 pages; "An 
exhortacyon to the studye of the holy Scrypture gathered 
oute of the Byble," 3 pages: the dedication to Henry VIII, 
3 pages; "To the Chrysten Readers. The summe and 
content of all the holy Scrypture both of the Olde and New 
Testament. A table for to fynde many of the cheafe and 
pryncipall matters conteyned in the Byble," 26 pages; 
"The names of all the bokes of the Byble / wyth the con- 
tent of the Chapters / and in what leafe euery boke begyn- 
neth," part of a page; "A bref rehersall declarynge how 
longe the worlde hath endured from the creacyon of Adam 
vnto thys present yeare of oure Lorde m.d. xxxvii"; "And 
in the Marget of the boke are there added many playne 
exposycyons of soch places as vnto the symple and vnlearned 
seame harde to vnderstande." 

A full-page woodcut, the Garden of Eden, faces Gene- 
sis I, and there are many woodcuts m the book. The text 
is divided into four sections, with separate title-pages. At 
the bottom of the first page of the "exhortacyon" are orna- 
mental initials, about two inches square, I R, and at the 
end of the dedication similar initials H R. 

The title-page to the Apocrypha reads: 

The volume of the bokes called Apocripha Contayned in the 
comen Transl. in Latyne whych are not founde in the Hebrue nor 
in the Chalde. 


The Book of Books 

^/.yJl' f-^ --^$^te4^V^^^ 


(From the copy in the New York Public Library) 

Matthew's Bible 201 

The Apocrypha in Matthew's Bible contains Baruch, 
the Song of the Three Children, and the Prayer of Manasseh 
in addition to those in the "Apocripha" of Coverdale's 

The New Testament title-page reads: 

The newe Testament of our sauyour Jesu Christ / newly and 
dylygently translated into Englyshe with Annotacions in the 
Mergent to heipe the Reader to the vnderstandynge of the Texte. 

Prynted in the yere of oure Lorde God. m. d. xxxvii. 

At the end of the book is a table "Wherein ye shall fynde 
the Epistles and the gospels / after the vse of Salisbury." 
The colophon reads: 

The ende of the newe Testament and of the whole Byble. 
To the honoure and prayse of God was this Byble prynted 
and fynesshed in the yere of oure Lorde God a, m.d. xxxvii." 

The Song of Solomon is headed: "The Ballets of Solo- 
mon: called in Latyne CanticQ Canticorum." 

The dedication is as follows: 

To the moost noble and gracyous Prynce Kyng Henry the eyght / 
kyng of England and of Fraunce / Lorde of Ireland &c. Defender 
of the fay the: and vnder God the chefe and supreme head of the 
church of Engeland. 

It hath bene vsed of olde auncyent custome (most redoubted 
and prudent Prynce) to dedycate soche bokes as men put forth 
in to lyght (whether they be made of their awne industrye and 
proper wyttes / or translated forthe of one language in to another) 
to some noble Prynce / Kynge or Emperour / or otherwyse excel- 
lent in byrth or renowne: to thyntet that the worck myght frelyer 
"and boldelyer be occupyed in the hades of men / as a thynge 
hauyng sauecondet & beyng put in to the tuicyon of the Prynce / 
vnto whom it is offred & dedycate. This custome not onely 
aunciet but also laudable / haue youre syngular and rare gyftes 
in worldly regyment / and the vertuous and Godly moderacion of 
mayntenynge true preachers for the inducynge of your symple 
subiectes to the syncerytie and purenes of Christes Gospell: with 
the other many folde and syngular vertues / wherwyth the Prynce 
of Prynces hath indued your hyghnes / encoraged me to embrace. 
For vnto whom or in to whose proteccyon shulde the defence of 
soch a worck be soner c5mytted (wherin are contayned the infal- 
lyble promeses of mercy in the olde testament prefygured & in 
the newe fulfylled / wyth the whole summe of Christyanitye) then 
vnto his maiestye / which not onely by name and tytle / but most 

202 The Book of Books 

euydently & openly / most Christenly & with most Godly pollicye / 
dothe professe the defence thereof? 

The want of lernynge / The obscureness & lownes of byrth / 
The lack of youre graces knowledge &c. shuld haply haue vtterly 
forbydden me / to haue interprysed the dedycacion herof to so 
puyssant a Prynce: But the experience of youre graces benygnyte / 
wherthroughe youre prayse is renoumed and hyghly magnifyed / 
euen amdge straungers and alyentes / not alone amoge your awne 
subiectes / The Godly moderacion of youre heuenly polycye / 
wherwith ye suppresse supersticyon and mayntene true holynes / 
inflameth me to some part of boldenes: Specyally syth the th3mg 
which I dedycate is soch as your grace studyeth dayly to forther. 
In which studye & endeuoure he cotynewe you / whych hath 
moued you to so holesome a purpose: and geue the same dylygence 
vnto other Christen Prynces and forren potentates / that he hath 
breathed & instyled in to your breaste. 

For the cheafe & pryncypall thyng appartaynynge to Prynces 
& nobles (which thyng it is good to se that your grace doth well 
consyder) is: to defende / forther / set oute & augment the knowl- 
edge of God. Moses y^ faythfull seruant of the Lorde / prophecy- 
ing by y'^ sprete y* Israel shulde haue a Kynge / comaunded: that 
he ones set on y® seat of his kyngdome / shulde reade the seconde 
lawe (meanynge the boke of Deuteronomye) all the dayes of his 
lyfe: to thyntent that he myght learne to feare the Lorde his God / 
for to kepe all the wordes of his lawe & ordynaunces / and that 
he shulde not returne from the commaundement ether to the 
right hand or to the left. He perceaued / vndoubted that yf the 
Prynce him selfe were so affectuously anymated vnto the kepynge 
of the lawe / as he is there expresly comaunded: it shulde not a 
lytell inflame hym to an ardent and burnyng zeale of settyng out 
Goddes glorye / in fortherynge the thynges in that lawe expressed: 
And knewe what wholsome and Godly lawes soche a kynge wolde 
indeuoure hym selfe to enstablyshe / by which the lawe of God 
myght the better be obserued / & the largelyer and forther sprynge 
abroade: And saw right well that soch a Prynce coulde not but 
will his subiectes to reade & folowe all the poyntes of that lawe / 
which he himselfe was so strayghtly bounde both to kepe & reade. 
Further in that he willeth the Kynges of Israel / not ones to swarue 
from the lawe of the Lorde ether to the ryght hande or to the left / 
he instructeth them / to fulfyll the worde of God playnly / purely / 
without superstycion: not to be exalted thorou prosperytye / ner 
deiecte in aduersytye: to cleaue and leane vnto the worde of God 
in tyme of glorye & renoune / and in tyme of dishonoure and 
ignomynie to amplyfye ryghtwesnes & to loue veritye: which 
thinges sene in y*' nobylytie / adde no smal sporre vnto the comens 
to imitate & follow the same. Yee they so worck in y® hertes of 
the noble / that they be enforced what by ensample of lyfe / & 
by pollytyke ordynaunces to y® vse inuented / to allure soche as 

Matthew's Bible 203 

be vnder their subieccyo to y® performaunce thereof. That Moses 
there comaundeth vnto the kynges of Israel / partayneth vnto all 
y" Prynces of the Christen name. That he there calleth the lawe 
is to vs the holy scripture & worde of y^ most holy & myghtie God. 
Unto prynces (euery one in his dominion) belongeth the amply- 
fiynge therof / as of the rote of all Godlynes. Now in as moche 
as the Lord hath raysed you vp before other prynces of oure tyme / 
most earnestly to hearcken vnto this c5maundement of his seruaunt 
Moses / & to attempt the thynges that do not a lytel auaQce 
Goddes glorye: & hath also opened your eyes to se the falsheed 
of the subtell and the innocency of the Godly: to note the wylynes 
of the chyldren of this worlde / & the symplycitye of the holv: to 
extyrp & abolyshe enorme & fylthy abuses / and in their'steades 
to rote & fyre the ryght / true / & parfect doctryne of Christian- 
ytie: ther is founde no man /vnto whom y^ translacyon of the 
Lordes lawe can so worthely be ofFred and dedycate as vnto your 
most gracyous highnesse. For I nothing mystrust but that it 
shal most acceptably come in to your most fauourable & sure 
proteccyon. Therof doth your peculyar desyre of fortheryng 
soche lyke laboures suffyciently assure me. It is no vulgare or 
comen thynge which is ofFred in to your graces proteccio / but the 
blessed worde of God: which is euerlastyng & ca not fayle / though 
heaue & earth shuld perish. So precious a thynge requyreth a 
singular good patrone & defendar / & findeth no nother vnto wh5 
the defence therof may so iustly be comitted as vnto your graces 
maiestye. It is y^ lawe of the celestiall King which ruleth all 
thynges with a beck / & yet is it some tyme greatly forthered or 
hyndered by the ayde & hyndraijce of earthly & worldly prynces. 
Long & oft was it obscured & darckened / yee & in maner cleane 
abolished in y^ tyme of the comen wealth of Israel. The wylye 
iuggeling of y'^ preastes in persuadyng y^ prynces & rulars to be 
conformable to their inuencyons / & the rashe beleuynge people / 
which thought euerything an oracle that the prestes breathed in 
to their breastes / dyd oft & many tymes fyll all full of super- 
sticyon and Idolatrye. From the tyme of Ahab vnto y*^ raygne of 
kyng Hezekiah / laye true holynes and the perfect sekynge of God 
vtterly oppressed: And Hezekiah in his tyme renued the lawe to 
hys perfeccyon / & hath therfore his worthy prayse in the scrip- 
ture: But hys Sonne Manasseh set vp agayne all the wyckednes 
that his father had suppressed. Josiah after he had ones readde 
the boke of the lawe founde in y^ teple / let no tyme slyp tyll he 
had called all Israel together / put downe all kyndes of Idolatrie / 
& holden the feast of passouer accordynge to the lawe. His 
Sonne Jehoahaz / with the reast of the kynges following dyd dis- 
content and displease the Lorde / maynteynyng supersticyd & 
Idolatrye in steade of godlynes / & causing the people to applye 
theselues therto. The nomber of the euell kinges was vsually 
greater than the nombre of the good / as the bokes of y^ kynges & 

204 The Book of Books 

Parali. do clearly testifye. Soche was y^ sutteltie of y^ false 
prophetes y* they fyrst & principally bewitched y® princes to y^ 
defence of their Imaginacios: who as their heades / y® people 
were costrayned to folow. 

The youth of Manasseh was a mete praye for the false proph- 
etes and prestes of Baal / which dyd instant hym / compasse 
hym / and leadde hym as it hath bene with a lyne to their trade 
of Idolatrye. They had learned in the tyme of Ahab to do sacry- 
fyce vnto Idoles / wherby their lucre & aduauntage was not a 
lytell increased: which thynge (for feare of punyshment be ye 
sure) they had intermytted and left of all the Rayne of that good 
Kynge Hezekiah. In his dayes they were cdpelled to haue the 
lawe of God in honoure. They in deade abhorred the true wor- 
shyppyng of God / but dyd obey the Kynges comaundementes 
faynedly thorow Ipocrysye / and were in hert most wycked and 
wretched. But they so subtely depraued the tyme of the domyn- 
yon of young Manasseh that they persuaded hym by their craft 
to reiect and set asyde the lawe of the Lorde / as the new founde 
relygyo of hys father Hezekiah: & to receaue the superstycyos 
which his fore father Ahab / as moare aged & wyser had instytute: 
yee and those agreable to the lawes of other nacyons. His apply- 
able and conformable wyttes dyd they so bewitch / that he thought 
it greate holynes to dysanull all that his father had most godly 
redressed: & to retayne all the olde superstycyons / rytes and 
customes of Idolatrers: to kyll & slaye all that by any meanes 
shewed loue or zeale to true religid & godlynes: so that he cruelly 
filled the cytie of Jerusale with the bloude of the Prophetes / & of 
soch as warred & fought agaynst Idolatrye. In lyke maner dyd 
they with Jehoahaz / which shortly had put downe his fathers 
decrees: settyng moare by y^ superstiti5s of his forefather Ahab / 
than by the godlynes of his good father Josiah. False prophetes / 
Ipocryrish preastes / & the mutable & vnconstant comenaltye / 
haue euer bene readye to receaue their olde phantastycall dreames / 
& haue for the moast parte contynually preuayled agaynst the 
true Prophetes & preachers of the Lorde. The exaples herof (yf 
there shulde so many be rehearced as y® Chronycles of all tymes 
do mency5) wolde make a great & an huge volume. Nether 
thinke I it best to trouble your grace w* a so long a processe as to 
recite the. And the experieces of soch as shall herafter come / 
are only knowe vnto y* Lorde: nether knoweth any man what 
chaiige may fall. But for y® fortunate & prosperous estate of this 
oure tyme (so farre as concerneth thys youre graces Reaulme) are 
hyghe and vnceassable thanckes to be geuen vnto the Lorde of 
Lordes: which hath dealt so mercyfully wyth the inhabytauntes 
therof / as to sende them a Prynce that contynually studyeth to 
se the enryched in all poyntes of true godlynes. Who so remayneth 
vnthanckfull herein / is not alone vngodly but also wretched. 
For soche a Prince as geueth no care vnto y® inchauntemente of 

Matthew's Bible 205 

false preachers is one of the greatest gyftes of God / & soch a 
worldly blessyng to a comen wealth as requyreth an earnest 
thanckesgeuynge therfore. 

That Hezekiah and Josiah were vnto Israel / the same is 
youre grace vnto y^ Reaulme of England: yee the godly haue 
greate hope that your prayse shalbe farre aboue theirs. They 
helde the verytye & trve worshyppynge of God / but onely for 
their awne tymes. Your graces wysdome / illumyned of God / 
shall (we trust) so fyrmely stablyshe the trade of Godlynes in 
your lyfe tyme / that it shall neuerthelesse florysh / after your 
deceasse. Youre deuyne gouernaunce / no lesse fortunate than 
polytyque / putteth vs in hope of soche a redresse as shalbe per- 
manent and durable / and so surely grounded / that the wont 
iuggelyng & venemous persuasions of false preachers shall not be 
so noysome vnto youre posteryte / as they haue bene vnto the 
former age. This hope haue the godly eue of forren & straunge 
nacyons in your graces goodnes / moch moare they of your awne 
reaulme. Soche confidence haue they conceaued by your former 
acres / wherthrough youre grace hath so exceedyngly profyted 
this affayre. The euerliuyng Lord so prospere youre begonne 
purpose vnto soch effect / that the thinge may be cotynually 
which ye haue begdne: And so streacth oute his myghty hande 
and worcke so strdgely in you / that no stoarme of false Prophetes 
(the very destroyers of Princes and Realmes) maye hereafter be 
able to extynct the lyght / whych now in your graces dayes hath 
begonne to shyne: And double vnto you the addycyo of yeares 
that was geuen vnto Hezekiah / ouer and aboue those that ye 
shulde naturally lyue / that ye maye the better accomplysh your 
moast godly intent: And enspyre soch streames of grace in to 
youre breast / that you perseuerynge vnto the ende / maye leaue 
behynde you this testymonye of glorye: that ye haue truly 
defended the pure fayth of Christ / maynteyned his holy worde / 
suppressed superstycyon / deleate & put awaye Idolatye / ended 
the blasphemy of false Prophetes / & brought youre reaulme vnto 
the true trade of godlynes: And blesse you at thys present wyth 
a Sonne / by youre most gracyous wyfe Quene Jane / which may 
prosperously & fortunately raygne / & folowe the godly steppes 
of his father: And after your grace shall geue place to nature / 
and forsake thys mortall lyfe / graunte you the rewarde of that 
vnspeakahle and celestyall ioye / whych no eye hath sene / no 
eare hearde / nor can ascende into the herte of man. So be it. 

Youre graces faythfull & true subiect Thomas Matthew. 

The following are specimens from Matthew's Bible: 

Psalm 91 : 5: So that thou shalt not nede to be afrayed for 
eny bugges by night. 

2o6 The Book of Books 

Psalm 2: 
"l^HY do the Heathen grudge? why do the people ymagyne 
" vayne thinges? 

The Kynges of the earth stande vp / and the rulers are come 
together / agaynst the Lorde and agaynst hys anoynted. 

Let vs breake their bondes asunder / & cast awaye their yock 
from vs. 

Neuerthelesse he that dwelleth in heauen / shall laugh them 
to scorne: yee euen the Lorde hymself shall haue them in derysyon. 

Then shall he speake vnto them in hys wrath / & vexe them 
in hys sore dyspleasure. 

Yet haue I set my Kynge vpon my holy hyll of Syon. 

As for me I will preache y® lawe / wherof the Lorde hath 
sayde vnto me: 

Thou art my sonne / this daye haue I begotten the. 

Desyre of me / & I shall geue y® the Heathen for thyne 
enheritaunce / Yee the vttermost partes of the worlde for thy 

Thou shalt rule them with a rodde of yron / and breake them 
in peces like an earthen vessell. 

Be wyse now therfore / O ye Kynges / be warned / ye that 
are iudges of the earth. 

Serue the Lorde with feare / and reioyse before hym with 

Kysse the sonne / lest the Lorde be angrye & so ye perysshe 
from the ryght waye. 

For his wrath shalbe kindled shortly: blessed are all they 
that put their trust in hym. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6) : O oure father which arte in 
heuen / halowed be thy name. Let thy kingdome come. Thy 
will be fulfylled / as well in erth / as it is in heuen. Geue vs this 
daye oure dayly bred. And forgeue vs oure treaspases / euen as 
we forgeue oure trespacers. And leade vs not in to temptacion: 
but delyuer vs fro eujdl. For thyne is the kyngedome & the 
power / and the glorye for euer. Amen. 

Taverner's Bible 

Taverner's Bible was issued in 1539 in a handsome 
folio edition. Very little is known concerning Richard 
Taverner beyond the fact that he was born in 1505, grad- 
uated at Cambridge, studied afterward at Oxford, and 
became a lawyer of the Inner Temple. He was at one time 
employed by Cromwell, but after Cromwell fell into the 
king's disfavor Taverner was for a time imprisoned in the 
Tower. He was very eccentric in manner, and when later 

Taverner's Bible 207 

he was licenced to preach as a layman his matter was at 
times as strange as his manner. He died in 1575. 
The title-page of Taverner's Bible reads: 

The Most Sacred Bible, whiche is the holy scripture, con- 
teyning the old and new testament, translated in to English, and 
newly recognised with great diligence after most faythful exem- 
plars, by Rychard Taverner. 

t^° Harken thou heuen, and thou earth gyue eare: for the 
Lorde speaketh. Esaie. i. 

I^" Prynted at London in Fletestrete at the sygne of the 
Sonne by John Byddell, for Thomas Barthlet. 

't^° cvm priviiegio ad imprimendum solum, m.d. xxxix. 

The dedication was to Henry VHI, and was as follows: 

How hyghly all England is bounde to your incomparable 
maiestie for the infinite and manifolde benefites receyued at your 
most gracious handes, from tyme to time without ceasing, eue 
from the begynning of your most noble rayne: truly no mortal 
tonge is hable with wordes sufficiently to expresse, or with secret 
though tes of hert worthely to coceyue: Certes, it far passeth bothe 
the sklender capacitie of my wyt, and also y^ rude infancy of my 
tong to do either thone or thother: yea an other Cicero or Demos- 
thenes wer not ynough herevnto. Wherfore omittinge or rather 
leauing to some other the iust Encomye and commendacion of 
your graces most ample dedes, worthy of eternall memorie, yet 
this one thing I dare full well affirme, that amonges all your 
maiesties deseruinges, vpon the christen religion (then which surely 
nothing can be greater) your highnes neuer did thing more accept- 
able vnto god, more profitable to y^ auaucemet of true christianitie, 
more displeasaut to the enemies of the same, & also to your graces 
enemies, then when your maiestie lycenced and wylled the moost 
sacred Byble conteynyng the vnspotted and lyuely worde of God 
to be in the Englysh tong set forth to your hyghnes subiectes. 

To the setting forth wherof (most gracious & moost redoubted 
soueraigne lorde) lyke as certeyn men haue neither vndiligetly nor 
yet vnlernedly traueled. So agayn it can not be denied, but y* 
some faultes haue escaped their handes. Neither speke I this to 
depraue or maligne their industrie & paynes take in this behalf: 
no, rather I think them worthy of no litle praise & thankes for the 
same, considering what great vtilitie & profit hath redounded to 
your graces hole realme by the publysshing and setting forth therof, 
although it were not finisshed to the ful absolucion and perfection 
of the same. For assuredly it is a worke of so great difficultie, I 
meane so absolutely to translate the hole bible that it be faultlesse, 
that I feare it can scace be doone of one or two persons, but rather 
requyreth bothe a deper confarrynge of many lerned wittes 
togyther, and also a iuster tyme and longer leysure. 


The Book of Books 

,^^???a^agg^- ^sa yi; fe j Mt^jS 5 gMa 55 ^ »: ^^ ^ 


S A C R I n BIBLE,- 

5CObKJ)ei0t!)cl)olp fcnptute»con^ 

xzTniwix, tl)f olD tinD ncto tfltamcnt, 

tranflarcD m to Cng!in),anD nctolp 

recogntfcD feuS) oreat Diligrtice 

after moa farfljfu! ctcms 

plarg,b^ RY CHARD 

ft^-Harhrn tlimi hcutn , anti tbeu rartft 8?ae 
mtf : fo? tbf JlotCc ipc ahcti). (Jf faic.u 

Xl jAspnfcD ?.t u on&on in flrrtdrrtp at 
Deif , fo.: Choma? JSaithltt. 

d<i tm^rinKridumjclum, 



{From the copy in the New York Public Library) 

Taverner's Bible 209 

Wherefore the premisses wel cosidered, forasmuch as y® 
printers herof were very desirous to haue this most sacred volume 
of the bible com forth as faultlesse & emendatly, as the shortnes 
of tyme for the recognising of y^ same wold require, they desired 
me your most huble seruat for default of a better lerned, diligetly 
to ouerloke & peruse the hole copy and in case I shold fynd any 
notable default y^ neded correctio, to amed the same, according 
to y^ true exeplars, Whiche thynge accordyng to my talent I haue 
gladly done. 

These therfore my simple lucubratids & labours, to wh5 might 
I better dedicate, the vnto your most excellet & noble maiestie, 
y® only authour & grounde nexte God of this so highe a benefite 
vnto youre graces people, I meane that the holy scripture is com- 
municate vnto the same. 

But now though many faultes pchaiice be yet left behind 
vncastigat, either for lacke of lernig sufficiet to so gret an enter- 
prise, or for default of leisure, I trust your maiestie & all other y^ 
shal rede the same, wyll pardon me, consyderynge (as I haue 
alredy declared) how harde & difficile a thinge it is, so to set forth 
this worke, as shal be in al pointes faultles & without reprehension. 

And thus I comit your most gracious & excellet maiestie to 
y^ tucio of y** highest, to who be al honour, glory, & prayse, worlde 
without ende. Amen. 

The dedication was followed by "An exhort acion to the 
diligent studye of the holy scripture gathered out of the 
Bible," I page; "The contentes of the Script vre," 2 pages; 
"The names of the bokes of the Bible," i page; "A table 
of the principall maters conteyned in the Byble," 25 pages; 
and, at the end, "Table wherein ye shall fynde the Epistels 
and the Gospels after the vse of Salisbury," and a colophon: 

^ The ende of the newe Testament and of the hole Byble. 
T[ To the honour and prayse of God, was this Byble prynted: 
and fynysshed, in the yere of our Lorde God, a M.D. XXXIX." 

The title-page to the New Testament reads: 

The new testament of our sauiour Jesu Chryst, translated in 
to English: and newly recognised with great diligence after moost 
faythfull exemplars, by Rycharde Taverner. 

Praye for vs, that the worde of God maye haue fre passage 
and be gloryfied. iv. Tessa, iii. 

Prynted in the yere of oure Lorde God m.d. xxxix. 

There were no cuts and few notes. The following are 
specimens of the translation: 

2IO The Book of Books 

Psalm 2: 

Why do the Hey then grudge? why do the people ymagyne 
vayne thinges? 

The kynges of the earthe stande vp, & the rulers are come 
togither, against y^ Lorde and against his annointed. 

Let vs breake their bondes asunder, and cast awaye their 
yock from vs. 

But he y^ dwelleth in heauen, shall laughe them to scorne: the 
Lorde him selfe shal haue them in derysion. 

The shal he speake vnto them in his wrath and vexe them in 
his sore displeasure. 

Yet haue I set my kynge vpon my holy hill of Sion. 

As for me, I will preache the lawe, wherof the Lorde hath 
sayde vnto me: Thou arte my sonne, this daye haue I begotten the. 

Aske of me, and I shall gyue the the Heythen for thyne enheri- 
taunce, Yea the vttermoste partes of the worlde for thy possession. 

Thou shalt rule theym with a rod of yron, and breake them 
in peces lyke an earthen vessell. 

Be wyse now therfore, O ye kynges, be warned, ye that are 
iudges of the earth. 

Serve the Lorde with feare, and reioyse before him with 

Embrace instruction, least the Lorde be angrye, and so ye 
perysh from the right waye. 

For his wrath shalbe kyndled shortly: blessed are all they 
that put their trust in him. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): Our father whiche art in 
heauen, halowed be thy name. Let thy kyngdome come. Thy 
wyll be done, as well in earthe, as in heauen. Geue vs to daye 
oure dayly bred. And forgeue vs oure dettes, euen as we forgeue 
oure detters. And leade vs not into temptation: but delyuer vs 
from euyel. For thyne is the kingdome and the power, and the 
glory for euer. Amen. 


THE GREAT BIBLE is so called on account of its 
size — the pages were nine by fifteen inches. It was 
published in 1539, and an account of its preparation and 
publication is given by Strype in his Memorials of Arch- 
bishop Cranmer. Having referred to Matthew's Bible he 

Grafton and the rest of the Merchants concerned in the Work, 
thinking that they had not Stock enough to supply all the Nation, 
and this Book being of a Volume not large enough, and considering 
the Prologues and Marginal Notes gave offence to some, and being 
put on by those that favoured the Gospel, that as many as possible 
could be, might be printed, for the dispersing the knowledg of 
Christ and his Truth; they resolved to imprint it again, which 
they intended should be of a larger Volume than any before; and 
therefore it was called, when it came forth. The Bible in the largest 
Volume. They intended also, in order to this Edition, to have 
the former Translation revised, and to omit several Prologues and 
Annotations. And Miles Coverdale was the Man now, that com- 
pared the Translation with the Hebrew, and mended it in divers 
places, and was the chief Overseer of the Work. But though they 
left out Matthew's, that is Roger's Notes, yet they resolved to 
make Hands and Marks on the sides of the Book: which meant, 
that they would have particular notice to be taken of those Places, 
being such Texts as did more especially strike at the Errors and 
Abuses of the Romish Church. 

Grafton resolved to print this Bible in Paris, if he could obtain 
leave, there being better Paper and cheaper to be had in France, 
and more dextrous Workmen. For this purpose the Lord Crumzvel, 
who stood by him in this Enterprise, procured Letters of the King, 
as Fox relates, to Francis the French King, which were conveyed 
to Boner then Ambassador at that Court, for him to present them 
to that King. The Contents of which Letters of King Henry were 
to this effect, "For a Subject of his to imprint the Bible in English 
in his Dominion, both in regard of his Paper and Workmen." The 


212 The Book of Books 

King at the same time wrote to his said Ambassador to aid and 
assist the Undertakers of this good Work in all their reasonable 
Suits. Boner did not only present this Letter to Francis, and 
obtained with good Words the Licence desired, but he shewed 
great Friendship to the Merchants and Printers, and so encouraged 
them that the Work went on with good Speed and Success. . . . 

But notwithstanding this Royal Licence, such was the over- 
swaying Authority of the Inquisition in Paris, that the Printers 
were had up unto the said Inquisition. . . . The Printer, [Fran- 
cois Regnault] was sent for by the Inquisitors, and charged with 
certain Articles of Heresy: And the English-men likewise that 
were at the Cost and Charges hereof, and the Corrector Coverdale. 
Therefore finding it not safe to tarry any longer, they fled away 
as fast as they could, leaving behind them all their Bibles, the 
Impression consisting of five and twenty hundred in Number; 
which were seized. And if you would know what was done with 
them, the Lieutenant-Criminal caused them to be burnt in Maubert- 
place, as heretical books. Only a few escaped, the Lieutenant 
selling them for Waste-paper to a Haberdasher, being about four 
dry-Fats full. But however not long after, the English that were 
concerned in this Work, by the Encouragement of Crumwel, went 
back to Paris again, and got the Presses, Letters, and Printing- 
Servants, and brought them over to London. And so became 
Printers themselves, which before they never intended. . . . 

To this Impression of the Bible, that came forth in these 
troublesome Times, and through extraordinary Opposition, the 
King gave Countenance, commanding the buying and setting it up. 
For as it had been printed about three Years before; and Crumwel, 
the King's Vicar-General, in his Injunctions in the King's Name, 
had ordered all incumbents of Livings to provide one, and to set 
it up publickly in their Churches; so this Year the King, by his 
Proclamation in the month of May, did again command, that this 
Bible of the largest Volume should be provided by the Curates 
and Parishioners of every Parish, and set up in their Churches. 
For as yet, notwithstanding the first Injunctions, many Parishes 
in the Realm were destitute of them: Whether it were by reason 
of the unwillingness of the Priests to have the English Bible, or 
the People to be any ways acquainted with it, for fear it should 
make them Hereticks, as their Curate told them. He stinted also 
the time, namely, that it should be every where provided before 
All-Saints Day next coming, and that upon a Penalty of forty 
Shillings a Month, after the said Feast, that they should be without 
it. The said Proclamation also set the Price at ten Shillings a 
Book unbound; and well Bound and Clasped, not above twelve 
Shillings. And charged all Ordinaries to take care for the seeing 
this Command of the King the better executed. 

And upon this. Boner, being newly Bishop of London, set up 
six Bibles in certain convenient Places of S. Paul's Church; 

The Great Bible 



214 T"he Book of Books 

together with an Admonition to the Readers, fastned upon the 
Pillars to which the Bibles were chained, to this Tenor; "That 
whosoever came there to read, should prepare himself to be edified 
and made the better thereby. That he should join thereunto his 
readiness to obey the King's Injunctions made in that behalf. 
That he bring with him Discretion, honest Intent, Charity, Rever- 
ence, and quiet Behaviour. That there should no such Number 
meet together there, as to make a Multitude. That it be not read 
with Noise in time of Divine Service: Or that any Disputation or 
Contention be used at it." 

The title-page of the Great Bible w^as printed in red 
and black and w^as as follows: 

The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the content of all the 
holy scrypture, both of y^ olde and newe testament truly trans- 
lated after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by y® 
dylygent studye of dyuerse excellent learned men expert in the 
forsayde tonges. ^ Printed by Rychard Grafton & Edward Whit- 
church. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum. 1539. 

After the title-page came the "Names of the bokes of 
the Byble, v^ith chapter and leafe"; "The Kalendar & 
Almanach" (for 17 years); "An exhortacyon to the studye 
of the holy Scryptures gathered out of the Byble," at the 
end of which were the words, "God saue the Kynge"; "A 
descripcyon and successe of the kynges of Juda and Jeru- 
salen, declarynge whan & vnder what kynges euery prophet 
lyued. And what notable thynges happened m theyr tymes, 
translated oute of the Hebrue"; "Wyth what iudgment the 
bokes of the Olde Testament are to be red." There are 
title-pages before Joshua, Psalms, Apocrypha, and New 
Testament. The colophon reads: "The ende of the new 
Testamet: and of the whole Byble, Fynisshed in Apryll, 
Anno M.ccccc. XXXIX. A dno factu est istud." 

From the part that Cromwell took in furthering this 
translation of the Bible it is sometimes called Cromwell's 
Bible. The following are samples of its renderings: 

Psalm 2: Why do the Heathen grudge together.'' and why 
do the people ymagine a vayne thynge.'* The kynges of the earth 
stande vp, and the rulers take councell together agaynst the Lorde, 
and agaynst hys anoynted. Let vs break their bondes asunder, 
and cast awaye their coardes fro vs. He that dwelleth in heauen, 
shall laugh them to scorne: the Lorde shall haue them in derysyon. 
Then shall he speake vnto them in hys wrath, and vexe them in 
hys sore dyspleasure. Yet haue I set my kynge vpon my holy 
hyll of Syon. 

The Great Bible 


I wyll preach the law, wherof the Lord hath sayde vnto me. 
Thou art my sonne, this daye haue I begotten the. Desyre of me, 
and I shall geue y^ the Heathen for thine enheritaunce, ad the 
vttermost partes of the earth for thy possessio. Thou shalt bruse 
them with a rodde of yron, and breake them in peces lyke a potters 
vessell. Be wyse now therfore, O ye kynges, be warned, ye that 
are iudges of the earth. Serue the Lorde in feare, and reioyse 
(vnto him) wyth reuerece. Kysse the sonne, lest he be angrye, 
and so ye perysh from the ryght waye yf hys wrath be kyndled 
but a lytle: blessed are all they that put their trust in hym. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): Oure father which art in 
heauen, halowed be thy name. Let thy kingdome come. Thy 

:> ' ■ , - •'; 


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^ i^^^j^y^ 

This is in St. Ann's Church, Hereford 

(CouTlesy of the Bishop of Hereford) 

will be fulfilled, as well in erth, as it is in heuen. Geue vs this 
daye oure dayly bred. And forgeue vs oure dettes, as we forgeue 
oure detters. And leade vs not into temptation: but delyuer vs 
from euyell. For thyne is the kyngdom and the power, and the 
glorye for euer. Amen. 

Seven editions of the Great Bible were issued between 
April, 1539, and December, 1541. The second edition, in 
1540, contained a prologue by Archbishop Cranmer and 
because of that, this and subsequent editions are sometimes 
called Cranmer's Bibles. The title-page reads: 

The Book of Books 


(.From the frontispiece to Slrype's "Memorials of Archbishop Cranmcr") 

Cranmer's Bible 217 

^ The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the contet of al the 
holy scrypture, both of y" olde, and newe testamet, with a prologe 
therinto, made by the reuerende father in God, Thomas arch- 
bysshop of Cantorbury, 

^ This is the Byble apoynted to the vse of the churches 
if Prynted by Edward whytchurche cum priuilegio ad impri- 
mendum solum m.d. xl 

After the title-page were the following: "The Kalender 
and Almanack"; "An exhortacyon to the Studye of the 
holy Scripture gathered out of the Byble"; "A prologue, 
expressynge what is meant by certayn sygnes and tokens 
that we haue set in the Byble" with "God saue the Kynge" 
in large type at the bottom; "A descripcyon and successe 
of the kynges, etc. "; The prologue, " ^ A prologue or preface 
made by the moost reuerende father in God, Thomas 
Archbyshop of Canturbury Metropolytan and Prymate of 
Englande," with "God saue the kynge" at the end and two 
sets of initials, H R, the first small, the second about two 
inches square and very ornamental; "The names of all the 
bookes of the Byble with number of chapters and leafe 
where found"; and at the end a table to find the Epistles and 
Gospels. There are title-pages to Joshua, Psalms, "Hagio- 
grapha," and the New Testament. 

The translation was considerably revised from the 1539 
edition, as will be seen from the following examples : 

PsALM 2: Why do the Heythen so furiouslye rage together.? 
and why do y® people ymagyne a vayne thynge.? 

The kynges of the erth stonde vp, and the rulers take councell 
together agaynst the Lorde, and agaynst hys anoynted. Let vs 
breake theyr bondes asunder, and cast awaye theyr coardes 
from vs. 

He that dwelleth in heauen shall laugh them to scorn: the 
Lorde shall haue them in derisyon. Then shall he speak vnto 
them in hys wrath, and vexe them in hys sore displeasure. Yet 
haue I set my kynge vpon my holy hill of Syon. I wyll preach 
the lawe, wherof the Lorde hath sayd vnto me: thou arte my sonne, 
thys daye haue I begotten the. Desyre of me, and I shall geue 
the, y® Heythen for thyne enheritaunce, & the vtmost partes of 
the erthe for thy possessyo. 

Thou shalt bruse them with a rodd of yron, and break them 
in peces lyke a potters vessell. Be wyse nowe therfore, O ye 
kinges, be warned, ye that are iudges of the earth. Serue the 
Lorde in feare, and reioyse (vnto hym) with reuerence. Kysse 

2i8 The Book of Books 

the Sonne, lest he be angrye, & so ye perysshe fro the (ryght) 
waye, Yf his wrath be kyndled (yee but a lytle) blessed are all 
they that put theyr trust in hym. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): Our father which art in 
heauen, halowed be thy name. Lett thy kyngdome come. Thy 
will be fulfylled, as well in earth, as it is in heauen. Geue vs this 
daye oure daylye breade. And forgeue vs our dettes as we forgeue 
oure detters. And leade vs not into temptacyon: but delyuer vs 
from euyll. For thyne is the kyngdome and the power, and the 
glorye for euer. Amen. 

In the fourth edition, November, 1540, the arms of 
Cromwell were removed from the title-page, as he had 
fallen under the displeasure of the king and been executed 
July 28, 1540. This edition is remarkable for the fact that 
upon its title-page appear the names of two bishops, one of 
them the Cuthbert Tonstal who fifteen years earlier, as 
bishop of London, had so bitterly opposed Tindale's version. 
The title-page to the fourth and sixth editions reads: 

The Byble in Englj^she of the largest and greatest volume, 
auctorysed and apoynted by the commaundement of oure moost 
redoubted Prynce and soueragyne Lorde, Kynge Henrye the viii, 
supreme head of this his churche and realme of Englande: to be 
frequented and vsed in euer)^ churche within this his sayd realme, 
accordynge to the tenour of his former Iniunctions geven in that 
behalfe. Ouersene and perused at the comaundemet of the kynges 
hyghnes, by the ryghte reuerende fathers in God, Cuthbert 
bysshop of Duresme, and Nicolas bisshop of Rochester. Printed 
by Rycharde Grafton. Cum priuilegio ad imprimendum solum, 

The version of the Psalms in the November, 1540, 
edition of the Great Bible is the one that has been retained 
in the Prayer Book of the English Church to the present day. 

After December, 1541, no Bibles were printed during 
the remainder of Henry VIII's reign. After Cromwell's 
death, the papal section of the clergy seems to have pre- 
vailed upon the king to restrict, if not entirely withdraw, 
his favor, and so the further printing of the English Bible 
would be done at considerable risk. It may be that the 
demand had been supplied for the time being. The two 
causes combined would sufficiently account for the lack of 
any editions between 1541 and 1547. 


DURING the brief reign of Edward VI, 1 547-1 553, no 
new translations of the Bible were published, but reprints 
of Tindale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, and Cranmer's were 
made to the number of thirty-five editions of the complete 
Bible and fifteen of the New Testament. The changed cir- 
cumstances encouraged the spread of Protestant principles, 
and the English Prayer Book was prepared under the direc- 
tion of Archbishop Cranmer and published in 1549. 

When Mary came to the throne the persecution of the 
Protestants was so vigorously conducted that many fled to 
the continent, and many who remained at home were put 
to death, John Rogers was the first martyr, and Arch- 
bishop Cranmer and Bishops Hooper, Latimer, and Ridley 
were among the number. No opportunity was given for 
new translations, or for new editions of earlier translations, 
to be issued during her reign. 

The work of Bible revision, however, was being actively 
carried on by some who had found refuge at Geneva, among 
them being Myles Coverdale, who had been deprived of his 
bishopric at Exeter, but had managed to escape martyrdom. 
There was at Geneva a colony of Reformers, with John 
Calvin as leader. In addition to Calvin and Coverdale the 
company included John Knox, the pastor of the English 
Church at Geneva; William Whittingham, who had married 
Calvin's sister, later succeeded Knox as pastor, and after- 
ward returned to England and became dean of Durham; 
Thomas Cole, Anthony Gilbey, Christopher Goodwin, and 
Thomas Sampson. In 1557 the New Testament was pub- 
lished. It was mainly, if not entirely, the work of Whit- 


220 The Book of Books 

tlngham and was printed by Conrad Badius. The text 
has been reprinted in Bagster's Hexapla. 
The title-page reads: 

The Nevve Testament of ovr Lord lesus Christ. Conferred 
diligently with the Greke, and best approued translations. With 
the arguments, as wel before the Chapters, as for euery Boke and 
Epistle, also diuersities of readings, and moste proffitable annota- 
tions of all harde places: Whereunto is added a copious Table. 

In the center is a woodcut of Time, with his familiar 
scythe and sand-glass, drawing a naked female out of a well. 
At the right is "God by Tyme restoreth Trvth." At the 
left is "and maketh her victoriovs." At the bottom: "At 
Geneva. Printed by Conrad Badius M.D. LVII." 

After the title follow: "The Ordre of the bookes of 
the Newe testament with the nomber of Chapters," i page; 
"The Epistle declaring that Christ is the end of the Lawe, 
By lohn Caluin," i6 pages; "The Translator to the Reader, 
4 pages; "To the reader mercie and peace through Christ 
ovr Sauiour," 4>^ pages; "The Argvment of the Gospel, 
writ by the foure Euangelists"; the text, with the chapters 
divided into verses for the first time, and printed in roman 
type, instead of black letter; "the table of the Newe Testa- 
ment" and "A perfect svppvtation of the yeres and time 
from Adam vnto Christ" — it is strange how exact they 
thought their chronology was, for it ends: "The whole 
summe and number of yeres from the begynnyng of the 
worlde vnto this presente yere of our Lord God 1557, are 
iust 5531, 6 monethes and the said odde ten dayes." The 
colophon is: "Printed by Conrad Badius M.D. LVII this 
X of Ivne." 

The address to the reader follows : 

To the Reader mercie and peace through Christ our Sauiour. 

As the life of a true Christia is moste subiect to the repre- 
hesion of the worlde: so all his actids, and entreprises, be they 
neuer so commendable, moue the wicked rather to grudge and 
murmure, the to glorifie God who is autor of the same. Which 
euil God hath left to his Churche, as a necessarie exercise, aswel 
that ma sholde not be puffed vp with opinion of the giftes that he 
receaueth of his heauely Father: as also that seing how he euer 
mainteyneth the same in despite of all outrageous tyrannic, he 
might be more assured of Gods diuine prouidence, and louing 

The Geneva Bible 221 

kyndenes towards his elect. For this cause we se that in the 
Churche of Christ ther are thre kynde of men: some are maHcious 
despicers of the worde, and graces of God, who turne all things 
into poison, and a farther hardening of their heartes: others do not 
openly resiste and contene the Gospel, because they are stroken 
as it were in a trance with the maiestie thereof, yet ether they 
quarell and cauell, or els deride and mocke at whatsoeuer thing 
is done for the aduancemet of the same. The thirde sort are the 
simple lambes, which partely are already in the folde of Christ, 
and so heare willingly their Shepeherds voyce, and partly wander- 
ing astray by ignorance, tary the tyme tyll the Shepherde fynde 
them and bring the vnto his flocke. To this kynde of people, 
in this translation I chiefly had respect, as moved with zeale, 
conselled by the godly, and drawen dy [should be " by "] occasion, 
both of the place where God hath appointed vs to dwel, and also 
of the store of heauenly learning & iudgemet, which so abundeth 
in this Citie of Geneua, that iustely it may be called the patron 
and mirrour of true religion and godlynes. To these therfore 
which are of the flocke of Christ which knowe their Fathers wil, 
and are afi^ectioned to the trueth, I rendre a reason of my doing 
in fewe lines. First as touching the perusing of the text, it was 
diligently reuised by the moste approued Greke examples, and con- 
ference of translations in other tonges as the learned may easely 
iudge, both by the faithful rendering of the sentence, and also by 
the proprietie of the wordes, and perspicuitie of the phrase. For- 
thermore that the Reader might be by all meanes proflfited, I haue 
deuided the text into verses and sectios, according to the best 
editions in other langages, and also, as to this day the ancient 
Greke copies mencion, it was wont to be vsed. And because the 
Hebrewe and Greke phases, which are strange to rendre in other 
tongues, and also short, shulde not be so harde, I haue sometyme 
interpreted them without any whit diminishing the grace of the 
sense, as our lagage doth vse them, and sometyme haue put to 
that worde, which lacking made the sentence obscure, but haue 
set it in such letters as may easely be discerned from the comun 
text. As concerning the Annotations, wherunto these letters, 
a, b, c, &c. leade vs, I haue endeuored so to proflfit all therby, 
that both the learned and others might be holpen: for to my 
knollage I haue omitted nothing vnexpounded, wherby he that is 
anything exercised in the Scriptures of God, might iustely co- 
playn of hardnes: and also in respect of the that haue more 
proffited in the same I haue explicat all suche places by the best 
learned interpreters; as ether were falsely expounded by some or 
els absurdely applyed by others: so that by this meanes both they 
which haue not abilitie to by the Commentaries upon the Newe 
testament, and they also which haue not opportunitie & leasure 
to reade them because of their prolixitie may vse this booke in 
stede therof, and some tyme wher the place is not greatly harde, 

222 The Book of Books 

I haue noted with this marke ", that which may serue to the edifi- 
cation of the Reader: adding also suche commone places, as may 
cause him better to take hede to the doctrine. Moreouer, the 
diuerse readings according to diuerse Greke copies, which stade 
but in one worde, may be knowe by this note ", and if the bookes 
do alter in the sentence then is it noted with this starre *, as the 
cotations are. Last of all remayne the arguments, aswel they 
which conteyne the sume of euery chapter, as the other which 
are placed before the bookes and epistles: wherof the commoditie 
is so great, that they may serue in stede of a Commentarie to the 
Reader: for many reade the Scriptures with myndes to proffit, but 
because they do not consider the scope and purpose wherfore the 
holy Gost so writeth & to what ende (which thing the Arguments 
do faithfully expresse) they either bestowe their tyme without 
fruit, or els defraude them selues of a great deale which they might 
atteyne vnto otherwise. To the intent therfore that, not onely 
they which are already aduanced in the knollage of the Scriptures, 
but also the simple and vnlearned might be forthered hereby, I 
haue so moderat the with playnenes and breuitie, that the verie 
ignorant may easely vnderstande them and beare them in memorie. 
And for this cause I haue applied but one argument to the foure 
Euangelists, chiefely for because that all writing one matter, 
thogh by euery one diuersly handeled, they required no diuersitie 
of arguments. Thus in fewe wordes I haue declared as touching 
the chiefe pointes, beseching God so to inflame our hearts with the 
desire to knowe his diuine wil, that we may meditate in his holy 
worde both day and night, wherin he hath reueiled it, and hauing 
atteyned thervnto may so practise it in all our actions, that as 
we growe in the ripenes of our Christian age, so we may glorifie 
him more and more rendring to him eternal thankes and praises 
for his heauenly and inestimable giftes bestowed vpon his Churche, 
that all thogh Satan, Antichrist, and all his ennemies rage and 
burste, yet are they not able to suppresse them, nether wil he 
diminishe them: for seing he doth not onely brydel his ennemies 
furie, but causeth them to defende and preserue his gifts for the 
vse of his Churche (as we se the Jewes, Christs professed ennemies 
preserue the olde testament in moste integritie) what shulde we 
doute of his bontiful liberalitie towards vs.^ or why do we not 
rather with all humilitie and submission of mynde obey him, loue 
and feare him which is God blessed for euer.? To whome with the 
Sonne and holy Gost be praise, honour & glorie. Amen 

The following is the Lord's Prayer from the Geneva 

9 Our father which are in heaue, halowed be thy name. 

ID Let thy kingdome come. Thy wil be done euen in earth, 
as it is in heauen. 

II Geue vs thys day our dayly bread. 

The Geneva Bible 223 

12 And forgeue vs our debtes, euen as we forgeue our debters. 

13 And lead vs not into tentation, but deliuer vs from euil. 
For thyne is the kingdome, and the power, and the glorie for 
euer, Amen. 

In 1560 the complete Geneva Bible was issued, in which 
the New Testament portion was considerably altered from 
Whittingham's version of 1557. 

The title-page of the Bible reads: 

THE BIBLE and HOLY SCRIPTVRES conteyned in the 
Olde and New Testament. Translated according to the Ebrue 
and Greke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers 
langages. With moste profitable annotations vpon all the hard 
places, and other things of great importance as may appeare in 
the Epistle to the Reader. At Geneva. Printed by Rovland 
Hall M.D. LX. 

In the center of the page is a cut of the Israelites crossing 
the Red Sea and around it are the following inscriptions: 
At the top: "Feare ye not, stand stil and beholde the salva- 
tion of the Lord which he will showe to you this day. Exod. 
14.13." Beneath: "The Lord shal fight for you, therefore 
holde you your peace. Exod. 14, verse 14." At the left, 
running up: "Great are the troubles of the righteous," and 
at the right, running down, "but the Lord deliuereth them 
out of all. Psal. 34.19." 

After the title: "The names and order of all the bookes 
of the olde Testamet with the nombre of their chapters, and 
the leafe where thei begyn"; Dedication to Queen EHza- 
beth, 4 pages; "To our beloved in the Lord," &c. after the 
title-page to the New Testament, the "Description of the 
holy lande" with a map; at the end, a Table of the Inter- 
pretation of Proper Names; Table of the principal things 
contained in the Bible, alphabetically arranged; a Chrono- 
logical Table from Adam to Christ. There are numerous 
woodcuts to illustrate the tabernacle and its furniture, and 
two 2-page maps to illustrate the wilderness wanderings and 
the gospel narratives. 

The following is the dedication: 

To the most vertvovs and noble qvene Elisabet, Quene of 
England, France ad Ireland, &c. Your humble subiects of 
the English Churche at Geneua, with grace and peace from 
God the Father through Christ Jesus our Lord. 

The Book of Books 




I S SV S C 1{\I S T, 

Conferred diligently with the Greke,andb«ftappro- 
ucd tranllacions in diucrs languages. 

I X O D. imij VeR. IiH. 

Wic ihcfiUicm eftlx tjiri,Vf)mh fo Ttiijhme i»>w» ilmiir^ 



"1 : ^^ 

J 1 

vryrriAHr j*> 

T u £ Lo\D s H ^ L p I g n r f o\ T oxn 

A T C E N E V A. 

M. d; lx. 


BIBLE, 1560 

{From tile cow in the New York Public Library) 

The Geneva Bible 225 

How hard a thing it is, and what great impedimentes let, to 
enterprise any worthie act, not only dailie experience sufficiently 
sheweth (moste noble and vertuous Quene) but also that notable 
prouerbe doeth cofirme the same, which admonisheth vs, that all 
thigs are hard which are faire and excellet. And what enterprise 
can there be of greater importance, and more acceptable vnto 
God, or more worthie of singuler commendation, then the building 
of the Lords Temple, the house of God, the Church of Christ, 
whereof the Sonne of God is the head and perfection? 

When Jerubbabel went about to builde the material Temple 
according to the commandement of the Lord, what difficulties 
and stayes daily arose to hinder his worthy indeuours, y® bookes 
of Ezra and Esdras playnely witnesse: how that not only he and 
the people of God were fore molested with foreyn aduersaries, 
(whereof some maliciously warred against them, and corrupted 
the Kings officers: and others craftely practised vnder pretence 
of religion) but also at home with domestical enemies, as false 
Prophetes, craftie worldlings, faint hearted soldiers, and oppressors 
of their brethren, who aswel by false doctrine and lyes, as by 
subtil counsel, cowardies, and extortion, discouraged the heartes 
almoste of all: so that the Lordes worke was not only interrupted 
and left of for a long tyme, but scarcely at the length with great 
labour and danger after a sort broght to passe. 

Which thing when we weigh aright, and consider earnestly 
howe muche greater charge God hath laid vpon you in making 
you a builder of his spiritual Temple, we can not but partely 
feare, knowing the crafte and force of Satan our spiritual enemie, 
and the weakenes and vnabilitie of this our nature: and partely 
be feruent in our prayers toward God that he wolde bring to per- 
fection this noble worke which he hath begun by you: and there- 
fore we indeuour our selues by all meanes to ayde, & to bestowe 
our whole force vnder your graces stadard, whome God hath 
made as our Zerubbabel for the erecting of this moste excellent 
Temple, and to plant and maynteyn his holy worde to the aduance- 
ment of his glorie, for your owne honour and saluatio of your 
soule, and for the singuler comfort of that great flocke which 
Christ lesus the great shepherd hath boght with his precious blood, 
and committed vnto your charge to be fed both in body and soule. 

Considering therefore how many enemies there are, which by 
one meanes or other as the aduersaries of Judah and Benjamin 
went about to stay the building of that Temple, so labour to hinder 
the course of this building (whereof some are Papistes, who vnder 
pretence of fauoring Gods worde, traiterously seke to erect idola- 
trie and to destroy your maiestie: some are worldlings, who as 
Demas haue forsake Christ for the loue of this worlde: others 
are ambicious prelats, who as Amasiah & Diotrephes can abide 
none but them selues: and as Demetrius many practise sedition 
to maynteyne their errors) we persuade our selues that there was 

226 The Book of Books 

no way so expedient and necessarie for the preseruation of the 
one, and the destruction of the other as to present vnto your 
Maiestie the holy Scriptures faithfully and playnely translated 
according to the langages wherein thei were first written by the 
holy Gost. For the worde of God is an euident token of God's 
loue and our assurance of his defence, wheresoeuer it is obediently 
receyued: it is the trial of the spirits: and as the Prophet saieth. 
It is as a fyre and hammer to breake the stonie heartes of them 
that resist God's mercies ofFred by the preaching of the same. 
Yea it is sharper then any two edged sworde to examine the very 
thoghtes and to iudge the aflPections of the heart, and to discouer 
whatsoeuer lyeth hid vnder hypocrisie and wolde be secret from 
the face of God and his Churche. So that this must be the first 
fundacion and groundworke, according whereunto the good stones 
of this building must be framed, and the euil tried out and reiected. 

Now as he that goeth about to lay a fundacion surely, first 
taketh away suche impedimentes, as might iustely ether hurt, let 
or difForme the worke: so is it necessarie that your graces zeale 
appeare herein, that nether the craftie persuasion of man, nether 
worldly policie, or natural feare dissuade you to roote out, cut 
downe and destroy these wedes and impedimentes which do not 
only deface your building, but vtterly indeuour, yea & threaten 
the ruine thereof. For when the noble losias enterprised the like 
kinde of worke, among other notable and many things he destroyed, 
not only with vtter confusion the idoles with their appertinances, 
but also burnt (in syne of detestatio) the idolatrous priests bones 
vpon their altars, and put to death the false prophetes and sor- 
cerers, to performe the wordes of the Lawe of God: and therefore 
the Lord gaue him good successe & blessed him wonderfully, as 
long as he made Gods worde his line and rule to followe, and 
enterprised nothing before he had inquired at the mouth of the 

And if these zealous begynnings seme dangerous and to brede 
disquietnes in your dominions, yet by the storie of King Asa it is 
manifest, that the quietnes and peace of kingdomes standeth in 
the vtter abolishing of idolatrie, and in aduancing of true religion: 
for in his dayes ludah lyued in rest and quietnes for the space of 
fyue and thirtie yere, til at length he began to be colde in the 
zeale of the Lord, feared the power of man, imprisoned the Prophet 
of God, and oppressed the people: then the Lord sent him warres, 
& at length toke him away by death. 

Wherefore great wisdome, not worldelie, but heauenly is here 
required, which your grace must earnestly craue of the Lord, as 
did Solomon, to whome God gaue an vnderstanding heart to iudge 
his people aright, and to discerne betwene good and bad. For if 
God for the furnishing of the olde temple gaue the Spirit of wis- 
dome & vnderstanding to them that shulde be the workemen 
thereof, as to Bezaleel, Aholiab, and Hiram: how much more will 

The Geneva Bible 227 

he indewe your grace and other godly princes and chefe gouernours 
with a principal Spirit, and you may procure and commande things 
necessarie for this moste holy Temple, forese and take hede of 
things that might hinder it, and abolish and destroy whatsoeuer 
might impere and ouerthrowe the same? 

Moreouer the maruelous diligence and zeale of lehoshaphat, 
losiah, and Hezekiah are by the singuler prouidence of God left 
as an example to all godly rulers to reforme their countreys and 
to establish the worde of God with all spede, lest the wrath of 
God fall vpon them for the neglecting thereof. For these excellent 
Kings did not onely imbrace the worde promptely and ioyfully, 
but also procured earnestly and commanded the same to be taught, 
preached and maynteyned through all their countryes and domin- 
ions, bynding them and all their subiectes bothe great and smalle 
with solemne protestations and couenantes before God to obey 
the worde, and to walke after the waies of the Lord. Yea and in 
the daies of Kyng Asa it was enacted what whosoeuer wolde not 
seke the Lord God of Israel, shulde be slayne, whether he were 
smale or great, man or woman. And for the establishing hereof 
and performance of this solemne othe, aswel Priests as Judges 
were appointed and placed through all the cities of ludah to 
instruct the people in the true knollage and feare of God, and to 
minister iustice according to the worde, knowing that, except God 
by his worde dyd reigne in the heartes and soules, all mans dili- 
gence and indeauors were of none effect: for without this worde 
we can not discerne betwene iustice, and iniurie, protection and 
oppression, wisdome and foolishnes, knollage and ignorance, good 
and euil. Therefore the Lord, who is the chefe gouernour of his 
Church, willeth that nothing be attempted before we haue inquired 
thereof at his mouth. For seing he is our God, of duty we must 
giue him the preeminence, that of our selues we enterprise nothing, 
but that which he hath appointed, who only knoweth all things, 
and gouerneth them as may best serue to his glorie and our sal- 
uation. We oght not therefore to preuent him: or do any thing 
without his worde, but assone as he hath reueiled his wil, immedi- 
ately to put it in execution. 

Now as concerning the maner of this building, it is not accord- 
ing to man, nor after the wisdome of the flesh, but of the Spirit, 
& according to the worde of God, whose wais are diuers from mans 
wais. For if it was not lawful for Moses to builde the material 
Tabernacle after any other sorte then God had shewed him by a 
patern, nether to prescribe any other ceremonies & lawes then 
suche as the Lord had expresly commaded: how can it be lawful 
to procede in this spiritual building any other waies, then lesus 
Christ the Sonne of God, who is bothe the fundacion, head and 
chief corner stone thereof, hath commanded by his worde.? And 
for asmuche as he hath established and left an order in his Churche 
for the building vp of his body, appointing some to be Apostles 

228 The Book of Books 

some Prophetes, others Euangelistes, some pastors, and teachers, 
he signifieth that euery one according as he is placed in this body, 
which is the Church, oght to inquire of his ministres concerning 
the wil of the Lord, which is reueiled in his worde. For thei are, 
saieth leremiah, as the mouth of the Lord: yea he promiseth to 
be with their mouth, & that their Hppes shal kepe knollage, & that 
the trueth & the law shalbe in their mouth. For it is their office 
chefely to vnderstand the Scriptures & teache them. For this 
cause the people of Israel in matters of difficultie vsed to aske the 
Lord ether by the Prophets, or by the means of the hie Priest, 
who bare Vrim & Thummim, which were tokens of light & knol- 
lage, of holines & perfectid which shulde be in the hie Priest. 
Therefore when lehoshaphat toke this order in the Church of 
Israel, he appointed Amariah to be the chief concerning the worde 
of God, because he was moste expert in the law of the Lord, and 
colde gyue cousel and gouerne according vnto the same. Else 
there is no degre or office which may haue that autoritie and 
priuiledge to decise concerning Gods worde, except withall he 
hath the Spirit of God, and sufficient knollage and iudgement to 
define according thereunto. And as euery one is indued of God 
with greater giftes, so oght he to be herein chefely heard, or at 
least that without the expresse worde none be heard: for he that 
hathe not the worde, speaketh not by the mouthe of the Lorde. 
Agayne, what danger it is to do any thing, seme it neuer so godly 
or necessarie, without consulting with God's mouth, the examples 
of the Israelites, deceiued hereby through the Gibeonites and of 
Saul, whose intention seemed good and necessarie: and of losiah 
also, who for great considerations was moued for the defence of 
true religion & his people, to fight against Pharaoh Necho King 
of Egypt, may sufficiently admonish vs. 

Last of all (moste gracious Quene) for the aduancement of 
this building and rearing vp of the worke, two things are necessarie. 
First, that we haue a lyuely & stedfast faith in Christ lesus, who 
must dwel in our heartes, as the only meanes and assurance of 
our saluation: for he is the ladder that reacheth from the earth 
to heauen: he lifteth vp his Churche and setteth it in the heauenly 
places: he maketh vs lyuely stones and buildeth vs vpon him 
selfe: he ioyneth vs to him self as the mebres and body to the head, 
yea he maketh him self and his Churche one Christ. The rest is, 
that our faith being forthe good fruites, so that our godly conuer- 
sation may serue vs as a witnes to confirme our election, and be 
an example to all others to walk as apperteyneth to the vocation 
whereunto thei are called: lest the worde of God be euil spoken of, 
and this building be stayed to growe vp to a iust height, which 
ca not be without the great prouocatio of Gods iuste vengeance 
and discouraging of many thousandes through all the worlde, if 
thei shulde se that our life were not holy and agreable to our 
profession. For the eyes of all that feare God in all places beholde 

The Geneva Bible 229 

your countreyes as an example to all that beleue, and the prayers 
of all the godly at all tymes are directed to God for the preseruatid 
of your maiestie. For considering Gods wonderful mercies toward 
you at all seasons, who hath pulled you out of the mouths of the 
lyons, and how that from your youth you haue bene broght vp 
in the holy Scriptures, the hope of all men is so increased, that thei 
ca not but looke that God shulde bring to passe some wdderful 
worke by your grace to the vniuersal comfort of his Churche. 
Therefore euen aboue stregth you must shewe your selfe strong 
and bolde in Gods matters: and though Satan lay all his power 
and craft together to hurt and hinder the Lordes building: yet 
be you assured that God wil fight from heauen against this great 
dragon, the ancient serpent, which is called the deuil and Satan, 
til he haue accomplished the whole worke and made his Churche 
glorious to him selfe, without spot or wrincle. For albeit all 
other kingdomes and monarchies, as the Babylonians, Persians, 
Grecians & Romans haue fallen & taken end: yet the Churche of 
Christ euen vnder the Crosse hath from the begynning of the 
worlde bene victorious, and shalbe euerlastingly. Trueth it is, 
that sometyme it semeth to be shadowed with a cloude, or driuen 
with a storme of persecution, yet suddenly the beames of Christ 
the sunne of iustice shine and bring it to light and libertie. If 
for a tyme it lie couered with ashes, yet it is quickly kindeled 
agayne by the wynde of Gods Spirit: thogh it seme drowned in 
the sea, or parched and pyned in the wildernes, yet God giueth 
euer good successe. for he punisheth the enemies, and deliuereth 
his, nourisheth them and stil preserueth the vnder his wyngs. 
The Lord of lordes & King of kings who hath euer defended his, 
strengthe, cofort and preserue your maiestie, that you may be 
able to builde vp the ruines of Gods house to his glorie, the dis- 
charge of your conscience, and to the comfort of all them that 
loue the comming of Christ lesus our Lord. From Geneua. 10. 
April. 1560. 

After the dedication came the translator's address to 
the reader: 

To the Christen Reader. 

Besides the manifolde and continual benefites which Almightie 
God bestoweth vpon vs, bothe corporal and spirituall, we are 
especially bounde (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 meruelous light of his Gospel, 
and mercifully to regard vs after so horrible backsliding and falling 
away from Christ to Antichrist, from light to darcknes, from the 
liuing God to dumme and dead idoles. & that after so cruel 
murther of Gods Saintes as alas, hath bene among vs, we are not 
altogether cast of, as were the Israelites, and many others for the 

230 The Book of Books 

like, or not so manifest wickednes, but receyued againe to grace 
with most euident signes and tokens of Gods especial loue and 
fauour. To the intent therefore that we may not be vnmyndful 
of these great mercies, but seke by all meanes (according to our 
duetie) to be thanckful for the same, it behoueth vs so to walke 
in his feare and loue, that all the daies of our life wee may procure 
the glorie of his holy name. Now forasmuche as this thing chiefly 
is atteyned by the knollage and practising of the worde of God, 
(which is the light to our paths, the keye of the kingdome of 
heauen, our comfort in affliction, our shielde and sworde against 
Satan, the schoole of all wisdome, the glasse wherein we beholde 
Gods face, the testimonie of his fauour, and the only foode and 
nourishment of our soules) we thoght that we colde bestowe our 
labours and studie in nothing which colde be more acceptable to 
God and comfortable to his Churche then in the translating of the 
holy Scriptures into our natiue tongue: the which thing albeit 
that diuers heretofore haue indeuored to atchieue: yet considering 
the infancie of these tymes and imperfect knollage of the tongues, 
in respect of this ripe age and clear light which God hath now 
reueiled, the translations required greatly to be perused and 
reformed. Not that we vendicat any thing to our selues aboue 
the least of our brethren (for God knoweth with what feare and 
trembling we haue bene now for the space of two yeres and more 
day and night occupied herein) but being earnestly desired, and 
by diuers, whose learning and godlynes we reuerence, exhorted, 
and incouraged by the ready willes of such, whose hearts God 
likewise touched, not to spare any charges for the fortherance of 
such a benefite and fauour of God toward his Churche (though 
the tyme then was most dangerous, and the persecution sharpe 
and furious) we submitted ourselues at length to their godly 
iudgmentes, and seing the great oportunitie and occasions, which 
God presented vnto vs in this Churche, by reason of so many godly 
and learned men, and such diuersities of translations in diuers 
tongues: we vndertooke this great and wonderful worke (with all 
reuerence, as in the presence of God, as intreating the worde of 
God, whereunto wee thinke our selues vnsufliicient) which now 
God according to his diuine prouidence and mercie hath directed 
to a moste prosperous end. And this we may with good conscience 
protest, that we haue in euery point and worde, according to the 
measure of that knollage which it pleased almightie God to giue vs, 
faithfully rendred the text, and in all hard places moste syncerely 
expounded the same. For God is our witnes that we haue by all 
meanes indeuored to set forthe the puritie of the worde and right 
sense of the holy Gost for the edifying of the brethren in faith 
and charitie. 

Now as we haue chiefly obserued the sense, and laboured 
alwaies to restore it to all integritie: so haue we most reuerently 
kept the proprietie of the wordes, considering that the Apostles 

The Geneva Bible 231 

who spake and wrote to the Gentiles in the Greke tongue, 
rather constrayned them to the Huely phrase of the Ehrewe, then 
enterprised farre by moUifying their langage to speake as the 
Gentiles did. And for this and other causes we haue in many 
places reserued the Ehrewe phrases, notwithstanding that thei 
may seme somewhat hard in their eares that are not well practised, 
and also delite in the swete sounding phrases of the holy Scriptures. 
Yet lest ether the simple shulde be discouraged, or the malicious 
haue any occasion of iust cauillation, 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 speache or reading which may also seme 
agreeable to the mynde of the holy Gost, and propre for our 
langage with the marke ". Againe, whereas the Ehrewe speache 
semed hardly to agree with ours, we haue noted it in the margent 
after this sort ", 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 original, whereof thei 
haue their signification, yet in the vsual names little is changed 
for feare of troubling the simple readers. Moreouer whereas the 
necessitie of the sentence required any thing to be added (for 
such is the grace and propertie of the Ebrewe and Greke tongues, 
that it cannot but either by circumlocution, or by adding the 
verbe or some worde be vnderstand of them that are not wel 
practised therein) we haue put it in the text with another kynde 
of lettre, that it may easely be discerned from the common lettre. 
As touching the diuision of the verses, we haue followed the Ebrewe 
examples, which haue so euen from the beginning distinct them. 
Which thing as it is most profitable for memorie, so doeth it agree 
with the best translations, & is moste easie to finde out both by 
the best Concordances, and also by the cotations which we haue 
diligently herein perused and set forthe by this starre *. Besides 
this the principal matters are noted and distincted by this marke ^, 
Yea and the argumentes bothe for the booke and for the chapters 
with the nombre 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 euery page some notable worde or sentence 
which may greatly further aswell for memorie, as for the chief 
point of the page. And considering how hard a thing it is to 
vnderstand the holy Scriptures, and what errors, sectes and here- 
sies growe dailie for lacke of true knollage thereof, and how many 
are discouraged (as thei pretend) because thei cannot atteine to 
the true and simple meaning of the same, we haue indeuored bothe 
by the diligent reading of the best commentaries, and also by the 
conference with the godly and learned brethren, to gather briefe 
annotations vpon all the hard places, aswel for the vnderstanding 
of suche wordes as are obscure, and for the declaratid of the text, 
as for the application of the same as may moste apperteine to 

232 The Book of Books 

Gods glorie and the edification of his Churche. Forthermore 
whereas certeyne places in the bookes of Moses, and the Kings 
and Ezekiel semed so darke that by no description thei colde be 
made easie to the simple reader, we haue so set them forthe with 
figures and notes for the ful declaration thereof, that thei which 
cannot by iudgment, being holpen by the annotations noted by 
the lettres a b c. &c. atteyn thereunto, yet by the perspectiue, 
and as it were by the eye may sufficiently knowe the true meaning 
of all such places, whereunto also we haue added certeyn mappes 
of Cosmographie, which necessarely serue for the perfect vnder- 
standing and memorie of diuers places and countreys, partely 
described and partely by occasion touched, both in the olde and 
new Testament. Finally, that nothing might lacke which might 
bee boght by labors, for the increase of knolage and fortherance 
of Gods glorie, we haue adioyned two moste profitable tables, 
the one seruing for the interpretation of the Ebrewe names; and 
the other conteyning all the chefe and principal matters of the 
whole Bible: so that nothing (as we trust) that any will iustly 
desire is omitted. Therefore, as brethren that are partakers of 
the same hope and saluation with vs, we beseche you, that this 
riche pearle and inestimable treasure may not be ofered in vayne, 
but as sent from God to the people of God, for the increase of his 
kingdome, the comfort of his Churche, and discharge of our con- 
science, whome it hath pleased him to raise vp for this purpose, 
so you wolde willingly receyue the worde of God, earnestly studie 
it, and in all your life practise it, that ye may now appeare in dede 
to be the people of God, not walking any more according to this 
world, but in the frutes of the Spirit, that God in vs may be fully 
glorified, through Christ lesus our Lord, who lyueth and reigneth 
for euer. Amen. From Geneua, 10. April. 1560. 

The Geneva Bible was heartily welcomed by the English 
people, and its popularity may be judged from the fact that 
a hundred and fifty editions of it were printed between the 
years 1560 and 1644 — it continued to be printed for more 
than thirty years after the King James Version was published 
in 1611. 

The following specimens are from the Geneva Bible: 

Psalm 2: 

1 Why do the heathen rage, & the people murmur in vaine.'' 

2 The Kings of the earth band them selues, and the princes 
are assembled together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 

3 Let vs breake their bands, and cast their cords from vs. 

4 But he that dwelleth in the heauen shal laugh: the Lord 
shal haue the in derisio. 

5 Then shal he speake vnto them in his wrath, & vexe them 
in his sore displeasure, saying. 

The Geneva Bible 233 

6 Euen I haue set my King vpon Zion mine holie mountaine. 

7 I wil declare the decree: that is, the Lord hathe said vnto 
me, Thou art my Sonne: this day haue T begotten thee. 

8 Aske of me, & I shal giue thee the heathe for thine inherit- 
ance, and the endes of the earth for thy possession. 

9 Thou shalt krush them with a sceptre of yron, & breake 
them in pieces hke a potters vessel. 

10 Be wise now therefore, ye Kings: be learned ye ludges 
of the earth. 

11 Serue the Lord in feare, and reioyce in trembling. 

12 Kisse the Sonne, lest he be angrie, and ye perish in the 
waie, when his wrath shal suddenly burne. blessed are all that 
trust in him. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): 

9 Our father which art in heauen, halowed be thy Name. 

10 Thy kingdome come. Thy wil be done euen in earth, as 
it is in heauen. 

11 Giue vs this day our daily bread. 

12 And forgiue vs our dettes as we also forgiue our detters. 

13 And lead vs not into tentation, but deliuer vs fro euil: 
for thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glorie for eue 

conreynyng tiie olde 

' ' 1 Tcjltvncn:.vtdlhc>!t's>c, 



THE BISHOPS' BIBLE was issued in 1568, and, as 
its name indicates, was the official version of the 
bishops. It will be remembered that Cranmer, in referring 
to the version proposed to be issued by the bishops, said he 
did not think it would be till Doomsday. But the Geneva 
Bible issued by the Reformers contained some notes which 
the bishops did not like, and the cordial reception of that 
version by the people spurred them to action. Matthew 
Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, supervised the work and 
had the assistance of a number of others, mostly bishops, 
whose initials are affixed to the portions they revised. The 
version is sometimes called Parker's Bible. The identity 
of some of the assisting bishops is clear, but there is doubt 
concerning others. The initials are not those of the sur- 
names of the workers, as Enghsh bishops sign with the initials 
of their first names, but the Latin names of their dioceses 
instead of their surnames. Thus the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, Edward Benson, signed Edward Cantuar; the late 
Archbishop of York, Joseph Ebor.; and the late Bishop of 
Winchester, S. Winton. The names of the revisers have 
been preserved in a letter written by Parker and now in the 
Record Office, London. The letters in the order they appear 
at the ends of sections, with the identification according to 
Parker's list, are as follows: 

W. E. (W. Exon.), William Alley, Bishop of Exeter. 
R. M. (R. Meneven.), Richard Davies, Bishop of St. David's. 
E. W. (E. Wigornen.), Edwin Sandys, Bishop of Worcester. 
A. P. C. Andrew Pierson, Prebendary of Canterbury. 
T. B. (to the Psalms), PThomas Becon (or Bentham, or 




The Book of Books 

Andrew Perne, Canon of Ely. 

(R. Winton), Robert Home, Bishop of Winchester. 
Thomas Bentham, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry. 
(E. Londin.), Edmund Grindal, Bishop of London, 

afterward Archbishop of Canterbury. 
(J. Norvic), John Parkhurst, Bishop of Norwich. 
(R. Elien.), Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely. 
Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster (formerly of 


Besides the above, Parker mentions some v^^hose initials 
are not in the Bible: William Barlow, Bishop of Chichester; 
Edmund Scambler, Bishop of Peterborough; and Nicholas 
Bullingham, Bishop of Lincoln. 


















(From Sloughton's •'Bible Translations and Translators." Courtesy of the Religious Tract Society) 

The original issue of the Bishops' Bible was printed by 
Richard Jugge, in black letter, and was a magnificent foho 
volume. A fine copy is in the New York Library. A copy 
was presented to Queen Elizabeth, whose portrait is on the 
title-page, but there is no dedication. The Great Bible 
was used as a basis for the revision. In 1571 the Convoca- 
tion of Canterbury ordered every archbishop and bishop 
to have a copy at home in his dining-room or large hall, 
one at each cathedral, and as far as possible one in every 

The Bishops' Bible 237 

The title-page has in asmall panel at thetop"The.holie. 
Bible." and, beneath the panel, "conteyning the olde Testa- 
ment and the newe." In the center of the page is a large 
oval portrait of Queen Elizabeth, with the royal arms above, 
and the words around the oval, " EHsabeth dei gratia Angliae, 
Franciae et Hiberniae regina fidei defensor etc." In a panel 
at the bottom is the Latin of Romans i : 16: "Non me 
pudet Euangelii Christi Virtus enim Dei est ad salutem 
Omni credenti Rom. i." 

After the title-page followed : "The summe of the whole 
Scriptures, of the bookes of the olde and new Testament," 

2 pages; a genealogical table and chart from Adam to Christ, 
with a circle containing "Adam Eve & the tree of Knowl- 
edge." In the upper left corner is a large square with 
armorial designs of Parker and of Christ Church, Canter- 
bury, combined with the motto, "Mundus transit et con- 
cupiscentia ejus," the initials M P, and the date 1568. 
Then follow two pages with subdivisions of the books of 
the Bible; "A Preface into the Byble folowyng," 6 pages; 
"Prologue by Thos. Cranmer, late archbishop of Canter- 
burie," 5 pages; a chronological table; Lessons to be read, 

3 pages; Easter table and hst of holy days; Order of Psalms 
for Morning and Evening Prayer; a Calendar, 12 pages; 
the order of the books. The text is a beautiful black letter, 
and there are numerous large cuts with ornamental borders. 
Before Joshua is a title-page with a portrait of the earl of 
Leicester. The Psalms begin with a large initial containing 
a portrait of Lord Burghley and the initial B. A title-page 
precedes the Apocrypha, and a map of the Holy Land is 
before the New Testament. The title-page to the New 
Testament has an oval in the center, with the words, "^The 
newe Testament of our sauiour lesus Christe," and in a 
panel at the bottom is the English of Romans i : 16. A 
"Preface into the new Testament" occupies i page; and 
at the end of the book is "A table to fynde the Epistles 
and Gospels read in the Churche of Englande." 

The 1572 edition contained the Psalms according to 
the Great Bible with the new translation alongside. 

The following are specimen translations from the 
Bishops' Version: 


The Book of Books 

I by faint Marrhitwe. 

•v... f^ 1 lie Golpcl bySaintMatchaiwc. 

TliHliACliaptcr.'ahsm. isc-ltniutiajc cflifsmothcr^jnf. 
:..®J£an2c!fetiftictijlcfqii:rjiinvilD. .icliciiKtriiiCtntionoECOiiacaitamco. ^ 

10 *e5cliia3bc5at',Hiii.ifT(T..'>Jl.iiia(rcBbc :.i'-" .Tinoii *.lmon braat ,1o(i,ip. •■ ''■" 

11 •• Jotiagbcg.uJcThoui.ioilirGlwIwn,'' ''' 
.iliom t1)c ti'iiic tlKi' Uvic f.iii'cD aUwi' to^'i!" 
i3.!bi'loii. ' I 

u .'!ii0.iftcttI)o\'U)acb;oiig!)t roijabi'lmi, I- A 

*;{cri)0ii!.i5.lscgat£ ^iMtijid , Si>iLui)(ci; T .'. :ro:ob,UKi, •. '■■ •■ 

I ! ' zo:i)lubcl -Ibiub, • ."IbiiiO bm.u ,'■■' '"'■ 

ClMii!in,<£iiJhiin ."iw. ' ', 

14 .Tvj; begat §<at»c, !a^aD(xl>fg.^t,1(' •; ' 

.Tihai begat euuCi* 
i< e;iiiD begat €lra,ur, eiciwt begat u ■■:.! ' 

tbaiiABitfljaii begat Jacob, 

16 3.iro'.i begat Mcpl) tiKbiiaianlvpf Cl,i 
nc of UibomiUisbojiic Mir., tbai iscaiiai 
€l;nttc.- '.:■ 

17 ,1110 foal tl)i gaiaatioiistoui A'a: I'laiti 
toDaiiiD. ate fourtftiicffciirationo : tfi.';;! 
Daiiio Viiti'l tbcean'riiig aUiav mto 1. .ih-, 
loii.are foiincnic gnieraiionc : atiDfirii! •■:,c 
eaivaiigaUU)'Uttoi3.ibr:o:i imto OvaDk. 
nrr foiiriceiiegnieratioiiG. 

13 HlK bwb of JcfuG Cbnfic Uiao on tiK.i 
IMt. « J ©iKii.ishiD iiiorlw illa«cU>.:G 
toicHiilicDto 3ofe;ih , bcfiL-ctliei' raitic 10 
gtatl)cr ) ibe ibas fmuiuc ilvtl) tdrlOr of titc 

19 ICbcii Jttfcpt) liei I)iifliitiPc,ba'iig a n-oi). 
temiGiiuii , aimiiotlb;'l!','figtoiirii;cI).t.i 
piiblitiue (wmplc, Uus iiivi;^i)r;iii!'i'ici 

10 i5utUi!iv!fbct!)0tml'ttbf'cl!M'i!gf?,tc; 
IWltK. the angel oftiK ?i.o; 'f aiiwatcavmo 
hmii iiiaD.'camcrarcmg .■<ciq)|)fl)oiifa!!i!f 
ofDaiHD.feau iiottotaiic viiroiiicf •T'vit 
(h)'; tl)at lUbiclK |9 eoiieciiicDtii b.r, 

It S>l)c mal b2!'iig foo;tb a fomic , aiiCi ^' 
nialt eal bio name * Jcfiu:fo.' Ije ilialfaue !)is /■;„i.,, |, 
ptoyif tbeirfiiiiicB,;, 

3: (3ltiiioUUDDOiiiic,tiiatitm)'g'rtbcfii!i 

1} *i3el)0lti, J wrgiii (lialbc ibttl) rfHlticnim fu.ujx 
(Hal b.'i'iig foo.ti) a foinie, ana tltev Owl a'.lc 
liigiiamc eiiunaiiiicl, ibbiel) to b)' nitctpic^ 

: + Xbcii 3offpb , bci'iigr.ii'feO from 3cfpf , 
3 1) tiro 


^i^^-^Qibac begat 3a. 
«===:^^5=^cob, ' Jacob be 
?aj 3uDas,ant) Ina bKtl):eii. 
J'u.»,<i J ^JiilMB begat pbaics,* zaia of Clwiiwr, 
^.s,^*^f,,ueg begat ecrom, * CCiom begat 3 

J. ,+ *<T6t.imbegatamuwDab,*3miiiaDabbc- 
fcSrtb 8'«/i2aafroii*/2aa(ronbcgatg<atmon. 
Nau,u * * Swbnoii begat 2S008 of Uacbab,'25oo« 
»iKh.4.4 braai nDbeb of Utitb,*Ot)eD begat JefTe, 
i.Rw.Ka < *Mc begat DauiD tbc hwg, »DaiiiD tljr 
' s '?■ i:.t' teug begat *xj!omoij , of bet rtjat llxw toe 
, .S ftHftoftine. 

' :.[ '•■' 7 ''&oloiiioiibegaiL<vcboain,^\Oboambc 
■ ",;'' gat lbia,*,1bta begat 3ffa. 

;8 **a!i£g.u3o{apbat*3ofapl)atbfgat3o' 

J tam,*3ojainbcgfltO?ia3. 
y OM,i8 begat 3oMi)ain, *3oatl)aiii begat 

', 3diao*3rt)ac begat CKliias. 


(From " The Biblical World") 

The Bishops' Bible 239 

Psalm 2: 

1 Why do the Heathen so furiously rage together? and why 
do the people imagine a vayne thing? 

2 The kynges of the earth stande vp: and the rulers take 
counsell together against god, and against his annointed. 

2 Let vs breake [say they] their bondes a sunder: and cast 
away their cordes from vs. 

4 He that dwelleth in heauen wyll laugh them to scorne: the 
Lorde wyll haue them in derision. 

5 Then wyll he speake vnto them in his wrath: and he will 
astonie them with feare in his sore displeasure. 

6 [Saying] euen I haue annointed [him] my kyng: vpon my 
holy hyll of Sion. 

7 I wyll declare the decree, God sayde vnto me: thou art 
my Sonne, this day I haue begotten thee. 

8 Desire of me, and I wyll geue thee the heathen for thyne 
inheritaunce: and the vttermost partes of the earth for thy 

9 Thou shalt bruise them with a rod or iron: and breake 
them in peeces like a potters vessell. 

10 Wherfore be you nowe wel aduised O ye kinges: be you 
learned ye [that are] iudges of the earth. 

11 Serue ye God in feare: and reioyce ye with a trembling. 

12 Kisse ye the sonne lest that he be angrye, and [so] ye 
perishe [from] the way, if his wrath be neuer so little kindled: 
blessed are all they that put their trust in hym. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): 
9 O our father, which art in heauen, halowed be thy name. 

10 Let thy kyngdome come. Thy wyll be done, as well in 
earth, as it is in heauen. 

11 Geue vs this day our dayly breade. 

12 And forgeue vs our dettes, as we forgeue our detters. 

12 And leade vs not into temptation, but delyuer vs from 
euyll. For thyne is the kyngdome, and the power, and the glory, 
for euer, Amen. 



ALL the versions of the Enghsh Bible that we have 
already considered were made by those who had more 
or less Protestant leaning. We now come to a version made 
by the Roman Catholics, who felt that the publicity given 
to the English Bible made it necessary for them to set 
forth a translation which should serve, to some extent at 
any rate, to counteract the Protestant influence. Just as 
Protestants had fled to the continent on the accession of 
Mary, so Catholics of prominence during Mary's reign fled 
to the continent early in the reign of Elizabeth. Some of 
these established English Colleges at Douay and Rheims. 

In 1582 the New Testament appeared. It was trans- 
lated from the Vulgate. It had occupied Gregory Martin, 
formerly of Oxford, three years and a half, and was revised 
by Cardinal Allen and Richard Bristow. The title-page 
was plain in design but very full: 

The New Testament of lesvs Christ, translated faithfully 
into English, out of the authentical Latin, according to the best 
corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greeke 
and other editions in diuers languages: With Arguments of bookes 
and chapters, Annotations, and other necessarie helpes, for the 
better vnderstanding of the text, and specially for the discouerie 
of the Corrvptions of diuers late translations, and for cleering the 
controuersies in religion of these daies: in the English College 
of Rhemes. 

[Here follow Latin quotations from the Psalms and from one 
of Augustine's tracts, with English translations.] 

Printed at Rhemes by lohn Fogny. 1582. Cum priuilegio. 

On the back of the title-page was "The Censvre and 
approbation" and then followed a lengthy preface with this 


The Rheims New Testament 241 

"The Preface to the Reader treating of these three points: 
of the translation of Holy Scriptvres into the vulgar tongues, 
and namely into English; of the causes why this new Testa- 
ment is translated according to the auncient vulgar Latin 
text: & of the maner of translating the same." 

After the preface is "The signification or meaning of 
the Nvmbers and Markes vsed in this New Testament," 
I page. Each chapter is followed by a lengthy annotation. 
At the end come: "A table of the Epistles and Gospels 
after the Romane vse vpon Sundaies, Holidaies, and other 
principal daies of the yere," 3^ pages; "An ample and par- 
ticvlar table directing the reader to al CathoHke truthes, 
deduced out of the holy Scriptures, and impugned by the 
Aduersaries," 22^ pages; "The explication of certaine 
vvordes in this translation," \y^ pages. 

The following is the Lord's Prayer, which in the margin 
is called "the Pater noster": 

Ovr Father which art in heaven, sanctified be thy name. 
Let thy Kingdom come. Thy wil be done, as in heauen, in earth 
also. Giue vs to-day our supersubstantial bread. And forgiue 
vs our dettes, as we also forgiue our detters. And leade vs not 
into tentation. But deliuer vs from euil. Amen. 

The translation is characterized by very queer words 
and phrases, the Latin and Greek forms being retained in 
many cases. A cup is called a chalice; passover, pasche; 
and such words as the following are used: azymes, expro- 
bate, obsecration, coinquination. The remembrance of this 
peculiarity will help in considering the preface to the King 
James Version in the next chapter. Some of the notes are 
very bitter, and Protestants are referred to as those who had 
cast "the holy to dogges and pearles to hogges." 

The Old Testament was published at Douay in two 
volumes 1609-16 10, lack of funds preventing its earlier 
appearance. The title-page was as follows: 

The Holie Bible Faithfvlly translated into English ovt of the 
avthentical Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greeke, 
and other Editions in diuers languages. With Argvments of the 
Bookes, and Chapters: Annotations, Tables: and other helpes, 
for better vnderstanding of the text: for discouerie of Corruptions 
in some late translations: and for clearing Controversies in 

:?42 The Book of Books 

By the English College of Doway. Haurietis aquas in gaudio 
de fontibus Saluatoris. Isaiae 12. You shal draw waters in 
joy out of the Sauiours fountaines. 

Printed at Doway by Lavrence Kellam, at the signe of the 
hoHe Lambe. M. DC. IX. 

After the title-page came the "Approbation," i page; 
"To the right vvelbeloved English reader grace and glorie 
in lesvs Christ everlasting," 12 pages; "The svmme and 
partition of the Holie Bible with a brife note of the Canoni- 
cal and Apocryphal Bookes," 6 pages. 

The second volume commenced with a special preface 
to the Psalms of 12 pages, and at the end: a Table of 
Epistles, I page; Historical table of times, persons, and 
notable things of the canonical books of the Old Testament, 
24 pages; "A particvlar table of the most principal thinges 
conteyned as wel in the holie text, as in the Annotations of 
both Tomes of the old Testament," 27 pages; the "Censura" 
of three English theologians, i page; a page of typographical 
corrections, beginning, "You may please (courteous reader) 
to amend the more especial errors happened in this Edition 
by reading thus." 

The following is the translation of Psalm 2: 

1 Why did the Gentiles rage, and peoples meditate vaine 

2 The kings of the earth stood vp, and the princes came 
together in one against our Lord, and against his Christ. 

3 Let vs breake their bondes a sunder: and let vs cast away 
their yoke from vs. 

4 He that dwelleth in the heauens, shal laugh at them: and 
our Lord shal scorne them. 

5 Then shal he speake to them in his wrath, & in his furie he 
shal truble them. 

6 But I am appoynted kyng by him ouer Sion his holie hil, 
preaching his precept. 

7 The Lord said to me, Thou art my Sonne, I this day haue 
begotten thee. 

8 Aske of me, and I will geue thee the Gentiles, for thyne 
inheritance, and thy possession the endes of the earth. 

9 Thou shalt rule them in a rod of yron, and as a potters 
vessel thou shalt breake them in peeces. 

ID And now ye kings vnderstand: take instruction, you 
that iudge the earth. 

The Douay Bible 


1 1 Serue our Lord in feare : and reioyce to him with trembhng. 

12 Apprehend discipline lest sometime our Lord be wrath, 
and you perish out of the iust way. 

13 When his wrath shal burhe in short time, blessed are al, 
that trust in him. 

The complete Bible of the Rheims-Douay Version did 
not appear until 1633-163 5, when it was published at Rouen. 
Since then there have been many changes and revisions, 
and the Catholic Bible today is very different from that 
of 1635. 

The language of the Douay Old Testament is as strange 
as that of the Rheims New Testament. One example will 
suffice to show this. Some familiar verses from the 23rd 
Psalm (which is the izd in the Vulgate) are rendered thus: 

Our Lord ruleth me, and nothing shall be wanting to me: 
in place of pasture there he hath placed me. Upon the water 
of refection he hath brought me up: . . . Thou hast fatted my 
head with oil: and my chalice inebriating how goodly is it! 


In the British and Foreign Bible Society Library. The 

Authorized Version, with its original iron chain 


THE AUTHORIZED VERSION has been the great 
Bible of the Enghsh-speaking peoples of the world 
for more than three hundred years. It is also called the 
King James Version because its publication was undertaken 
at the command of that king. When he ascended the throne 
there were two strong parties in the church, the bishops and 
the Puritans. Two versions of the Bible were in common 
use, the Bishops' by the clergy, and the Geneva by the 
people. The attack made upon all Protestant versions of 
the Bible by the Rheims New Testament had started a 
Uvely conflict between Catholics and Protestants, and in 
1589 William Fulke, a staunch Protestant, had printed the 
Bishops' Version and the Rheims Version side by side with 
the Catholic notes and his replies to them. The Puritans 
complained to James about things in the church, and James 
called a conference at Hampton Court Palace for January 
14, 16, and 18, 1604. Among the questions discussed was 
that of Bible translation, and as an outcome of the confer- 
ence it was decided to make a new translation from the 
Hebrew and Greek. By July 22, 1604, a selection of fifty- 
four of the best scholars had been made, and on that date 
the king sent a letter to Bancroft, Bishop of London, asking 
him to inform the other bishops and seek their aid in getting 
the benefit of suggestions from any who had special skill in 
Hebrew and Greek. Though the king mentioned fifty-four, 
it is only known that forty-seven actually took part in the 
work, and there is considerable doubt as to the identity of 
some of them. Several lists have been compiled and the 
list given below is perhaps as nearly correct as possible. 

The workers were divided into six companies of which 
two met at Oxford, two at Cambridge, and two at West- 


The Authorized Version 245 

minster, each company dealing with a separate portion of 
the Bible. The whole was afterward reviewed in London 
by a committee appointed from the six companies, and 
finally by Bishop Bilson of Winchester and Dr. Miles Smith. 
The workers received no financial remuneration, but were 
promised preferment as occasion should arise — some actually 
were promoted, as will be seen in the notes about each reviser. 
The first company met at Westminster and had the 
Pentateuch and historical books to 2 Kings. It was com- 
posed of: 

Dr. Lancelot Andrews {chairman). Dean of Westminster; 
afterward Bishop of Chichester, Ely, and Winchester in succession. 

Dr. John Overall, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; 
afterward Dean of St. Paul's, and Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, 
and later of Norwich. 

Dr. Adrian de Saravia, Prebendary of Canterbury. 

Dr. Richard Clarke, a preacher at Canterbury. 

Dr. John Layfield, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Dr. R. Teigh, Archdeacon of Middlesex. 

Mr. Burleigh, of Chelsea College, London, 

Mr. GoefFrey King, Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. 

Mr. Richard Thomson, of Clare Hall, Cambridge. 

Mr. William Bedwell, of St. John's College, Cambridge, a 
great Arabic scholar. 

The second company met at Cambridge and had 
Chronicles to the Song of Solomon. It was composed of: 

Mr. Edward Lively {chairman), Professor of Hebrew at Cam- 
bridge. [Died 1605.] 

Dr. John Richardson, Fellow of Emanuel College, Cambridge. 

Dr. Lawrence Chaderton, Master of Emanuel College, Cam- 

Mr. Francis Dillingham, Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge. 

Mr. Thomas Harrison, Vice-master of Trinity College, Cam- 

Mr. Roger Andrews, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge (a 
brother of Bishop Andrews). 

Dr. Robert Spalding, Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. 

Dr. Andrew Byng, Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge. 

The third company met at Oxford and had Isaiah to 
Malachi. It was composed of: 

Dr. John Hardinge {chairman), Professor of Hebrew and 
President of Magdalen College, Oxford. 

246 The Book of Books 

Dr. John Rainolds, President of Corpus Christi College, 
Oxford. It was he who first suggested the revision at the Hampton 
Court Palace conference. [Died 1607.] 

Dr. Thomas Holland, Rector of Exeter College, and Professor 
of divinity. 

Dr. Richard Kilby, Rector of Lincoln College, and Professor 
of Hebrew. 

Dr. Miles Smith, Prebendary of Hereford, afterward Bishop 
of Gloucester. 

Dr. Richard Brett, Fellow of Lincoln College. 

Mr. Richard Fairclough, Fellow of New College. 

The fourth company met at Oxford and had the Gospels, 
Acts, and Revelation. It was composed of: 

Dr. Thomas Ravis {chairmaji), Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 
afterward Bishop of Gloucester, and later of London. 

Dr. George Abbot, Dean of Winchester; afterward Bishop of 
Lichfield and Coventry, then of London, and later Archbishop of 

Dr. Richard Edes, Dean of Worcester. [Died 1604.] 

Dr. Giles Thompson, Dean of Windsor; afterward Bishop of 

Sir Henry Saville, Provost of Eton; formerly tutor to Queen 

Dr. John Perin, Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, and Professor 
of Greek. 

Dr. Ravens, Fellow of St. John's College. 

Mr. John Harmer, Fellow of New College and Professor of 

The fifth company met at Westminster and had the 
Epistles. It was composed of: 

Dr. William Barlow {chairman). Dean of Chester; afterward 
Bishop of Rochester, and later of Lincoln. 

Dr. Ralph Hutchinson, President of St. John's College, Oxford. 

Dr. John Spencer, President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. 

Dr. Roger Fenton, Fellow of Pembroke Hall; later Prebendary 
of St. Paul's. 

Mr. Michael Rabbett, Rector of St. Vedast, London. 

Dr. Thomas Sanderson, Archdeacon of Rochester. 

Mr. William Dakins, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. 

The sixth company met at Cambridge and had the 
Apocrypha. It was composed of: 

Dr. John Duport {chairman). Prebendary of Ely; afterward 
Master of Jesus College, Cambridge. 

The Authorized Version 247 

Dr. William Branthwaite, Fellow of Emanuel College; after- 
ward Master of Gonville and Caius College. 

Dr. Jeremiah RadclifFe, Fellow of Trinity College. 

Dr. Samuel Ward, of Emanuel College; afterward Master of 
Sidney Sussex College and Professor of divinity. 

Mr. John Bois, Fellow of St. John's College; afterward Dean 
of Canterbury. 

Mr. Robert Ward, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. 

Mr. Andrew Downes, Fellow of St. John's College and Pro- 
fessor of Greek. 

The king drew up a set of instructions to govern them 
in their work, which are given by Fuller in his Church History 
as follows: 

1 The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called 
the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the 
Originall will permit. 

2 The names of the Prophets, and the Holy Writers, with 
the other names in the text, to be retained as neer as may be 
accordingly as they are vulgarly used. 

3 The old Ecclesiasticall words to be kept, viz: as the word 
[Church] not to be translated Congregation, &c. 

4. When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept 
which hath been most commonly used, by the most eminent 
Fathers, being agreeable to the propriety of the place, and the 
analogic of 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. No marginall notes at all to be affixed, but onely for the 
explanation of the Hebrew, or Greek words, which cannot without 
some circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed 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 man of each company to take the same 
Chapter, or Chapters; and, having translated, or amended them 
severally by himself where he thinks good, all to meet together, 
conferre what they have done, and agree for their part what shall 

9. As one company hath dispatched any one Book in this 
manner, they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously, 
and juditiously; for. His Majestic is very carefull in this point. 

ID. If any company, upon the review of the Book so sent, 
shall doubt, or differ upon any places, to send them word therof, 
note the places, and therewithall send their reasons: 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. 


The Book of Books 


The Authorized Version 249 

11. When any place of speciall obscurity is doubted of, Letters 
to be directed by Authority, to send to any learned in the Land 
for his judgment in such a place. 

12. Letters to be sent from every Bishop, to the rest of his 
Clergie, admonishing them of this Translation in hand; and to 
move, and charge as many as, being skilfull in the tongues, have 
taken pains in that kinde, to send his particular observations to 
the Company, either at Westminster, Cambridge, or Oxford. 

13. The directours in each Company, to be the Deans of 
Westminster, and Chester, for that place, and the Kings Professours 
in the Hebrew, and Greek, in each Universitie. 

14. These Translations to be used, when they agree better 
with the Text, than the Bishops Bible, viz: Tindals, Matthews, 
Coverdales, Whitchurch, Geneva. 

Besides the said directions before mentioned, three or four 
of the most antient, and grave Divines in either of the Universities, 
not employed in translating, to be assigned by the Vice-Chancel- 
lour, upon conference with the rest of the Heads, to be Overseers 
of the Translations, as well Hebrew, as Greek, for the better 
observation of the fourth Rule above specified. 

It has been supposed by some that the work was not 
actually begun until 1607, but there seems to be evidence 
that from the time of the appointment of the companies 
in 1604 the members were engaged upon it in some degree. 
Fuller says concerning the death of Mr. Lively, chairman 
of one of the Cambridge companies, in 1605: 

The untimely death of Mr. Edward Lively, much weight of 
the work lying on his skill in the Oriental Tongues, happening 
about this time {happy that servant whom his Master, when he 
Cometh, findeth so doing) not a little retarded their proceedings. 
However the rest vigorously, though slowly, proceeded in their 
hard, heavie, and holy task, nothing offended with the censures 
of the impatient people, condemning their delaies, though indeed 
but due deliberation, for laziness. 

In 1611 the new version was published, and concerning 
it Fuller says: 

And now after long expectation, and greate desire came forth 
the new Translation of the Bible (most beautifully printed) by a 
select and competent number of Divines, appointed for that purpose, 
not being too many, lest one should trouble another; and yet 
many, lest many things might haply escape them. 

It was indeed a most beautifully printed volume, as 
the writer can testify after an examination of the splendid 


The Book of Books 

I !iCi-icarj()i 

( liap.]. 





O F M OS E S, 

calK-.l Cil'.N ESI.S. 


CHAP. 1. 

TlicaeatiouofHcjutnandtjtih, ( oldic 
lijlit, 6 of rhcfirtnjnicm, . y otiliccittli 
l/«d from the waters, ii aiui in.idc 
fiuiilull, 14 of ilic Siiiinc , Mooiic, JDil 
Stjrtcs, ifi olfi(}iJntUo\\lc, 14 olbcjiH 
al^lcv.trll, :'< ol'M.m.,-,l!K-Ii-u,T.'li;.'>l. 

^ ^'tlKUCBiimins 
S ioon tctatto tiK 
IM ntrtucu, iiiiD tl)e 

~J^i^4 eattlj. 

'^^t ■ 2- 3lnD tl)t 

K-2?*^ out fo;tnc , ano 
- i*s^'* ijoyt,^ niio Darltc 
iittTt wj. i)pon 
the (ate of t!)c occpc: anutlic fiipirit 
of eon niooucD upon t!)c fact of tljt 

5 2titD<5ot)ra(t),*?l9tt'!)t«bcUgljt: 

4 3tnD ooD faU) tf)c itcrtjt , tliat it ^ « 
gooO : ano COD DiuiOebt (tjc UsUt ft^o>» 

5 :aiiD eoD taiicc tnc ugijt , ©av, 
anDthcCachntfTc Dr tallcD /?tgl)t: taut) 
tijceutnms ant) tljcfPoituus iDcrc tiK 

fi C:anl)©oDfaiO, 'fttttlKrtbta 
tfirmanunt mrtjenutjtlof tljcJbattrs: 
anDltt a t)miDc t!)c ivaterB from tl)t 

7 2lnt) Got! niat)c tlic firmamcut t 
ano tHuiBtD iftc Tbatcrs , uiDid) ^ =< tJii» 
net rt)t finnamcnt , ftoiii tlic Uiattrs, 
IDlKri) Acre about U)c f.tiuanieiu : anb it 

8 3liib ©oD calicb tDc ' finuamcm 

9 CauDC)0DfaiD,'}Ltttl)c«!atcr5 
t)nDci;(l)eiicaucn be gatbertotogctticc 
bnto one place , anbiet ttKD^plauDap' 

1 ' 2im ooo caiitt) tl)c Div lanb, 
eavtl) , anD the gatlKraigtogctlicrof 
thtUiatcrs tailcD Ijcc.&CtTS: aiiDOoD 

II ,anD0ob(aiD,1LcttljcCarrt)bMug 
UmDe, ibljofcfccD i.umfcifc, tponttje 
tartlKauD It Ibasfo. 

Ii :j{ub flj: cart!) b;oual)t foonl) 
graffc ,aiHl|)trbtrcclDmB fcco after {)is 
fctbwjiuiit fdfc , after \)i5 UmDe: ano 

15 3(nD tl)t eutning anb tUt S0oy 

1+ «!: 3(iiD ooD faibe , net tlitrt bet 
' UgDts III tl)t fttnuiiiitnt of tl)t Ocautn, 
fobiuibtt tDcbap from tt)t mgl)t : anb 
let tlitm btc fbi Opus anb fo* feafono, 

1^ 21ti0 let tlitm btc fo>ligl)tsmtl)t 
firinaniciuof tt)cl)tauru , to giue list)t 
bpan tl)e tarti) : anb It ibas fo. 

16 3lub Gob mabttlbo great lights: 
tl)e greater ugUt t to rule tDc bay , anb 
tlje If (Tet ligln to rule tljc nigljt: i« "■•"i' 

17 ^nc (500 fct tlieni m tDe 6rma 
mcnCofcl)el)tauen, to siticltgljtbpon 
tJje earth: 

18 Muto' rule otiti: tl)c oap , anb 

IS. OHft 






The Authorized Version 251 

copy in the New York Library. It was printed by Robert 
Barker, who had had considerable experience in printing 
editions of the earHer versions. The title-page reads: 

The Holy Bible, conteyning the old Testament, and the New. 
Newly translated out of the Originall tongues & with the former 
Translations diligently compared and reuised by his Maiesties 
speciall comandement. Appointed to be read in Churches. 
Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings 
most Excellent Maiestie. Anno Dom. 1611. 

This was followed by the dedication to King James, 
which is usually printed in modern copies of the Author- 
ized Version, and the "The Translators to the Reader," 
which is seldom printed now. It was written by Dr. Miles 
Smith, and contains both details of the work and replies to 
the arguments advanced by Romanists and "Brethren" 
against the translators' methods and results. Both are 
here reproduced in full. 

The Epistle Dedicatorie 

To the most high and mightie Prince, lames by the grace of God 
King of Great Britaine, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, 
&c. The translators of The Bible, wish Grace, Mercie, and Peace, 
through lesvs Christ our Lord. 

Great and manifold were the blessings (most dread Soueraigne) 
which Almighty God, the Father of all Mercies, bestowed vpon 
vs the people of England, when first he sent your Maiesties Royal! 
person to rule and raigne ouer us. For whereas it was the expecta- 
tion of many, who wished not well vnto our Sion, that vpon the 
setting of that bright Occidentall Starve Queen Elizabeth of most 
happy memory, some thicke and palpable cloudes of darkenesse 
would so haue ouershadowed this land, that men should haue bene 
in doubt which way they were to walke, and that it should hardly 
be knowen, who was to direct the vnsetled State: the appearance 
of your Maiestie, as of the Sunne in his strength, instantly dis- 
pelled those supposed and surmised mists, and gaue vnto all that 
were well affected, exceeding cause of comfort; especially when 
we beheld the gouernment established in your Highnesse, and 
your hopefull Seed, by an vndoubted Title, and this also accom- 
panied with Peace and tranquillitie, at home and abroad. 

But amongst all our loyes, there was no one that more filled 
our hearts, then the blessed continuance of the Preaching of Gods 
sacred word amongst vs, which is that inestimable treasure, which 

252 The Book of Books 

"international" series. self-pronouncing edition. 



containing the 

Old and New Testaments, 





Printed and Bound at the "International Press" 
Philadelphia, U. S. A. 

The John C. Winston Co. 

large minion. I2M0. CLEAR TYPE EDITION, 


The Authorized Version 253 

excelleth all the riches of the earth, because the fruit thereof 
extendeth it selfe, not onely to the time spent in this transitory 
world, but directeth and disposeth men vnto that Eternall happi- 
nesse which is aboue in Heauen. 

Then, not to suffer this to fall to the ground, but rather to 
take it vp, and to continue it in that state, wherein the famous 
predecessour of your Highnesse did leaue it; Nay, to goe forward 
with the confidence and resolution of a man in maintaining the 
trueth of Christ, and propagating it farre and neere, is that which 
hath so bound and firmely knit the hearts of all your Maiesties 
loyall and Religious people vnto you, that your very Name is 
precious among them, their eye doeth behold you with comfort, 
and they blesse you in their hearts, as that sanctified person, who 
vnder God, is the immediate authour of their true happinesse. 
And this their contentment doeth not diminish or decay, but 
euery day increaseth and taketh strength, when they obserue that 
the zeale of your Maiestie towards the house of God, doth not 
slacke or goe backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting 
it selfe abroad in the furthest parts of Christendome, by writing in 
defence of the Trueth, (which hath giuen such a blow vnto that 
man of Sinne, as will not be healed) and euery day at home, by 
Religious and learned discourse, by frequenting the house of God, 
by hearing the word preached, by cherishing the teachers therof, 
by caring for the Church as a most tender and louing nourcing 

There are infinite arguments of this right Christian and 
Religious affection in your Maiestie: but none is more forcible 
to declare it to others, then the vehement and perpetuated desire 
of the accomplishing and publishing of this Worke, which now 
with all humilitie we present vnto your Maiestie. For when your 
Highnesse had once out of deepe iudgment apprehended, how 
conuenient it was. That out of the Originall sacred tongues, 
together with comparing of the labours, both in our owne and 
other forreigne Languages, of many worthy men who went before 
vs, there should be one more exact Translation of the holy Scrip- 
tures into the English tongue; your Maiestie did neuer desist, 
to vrge and to excite those to whom it was commended, that the 
worke might be hastened, and that the businesse might be expe- 
dited in so decent a maner, as a matter of such importance might 
iustly require. 

And now at last, by the Mercy of God, and the continuance 
of our Labours, it being brought vnto such a conclusion, as that 
we haue great hope that the Church of England shall reape good 
fruit thereby; we hold it our duety to offer it to your Maiestie, 
not onely as to our King and Soueraigne, but as to the principall 
moouer and Author of the Worke. Humbly crauing of your most 
Sacred Maiestie, that since things of this quality haue euer bene 
subiect to the censures of ill meaning and discontented persons, 

254 The Book of Books 

it may receiue approbation and Patronage from so learned and 
iudicious a Prince as your Highnesse is, whose allowance and 
acceptance of our Labours, shall more honour and incourage vs, 
then all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men 
shall dismay vs. So that, if on the one side we shall be traduced 
by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will maligne 
vs, because we are poore Instruments to make Gods holy Trueth 
to be yet more and more knowen vnto the people, whom they 
desire still to keepe in ignorance and darknesse: or if on the other 
side, we shall be maligned by selfe-conceited brethren, who runne 
their owne wayes, and giue liking vnto nothing but what is framed 
by themselues, and hammered on their Anuile; we may rest secure, 
supported within by the trueth and innocencie of a good conscience, 
hauing walked the wayes of simplicitie and integritie, as before 
the Lord; And sustained without, by the powerfull Protection of 
your Maiesties grace and fauour, which will euer giue countenance 
to honest and Christian endeuours, against bitter censures; and 
vncharitable imputations. 

The Lord or Heauen and earth blesse your Maiestie with 

many and happy dayes, that as his Heauenly hand hath enriched 

your Highnesse with many singular, and extraordinary Graces; 

so you may be the wonder of the world in this later age, 

for happinesse and true felicitie, to the honour of that 

Great God, and the good of his Church, through 

Jesvs Christ our Lord and onely Sauiour. 

The Translators to the Reader 

Zeale to promote the common good, whether it be by deuising 
any thing our selues, or reuising that which hath bene laboured 
by others, deserueth certainly much respect and esteeme, but yet 
findeth but cold intertainment m the world. It is welcommed with 
suspicion in stead of loue and with emulation in stead of thankes: 
and if there be any hole left for cauill to enter, (and cauill, if it 
doe not finde a hole, will make one) it is sure to bee misconstrued, 
and in danger to be condemned. This will easily be granted by 
as many as know story, or haue any experience. For, was there 
euer any thing proiected, that sauoured any way of newnesse or 
renewing, but the same endured many a storme of gaine-saying, 
or opposition.'' A man would thinke that Ciuilitie, holesome 
Lawes, learning and eloquence. Synods and Church-maintenance, 
(that we speake of no more things of this kinde) should be as safe 
as a Sanctuary, and out of shot, as they say, that no man would 
lift vp the heele, no, nor dogge mooue his tongue against the 
motioners of them. For by the first, we are distinguished from 
bruit-beasts led with sensualitie: By the second, we are bridled 
and restrained from outragious behauiour, and from doing of 
iniuries, whether by fraud or by violence: By the third, we are 

The Authorized Version 255 

enabled to informe and reforme others, by the Hght and feeling 
that we haue attained vnto our selves: Briefly, by the fourth being 
brought together to a parle face to face, we sooner compose our 
differences then by writings, which are endlesse: And lastly, that 
the Church be sufficiently prouided for, is so agreeable to good 
reason and conscience, that those mothers are holden to be lesse 
cruell, that kill their children assoone as they are borne, then 
those noursing fathers and mothers (wheresoeuer they be) that 
withdraw from them who hang vpon their breasts (and vpon 
whose breasts againe themselues doe hang to receiue the Spirituall 
and sincere milke of the word) liuelyhood and support fit for their 
estates. Thus it is apparent, that these things which we speake 
of, are of most necessary vse, and therefore, that none, either 
without absurditie can speake against them, or without note of 
wickednesse can spurne against them. 

Yet for all that, the learned know that certaine worthy men 
haue bene brought to vntimely death for none other fault, but 
for seeking to reduce their Country-men to good order and dis- 
cipline: and that in some Common-weales it was made a capitall 
crime, once to motion the making of a new Law for the abrogating 
of an old, though the same were most pernicious: And that cer- 
taine, which would be counted pillars of the State, and paternes 
of Vertue and Prudence, could not be brought for a long time to 
giue way to good Letters and refined speech, but bare themselues 
as auerse from them, as from rocks or boxes of poison: And 
fourthly, that hee was no babe, but a great clearke, that gaue 
foorth (and in writing to remaine to posteritie) in passion perad- 
uenture, but yet he gaue foorth, that hee had not seene any profit 
to come by any Synode, or meeting of the Clergie, but rather the 
contrary: And lastly, against Church-maintenance and allowance, 
in such sort, as the Embassadors and messengers of the great 
King of Kings should be furnished, it is not vnknowen what a 
fiction or fable (so it is esteemed, and for no better by the reporter 
himselfe, though superstitious) was deuised: Namely, that at 
such time as the professours and teachers of Christianitie in the 
Church of Rome, then a true Church, were liberally endowed, a 
voyce forsooth was heard from heauen, saying: Now is poison 
powred down into the Church, &c. Thus not only as oft as we 
speake, as one saith, but also as oft as we do any thing of note 
or consequence, we subiect our selues to euer/ ones censure, and 
happy is he that is least tossed vpon tongues; for vtterly to escape 
the snatch of them it is impossible. If any man conceit, that this 
is the lot and portion of the meaner sort onely, and that Princes 
are priuiledged by their high estate, he is deceiued. As the szvord 
devoureth aswell one as the other, as it is in Samuel; nay as the great 
Commander charged his souldiers in a certaine battell, to strike at 
no part of the enemie, but at the face; And as the King of Syria 

256 The Book of Books 

commanded his chiefe Captaines to fight neither zvith small nor 
great, saue onely against the King of Israel: so it is too true, that 
Enuie striketh most spitefully at the fairest, and at the chiefest. 
Dauid was a worthy Prince, and no man to be compared to him 
for his first deedes, and yet for as worthy an acte as euer he did 
(euen for bringing backe the Arke of God in solemnitie) he was 
scorned and scoffed at by his owne wife. Solomon was greater 
then Dauid, though not in vertue, yet in power: and by his power 
and wisdome he built a Temple to the Lord, such a 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 doe they lay it in his sonnes dish, and call vnto 
him for || easing of the burden. Make, they say, the grieuous serui- 
tude of thy father, and his sore yoke, lighter. Belike he had charged 
them with some leuies, and troubled them with some cariages; 
Hereupon they raise vp a tragedie, and wish in their heart the 
Temple had neuer bene built. So hard a thing it is to please all, 
euen when we please God best, and doe seeke to approue our 
selues to euery ones conscience. 

If wee will descend to later times, wee shall finde many the 
like examples of such kind, or rather vnkind acceptance. The 
first Romane Emperour did neuer doe a more pleasing deed to 
the learned, nor more profitable to posteritie for conseruing the 
record of times in true supputation; then when he corrected the 
Calender, and ordered the yeere according to the course of the 
Sunne: and yet this was imputed to him for noueltie, and arro- 
gancie, and procured to him great obloquie. So the first Christened 
Emperour (at the leastwise that openly professed the faith him- 
selfe, and allowed others to doe the like) for strengthening the 
Empire at his great charges, and prouiding for the Church, as he 
did, got for his labour the name Pupillus, as who would say, a 
wastefull Prince, that had neede of a Guardian, or ouerseer. So 
the best Christened Emperour, for the loue that he bare vnto 
peace, thereby to enrich both himselfe and his subiects, and because 
he did not seeke warre but find it, was iudged to be no man at 
armes, (though in deed he excelled in feates of chiualrie, and 
shewed so much when he was prouoked) and condemned for giuing 
himselfe to his ease, and to his pleasure. To be short, the most 
learned Emperour of former times, (at the least, the greatest poli- 
tician) what thanks had he for cutting off the superfluities of the 
lawes, and digesting them into some order and method.^ This, 
that he hath been blotted by some to bee an Epitomist, that is 
one that extinguished worthy whole volumes, to bring his abridge- 
ments into request. This is the measure that hath been rendred 
to excellent Princes in former times, euen. Cum bene facerent, male 
audire. For their good deedes to be euill spoken of. Neither is 
there any likelihood, that enuie and malignitie died, and were 
buried with the ancient. No, no, the reproofe of Moses taketh 

The Authorized Version 257 

hold of most ages; Yott are risen vp in your fathers stead, an increase 
of sinfull men. What is that that hath been done? that which 
shall be done: and there is no new thing voider the Sunne, saith the 
Wiseman: and S. Steue?i, As your fathers did, so doe you. This, 
and more to this purpose, His Maiestie that now reigneth (and 
long, and long may he reigne, and his offspring for euer, Himself e 
and children, and childrens children akvayes) knew full well, accord- 
ing to the singular wisedome giuen vnto him by God, and the rare 
learning and experience that he hath attained vnto; namely that 
whosoeuer attempteth any thing for the publike (specially if it 
pertaine to Religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word 
of God) the same setteth himselfe vpon a stage to be glouted vpon 
by euery euil eye, yea, he casteth himselfe headlong vpon pikes, 
to be gored by euery sharpe tongue. For he that medleth with 
mens Religion in any part, medleth with their custome, nay, with 
their freehold; and though they finde no content in that which 
they haue, yet they cannot abide to heare of altering. Notwith- 
standing his Royall heart was not daunted or discouraged for 
this or that colour, but stood resolute, as a statue immoueable, and 
an anuile not easie to be beaten into plates, as one sayth; he knew 
who had chosen him to be a Souldier, or rather a Captaine, and 
being assured that the course which he intended made much for 
the glory of God, & the building vp of his Church, he would not 
suffer it to be broken off for whatsoeuer speaches or practises. It 
doth certainely belong vnto Kings, yea, it doth specially belong 
vnto them, to haue care of Religion, yea to know it aright, yea 
to professe it zealously, yea to promote it to the vttermost of their 
power. This is their glory before all nations which meane well, 
and this will bring vnto them a farre most excellent weight of 
glory in the day of the Lord lesus. For the Scripture saith not 
in vaine. Them that honor me, I will honor, neither was it a vaine 
word that Eusebius deliuered long agoe, that pietie towards God 
was the weapon, and the onely weapon that both preserued Con- 
stantines person, and auenged him of his enemies. 

But now what pietie without trueth.^ what trueth (what 
sauing trueth) without the word of God.? what word of God 
(whereof we may be sure) without the Scripture.? The Scriptures 
we are commanded to search. loh. 5.39. Esa 8.20. They are 
commended that searched & studied them. Act. 17. 11 and 8.28,29. 
They are reproued that were vnskilful in them, or slow to beleeue 
them. Mat. 22.29. Luk. 24.25. They can make vs wise vnto 
saluation. 2 Tim. 3.15. If we be ignorant, they will instruct vs; 
if out of the way, they will bring vs home; if our of order, they 
will reforme vs; if in heauines, comfort vs; if dull, quicken vs; 
if colde, inflame vs. Tolle, lege, Tolle, lege. Take vp and read, 
take vp and read the Scriptures, (for vnto them was the direction) 
it was said vnto S. Augustine by a supernaturall voyce. What- 
soeuar is in the Scriptures, beleeue me, saith the same S. Augustine, 

258 The Book of Books 

is high and ditiine; there is verily trueth, and a doctrine most fit for 
the refreshing and renewing of mens mindes, and tmely so tempered, 
that euery o?ie may drazv from thence that which is sufficient for him, 
if hee come to draw with a deuout and pious minde, as true Religion 
requireth. Thus S. Augustine. And S. Hierome: Ana scripturas, 
y amabit te sapientia &c. Loue the Scriptures, and wisedome will 
loue thee. And S. Cyrill against lulian: Euen boyes that are bred 
vp in the Scriptures, become most religious, ifjc. But what mention 
wee three or foure vses of the Scripture, whereas whatsoeuer is to 
be beleeued or practised, or hoped for, is contained in them? or 
three or foure sentences of the Fathers, since whosoeuer is worthy 
the name of a Father, from Christs time downeward, hath like- 
wise written not onely of the riches, but also of the perfection of 
the Scripture? / adore the fulnesse of the Scripture, saith Tertullian 
against Hermogenes. And, againe, to Apelles an Heretike of the 
like stampe, he saith; / doe ?iot admit that which thou br ingest in 
(or concludest) of thine owne (head or store, de tuo) without Scrip- 
ture. So Saint lustin Martyr before him; Wee must know by all 
meanes, saith hee, that it is not lawfull (or possible) to learne (any 
thing) of God or of right pietie, saue onely out of the Prophets, who 
teach vs by diui^ie inspiratio7i. So Saint Basill after Tertullian, 
It is a manifest falling away from the Faith, and a fault of presump- 
tion, either to reiect any of those things that are written, or to bring in 
(vpon the head of them eTreicrayeiv) any of those things that are 
not written. Wee omit to cite to the same effect, S. Cyril B. of 
Hierusalem in his 4. Cataches. Saint Hierome against Heluidius, 
Saint Augustine in his 3. booke against the letters of Petilian, and 
in very many other places of his workes. Also we forebeare to 
descend to latter Fathers, because wee will not wearie the reader. 
The Scriptures then being acknowledged to bee so full and so 
perfect, how can wee excuse our selues of negligence, if we doe not 
studie them, of curiositie, if we be not content with them? Men 
talke much of tipthtwyq, how many sweete and godly things it 
had hanging on it; of the Philosophers stone, that it turneth copper 
into gold; of Cornu-copia, that it had all things necessary for 
foode in it; of Panaces the herbe, that it was good for all diseases; 
oi Catholic on the drugge, that it is in stead of all purges; of Vulcans 
armour, that it was an armour of proofe against all thrusts, and 
all blowes, &c. Well, that which they falsly or vainely attributed 
to these things for bodily good, wee may iustly and with full 
measure ascribe vnto the Scripture, for spirituall. It is not onely 
an armour, but also a whole armourie of weapons, both ofFensiue 
and defensiue; whereby we may saue our selues and put the 
enemie to flight. It is not an herbe, but a tree, or rather a whole 
paradise of trees of life, which bring foorth fruit euery moneth, 
and the fruit thereof is for meate, and the leaues for medicine. 
It is not a pot oi Manna or a cruse of oyle, which were for memorie 
only, or for a meales meate or two, but as it were a showre of 

The Authorized Version 259 

heauenly bread sufficient for a whole host, be it neuer so great; 
and as it were a whole cellar full of oyle vessels; whereby all our 
necessities may be prouided for, and our debts discharged. In a 
word, it is a Panary of holesome foode, against fenowed traditions; 
a Physions-shop (Saint Basill calleth it) of preseruatiues against 
poisoned heresies; a Pandect of profitable lawes, against rebellious 
spirits; a treasurie of most costly iewels, against beggarly rudi- 
ments; Finally a fountaine of most pure water springing vp vnto 
euerlasting life. And what maruaile.'' The originall thereof being 
from heauen, not from earth; the authour being God, not man; 
the enditer, the holy spirit, not the wit of the Apostles or Prophets; 
the Pen-men such as were sanctified from the wombe, and endewed 
with a principall portion of Gods spirit; the matter, veritie, pietie, 
puritie, vprightnesse; the forme, Gods word, Gods testimonie, 
Gods oracles, the word of trueth, the word of saluation, &c. the 
effects, light of vnderstanding, stablenesse of perswasion, repent- 
ance from dead workes, newnesse of life, holinesse, peace, ioy in 
the holy Ghost; lastly, the end and reward of the studie thereof, 
fellowship with the Saints, participation of the heauenly nature, 
fruition of an inheritance immortall, vndefiled, and that neuer 
shall fade away: Happie is the man that delighteth in the Scrip- 
ture, and thrise happie that meditateth in it day and night. 

But how shall men meditate in that, which they cannot under- 
stand .f* How shall they vnderstand that which is kept close in 
an vnknowen tongue .'' as it is written. Except I know the power of 
the voyce, I shall be to him that speaketh, a Barbarian, and he that 
speaketh, shalbe a Barbarian to me. The Apostle excepteth no 
tongue; not Hebrewe the ancientest, not Greeke the most copious, 
not Latine the finest. Nature taught a naturall man to confesse, 
that all of vs in those tongues which wee doe not vnderstand, are 
plainely deafe; wee may turne the deafe eare vnto them. The 
Scythian counted the Athenian, whom he did not vnderstand, bar- 
barous: so the Romane did the Syrian, and the lew, (euen S. 
Hierome himselfe calleth the Hebrew tongue barbarous, belike 
because it was strange to so many) so the Emperour of Constanti- 
nople calleth the Latine tongue, barbarous, though Pope Nicolas 
do storme at it: so the I ewes long before Christ, called all other 
nations, Lognazim, which is little better then barbarous. There- 
fore as one complaineth, that alwayes in the Senate of Rome, there 
was one or other that called for an interpreter: so lest the Church 
be driuen to the like exigent, it is necessary to haue translations 
in a readinesse. Translation it is that openeth the window, to let 
in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; 
that putteth aside the curtaine, that we may looke into the most 
Holy place; that remooueth the couer of the well, that wee may 
come by the water, euen as lacob rolled away the stone, from the 
mouth of the well, by which meanes the flockes of Laban were 
watered. Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, 

26o The Book of Books 

the vnlearned are but like children at Jacobs well (which was 
deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with: or as that 
person mentioned by Esay, to whom when a sealed booke was 
deliuered, with this motion, Reade this, I pray thee, hee was faine 
to make this answere, / cannot, for it is sealed. 

While God would be knowen onely in lacob, and haue his 
Name great in Israel, and in none other place, while the dew lay 
on Gideo?is fleece onely, and all the earth besides was drie; then 
for one and the same people, which spake all of them the language 
of Canaan, that is, Hebrewe, one and the same originall in Hebrew 
was sufl&cient. But when the fulnesse of time drew neere, that 
the Sunne of righteousnesse, the Sonne of God should come into 
the world, whom God ordeined to be a reconciliation through 
faith in his blood, not of the lew onely, but also of the Greeke, yea, 
of all them that were scattered abroad; then loe, it pleased the 
Lord to stirre vp the spirit of a Greeke Prince {Greeke for descent 
and language) euen of Ptolofne Philadelph King of Egypt, to pro- 
cure the translating of the Booke of God out of Hebrew into Greeke. 
This is the translation of the Seuentie Interpreters, commonly so 
called, which prepared the way for our Sauiour among the Gentiles 
by written preaching, as Saint lohn Baptist did among the lewes 
by vocall. For the Grecians being desirous of learning, were not 
wont to suff^er bookes of worth to lye moulding in Kings Libraries, 
but had many of their seruants, ready scribes, to copie them out, 
and so they were dispersed and made common. Againe, the 
Greeke tongue was wellknowen and made familiar to most inhabi- 
tants in Asia, by reason of the conquest that there the Grecians 
had made, as also by the Colonies, which thither they had sent. 
For the same causes also it was well vnderstood in many places of 
Europe, yea, and of Affrike too. Therefore the word of God being 
set foorth in Greeke, becommeth hereby like a candle set vpon a 
candlesticke, which giueth light to all that are in the house, or 
like a proclamation sounded foorth in the market place, which 
most men presently take knowledge of; and therefore that lan- 
guage was fittest to containe the Scriptures, both for the first 
Preachers of the Gospel to appeale vnto for witnesse, and for the 
learners also of those times to make search and triall by. It is 
certaine, that that Translation was not so sound and so perfect, 
but that it needed in many places correction, and who had bene 
so sufficient for this worke as the Apostles or Apostolike men.^ 
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 then by making a new, in that new world and 
greene age of the Church, to expose themselues to many exceptions 
and cauillations, as though they made a Translation to serue their 
owne turne, and therefore bearing witnesse to themselues, their 
witnesse not to be regarded. This may be supposed to bee some 
cause, why the Translation of the Seuentie was allowed to passe 

The Authorized Version 261 

for currant. Notwithstanding, though it was commended gen- 
erally, yet it did not fully content the learned, no not of the lewes. 
For not long after Christ, Aquila fell in hand with a new Transla- 
tion, and after him Theodotion, and after him Symmachus : yea, 
there was a lift and a sixt edition, the Authours whereof were not 
knowen. These with the Seuentie made vp the Hexapla, and were 
worthily and to great purpose compiled together by Origen. How- 
beit the Edition of the Seuentie went away with the credit, and 
therefore not onely was placed in the midst by Origen (for the 
worth and excellencie thereof aboue the rest, as Epiphanius gath- 
ereth) but also was vsed by the Greeke fathers for the ground and 
foundation of their Commentaries. Yea, Epiphanius aboue named 
doeth attribute so much vnto it, that he holdeth the Authours 
■thereof not onely for Interpreters, but also for Prophets in some 
respect: and lustinian the Emperour enioyning the lewes his 
subjects to vse specially the Translation of the Seuentie, rendreth 
this reason thereof, because they were as it were enlightened with 
propheticall grace. Yet for all that, as the Egyptians are said of 
the Prophet to bee men and not God, and their horses flesh and 
not spirit: so it is euident, (and Saint Hierome affirmeth as much) 
that the Seuentie 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 ouersight, another while 
through ignorance, yea, sometimes they may be noted to adde to 
the Originall, and sometimes to take from it; which made the 
Apostles to leaue them many times, when they left the Hebrew, 
and to deliuer the sence thereof according to the trueth of the 
word, as the spirit gaue them vtterance. This may suffice touching 
the Greeke Translations of the old Testament. 

There were also. within a few hundreth yeers after Christ, 
translations many into the Latine tongue: for this tongue also 
was very fit to conuey the Law and the Gospel by, because in those 
times very many Countreys of the West, yea of the South, East 
and North, spake or vnderstood Latine, being made Prouinces to 
the Romanes. But now the Latine Translations were too many 
to be all good, for they were infinite {Latini Interpretes nullo modo 
numerari possunt, saith S. Augustine.) Againe they were not out 
of the Hebrew fountaine (wee speake of the Latine Translations of 
the Old Testament) but out of the Greeke streame, therefore the 
Greeke being not altogether cleare, the Latine deriued from it 
must needs be muddie. This moued S. Hieroyne a most learned 
father, and the best linguist without controuersie, of his age, or 
of any that went before him to vndertake the translating of the 
Old Testament, out of the very fountaines themselues; which 
hee performed with that euidence of great learning, iudgement, 
industrie and faithfulnes, that he hath for euer bound the Church 
vnto him, in a debt of speciall remembrance and thankefulnesse. 

Now though the Church were thus furnished with Greeke and 
Latine Translations, euen before the faith of Christ was generally 

262 The Book of Books 

embraced in the Empire: (for the learned know that euen in 
S. Hieromes time, the Consul of Rome and his wife were both 
Ethnicks, and about the same time the greatest part of the Senate 
also) yet for all that the godly-learned were not content to haue 
the Scriptures in the Language which themselues vnderstood, 
Greeke and Latine, (as the good Lepers were not content to fare 
well themselues, but acquainted their neighbours with the store 
that God had sent, that they also might prouide for themselues) 
but also for the behoofe and edifying of the vnlearned which 
hungred and thirsted after Righteousnesse, and had soules to be 
saued aswel as they, they prouided Translations into the vulgar 
for their Countrymen, insomuch that most nations vnder heauen 
did shortly after their conuersion, heare Christ speaking vnto 
them in their mother tongue, not by the voyce of their Minister 
onely, but also by the written word translated. If any doubt 
hereof, he may be satisfied by examples enough, if enough wil 
serue the turne. First, S. Hierovie saith, Multaru^n gentiu Unguis 
Scripiura ante trans lata, docet falsa esse qucs addita sunt, iffc. i. 
The Scripture being translated before in the languages of many 
Nations, doth shew that those things that were added (by Lucian or 
Hesychius) are false. So S. Hierome in that place. The same 
Hierome elsewhere affirmeth that he, the time was, had set forth 
the translation of the Seuenty, sues lingua hominibus, i. for his 
countreymen of Dalmatia. Which words not only Erasmus doth 
vnderstand to purport, that S. Hierovie translated the Scripture 
into the Dalmatian tongue, but also Sixtus Senensis, and Alphon- 
siis a Castro (that we speake of no more) men not to be excepted 
against by them of Rome, doe ingenuously confesse as much. So, 
S. Chrysostome that liued in S. Hieromes time, giueth euidence 
with him: The doctrine of S. lohn (saith he) did not in such sort 
(as the Philosophers did) vanish away: but the Syrians, Egyptians, 
Indians, Persia?is, Ethiopians, and infinite other nations being 
barbarous people, translated it into their {mother) tongue, and haue 
learned to be {true) Philosophers, he meaneth Christians. To this 
may be added Theodorit, as next vnto him, both for antiquitie, 
and for learning. His words be these, Euery Countrey that is vnder 
the Sunne, is full of these wordes (of the Apostles and Prophets) 
and the Hebrew tongue (he meaneth the Scriptures in the Hebrew 
tongue) is turned not onely into the Language of the Grecians, but 
also of the Romanes, and Egyptians, and Persians, and Indians, 
and Armenians, and Scythians, and Sauromatians, and briefly into 
all the Languages that any Nation vseth. So he. In like maner, 
VIpilas is reported by Paulus Diaconus and Isidar (and before 
them by Sozomen) to haue translated the Scriptures into the 
Gothicke tongue: lohn Bishop of Siuil by Fasseus, to haue turned 
them into Arabicke, about the yeere of our Lord 717: Beda by 
Cistertiensis, to haue turned a great part of them into Saxon: 
Efnard by Trithemius, to haue abridged the French Psalter, as 
Beda had done the Hebrew, about the yeere 800: King A lured by 

The Authorized Version 263 

the said Cistertiensis to haue turned the Psalter into Saxon: 
Methodius by Auentinus (printed at Ingolstad) to haue turned the 
Scriptures into || Sclaii-onian: Valdo, Bishop of Frising by Beatus 
Rhenanus^ to haue caused about that time, the Gospels to be 
translated into Z)z//cA-rithme, yet extant in the Library of Corbin- 
ian: Valdus, by diuers to haue turned them himself, or to haue 
gotten them turned into French, about the yeere 1160: Charles 
the 5. of that name, surnamed The wise, to haue caused them to 
be turned into French, about 200. yeeres after Valdus his time, 
of which translation there be many copies yet extant, as witnesseth 
Beroaldus. Much about that time, euen in our King Richard the 
seconds dayes, lohn Treuisa translated them into English, and 
many English Bibles in written hand are yet to be seene with 
diuers, translated as it is very probable, in that age. So the 
Syrian translation of the New Testament is in most learned mens 
Libraries, of Widminstadius his setting forth, and the Psalter in 
Arabicke is with many, of Augustinus Nebiensis setting foorth. 
So Postel affirmeth, that in his trauaile he saw the Gospels in the 
Ethiopian tongue; And Ambrose Thesius alleageth the Psalter of 
the Indians, which he testifieth to haue bene set forth by Potken 
in Syrian characters. So that, to haue the Scriptures in the 
mother-tongue is not a quaint conceit lately taken vp, either by 
the Lord Cromwell in England, or by the Lord Radeuil in Polonie, 
or by the Lord Fngnadius in the Emperours dominion, but hath 
bene thought vpon, and put in practise of old, euen from the first 
times of the conuersion of any Nation; no doubt, because it was 
esteemed most profitable, to cause faith to grow in mens hearts 
the sooner, and to make them to be able to say with the words of 
the Psalme, As we haue heard, so we haue seene. 

Now the Church of Rome would seeme at the length to beare 
a motherly affection towards her children, and to allow them the 
Scriptures in their mother tongue: but indeed it is a gift, not 
deseruing to be called a gift, an vnprofitable gift: they must first 
get a Licence in writing before they may vse them, and to get that, 
they must approue themselues to their Confessor, that is, to be 
such as are, if not frozen in the dregs, yet sowred with the leauen 
of their superstition. Howbeit, it seemed too much to Clement the 
8 that there should be any Licence granted to haue them in the 
vulgar tongue, and therefore he ouerruleth and frustrateth the 
grant of Pius the fourth. So much are they afraid of the light 
of the Scripture, {Lucifugce Scripturarum, as Tertullian speaketh) 
that they will not trust the people with it, no not as it is set foorth 
by their owne sworne men, no not with the Licence of their owne 
Bishops and Inquisitors. Yea, so vnwilling they are to communi- 
cate the Scriptures to the peoples vnderstanding in any sort, that 
they are not ashamed to confesse, that wee forced them to trans- 
late it into English against their wills. This seemeth to argue a 
bad cause, or a bad conscience, or both. Sure we are, that it is 

264 The Book of Books 

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 the Hght, but the malefactour, lest his deedes should 
be reproued: neither is it the plaine dealing Merchant that is 
vnwilling to haue the waights, or the meteyard brought in place, 
but he that vseth deceit. But we will let them alone for this 
fault, and returne to translation. 

Many mens mouths haue bene open a good while (and yet 
are not stopped) with speeches about the Translation so long in 
hand, or rather perusals of Translations made before: and aske 
what may be the reason, what the necessitie of the employment: 
Hath the Church bene deceiued, say they, all this while? Hath 
her sweet bread bene mingled with leauen, her siluer with drosse, 
her wine with water, her milke with lime.f' {Lacte gypsum male 
miscetur, saith .S. Ireney.) We hoped that we had bene in the 
right way, that we had had the Oracles of God deliuered vnto vs, 
and that though all the world had cause to be offended and to 
complaine, yet that we had none. Hath the nurse holden out the 
breast, and nothing but winde in it.'* Hath the bread bene deliu- 
ered by the fathers of the Church, and the same proued to be 
lapidosus, as Seneca speaketh.'' What is it to handle the word 
of God deceitfully, if this be not.'' Thus certaine brethren. Also 
the aduersaries of Itidah and Hierusalem, like Sanhallat in Nehe- 
miah, mocke, as we heare, both at the worke and workemen, say- 
ing: What doe these zveake lezues, i^c. will they make the stories whole 
againe out of the heapes of dust zvhich are burnt'? although they 
build, yet if a foxe goe vp, he shall euen hreake dozvne their stony zvall. 
Was their Translation good before.^ Why doe they now mend it? 
Was it not good? Why then was it obtruded to the people? Yea, 
why did the Catholicks (meaning Popish Romanists) alwayes goe 
in ieopardie, for refusing to goe to heare it? Nay, if it must be 
translated into English, Catholicks are fittest to doe it. They 
haue learning, and they know when a thing is well, they can 
manum de tabula. Wee will answere them both briefly: and the 
former, being brethren, thus, with S. Hierome, D amnamus veteres? 
Minime, sed post priorum studia in domo Domini quod possumus 
laboramus. That is. Doe zve condemn the ancient? In no case: 
but aftei the endeuours of them that were before vs, zvee take the best 
paines we can in the house of God. As if hee said. Being prouoked 
by the example of the learned that liued before my time, I haue 
thought it my duetie, to assay whether my talent in the knowledge 
of the tongues, may be profitable in any measure to Gods Church, 
lest I should seeme to haue laboured in them in vaine, and lest I 
should be thought to glory in men, (although ancient), aboue that 
which was in them. This S. Hierome may be thought to speak. 

And to the same effect say wee, that we are so farre off from 
condemning any of their labours that traueiled before vs in this 
kinde, either in this land or beyond sea, either in King Henries 

The Authorized Version 265 

time, or King Edwards (if there were any translation, or correction 
of a translation in his time) or Queene EHzabeths of euer-renouned 
memorie, that we acknowledge them to haue beene raised vp of 
God, for the building and furnishing of his Church, and that they 
deserue to be had of vs and of posteritie in euerlasting remem- 
brance. The ludgement o{ Aristotle is worthy and well knowen: 
// Timotheus had not bene, we had not had much sweet musicke; 
but if Phrynis (Timotheus his master) had not beene, wee had not 
had Timotheus. Therefore blessed be they, and most honoured be 
their name, that breake the yce, and giueth onset vpon that which 
helpeth forward to the sauing of soules. Now what can bee more 
auailable thereto, then to deliuer Gods booke vnto Gods people in 
a tongue which they vnderstand? Since of an hidden treasure, 
and of a fountaine that is sealed, there is no profit, as Ptolomee 
Philadelph wrote to the Rabbins or masters of the lewes, as wit- 
nesseth Epiphaniiis: and as S. Augustine saith; A man had rather 
be ivith his dog then with a stranger (whose tongue is strange vnto 
him.) Yet for all that, as nothing is begun and perfited at the 
same time, and the later thoughts are thought to be the wiser: 
so, if we building vpon their foundation that went before vs, and 
being holpen by their labours, doe endeuour to make that better 
which they left so good, no man, we are sure, hath cause to mis- 
like vs; they, we perswade our selues, if they were aliue, would 
thanke vs. The vintage of Abiezer, that strake the stroake; yet 
the gleaning of grapes of Ephraim was not to be despised. See 
Judges 8. verse 2. loash the king oi Israel did not satisfic himselfe, 
till he had smitten the ground three times; and yet hee offended 
the Prophet, for giuing ouer then. Aquila, of whom wee spake 
before, translated the Bible as carefully, and as skilfully as he 
could; and yet he thought good to goe ouer it againe, and then it 
got the credit with the lewes, to be called Kara aKpiftuav, that is, 
accurately done, as Saint Hierome witnesseth. How many bookes 
of profane learning haue bene gone ouer againe and againe, by the 
same translators, by others.'' Of one and the same booke o( Aris- 
totles Ethikes, there are extant not so few as sixe or seuen seuerall 
translations. Now if this cost may bee bestowed vpon the goord, 
which affordeth vs a little shade, and which to day flourisheth 
but to morrow is cut downe; what may we bestow, nay what 
ought we not to bestow vpon the Vine, the fruite whereof maketh 
glad the conscience of man, and the stemme whereof abideth for 
euer.'' And this is the word of God, which we translate. What is 
the chaff e to the zvheat, saith the Lord? Tanti vitreum, quanti verum 
margaritiun (saith Tertidlian,) if a toy of glasse be of that rekoning 
with vs, how ought wee to value the true pearle.^ Therefore let 
no mans eye be euill, because his Maiesties is good; neither let 
any be grieued, that wee haue a Prince that seeketh the increase 
of the spirituall wealth of Israel (Let Sanballats and Tobiahs doe 
so, which therefore doe beare their iust reproofe) but let vs rather 
blesse God from the ground of our heart, for working this religious 

266 The Book of Books 

care in him, to haue the translations of the Bible maturely con- 
sidered of and examined. For by this meanes it commeth to passe, 
that whatsoeuer is sound alreadie (and all is sound for substance, 
in one or other of our editions, and the worst of ours farre better 
then their autentike vulgar) the same will shine as gold more 
brightly, being rubbed and polished; also if any thing be halting, 
or superfluous, or not so agreeable to the originall, the same may 
bee corrected, and the trueth set in place. And what can the 
King command to bee done, that will bring him more true honour 
then this? and wherein could they that haue beene set a worke, 
approue their duetie to the King, yea their obedience to God, and 
loue to his Saints more, then by yeelding their seruice, and all 
that is within them, for the furnishing of the worke? But besides 
all this, they were the principall motiues of it, and therefore ought 
least to quarrell it: for the very Historicall trueth is, that vpon 
the importunate petitions of the Puritanes, at his Maiesties com- 
ming to this Crowne, the Conference at Hampton Court hauing 
bene 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 conscience 
subscribe to the Communion booke, since it maintained the Bible 
as it was there translated, which was as they said, a most corrupted 
translation. And although this was iudged to be but a very poore 
and emptie shift; yet euen hereupon did his Maiestie beginne to 
bethinke himselfe of the good that might ensue by a new transla- 
tion, and presently after gaue order for this Translation which is 
now presented vnto thee. Thus much to satisfie our scrupulous 

Now to the later we answere; that wee doe not deny, nay 
wee affirme and auow, that the very meanest translation of the 
Bible in English, set foorth by men of our profession (for wee haue 
seene none of theirs of the whole Bible as yet) containeth the word 
of God, nay, is the word of God. As the Kings Speech which hee 
vttered in Parliament, being translated into French, Dutch, Italian 
and Latine, is still the Kings Speech, though it be not interpreted 
by euery Translator with the like grace, nor peraduenture so fitly 
for phrase, nor so expresly for sence, euery where. For it is con- 
fessed, that things are to take their denomination of the greater 
part; and a naturall man could say, Verum vbi multa nitent in 
carmine, non ego paiccis offender viaulis, iffc. A man may be 
counted a vertuous man, though hee haue made many slips in 
his life, (els, there were none vertuous, for in many things we 
offend all) also a comely man and louely, though hee haue some 
warts vpon his hand, yea, not onely freakles vpon his face, but 
also skarres. No cause therefore why the word translated should 
bee denied to be the word, or forbidden to be currant, notwith- 
standing that some imperfections and blemishes may be noted in 
the setting foorth of it. For what euer was perfect vnder the 
Sunne, where Apostles or Apostolike men, that is, men indued 

The Authorized Version 267 

with an extraordinary measure of Gods spirit, and priuiledged 
with the priuiledge of infalHbih'tie, had not their hand? The 
Romanistes therefore in refusing to heare, and daring to burne 
the Word translated, did no lesse then despite the spirit of grace, 
from whom originally it proceeded, and whose sense and meaning, 
as well as mans weaknesse would enable, it did expresse. ludge 
by an example or two. Plutarch writeth, that after that Rome 
had beene burnt by the Galles, they fell soone to builde it againe: 
but doing it in haste, they did not cast the streets, nor proportion 
the houses in such comely fashion as had bene most sightly and 
conuenient; 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 Ezr ah, 
and the prophesie of Haggai it may be gathered, that the Temple 
built by Zerubbabel after the returne from Babylon, was by no 
meanes to bee compared to the former built by Solomon (for they 
that remembered the former, wept when they considered the 
later) notwithstanding, might this later either haue bene abhorred 
and forsaken by the lezves, or prophaned by the Greekes? The 
like wee are to thinke of Translations. The translation of the 
Seuentie dissenteth from the Originall in many places, neither 
doeth it come neere it, for perspicuitie, grauitie, maiestie; yet 
which of the Apostles did condemne it? Condemne it? Nay, 
they vsed it, (as it is apparent, and as Saint Hierome, and most 
learned men doe confesse) which they would not haue done, nor 
by their example of vsing it, so grace and commend it to the 
Church, if it had bene vnworthy the appellation and name of the 
word of God. And whereas they vrge for their second defence 
of their vilifying and abusing of the English Bibles, or some pieces 
thereof, which they meete v/ith, for that heretikes (forsooth) were 
the Authours of the translations, (heretikes they call vs by the 
same right that they call themselues Catholikes, both being wrong) 
wee marueile what diuinitie taught them so. Wee are sure Ter- 
tullian was of another minde: Ex personis probamus fidem, an ex 
fide personas? Doe wee trie mens faith by their persons? we 
should trie their persons by their faith. Also S. Augustine was 
of an other minde: for he lighting vpon certaine rules made by 
Tychonius a Donatist, for the better vnderstanding of the word, 
was not ashamed to make vse of them, yea, to insert them into 
his owne booke, with giuing commendation to them so farre foorth 
as they were worthy to be commended, as is to be seene in S. Aicg- 
ustines third booke De doctrind Christiana. To be short, Origen 
and the whole Church of God for certain hundred 3'eeres, were 
of an other minde: for they were so farre from treading vnder 
foote, (much more from burning) the Translation of Aqiiila a 
Proselite, that is, one that had turned lew; of Symmachus, and 
Theodotion, both Ebionites, that is, most vile heretikes, that they 
ioyned them together with the Hebrezv Originall, and the Transla- 

268 The Book of Books 

tion of the Seueyitie (as hath bene before signified out of Epiphan- 
ius) and set them forth openly to be considered of and perused by 
all. But we weary the vnlearned, who need not know so much, 
and troubled the learned, who know it already. 

Yet before we end, we must answere a third cavill and obiec- 
tion of theirs against vs, for altering and amending our Taansla- 
tions so oft; wherein truely they deale hardly, and strangely with 
vs. For to whom euer was it imputed for a fault (by such as 
were wise) to goe ouer that which hee had done, and to amend it 
where he saw cause? Saint Augustine was not afraid to exhort 
S. Hierome to a Palinodia or recantation: the same S. Aiigustine 
was not ashamed to retractate, we might say reuoke, many things 
that had passed him, and doth euen glory that he seeth his infirm- 
ities. If we will be sonnes of the Trueth, we must consider what 
it speaketh, and trample vpon our owne credit, yea, and vpon 
other mens too, if either be any way an hinderance to it. This 
to the cause: then to the persons we say, that of all men they 
ought to bee most silent in this case. For what varieties haue 
they, and what alterations haue they made, not onely of their 
Seruice bookes, Portesses and Breuiaries, but also of their Latine 
Translation? The Seruice booke supposed to be made by S. 
Ambrose {Officium Amhrosianum) was a great while in speciall vse 
and request: but Pope Hadrian calling a Councill with the ayde 
of Charles the Emperour, abolished it, yea, burnt it, and com- 
manded the Seruice-booke of Saint Gregorie vniuersally to be vsed. 
Well, Officium Gregorianum gets by this meanes to be in credit, 
but doeth it continue without change or altering? No, the very 
Romane Seruice was of two fashions, the New fashion, and the 
Old, (the one vsed in one Church, the other in another) as is to 
bee scene in Pamelius a Romanist, his Preface, before Micrologics. 
The same Pamelius reporteth out of Radidphus de Riuo, that 
about the yeere of our Lord, 1277. Pope Nicolas the third remoued 
out of the Churches of Rome, the more ancient bookes (of Seruice) 
and brought into vse the Missals of the Friers Minorites, and com- 
manded them to bee obserued there; insomuch that about an 
hundred yeeres after, when the aboue named Radulphus happened 
to be at Rome, he found all the bookes to be new, (of the new 
stampe.) Neither was there this chopping and changing in the 
more ancient times onely, but also of late: Pius Quintus himselfe 
confesseth, that euery Bishopricke almost had a peculiar kind of 
seruice, most vnlike to that which others had: which moued him 
to abolish all other Breuiaries, though neuer so ancient, and priui- 
ledged and published by Bishops in their Diocesses, and to estab- 
lish and ratifie that onely which was of his owne setting foorth, 
in the yeere 1568. Now, when the father of their Church, who 
gladly would heale the soare of the daughter of his people softly 
and sleightly, and make the best of it, findeth so great fault with 
them for their oddes and iarring; we hope the children haue no 
great cause to vaunt of their vniformitie. But the difference that 

The Authorized Version 269 

appeareth betweene our Translations, and our often correcting of 
them, is the thing that wee are specially charged with; let vs see 
therefore whether they themselues bee without fault this way, (if 
it be to be counted a fault, to correct) and whether they bee fit 
men to throw stones at vs: tandem niaior parcas ijisane minori: 
they that are lesse sound themselues ought not to obiect infirmities 
to others. If we should tell them that Valla, Stapulensis, Erasmus, 
and Vines found fault with their vulgar Translation, and conse- 
quently wished the same to be mended, or a new one to be made, 
they would answere peraduenture, that we produced their enemies 
for witnesses against them; albeit, they were in no other sort 
enemies, then as S. Paul was to the Galatians, for telling them the 
trueth: and it were to be wished, that they had dared to tell it 
them plainlier and oftner. But what will they say to this, that 
Pope Leo the Tenth allowed Erasmtis translation of the New Testa- 
ment, so much different from the vulgar, by his Apostolike Letter 
& Bull; that the same Leo exhorted Pagnin to translate the whole 
Bible, and bare whatsoeuer charges was necessary for the worke? 
Surely, as the Apostle reasoneth to the Hebrezves, that if the former 
Law and Testament had bene sufficient, there had beene no need of 
the latter: so we may say, that if the olde vulgar had bene at all 
points allowable, to small purpose had labour and charges bene 
vndergone, about framing of a new. If they say, it was one Popes 
priuate opinion, and that he consulted onely himselfe; then wee 
are able to goe further with them, and to auerre, that more of 
their chiefe men of all sorts, euen their owne /'r^wZ-champions 
Paiua & Vega, and their owne Inquisitors, Hieronymus ab Oleastro, 
and their own Bishop Isidorus Clarius, and their owne Cardinall 
Thomas a Vio Caietan, doe either make new Translations them- 
selues, or follow new ones of other mens making, or note this 
vulgar Interpretor for halting; none of them feare to dissent from 
him, nor yet to except against him. And call they this an vni- 
forme tenour of text and iudgement about the text, so many of 
their Worthies disclaiming the now receiued conceit? Nay, we 
wil yet come neerer the quicke: doth not their Par is -tdmon differ 
from the Louaine, and Hentenius his from them both, and yet all 
of them allowed by authoritie.'* Nay, doth not Sixtus Ouintus 
confesse, that certaine Catholikes (he meaneth certaine of his owne 
side) were in such an humour of translating the Scriptures into 
Lattne, that Satan taking occasion by them, though they thought 
of no such matter, did striue what he could, out of so vncertaine 
and manifold a varietie of Translations, so to mingle all things, 
that nothing might seeme to be left certaine and firme in them, hcc^. 
Nay further, did not the same Sixtus ordaine by an inuiolable 
decree, and that with the counsell and consent of his Cardinals, 
that the Latine edition of the olde and new Testament, which the 
Councill of Trent would haue to be authenticke, is the same without 
controuersie which he then set forth, being diligently corrected 
and printed in the Printing-house of Vatican? Thus Sixtus in his 

270 The Book of Books 

Preface before his Bible. And yet Clement the eight his immediate 
successour, pubHsheth another edition of the Bible, containing in 
it infinite differences from that of Sixtus, (and many of them 
waightie and materiall) and yet this must be authentike by all 
meanes. What is to haue the faith of our glorious Lord Iesus 
Christ with Yea and Nay, if this be not? Againe, what is sweet 
harmonie and consent, if this be? Therfore, as Demarotus of 
Corinth aduised a great King, before he talked of the dissensions 
among the Grecians, to compose his domesticke broiles (for at 
that time his Queene and his sonne and heire were at deadly fuide 
with him) so all the while that our aduersaries doe make so many 
and so various editions themselues, and doe iarre so much about 
the worth and authoritie of them, they can with no show of equitie 
challenge vs for changing and correcting. 

But it is high time to leaue them, and to shew in briefe what 
wee proposed to our selues, and what course we held in this our 
perusall and suruay of the Bible. Truly (good Christian Reader) 
wee neuer thought from the beginning, that we should neede to 
make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one, 
(for then the imputation of Sixtus had bene true in some sort, 
that our people had bene fed with gall of Dragons in stead of wine, 
with whey in stead of milke:) but to make a good one better, or 
out of many good ones, one principall good one, not iustly to be 
excepted against; that hath bene our indeauour, that our marke. 
To that purpose there were many chosen, that were greater in 
other mens eyes then in their owne, and that sought the truth 
rather then their own praise. Againe, they came or were thought 
to come to the worke, not exercendi causa (as one saith) but 
exercitati, that is, learned, not to learne: For the chief ouerseer 
and lpyohwKTri<; vnder his Maiestie, to whom not onely we, but 
also our whole Church was much bound, knew by his wisedome, 
which thing also Nazianzen taught so long agoe, that it is a pre- 
posterous order to teach first and to learne after, yea that to ev 
ttlBw Kepa/xLav fiavOdveLv to learne and practise together, is neither 
commendable for the workeman, nor safe for the worke. There- 
fore such were thought vpon, as could say modestly with 
Saint Hierome, Et Hebrceum Sermonem ex parte didicimus, y in 
Latino pene ah ipsis incunabulis i^c. detriti sumus. Both we haue 
learned the Hebrew tongue in part, and in the Latine wee haue heene 
exercised almost jrom our verie cradle. S. Hierome maketh no men- 
tion of the Greeke tongue, wherein yet hee did excell, because hee 
translated not the old Testament out of Greeke, but out o{ Hebrezve. 
And in what sort did these assemble? In the trust of their owne 
knowledge, or of their sharpenesse of wit, or deepenesse of iudge- 
ment, as it were in an arme of flesh? At no hand. They trusted 
in him that hath the key of Dauid, opening and no man shutting; 
they prayed to the Lord the Father of our Lord, to the effect that 
S. Augustine did: let thy Scriptures he my pure delight, let me not 

The Authorized Version 271 

be deceiued in them, neither let vie deceiue by them. In this confi- 
dence, and with this deuotion 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, truely it was the Hebrew text of the Olde Testament, 
the Greeke of the New. These are the two golden pipes, or rather 
conduits, where through the oliue branches emptie themselues 
into the golde. Saint Augustine calleth them precedent, or originall 
tongues; Saint Hierome, fountaines. The same Saint Hierome 
affirmeth, and Gratian hath not spared to put it into his Decree. 
That, as the credit of the olde Bookes (he meaneth of the Old Testa- 
ment) is to be tryed by the Hebrewe Volumes, so of the Nezv by the 
Greeke tongue, he meaneth by the originall Greeke. If trueth be 
to be tried by these tongues, then whence should a Translation 
be made, but out of them } These tongues therefore, the Scriptures 
wee say in those tongues, wee set before vs to translate, being the 
tongues wherein God was pleased to speake to his Church by his 
Prophets and Apostles. Neither did we run ouer the worke with 
that posting haste that the Septuagint did, if that be true which 
is reported of them, that they finished it in 72. dayes; neither were 
we barred or hindered from going ouer it againe, hauing once done 
it, like S. Hierome, if that be true which himselfe reporteth, that 
he could no sooner write any thing, but presently it was caught 
from him, and published, and he could not haue leaue to mend it: 
neither to be short, were we the first that fell in hand with trans- 
lating the Scripture into English, and consequently destitute of 
former helpes, as it is written of Origen, that hee was the first in 
a maner, that put his hand to write Commentaries vpon the Scrip- 
tures, and therefore no marueile, if he ouershot himselfe many 
times. None of these things: the worke hath not bene hudled 
vp in 72. dayes, but hath cost the workmen, as light as it seemeth, 
the paines of twise seuen times seuentie two dayes and more: 
matters of such weight and consequence are to bee speeded with 
maturitie: for in a businesse of moment a man feareth not the 
blame of conuenient slacknesse. Neither did wee thinke much to 
consult the Translators or Commentators, Chaldee, Hebrewe, 
Syrian, Greeke, or Latine, no nor the Spanish, French, Italian, or 
Dutch; neither did we disdain to reuise that which we had done, 
and to bring backe to the anuill that which we had hammered: 
but hauing and vsing as great helpes as were needful, and fearing 
no reproch for slownesse, nor coueting praise for expedition, wee 
haue at the length, through the good hand of the Lord vpon us, 
brought the worke to that passe that you see. 

Some peraduenture would haue no varietie of sences to be 
set in the margine, lest the authoritie of the Scriptures for deciding 
of controuersies by that shew of vncertaintie, should somewhat be 
shaken. But we hold their iudgmet not to be so sound in this 
point. For though, whatsoeuer things are necessary are 7nanifest, 
as S. Chrysostome saith, and as S. Augustine, In those things that 

272 The Book of Books 

are plainely set dozvne in the Scriptures, all such matters are found 
that concerne Faith, hope and Charitie. Yet for all that it cannot 
be dissembled, that partly to exercise and whet our wits, partly 
to weane the curious from loathing of them for their euery-where- 
plainenesse, partly also to stirre vp our deuotion to craue the 
assistance of Gods spirit by prayer, and lastly, that we might be 
forward to seeke ayd of our brethren by conference, and neuer 
scorne those that be not in all respects so complete as they should 
bee, being to seeke in many things our selues, it hath pleased God 
in his diuine prouidence, heere and there to scatter wordes and 
sentences of that difficultie and doubtfulnesse, not in doctrinall 
points that concerne saluation, (for in such it hath beene vouched 
that the Scriptures are plaine) but in matters of lesse moment, 
that fearefulnesse would better beseeme vs then confidence, and 
if we will resolue, to resolue vpon modestie with S. Augustine, 
(though not in this same case altogether, yet vpon the same 
ground) Melius est dubitare de occultis, quam litigate de incertis, 
it is better to make doubt of those things which are secret, then 
to striue about those things that are vncertaine. There be many 
words in the Scriptures, which be neuer found there but once, 
(hauing neither brother nor neighbour, as the Hebrewes speake) 
so that we cannot be holpen by conference of places. Againe, 
there be many rare names of certaine birds, beastes and precious 
stones, &c. concerning which the Hebrewes themselues are so 
diuided among themselues for iudgement, that they may seeme 
to haue defined this or that, rather because they would say som- 
thing, the because they were sure of that which they said, as S. 
Hierome somewhere saith of the Septuagint. Now in such a case 
doth not a margine do well to admonish the Reader to seeke 
further, and not to conclude or dogmatize vpon this or that per- 
emptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulitie to doubt of those 
things that are euident: so to determine of such things as the 
Spirit of God hath left (euen in the iudgment of the iudicious) 
questionable, can be no lesse than presumption. Therfore as S. 
Augusti^ie saith, that varietie of Translations is profitable for the 
finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diuersitie of signifi- 
cation and sense in the margine, where the text is not so cleare, 
must needes doe good, yea, is necessary, as we are perswaded. 

We know that Sixtus Ouintus expresly forbiddeth that any 
varietie of readings of their vulgar edition, should be put in the 
margine, (which though it be not altogether the same thing to 
that we haue in hand, yet it looketh that way) but we thinke he 
hath not all of his owne side his fauourers, for this conceit. They 
that are wise, had rather haue their iudgements at libertie in 
differences of readings, then to be captiuated to one, when it may 
be the other. If they were sure that their hie Priest had all lawes 
shut vp in his brest, as Patd the second bragged, and that he were 
as free from errour by speciall priuiledge, as the Dictators of Rome 

The Authorized Version 273 

were made by law inuiolable, it were an other matter; then his 
word were an Oracle, his opinion a decision. But the eyes of the 
world are now open, God be thanked, and haue bene a great while, 
they find that he is subiect to the same affections and infirmities 
that others be, that his skin is penetrable, and therefore as much 
as he prooueth, not as much as he claimeth, they grant and 

An other thing we thinke good to admonish thee of (gentle 
Reader) that wee haue not tyed our selues to an vniformitie of 
phrasing, or to an identitie of words, as some peraduenture would 
wish that we had done, because they obserue, that some learned 
men some where, haue beene as exact as they could that way. 
Truly, that we might not varie from the sense of that which we 
had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both 
places (for there bee some wordes that bee not of the same sense 
euery where) we are especially carefull, and made a conscience, 
according to our duetie. But, that we should expresse the same 
notion in the same particular word; as for example, is we translate 
the Hebrew or Greeke word once by Purpose, neuer to call it Intent; 
if one where I ourneying, neuer Traueiling; if one where Thinke, 
neuer Suppose; if one where Paine, neuer Ache; if one where loy, 
neuer Gladnesse, &c. Thus to minse the matter, wee thought to 
sauour more of curiositie then wisdome, and that rather it would 
breed scorne in the Atheist, then bring profite to the godly Reader. 
For is the kingdome of God become words or syllables.? why 
should wee be in bondage to them if we may be free, vse one pre- 
cisely when wee may vse another no lesse fit, as commodiously .f* 
A godly Father in the Primitiue time shewed himselfe greatly 
moued, that one of newfanglenes called Kpd(3/3aTov o-ki/attous, 
though the difference be little or none; and another reporteth, 
that he was much abused for turning Cucurbita (to which reading 
the people has beene vsed) into Hedera. Now if this happen in 
better times, and vpon so small occasions, wee might lustly feare 
hard censure, if generally wee should make verball and vnnecessary 
changings. We might also be charged (by scoffers) with some 
vnequall dealing towards a great number of good English wordes. 
For as it is written of a certaine great Philosopher, that he should 
say, that those logs were happie that were made images to be 
worshipped; for their fellows as good as they, lay for blockes be- 
hind the fire: so if wee should say, as it were, vnto certaine 
words. Stand vp higher, haue a place in the Bible alwayes, and to 
others of like qualitie. Get ye hence, be banished for euer, wee 
might be taxed peraduenture with S. lames his words, namely, 
to be partiall in our selues and iudges of euill thoughts. Adde here- 
unto, that nicenesse in wordes was always counted the next step 
to trifling, and so was to bee curious about names too: also that 
we cannot follow a better patterne for elocution then God him- 
selfe: therefore hee vsing diuers words, in his holy writ, and 
indifferently for one thing in nature; we, if wee will not be super- 

274 The Book of Books 

stitious, may vse the same libertie in our English versions out of 
Hehreiv & Greeke, for that copie or store that he hath giuen vs. 
Lastly, wee haue on the one side auoided the scrupulositie of the 
Puritanes, who leaue the olde Ecclesiasticall words, and betake 
them to other, as when they put washing for Baptisme, and Con- 
gregation in stead of Church: as also on the other side we haue 
shunned the obscuritie of the Papists, in their Azimes, Tunike, 
Rational, Holocausts, Prcspuce, Pasche, and a number of such like, 
whereof their late Translation is full, and that of purpose to darken 
the sence, that since they must needs translate the Bible, yet by 
the language thereof, it may bee kept from being vnderstood. But 
we desire that the Scripture may speake like it selfe, as in the 
language of Canaan that it may bee vnderstood euen of the very 

Many other things we might giue thee warning of (gentle 
Reader) if wee had not exceeded the measure of a Preface alreadie. 
It remaineth, that we commend thee to God, and to the Spirit of 
his grace, which is able to build further then we can aske or thinke. 
Hee remoueth the scales from our eyes, the vaile from our hearts, 
opening our wits that wee may vnderstand his word, enlarging 
our hearts, yea correcting our affections, that we may loue it 
aboue gold and siluer, yea that we may loue it to the end. Ye 
are brought vnto fountaines of liuing water which yee digged not: 
doe not cast earth into them with the Philistines, neither preferre 
broken pits before them with the wicked lewes. Others haue 
laboured, and you may enter into their labours; O receiue not 
so great things in vaine, O despise not so great saluation! Be not 
like swine to treade vnder foote so precious things, neither yet 
like dogs to tear and abuse holy things. Say not to our Sauiour 
with the Gergesites, Depart out of our coasts; neither yet with 
Esau sell your birthright for a messe of potage. If light be come 
into the world, loue not darkenesse more then light; if foode, if 
clothing be offered, goe not naked, starue not your selues. Remem- 
ber the aduise of Nazianzetie, It is a grieuous thing (or dangerous) 
to neglect a great faire, and to seeke to make markets afterwards: 
also the encouragement of S. Chrysostome, It is altogether impossible, 
that he that is sober {and zvatchfull) should at any time be neglected: 
Lastly, the admonition and menacing of S. Augustine. They that 
despise Gods will inuiting them, shal feele Gods will taking vengeance 
of them. It is a fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the liuing 
God: but a blessed thing it is, and will bring vs to euerlasting 
blessedness in the end, when God speaketh vnto vs, to hearken; 
when he setteth his word before vs, to reade it; when hee stretcheth 
out his hand and calleth, to answere. Here am I; here we are to 
doe thy v\^^ O God. The Lord worke a care and conscience in 
vs to know hnu and serue him, that we may be acknowledged of 
him at the appearing of our Lord lesus Christ, to whom with the 
holy Ghost, be all prayse and thankesgiuing. Amen. 

The Authorized Version 275 

Then followed a calendar occupying 12 pages; "An 
Almanacke for xxxix yeeres," i page; a table "To finde 
Easter for euer," i page; "The Table and Kalender, expres- 
sing the order of Psalmes and Lessons to be said at Morning 
and Euening prayer," 5 pages; the names and order of the 
books, I page; 34 pages of genealogical charts with i page 
of explanation; i page with royal coat of arms; and 4 pages 
with map of Canaan on the inside and an index on the 

The version was reprinted page for page in facsimile at 
Oxford in 1833, and a smaller edition in roman type, exactly 
page for page, in 191 1, the three hundredth anniversary of 
the original issue. To the latter is prefixed an excellent 
introduction of about fifty pages by A. W. Pollard. 

The following are specimen translations: 

Psalm 2: 

1. Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vaine 
thing I 

2. The Kings of the earth set themselues, and the rulers take 
counsell together, against the Lord, and against his Anoynted, 

3 Let vs break their bandes asunder, and cast away their 
cords from vs. 

4 Hee that sitteth in the heauens shal laugh: the Lord shall 
haue them in derision. 

5 Then shall hee speake vnto them in his wrath, and vexe 
them in his sore displeasure. 

6 Yet haue I set my King vpon my holy hill of Sion. 

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said vnto mee, 
Thou art my sonne, this day haue I begotten thee. 

8 Aske of me, and I shall giue thee the heathen for thine 
inheritance and the vttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 

9 Thou shalt breake them with a rod if iron, thou shalt dash 
them in pieces like a potters vessell. 

10 Bee wise now therefore, O yee Kings: be instructed ye 
Judges of the earth. 

11 Serue the Lord with feare, and reioyce with trembling. 

12 Kisse the Sonne lest he be angry, and ye perish /rom the 
way, when his wrath is kindled but a little: Blessed are all they 
that put their trust in him. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): 
9 Our Father which art in heauen, hallowed be thy name. 
10 Thy kingdome come. Thy will be done, in earth, as it is 
in heaven. 

276 The Book of Books 

11 Giue vs this day our daily bread. 

12 And forgiue vs our debts as we forgiue our debters. 

12 And lead vs not into temptation, but deliuer vs from euill: 
for thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glory, for euer, 

The Authorized Version is so well known and appre- 
ciated that it seems strange to believe that it took a long 
time to win its way into the favor of the people. The 
Geneva Version w^as printed until 1644. In 1628 the Cam- 
bridge University Press printed the New Testament and in 
1629 the complete Bible. The Oxford University Press 
printed its first Bible in 1675. Changes in spelling and to 
some extent in wording were made from time to time, and 
eventually the Apocrypha was omitted, so that the present 
Authorized \ ersion differs considerably, though not sub- 
stantially, from that of 161 1. It has come to be recognized 
as the finest specimen of English literature; in fact, it is 
the model after which the best in English literature has 
been patterned. Not only have Protestants recognized the 
excellence of the translation, but the following eloquent 
testimony is from the pen of a famous Catholic, F. W. Faber: 

Who will say that the uncommon beauty and marvelous 
English of the Protestant Bible is not one of the great strongholds 
of heresy in this country.^ It lives on the ear, like music that 
can never be forgotten, like the sound of church bells, which the 
convert hardly knows how he can forego. Its felicities often seem 
to be almost things rather than words. It is part of the national 
mind, and the anchor of national seriousness. Nay, it is wor- 
shiped with a positive idolatry, in extenuation of whose grotesque 
fanaticism its intrinsic beauty pleads availingly with the man of 
letters and the scholar. The memory of the dead passes into it. 
The potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped in its verses. 
The power of all the griefs and trials of a man are hid benea th 
its words. It is the representative of his best moments, and all 
that there has been about him of soft and gentle, and pure and 
penitent and good, speaks to him forever out of his Protestant 
Bible. It is a sacred thing which doubt has never dimmed and 
controversy never soiled. 

The original edition contained a repetition of three lines 
m Exodus 14 : 10, and some 161 1 copies contained "he 
went" and some "she went" in Ruth 3:15. The chrono- 

The Authorized Version 277 

logical dates seen in modern reference Bibles did not appear 
until they were inserted by Bishop Lloyd in 1701; they 
were taken from a work by Archbishop Ussher and are not 
now considered very reliable. 



BETWEEN 1611 and 1881 there were many private 
revisions of the New Testament, of the whole Bible, or 
of separate books, and some efforts were made for the official 
issue of a new version; but it was not until 1870 that definite 
action was taken which resulted in the publication of the 
English Revised Version of the New Testament, in 1881, 
the Old Testament in 1885, the Apocrypha in 1895, and the 
American (Standard) Revised Version in 1901. In 1912 a 
revised version was published by the American Bible Union, 
and in 1917 a Jewish Revised Version was published in 

On February i, 1856, Canon Selwyn gave notice to the 
Upper House of Convocation of a motion as follows: 

To propose a petition to Upper House requesting His Grace 
and their Lordships to take into their consideration the subject 
of an address to the Crown, praying that Her Most Gracious 
Majesty may be pleased to appoint a body of learned men well 
skilled in the original languages of the Holy Scriptures — 

To consider such amendments of the Authorized Version as 
have been already proposed, and to receive suggestions from all 
persons who may be willing to offer them. 

To communicate with foreign scholars on difficult passages 
when it may be deemed advisable. 

To examine the marginal readings which appear to have been 
introduced into some editions since the year 161 1. 

To point out such words and phrases as have either changed 
their meaning or become obsolete in the lapse of time, — and 

To report from time to time the progress of their work, and 
the amendments which they may be prepared to recommend. 

This was not very favorably received, and on July 22, 
1856, a motion was made in the House of Commons by Mr. 


The Revised Versions 279 

Heywood, for an address praying the Crown to issue a Royal 
Commission to consider amendments that had been pro- 
posed in the Authorized Version, to receive suggestions from 
those willing to offer them, to point out errors and obsolete 
words, and to report accordingly. Owing to opposition 
which developed the motion was withdrawn. 

In February, 1857, another proposal was introduced to 
the Convocation of Canterbury as follows: 

To request the Upper House to take into consideration the 
appointment of a joint Committee of both Houses to deliberate 
upon the best means of bringing under review the suggestions made 
during the two centuries and a half for the still further improve- 
ment of the Authorized Version of the Holy Scripture, and of 
publishing the results of the inquiry. 

There was not much enthusiasm shown for the project 
and eventually an amendment proposed by Archdeacon 
Denison was adopted as follows: 

That it is not expedient that this House give any encourage- 
ment to any alteration of modification of the Authorized Version, 
whether by way of insertion in the text, marginal note, or otherwise. 

As regards concerted action the matter was then 
dropped. It was probably felt that, even though there 
might be great need for revision, there was not a sufficient 
number of capable scholars, or the necessary material was 
not readily available. But private interest in the matter 
on the part of a few earnest workers did not cease, and a 
small group of clergymen published a revision of portions 
of the New Testament. The names of the clergymen were: 
Dean Alford, of Canterbury; Dr. Barrow, Dr. Moberly, 
Dr. Elhcott, and Mr. Humphry. In 1857 they pubhshed 
the Gospel of John, and later the Epistle to the Romans, 
and the two Epistles to the Corinthians. From 1861 to 
1863, four of them published revised versions of the Epistle 
to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. 

Concerning the revision of the Authorized Version by 
five clergymen, Archbishop Trench, of Dublin, remarked in 
his work On the Authorized Version of the New Testament: 

They have not merely urged by precept, but shown by proof, 
that it is possible to revise our Version and at the same time to 
preserve unimpaired the character of the English in which it is 


The Book of Books 

Bishop of LlandafF 

Bishop of St. David's 

Bishop of Bath and Wells 


Bishop of Winchester 


The Revised Versions 281 

composed. Nor is it only on this account that we may accept 
this work as by far the most hopeful contribution which we have 
yet had to the solution of a great and difficult problem; but also 
as showing that where reverent hands touch that building, which 
some would have wholly pulled down, that it might be wholly 
built up again, these find only the need of here and there replacing 
a stone which had been uncautiously built in the wall, or which, 
trustworthy material once, has now yielded to the lapse and injury 
of time, while they leave the building itself, in its main features 
and framework, untouched. 

By the year 1870 these illustrations of the principles 
and results of revision had become pretty well known, and 
in 1862 Dr. Tischendorf had published his elaborate edition 
of the manuscript he had discovered in 1859 at the Convent 
of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai, and its great value had 
been recognized by scholars. The time was more opportune 
then than it was thirteen or fourteen years earlier for under- 
taking the work of revision, and the subject was reintro^ 
duced in the Convocation of Canterbury. 

On February 10, 1870, the following resolution was 
proposed by Dr. Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester, and 
seconded by Dr. C. J. Elhcott, Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol, and unanimously carried in both Houses of Convo- 
cation at Canterbury: 

To report upon the desirableness of a Revision of the Author- 
ized Version of the Old and New Testament, whether by marginal 
notes or otherwise, in all those passages where plain and clear 
errors, whether in the Hebrew or the Greek Text originally adopted 
by the Translators, or in the translations made from the same, 
shall, on due investigation, be found to exist. 

The proposition as first introduced had reference to the 
New Testament only, but before it was adopted as above 
the Old Testament had been added at the suggestion of the 
Bishop of LlandaflF, Dr. Ollivant. 

A committee was appointed to consider the matter and 
report. The members of that committee were: The Bishop 
of Winchester (Dr. Wilberforce), The Bishop of St. David's 
(Dr.Thirlwall), the Bishop of Llandaff (Dr. Ollivant), the 
Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol (Dr. Elhcott), the Bishop 
of Ely (Dr. Browne), the Bishop of Lincoln (Dr. Christopher 
Wordsworth), the Bishop of Sahsbury (Dr. Moberly), the 





The Revised Versions 283 

Bishop of Bath and Wells, (Lord Hervey), the Prolocutor 
(Dr. Bickersteth), the Dean of Canterbury (Dr. Alford), 
the Dean of Westminster (Dr. Stanley), the Dean of Lincoln 
(Dr. Jeremie), Archdeacon Rose, of Bedford; Archdeacon 
Freeman, of Exeter; Archdeacon Grant, of Rochester and 
St. Albans; Chancellor Massingberd, Canon Blakesley, 
Canon How, Canon Selwyn, Canon Swainson, Canon Wood- 
gate, Dr. Jebb, Dr. Kay, and Mr. De Winton. The report 
they presented consisted of the following resolutions: 

1. That it is desirable that a Revision of the Authorized 
Version of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken. 

2. That the Revision 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. 

3. 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. 

4. That in such necessary changes, the style of the language 
employed in the existing Version be closely followed. 

5. 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 belong. 

In accordance with the resolutions, a committee was 
appointed to carry them into effect, as follows: the eight 
Bishops, the Prolocutor, the Deans of Canterbury and 
Westminster, Archdeacon Rose, Canons Blakesley and 
Selwyn, Dr. Jebb, and Dr. Kay. 

The resolution to invite the co-operation of eminent 
scholars, irrespective of nationality or rehgious creed, was 
based on the recognition that there were many outside the 
Established Church whose labors had proved their ability 
and whose co-operation would be eminently desirable. 
Bishop Ellicott had previously published his convictions in 
the following words: 

It would not be hopeful to undertake such a truly national 
work as the revision of the English Bible, that Book of Life which 
is alike dear and common to us all, without the presence and 
co-operation of the most learned of our brethren of non-conformity. 
. . . General questions may often keep us apart; uncharitable 
and embittered politicians may continue, as we have seen not 


The Book of Books 





The Revised Versions 285 

long since, their discreditable efforts to sow dissension and ani- 
mosities, but in the calm region of Biblical learning such pitiful 
efforts will never be permitted to prevail. The men that may 
hereafter sit round the council table of revision will be proof 
against all such uncharitableness; they will be bound by the holy 
bond of reverence for the same Book, and adoration for the same 
Lord. Those whom God may hereafter vouchsafe to join together 
in a holy work, sectarian bitterness will never be able to put 

The Revisers in 1611 used Beza's Greek Text, 4th 
edition, published 1509, and the 4th edition of Stephens, 
published in 1557. These were not much altered from the 
third (1582) edition of Beza's Greek Testament and the 
third (1550) edition of Stephens' Greek Testament. The 
fourth edition of Erasmus' Greek Text had considerable 
influence upon the above, and v^as really the original text, 
or, as it is called, the mother text of the Authorized Version. 

Soon after the issue of the Authorized Version, namely, 
in 1628, the Alexandrian manuscript had arrived in England, 
and in 1862 the Sinaitic had become available. Between 
those dates many other valuable manuscripts had been dis- 
covered and scholars had made use of them in amending the 
Greek Text, but only in private versions had they been used 
in modification of the EngHsh Bible. 

Bishop Elhcott said in reference to the Sinaitic MS.: 

Every earnest man must regard it as something more than 
accident that a manuscript, so venerable, and so perfect, should 
have been discovered just at a time when such a witness was, in 
many important passages, so especially needed. 

In May, 1870, on report of the committee appointed to 
carry out the resolution of February preceding, it was 

I. That the Committee, appointed by the Convocation of 
Canterbury at its last Session, separate itself into two Companies, 
the one for the revision of the Authorized Version of the Old 
Testament, the other for the Authorized Version of the New 

II. That the Company for the revision of the Authorized 
Version of the Old Testament consist of the Bishops of St. Davids, 
LlandafF, Ely, Lincoln, and Bath and Wells, and of the following 
Members from the Lower House; Archdeacon Rose, Canon 
Selwyn, Dr. Jebb, and Dr. Kay. 


The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 287 

III. That the Company for the revision of the Authorized 
Version of the New Testament consist of the Bishops of Winchester, 
Gloucester and Bristol, and Sahsbury, and of the following Mem- 
bers from the Lower House, the Prolocutor, the Deans of Canter- 
bury and Westminster, and Canon Blakesley. 

IV. That the first portion of the work to be undertaken by 
the Old Testament Company, be the revision of the Authorized 
Version of the Pentateuch. 

V. That the first portion of the work to be undertaken by the 
New Testament Company, be the revision of the Authorized 
Version of the Synoptical Gospels. 

VI. That the following Scholars and Divines be invited to 
join the Old Testament Company: Dr. W. L. Alexander, Professor 
Chenery, Canon Cook, Professor A. B. Davidson, Dr. B. Davies, 
Professor Fairbairn, Rev. F. Field, Dr. Ginsburg, Dr. Gotch, 
Archdeacon Harrison, Professor Leathes, Professor M'Gill, Canon 
Payne Smith, Professor J. J. S. Perowne, Professor Plumptre, 
Canon Pusey, Dr. Wright (British Museum), W. A. Wright 

VII. That the following Scholars and Divines be invited to 
join the New Testament Company: Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. 
Angus, Dr. Eadie, Rev. F. J. A. Hort, Rev. W. G. Humphry, 
Canon Kennedy, Archdeacon Lee, Dr. Lightfoot, Professor Milli- 
gan, Professor Moulton, Dr. J. H. Newman, Professor Newth, 
Dr. A. Roberts, Rev. G. Vance Smith, Dr. Scott (BalHol Coll.), 
Rev. F. Scrivener, Dr. Tregelles, Dr. Vaughan, Canon Westcott. 

VIII. That the General Principles to be followed by both 
Companies be as follows: 

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

2. To limit, as far as possible, the expressions of such altera- 
tions to the language of the Authorized and earlier English versions. 

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 
differs 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 
final revision by each Company, except two-thirds of those present 
approve of the same, but on the first revision to decide by simple 

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 announced 
in the notice for the next Meeting. 

The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 289 

7. To revise the headings of chapters, pages, paragraphs, 
itahcs, 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. 

IX. That the work of each Company be communicated to the 
other as it is completed, in order that there may be as little devia- 
tion from uniformity in language as possible. 

X. That the Special or Bye-rules for each Company be as 
follows : 

1. To make all corrections in writing previous to the meeting. 

2. To place all the corrections due to textual considerations 
on the left hand margin, and all other corrections on the right 
hand margin. 

3. To transmit to the Chairman, in case of being unable to 
attend, the corrections proposed in the portion agreed upon for 

Of those named in the above resolutions, the bishop of 
Lincoln, (Christopher Woodsw^orth) and Dr. Jebb resigned 
in 1870; Canon Cook, Canon Pusey, and Dr. New^man 
declined to serve. Some died early in the work, and others 
were added to both Old and New Testament Committees. 
The following is the most complete list that has ever been 
published of those actually engaged in the work, with par- 
ticulars as to dates of birth and death, and details of appoint- 
ments. It is a Ust which includes the finest scholars of the 
day; and the accompanying photographs of nearly all the 
members have been obtained at considerable effort, and 
through the kind co-operation of relatives — especially of 
Miss E. Perowne, daughter of the late Bishop of Worcester. 
The photographs were taken, in most cases, in the year 1874 
and represent the workers as they appeared at the time of 
the revision. In a few instances it has not been possible to 
obtain photographs or complete statistics. So far as the 
author is aware the only living member of the committees 
is Professor Sayce. The names of the members of each 
committee are arranged alphabetically for ease of reference. 

Old Testament 

Alexander, William Lindsay, D.D. (Congregationalist), born 
Aug. 24, 1808, at Edinburgh: died Dec. 22, 1884, at Edin- 
burgh. Professor in the Theological Hall of the Congrega- 
tional Churches of Scotland at Edinburgh. 


The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 291 

Bensly, Robert Lubbock, M.A. (Church of England), born 
Aug. 24, 183 1, at Eaton, near Norwich; died April 23, 1893, 
at Cambridge. Lecturer in Hebrew at Cambridge. 

BiRRELL, John, M.A., D.D. (Church of Scotland), born Oct. 21, 
1836, at Newburn, near St. Andrew's, Scotland; died Jan. I, 
1902. Professor of Oriental Languages at St. Andrews 

Browne, Edward Harold, D.D. (Church of England), born 
Mar. 6, 1811, at Aylesbury; died Dec. 18, 1891, at Shales 
in Hampshire. Bishop of Ely; Bishop of Winchester, 1873. 
Chairman of Old Testament Committee. 

Chance, Frank, M.D. (Church of England), born June 22, 
1826, at London. A London physician and noted Hebrew 

Chenery, Thomas, (Church of England), born 1826, at Barba- 
does; died Feb. 11, 1884, at London. Professor of Arabic 
at Oxford. In 1887 became editor of the London Times. 
Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society. 

Cheyne, Thomas Kelley, D.D. (Church of England), born Sept. 

18, 1841, at London; died Feb. 16, 1915. Lecturer in Hebrew 
and Divinity at Oxford. 

Cook, Frederick Charles, Canon of Exeter. [Declined invi- 

Davidson, Andrew Bruce, D.D. (Free Church of Scotland), 
born 1840 at Kirkhill, Aberdeenshire); died July 6, 1902. 
Professor of Hebrew in Free Church College, Edinburgh. 

Davies, Benjamin, D.D., LL.D. (Baptist), born 1814; died July 

19, 1875. Professor of Hebrew in the Baptist College, London. 
Douglas, George Cunningham Monteath (Free Church of 

Scotland), born Mar. 2, 1826, at Kilbarchan, Scotland; died 
at Bridge of Allan, May 24, 1904. Professor of Hebrew and 
Principal of Free Church College, Glasgow. 

Driver, Samuel Rolles, D.D. (Church of England), born Oct. 
2, 1846, at Southampton; died Feb. 26, 1914. Regius Pro- 
fessor of Hebrew at Oxford and Canon of Christ Church, 

Elliott, Charles John, D.D. (Church of England), born July 7, 
1 81 8; died May 11, 1881. Canon and Vicar of Winkfield, 
Windsor; a noted Hebrew scholar. 

Fairbairn, Patrick, D.D. (Free Church of Scotland) born Jan. 
28, 1805, at Greenlaw; died Aug. 6, 1874, at Glasgow. Prin- 
cipal of Free Church College, Glasgow. 

Field, Frederick, M.A., LL.D. (Church of England), born July 

20, 1 801, at London; died April 19, 1885, at Norwich. 
Rector of Heigham, near Norwich. 

Geden, John Dury, D.D. (Wesleyan), born May 4, 1822, at 
Hastings; died March, 1886. Professor of Hebrew at Dids- 
bury College, near Manchester. 


The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 293 

GiNSBURG, Christian David, LL.D. (Jewish), born Dec. 25, 
183 1, died Mar. 7, 1914. Famous Hebrew scholar. Revised 
the Massoretic text of the Hebrew Bible and edited the 
Hebrew Bible for the British and Foreign Bible Society. 

GoTCH, Frederick William, D.D., LL.D. (Baptist), born 1807, 
at Kettering. Principal of the Baptist College, Bristol. 

Harrison, Benjamin (Church of England), born 1808; died 1887. 
Archdeacon of Maidstone and Canon of Canterbury. 

Hervey, Lord Arthur Charles, D.D., (Church of England) 
born Aug. 20, 1808, at London; died June 9, 1894, near 
Basingstoke in Hampshire. Bishop of Bath and Wells. 

Jebb, John, D.D., Canon of Hereford. [Resigned 1870.] 

Kay, William, D.D. (Church of England), born April 8, 1820, 
at Pickering, Yorkshire; died 1886. Rector of Great Leighs, 
Chelmsford; formerly Principal of Bishops' College, Calcutta; 
later Canon of St. Albans. 

Leathes, Stanley, D.D. (Church of England), born March 21, 
1830, at Ellesborough, Bucks; died April 30, 1900. Professor 
of Hebrew in King's College, London. 

LuMBY, Joseph Rawson, D.D. (Church of England). Professor 
of Divinity at Cambridge. 

McGiLL, J. (Church of Scotland), born 1819; died March 16, 
1 87 1. Professor of Oriental Languages, St. Andrew's Uni- 
versity, Scotland. 

Ollivant, Alfred, D.D. (Church of England), born 1798, at 
Manchester; died Dec. 16, 1882, at LlandafF. Bishop of 

Perowne, John James Stewart, D.D. (Church of England), 
born March 13, 1823, at Bombay; died Nov. 6, 1904. Canon 
of Llandaff; later Dean of Peterborough; and later, Bishop 
of Worcester. 

Plumptre, Edward Hayes, D.D. (Church of England), born 
Aug. 6, 1821, at London; died Feb. i, 1891, at Wells. Pro- 
fessor at King's College, London; later Dean of Wells. 
[Resigned 1874.] 

Pusey, Edward Bouverie, D.D., Canon of Oxford. [DecHned 

Rose, Henry John (Church of England), born Jan. 3, 1801; died 
Jan. 31, 1873, at Bedford. Archdeacon of Bedford. 

Sayce, Archibald Henry, LL.D. (Church of England) born 
Sept. 25, 1846, near Bristol. Professor of Comparative Phil- 
ology at Oxford. 
Selwyn, William, D.D. (Church of England), born 1806, at 

London; died April 24, 1878. Canon of Ely. 
Smith, Robert Payne, D.D. (Church of England), born Nov. 
1818, in Gloucestershire; died April i, 1895. Canon of Christ 
Church, Oxford; Dean of Canterbury, 1871. 


The Book of Books 



1 ■■- 'i^^^H 



li^^i^'' '^^i^^^^l 


BK-f^ jj 

i^r^ iH 




The Revised Versions 295 

Smith, William Robertson, LL.D. (Free Church of Scotland), 
born Nov. 8, 1846, at Keig, near Aberdeen; died March 31, 
1894. Professor of Hebrew in Free Church College, Aberdeen. 

Thirl WALL, Connop, D.D. (Church of England), born Feb. 11, 
1797, at London; died July 27, 1875, at Bath. Bishop of 
St. David's. 

Weir, Duncan Harkness, D.D. (Church of Scotland), born 1822, 
at Greenock; died Nov. 24, 1876, at Glasgow, Professor of 
Oriental Languages at Glasgow University. 

Wordsworth, Christopher, D.D., Bishop of Lincoln. [Re- 
signed, 1870.] 

Wright, William, M.A., Ph.D. (Church of England), born 
Jan. 17, 1830, at Bengal; died May 22, 1889, at Cambridge. 
Professor of Arabic at Cambridge. Formerly in manuscript 
department of British Museum, 

Wright, William Aldis (Church of England), born 1836; died 
May 19, 1914. Bursar of Trinity College, Cambridge. Sec- 
retary of Old Testament Committee. 

New Testament 

Alford, Henry, D.D. (Church of England), born Oct. 7, 1810, 
at London; died Jan. 12, 1871, at Canterbury. Dean of 

Angus, Joseph, D.D. (Baptist), born Jan. 16, 1816; died Aug. 
18, 1902, at London, President of the Baptist College, 

Bickersteth, Edward, D.D. (Church of England), born Oct. 23, 
1 8 14; died 1892. Prolocutor of the Lower House of Convo- 
cation; Dean of Lichfield. 

Blakesley, Joseph William, B.D. (Church of England), born 
Mar. 6, 1808, at London; died April 18, 1885, at Lincoln. 
Canon of Canterbury; Dean of Lincoln, 1872. 

Brown, David, D.D., LL.D. (Free Church of Scotland), born 
Aug. 17, 1803, at Aberdeen; died July 3, 1897, at Aberdeen. 
Professor in Free Church College, Aberdeen; Principal, 1876. 

Eadie, John, D.D., LL.D. (Presbyterian), born May 9, 1810, at 
Alva in Stirlingshire; died June 3, 1876, at Glasgow. Pro- 
fessor of Biblical Literature in the United Presbyterian Col- 
lege, Glasgow. 

Ellicott, Charles John, D.D. (Church of England), born April 
25, 1 8 19, at Whitewell, near Stamford; died Oct. 15, 1905. 
Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. Chairman of New Testa- 
ment Committee. 

HoRT, Fenton John Anthony, D.D. (Church of England), born 
April 23, 1828, at Dublin; died Nov. 30, 1892. Professor 
of Divinity at Cambridge, 


The Book of Books 



Bishop of Winchester Secretary 


The Revised Versions 297 

Humphry, William Gilson, D.D. (Church of England), born 

Jan. 30, 1815, at Sudbury in Suffolk; died Jan. 10, 1886, at 

London. Prebendary of St. Paul's, London; Vicar of St. 

Martin's-in-the-Fields, and Rural Dean. A thanksgiving ser- 
vice was held in his church on the completion of the New 

Testament, Nov. 11, 1880. 
Kennedy, Benjamin Hall, D.D. (Church of England), born 

Nov. 6, 1804; died April 6, 1889. Canon of Ely and Regius 

Professor of Greek at Cambridge. 
Lee, William, D.D. (Church of Ireland), born 1815, died May 

11,1883. Archdeacon of Dublin. 
LiGHTFOOT, John Barber, D.D., LL.D. (Church of England), 

born April 13, 1828, at Liverpool; died Dec. 21, 1889, at 

Bournemouth. Professor of Divinity at Cambridge; Canon 

of St. Paul's 1871; Bishop of Durham, 1879. 
Merivale, Charles, D.D., D.C.L., LL.D. (Church of England), 

born March 8, 1808, at London; died Dec. 27, 1893. Dean 

of Ely. [Resigned 1871.] 
Milligan, William, D.D. (Chucrh of Scotland), born March 15, 

1 82 1, at Edinburgh; died Dec. 11, 1892. Professor of 

Divinity and Biblical Criticism at Aberdeen University. 
Moberly, George, D.C.L. (Church of England), born Oct. 10, 

1803, at St. Petersburg; died July 6, 1885, at Salisbury. 

Bishop of Salisbury. 
Moulton, William Fiddian, D.D. (Wesleyan), born March 14, 

1835, 3t Leek in Staffordshire; died Feb. 5, 1898. Classical 

Tutor in Richmond College; Master of the Leys School, 

Cambridge, 1874. 
Newman, John Henry, D.D. (Roman Catholic); later cardinal. 

[Declined invitation.] 
Newth, Samuel, D.D. (Congregationalist), born Feb. 15, 1821, 

at London; died 1898. Principal of New College, Hamp- 

stead, London. 
Palmer, Edwin, D.D. (Church of England), born July 18, 1824, 

at Mixbury in Oxfordshire; died Oct. 17, 1895. Professor of 

Latin at Oxford; Archdeacon of Oxford and Canon of Christ 

Church 1878. 
Roberts, Alexander, D.D. (Church of Scotland), born May 12, 

1826, in Kincardineshire, Scotland; died March 8, 1901. 

Professor of Humanity at St. Andrew's University. 
Scott, Robert, D.D. (Church of England), born Jan. 26, 1811, 

at Bondleigh in Devonshire; died Dec. 2, 1887, at Rochester. 

Dean of Rochester. 
Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose, LL.D., D.C.L. (Church 

of England), born Sept. 29, 1813, at Bermondsey in Surrey; 

died Oct. 29, 1 891. Prebendary and Vicar of Hendon, near 



The Book of Books 



First Row: (left to right) C. J. Ellicott, George Moberly, J. B. Light- 
foot, A. P. Stanley, Robert Scott. 

Second Row: J. W. Blakesley, Edward Bickersteth, R. C. Trench, 
Charles Wordsworth, Joseph Angus. 

Third Row: David Brown, John Eadie, F. J. A. Hort, W. C. Hum- 
phry, B. H. Kennedy. 

Fourth Row: William Lee, William Milligan, W. F. Moulton, Samuel 
Newth, Edwin Palmer. 

The Revised Versions 299 

Smith, George Vance, D.D., Ph.D. (Unitarian), born June 13, 
1816, at Portarlington, Ireland; died Feb. 28, 1902, at Bow- 
don. Principal of Carmarthen Presbyterian College, Wales. 

Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, D.D. (Church of England), born 
Dec. 13, 1815, at Alderley in Cheshire; died July 18, 1881, 
at London. Dean of Westminster. 

Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux, LL.D. (Plymouth Brother), 
born Jan. 30, 1813; died April 24, 1875. Noted scholar and 
editor of Greek New Testament. 

Trench, Richard Chenevix, D.D. (Church of Ireland), born 
Sept. 9, 1807, at Dublin; died March 28, 1886, at London. 
Archbishop of Dublin. 

Troutbeck, John, D.D. (Church of England), born Nov. 12, 
1832, at Blencowin Cumberland; died Oct. ii, 1899, at London; 
buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey. Minor Canon 
of Westminster and Chaplain to H. M. Queen Victoria. 
Secretary of the New Testament Committee. After his 
death the minutes were deposited in the Chapter Library, 
Westminster, and later sent by request to the University of 
Cambridge. A collateral ancestor, also Rev. John Trout- 
beck, was the last King's Chaplain at Boston, Mass. 

Vaughan, Charles John, D.D. (Church of England), born Aug. 
8, 1816, at Leicester; died Oct. 15, 1897. Dean of Llandaff. 

Westcott, Brooke Foss, D.D, (Church of England), born Jan. 
12, 1825, at Birmingham; died July 27, 1901. Regius Pro- 
fessor of Divinity at Cambridge and Canon of Peterborough; 
Bishop of Durham 1890. 

Wilberforce, Samuel, D.D. (Church of England), born Sept. 
7, 1805, at Clapham, London; died July 19, 1873, at Dorking. 
Bishop of Winchester; formerly Bishop of Oxford. 

Wordsworth, Charles, D.C.L. (Church of England), born Aug. 
22, 1806, at Bocking; died Dec. 5, 1892. Bishop of St. 
Andrew's, Scotland. 



Left to Right: Alexander Roberts, G. V. Smith, F. H. A. 
Scrivener, C. J. Vaughan 

3CX) The Book of Books 

The actual work of revision began with a meeting of 
/^e New Testament Committee, June 22d, in the Jerusalem 
Chamber, Westminster Abbey. I have a memorandum of 
Bishop Perowne's which states that the total number of 
sittings of the Old Testament Committee was 794, at 793 
of which the Secretary (W. Aldis Wright) was present, and 
of the New Testament Committee 407. The revisers gave 
their time and services free, and the Universities of Oxford 
and Cambridge arranged to pay the expenses of travel, 
printing, etc., in consideration of having the copyright. 
Meetings of the Old Testament Committee were held bi- 
monthly for ten days each, and of the New Testament 
Committee monthly for four days each. The details of the 
work will be found in the preface which is here reprinted. 

The Revised New Testament was issued on May 17, 
1 88 1, with a title-page of which a facsimile is given below. 
It will be seen that the modern title-pages are severely 
plain in comparison with those of earlier versions. 

On November 5, 1885, the Old Testament was pub- 
lished. It will be seen from the statistics in the list of 
revisers, that a considerable number had died before the 
work was complete. Of those who were left, some began 
work on the revised Apocrypha, which was pubHshed in 
1895. From the preface thereto it appears that it was 
resolved on March 21, 1879, that when the New Testament 
revision was complete three committees should be formed 
for the Apocrypha, to be called the London, Westminster, 
and Cambridge committees, to deal with separate portions. 
At the final meeting of the New Testament Committee, 
November 11, 1880, rules for working were adopted, and 
Dr. Troutbeck was appointed secretary for the three com- 
mittees. On the completion of the Old Testament revision 
some of the members were constituted a committee to deal 
with the books of the Apocrypha not allotted to the other 
three committees. The work was brought to a satisfactory 
conclusion by January, 1895. 

When the work was undertaken in 1870 it was felt 
generally that the new revision must be made to conform 
as nearly as possible to the language of the Authorized Ver- 
sion which had so long been the Bible of the English people. 
Bishop Ellicott had written: 

The Revised Versions 301 

If it is to be hereafter a popular Version it can only become 
so by exhibiting, in every change that may be introduced, a 
sensitive regard for the diction and tone of the present Version, 
and also by evincing, in the nature and extent of the changes, a 
due recognition of the whole internal history of the English New 

The main reasons for the revision were: (i) The avail- 
ability of new manuscripts, already referred to; (2) the 
emendation in the text that had been made from the study 
of these manuscripts; (3) the presence in the A. V. of many 
words whose meaning had changed since 161 1, or which 
had become obsolete; (4) the need of greater uniformity in 
the translation; (5) mistranslations and misspelHngs in the 
A. V. These are dealt with in the somewhat lengthy preface, 
which is here reproduced. 

The English Version of the New Testament here presented 
to the reader is a Revision of the Translation published in the 
year of Our Lord 1611, and commonly known by the name of the 
Authorised Version. 

That Translation was the work of many hands and of several 
generations. The foundation was laid by William Tyndale. His 
translation of the New Testament was the true primary Version. 
The Versions that followed were either substantially reproductions 
of Tyndale's translation in its final shape, or revisions of Versions 
that had been themselves almost entirely based on it. Three 
successive stages may be recognised in this continuous work of 
authoritative revision: first, the publication of the Great Bible 
of 1539-41 in the reign of Henry VIH; next, the publication of 
the Bishops' Bible of 1568 and 1572 in the reign of Elizabeth; and 
lastly, the publication of the King's Bible of 1611 in the reign of 
James I. Besides these, the Genevan Version of 1560, itself 
founded on Tyndale's translation, must here be named; which, 
though not put forth by authority, was widely circulated in this 
country, and largely used by King James' Translators. Thus 
the form in which the English New Testament has now been read 
for 270 years was the result of various revisions made between 
1525 and 161 1 ; and the present Revision is an attempt, after a 
long interval, to follow the example set by a succession of honoured 

I. Of the many points of interest connected with the Transla- 
tion of 1611, two require special notice; first, the Greek Text 
which it appears to have represented; and secondly, the character 
of the Translation itself. 

I. With regard to the Greek Text, it would appear that, if 
to some extent the Translators exercised an independent judge- 

302 The Book of Books 

ment, it was mainly in choosing amongst readings contained in 
the principal editions of the Greek Text that had appeared in the 
sixteenth century. Wherever they seem to have followed a read- 
ing which is not found in any of those editions, their rendering 
may probably be traced to the Latin Vulgate. Their chief guides 
appear to have been the later editions of Stephanus and of Beza, 
and also, to a certain extent, the Complutensian Polj^glott. All 
these were founded for the most part on manuscripts of late date, 
few in number, and used with little critical skill. But in those 
days it could hardly have been otherwise. Nearly all the more 
ancient of the documentary authorities have become known only 
within the last two centuries; some of the most important of 
them, indeed, within the last few years. Their publication has 
called forth not only improved editions of the Greek Text, but a 
succession of instructive discussions on the variations which have 
been brought to light, and on the best modes of distinguishing 
original readings from changes introduced in the course of tran- 
scription. While therefore it has long been the opinion of all 
scholars that the commonly received text needed thorough revi- 
sion, it is but recently that materials have been acquired for 
executing such a work with even approximate completeness. 

2. The character of the Translation itself will be best estimated 
by considering the leading rules under which it was made, and the 
extent to which these rules appear to have been observed. 

The primary and fundamental rule was expressed in the 
following terms: — 'The ordinary Bible read in the Church, com- 
monly called the Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little 
altered as the truth of the Original will permit.' There was, 
however, this subsequent provision: — 'These translations to be 
used, when they agree better with the text than the Bishops' 
Bible: Tindale's, Matthew's, Coverdale's, Whitchurch's, Geneva.' 
The first of these rules, which was substantially the same as that 
laid down at the revision of the Great Bible in the reign of Eliza- 
beth, was strictly observed. The other rule was but partially 
followed. The Translators made much use of the Genevan Ver- 
sion. They do not however appear to have frequently returned to 
the renderings of the other Versions named in the rule, where 
those Versions differed from the Bishops' Bible. On the other 
hand, their work shews evident traces of the influence of a Version 
not specified in the rules, the Rhemish, made from the Latin 
Vulgate, but by scholars conversant with the Greek Original. 

Another rule, on which it is stated that those in authority 
laid great stress, related to the rendering of words that admitted 
of different interpretations. It was as follows: — ^'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.' With 
this rule was associated the following, on which equal stress appears 

The 'Revised Versions 303 

to have been laid: — 'The old ecclesiastical words to be kept, viz. 
the word Church not to be translated Congregation, &c.' This 
latter rule was for the most part carefully observed; but it may 
be doubted whether, in the case of words that admitted of different 
meanings, the instructions were at all closely followed. In dealing 
with the more difficult words of this class, the Translators appear 
to have paid much regard to traditional interpretations, and espe- 
cially to the authority of the Vulgate; but, as to the large residue 
of words which might properly fall under the rule, they used 
considerable freedom. Moreover they profess in their Preface to 
have studiously adopted a variety of expression which would now 
be deemed hardly consistent with the requirements of faithful 
translation. They seem to have been guided by the feeling that 
their Version would secure for the words they used a lasting place 
in the language; and they express a fear lest they should *be 
charged (by scoffers) with some unequal dealing towards a great 
number of good English words,' which, without this liberty on 
their part, would not have a place in the pages of the English 
Bible. Still it cannot be doubted that they carried this liberty 
too far, and that the studied avoidance of uniformity in the render- 
ing of the same words, even when occurring in the same context, 
is one of the blemishes in their work. 

A third leading rule was of a negative character, but was 
rendered necessary by the experience derived from former Versions. 
The words of the rule are as follows: — *No marginal notes at all 
to be affixed, but only for the explanation of the Hebrew or Greek 
words which cannot without some circumlocution so briefly and 
fitly be expressed in the text.' Here again the Translators used 
some liberty in their application of the rule. Out of more than 
760 marginal notes originally appended to the Authorised Version 
of the New Testament, only a seventh part consists of explana- 
tions or literal renderings; the great majority of the notes being 
devoted to the useful and indeed necessary purpose of placing 
before the reader alternative renderings which it was judged that 
the passage or the words would fairly admit. The notes referring 
to variations in the Greek Text amount to about thirty-five. 

Of the remaining rules it may be sufficient to notice one, which 
was for the most part consistently followed: — 'The names of the 
prophets and the hoXy writers, with the other names of the text, 
to be retained, as nigh as may be, accordingly as they were vul- 
garly used.' The Translators had also the liberty, in 'any place 
of special obscurity,' to consult those who might be qualified to 
give an opinion. 

Passing from these fundamental rules, which should be borne 
in mind by any one who would rightly understand the nature and 
character of the Authorised Version, we must call attention to 
the manner in which the actual work of the translation was carried 
on. The New Testament was assigned to two separate Companies, 

304 The Book of Books 

the one consisting of eight members, sitting at Oxford, the other 
consisting of seven members, sitting at Westminster. There is 
no reason to believe that these Companies ever sat together. They 
communicated to each other, and Hkewise to the four Companies 
to which the Old Testament and the Apocrypha had been com- 
mited, the results of their labours; and perhaps afterwards recon- 
sidered them: but the fact that the New Testament was divided 
between two separate bodies of men involved a grave inconveni- 
ence, and was beyond all doubt the cause of many inconsistencies. 
These probably would have been much more serious, had it not 
been provided that there should be a final supervision of the whole 
Bible, by selected members from Oxford, Cambridge, and West- 
minster, the three centres at which the work had been carried on. 
These supervisors are said by one authority to have been six in 
number, and by another twelve. When it is remembered that 
this supervision was completed in nine months, we may wonder 
that the incongruities which remain are not more numerous. 

The Companies appear to have been occupied in the actual 
business of revision about two years and three quarters. 

Such, so far as can be gathered from the rules and modes of 
procedure, is the character of the time-honoured Version which 
we have been called upon to revise. We have had to study this 
great Version carefully and minutely, line by line; and the longer 
we have been engaged upon it the more we have learned to admire 
its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression, 
its general accuracy, and, we must not fail to add, the music of 
its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm. To render a work 
that had reached this high standard of excellence still more excel- 
lent, to increase its fidelity without destroying its charm, was the 
task committed to us. Of that task, and of the conditions under 
which we have attempted its fulfilment, it will now be necessary 
for us to speak. 

II. The present Revision had its origin in action taken by 
the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury in February 1870, 
and it has been conducted throughout on the plan laid down in 
Resolutions of both Houses of the Province, and, more particularly, 
in accordance with Principles and Rules drawn up by a special 
Committee of Convocation in the following May. Two Com- 
panies, the one for the revision of the Authorised Version of the 
Old Testament, and the other for the revision of the same Version 
of the New Testament, were formed in the manner specified in 
the Resolutions, and the work was commenced on the twenty- 
second day of June 1870. Shortly afterwards, steps were taken, 
under a resolution passed by both Houses of Convocation, for 
inviting the co-operation of American scholars; and eventually 
two Committees were formed in America, for the purpose of acting 
with the two English Companies, on the basis of the Principles 
and Rules drawn up by the Committee of Convocation. 

The Revised Versions 305 

The fundamental Resolutions adopted by the Convocation 
of Canterbury on the third and fifth days of May 1870 were as 
follows: — 

'i. That it is desirable that a revision of the Authorised Ver- 
sion of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken. 

'2. That the revision 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 Authorised Version. 

'3. 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 judgement of the most competent scholars 
such change is necessary. 

'4. That in such necessary changes, the style of the language 
employed in the existing Version be closely followed. 

'5. 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 belong.' 

The Principles and Rules agreed to by the Committee of Con- 
vocation on the twenty-fifth day of May 1870 were as follows: — 

'i. To introduce as few alterations as possible into the Text 
of the Authorised Version consistently with faithfulness. 

'2. To limit, as far as possible, the expression of such altera- 
tions to the language of the Authorised and earlier English Versions 

'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 
differs from that from which the Authorised Version was made, 
the alteration be indicated in the margin. 

'5. To make or retain no change in the Text on the second 
final revision by each Company, except two thirds of those present 
approve of the same, but on the first revision to decide by simple 

'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 announced 
in the notice for the next meeting. 

'7. To revise the headings of chapters and 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.' 

These rules it has been our endeavour faithfully and consist- 
ently to follow. One only of them we found ourselves unable to 
observe in all particulars. In accordance with the seventh rule, 

3o6 The Book of Books 

we have carefully revised the paragraphs, italics, and punctuation. 
But the revision of the headings of chapters and pages would 
have involved so much of indirect, and indeed frequently of direct 
interpretation, that we judged it best to omit them altogether. 

Our communications with the American Committee have 
been of the following nature. We transmitted to them from time 
to time each several portion of our First Revision, and received 
from them in return their criticisms and suggestions. These we 
considered with much care and attention during the time we were 
engaged on our Second Revision. We then sent over to them the 
various portions of the Second Revision as they were completed, 
and received further suggestions, which, like the former, were 
closely and carefully considered. Last of all, we forwarded to 
them the Revised Version in its final form; and a list of those 
passages in which they desire to place on record their preference 
of other readings and renderings will be found at the end of the 
volume. We gratefully acknowledge their care, vigilance, and 
accuracy; and we humbly pray that their labours and our own, 
thus happily united, may be permitted to bear a blessing to both 
countries, and to all English-speaking people throughout the world. 

The whole time devoted to the work has been ten years and 
a half. The First Revision occupied about six years; the Second, 
about two years and a half. The remaining time has been spent 
in the consideration of the suggestions from America on the Second 
Revision, and of many details and reserved questions arising out 
of our own labours. As a rule, a session of four days has been 
held every month (with the exception of August and September) 
in each year from the commencement of the work in June 1870. 
The average attendance for the whole time has been sixteen each 
day; the whole Company consisting at first of twenty-seven, but 
for the greater part of the time of twenty-four members, many 
of them residing at great distances from London. Of the original 
number four have been removed from us by death. 

At an early stage in our labours, we entered into an agreement 
with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge for the conveyance 
to them of our copyright in the work. This arrangement provided 
for the necessary expenses of the undertaking; and procured for 
the Revised Version the advantage of being published by Bodies 
long connected with the publication of the Authorised Version. 

IIL We now pass onward to give a brief account of the par- 
ticulars of the present work. This we propose to do under the 
four heads of Text, Translation, Language, and Marginal Notes. 

I. A revision of the Greek text was the necessary foundation 
of our work; but it did not fall within our province to construct 
a continuous and complete Greek text. In many cases the English 
rendering was considered to represent correctly either of two 
competing readings in the Greek, and then the question of the 
text was usually not raised. A sufficiently laborious task remained 
in deciding between the rival claims of various readings which 

The Revised Versions 307 

might properly affect the translation. When these were adjusted, 
our deviations from the text presumed to underlie the Authorised 
Version had next to be indicated, in accordance with the fourth 
rule; but it proved inconvenient to record them in the margin. 
A better mode however of giving them publicity has been found, 
as the University Presses have undertaken to print them in con- 
nexion with complete Greek texts of the New Testament. 

In regard of the readings thus approved, it may be observed 
that the fourth rule, by requiring that ' the text to be adopted ' 
should be * that for which the evidence is decidedly preponderat- 
ing,' was in effect an instruction to follow the authority of docu- 
mentary evidence without deference to any printed text of modern 
times, and therefore to employ the best resources of criticism for 
estimating the value of evidence. Textual criticism, as applied 
to the Greek New Testament, forms a special study of much 
intricacy and difficulty, and even now leaves room for considerable 
variety of opinion among competent critics. Different schools of 
criticism have been represented among us, and have together 
contributed to the final result. In the early part of the work 
every various reading requiring consideration was discussed and 
voted on by the Company. After a time the precedents thus 
established enabled the process to be safely shortened; but it 
was still at the option of every one to raise a full discussion on 
any particular reading, and the option was freely used. On the 
first revision, in accordance with the fifth rule, the decisions v/ere 
arrived at by simple majorities. On the second revision, at which 
a majority of two thirds was required to retain or introduce a 
reading at variance with the reading presumed to underlie the 
Authorised Version, many readings previously adopted were 
brought again into debate, and either re-affirmed or set aside. 

Many places still remain in which, for the present, it would 
not be safe to accept one reading to the absolute exclusion of others. 
In these cases we have given alternative readings in the margin, 
wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to 
deserve notice. In the introductory formula, the phrases 'many 
ancient authorities,' 'some ancient authorities,' are used with 
some latitude to denote a greater or lesser proportion of those 
authorities which have a distinctive right to be called ancient. 
These ancient authorities comprise not only Greek manuscripts, 
some of which were written in the fourth and fifth centuries, but 
versions of a still earlier date in different languages, and also quota- 
tions by Christian writers of the second and following centuries. 

2. We pass now from the Text to the Translation. The 
character of the Revision was determined for us from the outset 
by the first rule, 'to introduce as few alterations as possible, 
consistently with faithfulness.' Our task was revision, not 

In the application however of this principle to the many and 
intricate details of our work, we have found ourselves constrained 

3o8 The Book of Books 

by faithfulness to introduce changes which might not at first 
sight appear to be included under the rule. 

The alterations which we have made in the Authorised 
Version may be roughly grouped in five principal classes. Fil"st, 
alterations positively required by change of reading in the Greek 
Text. Secondly, alterations made where the Authorised Version 
appeared either to be incorrect, or to have chosen the less probable 
of two possible renderings. Thirdly, alterations of obscure or 
ambiguous renderings into such as are clear and express in their 
import. For it has been our principle not to leave any transla- 
tion, or any arrangement of words, which could adapt itself to 
one or other of two interpretations, but rather to express as plainly 
as was possible that interpretation which seemed best to deserve 
a place in the text, and to put the other in the margin. 

There remain yet two other classes of alterations which we 
have felt to be required by the same principle of faithfulness. 
These are, — Fourthly, alterations of the Authorised Version in 
cases where it was inconsistent with itself in the rendering of two 
or more passages confessedly alike or parallel. Fifthly, altera- 
tions rendered necessary hy consequence, that is, arising out of 
changes already made, though not in themselves required by the 
general rule of faithfulness. Both these classes of alterations call 
for some further explanation. 

The frequent inconsistencies in the Authorised Version have 
caused us much embarrassment from the fact already referred to, 
namely, that a studied variety of rendering, even in the same chap- 
ter and context, was a kind of principle with our predecessors, 
and was defended by them on grounds that have been mentioned 
above. The problem we had to solve was to discriminate between 
vaiieties of rendering which were compatible with fidelity to the 
true meaning of the text, and varieties which involved inconsist- 
ency, and were suggestive of differences that had no existence in 
the Greek. This problem we have solved to the best of our power, 
and for the most part in the following way. 

Where there was a doubt as to the exact shade of meaning, 
we have looked to the context for guidance. If the meaning was 
fairly expressed by the word or phrase that was before us in the 
Authorised Version, we made no change, even where rigid adher- 
ence to the rule of translating, as far as possible, the same Greek 
word by the same English word might have prescribed some 

There are however numerous passages in the Authorised Ver- 
sion in which, whether regard be had to the recurrence (as in the 
first. three Gospels) of identical clauses and sentences, to the repe- 
tition of the same word in the same passage, or to the character- 
istic use of particular words by the same writer, the studied variety 
adopted by the Translators of 1611 has produced a degree of 
inconsistency that cannot be reconciled with the principle of 

The Revised Versions 309 

faithfulness. In such cases we have not hesitated to introduce 
alterations, even though the sense might not seem to the general 
reader to be materially affected. 

The last class of alterations is that which we have described 
as rendered necessary by consequence; that is, by reason of some 
foregoing alteration. The cases in which these consequential 
changes have been found necessary are numerous and of very 
different kinds. Sometimes the change has been made to avoid 
tautology; sometimes to obviate an unpleasing alliteration or 
some other infelicity of sound; sometimes, in the case of smaller 
words, to preserve the familiar rhythm; sometimes for a converg- 
ence of reasons which, when explained, would at once be accepted, 
but until so explained might never be surmised even by intelligent 

This may be made plain by an example. When a particular 
word is found to recur with characteristic frequency in any one 
of the Sacred Writers, it is obviously desirable to adopt for it 
some uniform rendering. Again, where, as in the case of the first 
three Evangelists, precisely the same clauses or sentences are 
found in more than one of the Gospels, it is no less necessary to 
translate them in every place in the same way. These two prin- 
ciples may be illustrated by reference to a word that perpetually 
recurs in St. Mark's Gospel, and that may be translated either 
'straightway,' 'forthwith,' or 'immediately.' Let it be supposed 
that the first rendering is chosen, and that the word, in accordance 
with the first of the above principles, is in that Gospel uniformly 
translated 'straightway.' Let it be further supposed that one of 
the passages of St. Mark in which it is so translated is found, 
word for word, in one of the other Gospels, but that there the 
rendering of the Authorised Version happens to be 'forthwith ' or 
'immediately.' That rendering must be changed on the second 
of the above principles; and yet such a change would not have 
been made but for this concurrence of two sound principles, and 
the consequent necessity of making a change on grounds extrane- 
ous to the passage itself. 

This is but one of many instances of consequential alterations 
which might at first sight appear unnecessar}^, but which never- 
theless have been deliberately made, and are not at variance with 
the rule of introducing as few changes in the Authorised Version 
as faithfulness would allow. 

There are some other points of detail which it may be here 
convenient to notice. One of these, and perhaps the most impor- 
tant, is the rendering of the Greek aorist. There are numerous 
cases, especially in connexion with particles ordinarily expressive 
of present time, in which the use of the indefinite past tense in 
Greek and English is altogether different; and in such instances 
we have not attempted to violate the idiom of our language by 
forms of expression which it could not bear. But we have often 
ventured to represent the Greek aorist by the English preterite, 

3IO The Book of Books 

even where the reader may find some passing diflaculty in such a 
rendering, because we have felt convinced that the true meaning 
of the original was obscured by the presence of the familiar auxil- 
iary. A remarkable illustration may be found in the seventeenth 
chapter of St. John's Gospel, where the combination of the aorist 
and the perfect shews, beyond all reasonable doubt, that different 
relations of time were intended to be expressed. 

Changes of translation will also be found in connexion with the 
aorist participle, arising from the fact that the usual periphrasis 
of this participle in the Vulgate, which was rendered necessary 
by Latin idiom, has been largely reproduced in the Authorised 
Version by ' when ' with the past tense (as for example in the 
second chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel), even where the ordinary 
participial rendering would have been easier and more natural 
in English. 

In reference to the perfect and the imperfect tenses but little 
needs to be said. The correct translation of the former has been 
for the most part, though with some striking exceptions, main- 
tained in the Authorised Version: while with regard to the imper- 
fect, clear as its meaning may be in the Greek, the power of expres- 
sing it is so limited in English, that we have been frequently com- 
pelled to leave the force of the tense to be inferred from the context. 
In a few instances, where faithfulness imperatively required it, 
and especially where, in the Greek, the significance of the imperfect 
tense seemed to be additionally marked by the use of the participle 
with the auxiliary verb, we have introduced the corresponding 
form in English. Still, in the great majority of cases we have 
been obliged to retain the English preterite, and to rely either on 
slight changes in the order of the words, or on prominence given 
to the accompanying temporal particles, for the indication of the 
meaning which, in the Greek, the imperfect tense was designed 
to convey. 

On other points of grammar it may be suflflcient to speak 
more briefly. 

Many changes, as might be anticipated, have been made in 
the case of the definite article. Here again it was necessary to 
consider the peculiarities of English idiom, as well as the general 
tenor of each passage. Sometimes we have felt it enough to prefix 
the article to the first of a series of words to all of which it is pre- 
fixed in the Greek, and thus, as it were, to impart the idea of defin- 
iteness to the whole series, without running the risk of overloading 
the sentence. Sometimes, conversely, we have had to tolerate the 
presence of the definite article in our Version, when it is absent 
from the Greek, and perhaps not even grammatically latent; 
simply because English idiom would not allow the noun to stand 
alone, and because the introduction of the indefinite article might 
have introduced an idea of oneness or individuality, which was 
not in any degree traceable in the original. In a word, we have 

The Revised Versions 311 

been careful to observe the use of the article wherever it seemed 
to be idiomatically possible: where it did not seem to be possible, 
we have yielded to necessity. 

As to the pronouns and the place they occupy in the sentence, 
a subject often overlooked by our predecessors, we have been par- 
ticularly careful; but here again we have frequently been baffled 
by structural or idiomatical peculiarities of the English language 
which precluded changes otherwise desirable. 

In the case of the particles we have met with less difficulty, 
and have been able to maintain a reasonable amount of consist- 
ency. The particles in the Greek Testament are, as is well known, 
comparatively few, and they are commonly used with precision. 
It has therefore been the more necessary here to preserve a gen- 
eral uniformity of rendering, especially in the case of the particles 
of causality and inference, so far as English idiom would allow. 

Lastly, many changes have been introduced in the rendering 
of the prepositions, especially where ideas of instrumentality or 
of mediate agency, distinctly marked in the original, had been 
confused or obscured in the translation. We have however borne 
in mind the comprehensive character of such prepositions as ' of ' 
and ' by,' the one in reference to agency and the other in refer- 
ence to means, especially in the English of the seventeenth cen- 
tury; and have rarely made any change where the true meaning 
of the original as expressed in the Authorised Version would be 
apparent to a reader of ordinary intelligence. 

Ti. We now come to the subject of Language. 

The second of the rules, by which the work has been governed, 
prescribed that the alterations to be introduced should be ex- 
pressed, as far as possible, in the language of the Authorised 
Version or of the Versions that preceded it. 

To this rule we have faithfully adhered. We have habitually 
consulted the earlier Versions; and in our sparing introduction of 
words not found in them or in the Authorised Version we have 
usually satisfied ourselves that such words were employed by 
standard writers of nearly the same date, and had also that general 
hue which justified their introduction into a Version which has 
held the highest place in the classical literature of our language. 
We have never removed any archaisms, whether in structure or in 
words, except where we were persuaded either that the meaning 
of the words was not generally understood, or that the nature of 
the expression led to some misconception of the true sense of the 
passage. The frequent inversions of the strict order of the words, 
which add much to the strength and variety of the Authorised 
Version, and give an archaic colour to many felicities of diction, 
have been seldom modified. Indeed, we have often adopted the 
same arrangement in our own alterations; and in this, as in other 
particulars, we have sought to assimilate the new work to the old. 

In a few exceptional cases we have failed to find any word in 
the older stratum of our language that appeared to convey the 

312 The Book of Books 

precise meaning of the original. There, and there only, we have 
used words of a later date; but not without having first assured 
ourselves that they are to be found in the writings of the best 
authors of the period to which they belong. 

In regard of Proper Names no rule was prescribed to us. In 
the case of names of frequent occurrence we have deemed it best 
to follow generally the rule laid down for our predecessors. That 
rule, it may be remembered, was to this effect, ' The names of the 
prophets and the holy writers, with the other names of the text, 
to be retained, as nigh as may be, accordingly as they were vulgarlj^' 
used.' Some difficulty has been felt in dealing with names less 
familiarly known. Here our general practice has been to follow 
the Greek form of names, except in the case of persons and places 
mentioned in the Old Testament: in this case we have followed 
the Hebrew. 

4. The subject of the Marginal Notes deserves special atten- 
tion. They represent the results of a large amount of careful and 
elaborate discussion, and will, perhaps, by their very presence, 
indicate to some extent the intricacy of many of the questions 
that have almost daily come before us for decision. These Notes 
fall into four main groups: first, notes specifying such differences 
of reading as were judged to be of sufficient importance to require 
a particular notice; secondly, notes indicating the exact rendering 
of words to which, for the sake of English idiom, we were obliged 
to give a less exact rendering in the text; thirdly, notes, very few 
in number, affording some explanation which the original appeared 
to require; fourthly, alternative renderings in difficult or debate- 
able passages. The notes of this last group are numerous, and 
largely in excess of those which were admitted b}^ our predecessors. 
In the 270 years that have passed away since their labours were 
concluded, the Sacred Text has been minutely examined, discussed 
in every detail, and analysed with a grammatical precision 
unknown in the days of the last Revision. There has thus been 
accumulated a large amount of materials that have prepared the 
way for different renderings, which necessarily came under discus- 
sion. We have therefore placed before the reader in the margin 
other renderings than those which were adopted in the text, wher- 
ever such renderings seemed to deserve consideration. The render- 
ing in the text, where it agrees with the Authorised Version, was 
supported by at least one third, and, where it differs from the 
Authorised Version, by at least two thirds of those who were 
present at the second revision of the passage in question. 

A few supplementary matters have yet to be mentioned. 
These may be thus enumerated, — the use of Italics, the arrange- 
ment in Paragraphs, the mode of printing Quotations from the 
Poetical Books of the Old Testament, the Punctuation, and, last 
of all, the Titles of the different Books that make up the New 
Testament, — all of them particulars on which it seems desirable 
to add a few explanatory remarks. 

The Revised Versions 313 

(a) The determination, in each place, of the words to be 
printed in itahcs has not been by any means easy; nor can we 
hope to be found in all cases perfectly consistent. In the earliest 
editions of the Authorised Version the use of a different type to 
indicate supplementary words not contained in the original was 
not very frequent, and cannot easily be reconciled with any settled 
principle. A review of the words so printed was made, after a 
lapse of some years, for the editions of the Authorised Version 
published at Cambridge in 1629 and 1638. Further, though 
slight, modifications were introduced at intervals between 1638 
and the more systematic revisions undertaken respectively by 
Dr. Paris in the Cambridge Edition of 1762, and by Dr. Blayney 
in the Oxford Edition of 1769. None of them however rest on 
any higher authority than that of the persons who from time to 
time superintended the publication. The last attempt to bring 
the use of italics into uniformity and consistency was made by 
Dr. Scrivener in the Paragraph Bible published at Cambridge in 
1870-73. In succeeding to these labours, we have acted on the 
general principle of printing in italics words which did not appear 
to be necessarily involved in the Greek. Our tendency has been 
to diminish rather than to increase the amount of italic printing; 
though, in the case of difference of readings, we have usually 
marked the absence of any words in the original which the sense 
might nevertheless require to be present in the Version; and 
again, in the case of inserted pronouns, where the reference did 
not appear to be perfectly certain, we have similarly had recourse 
to italics. Some of these cases, especially when there are slight 
differences of reading, are of singular intricacy, and make it 
impossible to maintain rigid uniformity. 

{b) We have arranged the Sacred Text in paragraphs, after 
the precedent of the earliest English Versions, so as to assist the 
general reader in following the current of narrative or argument. 
The present arrangement will be found, we trust, to have pre- 
served the due mean between a system of long portions which 
must often include several separate topics, and a system of fre- 
quent breaks which, though they may correctly indicate the sepa- 
rate movements of thought in the writer, often seriously impede 
a just perception of the true continuity of the passage. The 
traditional division into chapters, which the Authorised Version 
inherited from Latin Bibles of the later middle ages, is an illus- 
tration of the former method. These paragraphs, for such in 
fact they are, frequently include several distinct subjects. More- 
over they sometimes, though rarely, end where there is no sufficient 
break in the sense. The division of chapters into verses, which 
was introduced into the New Testament for the first time in 1551, 
is an exaggeration of the latter method, with its accompanying 
inconveniences. The serious obstacles to the right understanding 
of Holy Scripture, which are interposed by minute subdivision, 
are often overlooked; but if any one will consider for a moment 


The Book of Books 



G. E. DAY 



The Revised Versions 315 

the injurious effect that would be produced by breaking up a por- 
tion of some great standard work into separate verses, he will at 
once perceive how necessary has been an alteration in this par- 
ticular. The arrangement by chapters and verses undoubtedly 
affords facilities for reference: but this advantage we have been 
able to retain by placing the numerals on the inside margin of 
each page. 

(c) A few words will suffice as to the mode of printing quo- 
tations from the Poetical Books of the Old Testament. Wherever 
the quotation extends to two or more lines, our practice has been 
to recognise the parallelism of their structure by arranging the 
lines in a manner that appears to agree with the metrical divisions 
of the Hebrew original. Such an arrangement will be found 
helpful to the reader; not only as directing his attention to the 
poetical character of the quotation, but as also tending to make its 
force and pertinence more fully felt. We have treated in the same 
way the hymns in the first two chapters of the Gospel according 
to St. Luke. 

{d) Great care has been bestowed on the punctuation. Our 
practice has been to maintain what is sometimes called the heavier 
system of stopping, or, in other words, that system which, especi- 
ally for convenience in reading aloud, suggests such pauses as will 
best ensure a clear and intelligent setting forth of the true meaning 
of the words. This course has rendered necessary, especially in 
the Epistles, a larger use of colons and semicolons than is custom- 
ar}^ in modern English printing. 

(<?) We may in the last place notice one particular to which 
we were not expressly directed to extend our revision, namely, the 
titles of the Books of the New Testament. These titles are no 
part of the original text; and the titles found in the most ancient 
manuscripts are of too short a form to be convenient for use. 
Under these circumstances, we have deemed it best to leave 
unchanged the titles which are given in the Authorised Version as 
printed in 1611. 

We now conclude, humbly commending our labours to 
Almighty God, and praying that his favour and blessing may be 
vouchsafed to that which has been done in his name. We recog- 
nised from the first the responsibility of the undertaking; and 
through our manifold experience of its abounding difficulties we 
have felt more and more, as we went onward, that such a work 
can never be accomplished by organised efforts of scholarship and 
criticism, unless assisted -by Divine help. 

We know full well that defects must have their place in a 
work so long and so arduous as this which has now come to an 
end. Blemishes and imperfections there are in the noble Transla- 
tion which we have been called upon to revise; blemishes and 
imperfections will assuredly be found in our own Revision. All 


The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 317 

endeavours to translate the Holy Scriptures into another tongue 
must fall short of their aim, when the obligation is imposed of 
producing a Version that shall be alike literal and idiomatic, 
faithful to each thought of the original, and yet, in the expression 
of it, harmonious and free. While we dare to hope that in places 
not a few of the New Testament the introduction of slight changes 
has cast a new light upon much that was difficult and obscure, we 
cannot forget how often we have failed in expressing some finer 
shade of meaning which we recognised in the original, how often 
idiom has stood in the way of a perfect rendering, and how often 
the attempt to preserve a familiar form of words, or even a familiar 
cadence, has only added another perplexity to those which already 
beset us. 

Thus, in the review of the work which we have been permitted 
to complete, our closing words must be words of mingled thanks- 
giving, humility, and prayer. Of thanksgiving, for the many 
blessings vouchsafed to us throughout the unbroken progress of 
our corporate labours; of humility, for our failings and imperfec- 
tions in the fulfilment of our task; and of prayer to Almighty God, 
that the Gospel or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be 
more clearly and more freshly shewn forth to all who shall be 
readers of this Book. 

Soon after the commencement of the work of revision 
in England steps were taken to secure the co-operation of 
American scholars. Dr. Angus was in New York in August, 
1870, and had an interview with Dr. Philip Schaff, one of 
the foremost scholars of the day. As a result, about thirty 
of the best scholars were invited to become members of the 
American Old Testament and New Testament Companies. 
Dr. SchafFwas chosen president of the whole, and Dr. Day, 
of Yale, secretary. The Old Testament Company had for 
its Chairman Dr. Green, of Princeton, and for its secretary, 
Dr. Day. The New Testament Company had for its 
chairman Dr. Woolsey, of Yale, and for its secretary. Dr. 
Thayer, of Andover. The list of members is here given with 
as complete details as could be obtained in regard to each. 
They are arranged alphabetically for easy reference. 

Old Testament 

Aiken, Charles Augustus, D.D. (Presbyterian), born Oct. 30, 
1827, at Manchester, Vt.; died Jan. 14, 1892, at Princeton, 
N. J. Professor of Apologetics and Christian Ethics at 


The Book of Books 






The Revised Versions 


Chambers, Talbot Wilson, D.D. (Dutch Reformed), born Feb. 
25, 1819, at Carlisle, Pa.; died Feb. 3, 1896. Lecturer in 
Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N. J. 

CoNANT, Thomas Jefferson, D.D. (Baptist), born Dec. 13, 1802, 
at Brandon, Vt.; died Apr. 30, 1891. Of the American Bible 
Union; formerly Professor of Hebrew^at Rochester, N. Y. 

Day, George Edward, D.D. (Congregationalist), born Mar. 19, 
1815, at Pittsfield, Mass.; died July 2, 1905, at New Haven, 
Conn. Professor of Hebrew at Yale University, New Haven, 


DeWitt, John, D.D. (Reformed), born Nov. 29, 1821, at New 
Brunswick, N. J.; died Oct. 19, 1906. Professor of Oriental 
Languages at Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N. J. 

Green, William Henry, D.D. (Presbyterian), born Jan. 27, 1825, 
at Groverville, N. J.; died Feb. 10, 1900. Professor of Hebrew 
at the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J. 

Hare, George Emlen, D.D., LL.D. (Episcopahan), born Sept. 4, 
1808, at Philadelphia, Pa.; died Feb. 15, 1892, at Philadelphia. 
Professor of Hebrew in the Divinity School, Philadelphia. 

Krauth, Charles Porterfield, D.D., LL.D. (Lutheran), born 
Mar. 17, 1823, at Martinsburg, Va.; died Jan, 2, 1883, at 
Philadelphia, Pa. Professor in Evangelical Lutheran Semin- 
ary, Philadelphia, and Vice-provost of the University of 


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The Revised Versions 321 

Lewis, Tayler, LL.D. (Reformed), born Mar. 27, 1802, at North- 
umberland, N. Y.; died May 11, 1877, at Schenectady, N. Y. 
Professor of Greek and Hebrew at Union College, Schenectady. 

Mead, Charles Marsh, D.D. (Congregationalist), born Jan. 28, 
1836, at Cornwall, Vt.; died Feb. 15, 1911. Professor of 
Hebrew at Andover College, Mass. He carried the Revision 
through the press with marvelous accuracy. 

Osgood, Howard, D.D., LL.D. (Baptist), born Jan. 4, 183 1, at 
Plaquemines, La.; died Nov. 29. 1911. Professor of Hebrew 
in the Baptist Theological Seminary, Rochester, N. Y. 

Packard, Joseph, D.D. (Episcopalian), born Dec. 23, 1812, at 
Wiscasset, Maine; died May 3, 1902, at Alexandria, Va. 
Professor of Hebrew in the Protestant Episcopal Seminary, 
Alexandria, Va. 

Stowe, Calvin Ellis, D.D. (Congregationalist), born Apr. 26, 
1802, at Natick, Mass.; died Aug. 6, 1886, at Hartford, Conn. 
Professor of Hebrew at Andover College, Mass.; husband of 
Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. 
[Resigned 1876.] 

Strong, James, S.T.D., LL.D. (Methodist), born Aug. 14, 1822, 
at New York; died Aug. 7, 1894. Professor of Hebrew and 
Exegetical Theology at Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, 

Van Dyck, Cornelius Van Alen, D.D., M.D. (Missionary), born 
Aug. 18, 1818, at Kinderhook, N. Y.; died Aug. 13, 1895, at 
Beirut. Professor in the American College at Beirut, Syria. 
Translated part of the Bible into Arabic for the American 
Bible Society. 

New Testament 

Abbott, Ezra, D.D., LL.D. (Unitarian), born Apr. 28, 1819, at 
Jackson, Maine; died Mar. 21, 1884, at Cambridge, Mass. 
Professor of New Testament Criticism, Harvard University, 
Cambridge, Mass. 

Burr, Jonathan Kelsey, D.D. (Methodist), born Sept. 21, 1825, 
at Middletown, Conn.; died Apr. 24, 1882, at Trenton, N. J. 
Professor of Hebrew and Exegetical Theology in Drew Theo- 
logical Seminary, Madison, N. J. 

Chase, Thomas, LL.D. (Quaker), born June 16, 1823, at Wor- 
cester, Mass.; died Oct. 5, 1892, at Providence, R. L Presi- 
dent of Haverford College, near Philadelphia, Pa. 

Crooks, George R., D.D. (Methodist), born Feb. 3, 1882; died 
Feb. 20, 1887. Professor in Drew Theological Seminary, 
Madison, N. J. [Resigned.] 

Crosby, Howard, D.D., LL.D. (Presbyterian), born Feb. 26, 
1826, at New York; died Mar. 21, 1891. Chancellor of the 
University of New York. 


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The Revised Versions 323 

DwiGHT, Timothy, D.D., LL.D. (Congregationalist), born Nov- 

16, 1828, at Norwich, Conn.; died May 26, 1916. Professor 
of Sacred Literature at Yale University; later President of 

Hackett, Horatio Balch, D.D., LL.D, (Baptist), born Dec. 27, 

1808, at Salisbury, Mass.; died Nov. 2, 1875, at Rochester. 
Professor of New Testament Exegesis at Rochester, N. Y. 

Hadley, James, LL.D. (Congregationalist), born Mar. 30, 1821; 

died Nov. 14, 1872. Professor of Greek at Yale University. 
Hodge, Charles, D.D., LL.D. (Presbyterian), born Dec. 18, 1797, 

at Philadelphia, Pa.; died June 19, 1878, at Princeton. 

Professor of Theology at Princeton, N. J. 
Kendrick, Asahel Clark, D.D., LL.D. (Baptist), born Dec. 7, 

1809, at Poultney, Vt.; died Oct. 22, 1895. Professor of 
Greek at Rochester University, Rochester, N. Y. 

Lee, Alfred, D.D., LL.D. (Episcopahan), born Sept. 9, 1807, at 
Cambridge, Mass.; died Apr. 12, 1887. Bishop of Delaware. 

Riddle, Matthew Brown, D.D., LL.D. (Reformed), born Oct. 

17, 1836, at Pittsburgh, Pa.; died Aug. 30, 1916, at Pitts- 
burgh. Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis 
at Hartford Theological Seminary, Conn., and later at the 
Western Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh. 

Schaff, Philip, D.D., LL.D. (Presbyterian), born Jan. i, 1819, at 
Coire, Switzerland; died Oct. 20, 1893, at New York. Pro- 
fessor of Sacred Literature in Union Theological Seminary, 
New York. 

Short, Charles, LL.D. (Episcopalian), born May 28, 1821, at 
Haverhill, Mass.; died Dec. 24, 1886, at New York. Pro- 
fessor of Latin in Columbia College, New York. 

Smith, Henry Boynton, D.D., LL.D. (Presbyterian), born Nov. 
21, 1815; died Feb. 7, 1877. Professor of Theology in Union 
Theological Seminary, New York. [Resigned on account of 
ill health.] 

Thayer, J. Henry, D.D. (Congregationalist), born Nov. 7, 1828, 
at Boston, Mass.; died Nov. 26, 1901, at Cambridge, Mass; 
Professor of Sacred Literature at Andover College, Mass. 
later at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

Warren, William Fairfield, D.D. (Methodist), born Mar. 13, 
1833, at Williamsburg, Mass.; only surviving member of the 
whole committee, 1922. President of Boston University, 
Mass. [Accepted appointment, but resigned at beginning of 
revision, as duties at university prevented attendance at meet- 
ings of committee.] 


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Bishop of Delaware 





The Revised Versions 325 

Washburn, Edward Abiel, D.D., LL.D. (Episcopalian), born 
Apr. 16, 1819, at Boston, Mass.; died Feb. 2, 1881, at New 
York. Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church, New York. 

WooLSEY, Theodore Dwight, D.D., LL.D. (Congregationahst), 
born Oct. 31, 1801, at New York; died July i, 1889, at New 
Haven, Conn. Ex-president of Yale University. 

The American Companies organized on December 7, 
1 87 1, and began active w^ork on October 4, 1872. The 
meetings were held at Rooms 40 and 42 Bible House, New 
York, the last Friday and Saturday of each month from 
September to May, with a summer meeting at Andover or 
New Haven. Copies of the portions as revised by the 
English Companies were sent confidentially to the American 
Revisers, who either approved the alteration or suggested 
something else. The Revisers did not receive any remun- 
eration for their work, but the expenses incident to traveling 
and holding the meetings were met by voluntary contribu- 
tions, the contributors receiving in return handsomely bound 
presentation copies of the English Revised Version, which 
were sent by the University Presses. 

Many of the suggestions of the American Revisers were 
not accepted by the English Companies, but, to obviate the 
publication of two distinct versions at once, an arrangement 
was made whereby the American Revisers agreed not to 
issue a version for at least fourteen years if the English 
Companies would publish at the end of their version a list 
of the unaccepted American suggestions. From the date 
of the Revised Old Testament, 1885, this reached to 1899, 
and in the meantime the surviving members of the American 
Companies continued their work and made still further 
revision. Only three of the New Testament Company were 
left, Drs. Dwight, Riddle, and Thayer. Of the Old Testa- 
ment Company there were Drs. Day, De Witt, Mead, and 
Osgood. The others had died or were too feeble to continue 
the^work. As regards the Old Testament, the bulk of the 
work fell to Dr. Mead; in fact, he had to finish it entirely 
alone. He was the youngest member of the committee, and 
he did the necessary editing and saw the work through the 
press. The American Standard Version was published in 
1901 under an arrangement whereby Thomas Nelson and Sons 





The Revised Versions 327 

were given the copyright and paid the incidental expenses 
of the work. The interesting preface to the New Testament 
is here reproduced by permission of the pubhshers. 

This edition of the Revised New Testament of 188 1 embodies 
a purpose entertained by many members of the American Revision 
Committee almost from the publication of the work. The list of 
passages in which the New Testament Company dissented from 
the decisions of their English associates, when it was transmitted 
to them, bore the heading, " The American New Testament 
Revision Company, having in many cases yielded their preference 
for certain readings and renderings, present the following instances 
in which they differ from the English Company, as in their view 
of sufficient importance to be appended to the revision, in accord- 
ance with an understanding between the Companies." 

The knowledge of the existence of these suppressed deviations 
naturally stirred a desire that they should be made accessible to 
at least the American public. This desire, especially on the part 
of those whose generous interest in the work from its inception 
had enabled the American revisers to meet the pecuniary outlay 
its preparation involved, they were not unwilling to gratify. The 
obligation they felt, however, to guard as far as they might the 
purity and integrity of the version, led them to pledge their sup- 
port for fourteen years to the editions issued by the University 
Presses of Oxford and Cambridge. But the reiterated suggestion 
to those Presses to publish an edition especially for American 
readers not having met with favor, they acceded to the overtures 
of the Messrs. Nelson and engaged in preparing gratuitously the 
desired edition, to be issued when the expiration of the period 
specified should open the way for its honorable publication. The 
publishers, on their part, agreed to protect the version in its 
integrity, and to sell the book at a price not exceeding a fair profit 
on its cost. 

In the preparation of this edition no attempt has been made 
to preserve a full record of the other readings and renderings than 
those that appeared in the work as published in 1881 which were 
preferred by the American revisers. The Appendix of that edi- 
tion, however, was not only hastily compiled under pressure from 
the University Presses, but its necessarily limited compass com- 
pelled, as the original heading intimated, the exclusion of many 
suggestions that the American Company held to be of interest 
and importance. These, amounting in the aggregate to a con- 
siderable number, have been incorporated in the present edition. 
The opportunity has been taken also to introduce not a few altera- 
tions, individually of slight importance, yet as a body contributing 
decidedly to the perfection of^the work. But the survivors of 
the New Testament Company have not felt at liberty to make 

328 The Book of Books 

new changes of moment which were not favorably passed upon 
by their associates at one stage or another of the original prepara- 
tion of the work. 

Respecting details, but little need be added to the ample 
statements made in the Preface prefixed to the work on its first 








A.D. 1881. 





In the delicate matter of rendering the names of the several 
coins that occur in the New Testament, we have departed some- 
what from our English brethren. For the Greek Xe-n-rov the term 
" mite " has been retained, and for KoS/aavr?;? the rendering " farth- 
ing " (see Mk. xii. 42). But daadpiov has been translated " penny " 
(Mt. X. 29; Lk. xii. 6); while in thirteen out of sixteen instances 
where in the edition of 1881 the Greek Srjvapiov was represented 
by this English word, the term " shilling " has been substituted, 

The Revised Versions 329 

not only as corresponding more nearly to the coin's relative value, 
but also because " penny," according to its modern use, is in some 
cases highly inappropriate (see Mt. xx. 2; Lk. x. 35; Rev. vi. 6). 










A.D. 1881 

Netolg "Etiittt bo tlje "Nzin Cegtammt members of % 

American ^Slebision C0mmittcf 

A.D. 1900 




381-386 rOURTH AVENUE 

Ifinion 24mo 


In the three remaining instances (Mt. xxii. 19; Mk. xii. 15; Lk. 
XX. 24), the Greek name of the coin has been introduced, in order 
to rneet the obvious requirement of the context. Where the 
English value of coins is given in the margin, we have added the 

330 The Book of Books 

equivalents in our national currency; but in the case of the talent 
(Mt. xviii. 24) what is believed to be a more accurate valuation 
has been given. 

In formal particulars, this new edition will show but slight 
and infrequent deviations from its predecessor. The division of 
the text into paragraphs in that edition has not been often departed 
from; and then chiefly in cases where the same matter is found in 
more than one of the Gospels, and hence uniformity of division 
seemed desirable. Further, in the Epistles and the Revelation 
the more decided transitions to a new topic have been indicated 
by leaving a line blank. The somewhat ponderous and peculiar 
system of punctuation of the original edition has been in the 
main adhered to; although, pursuant to the principle there fol- 
lowed, a comma has here and there been dropped which seemed 
likely to obstruct the reader, and the gradations of thought have 
been occasionally indicated more distinctly by substituting a semi- 
colon for the overworked colon. The titles of the books, which in 
the former edition were given as printed in 161 1, have been some- 
what abbreviated, at the dictate of convenience, and agreeably 
to usage, ancient as well as modern. They have been altered only 
in the few instances where the former heading was erroneous (as 
in the case of the Epistle to the Hebrews), or apt to mislead (as 
in the case of the Book of Acts), or hardly intelligible to the ordin- 
ary reader (as the " General " in the heading of some of the shorter 
Epistles), or founded in a misapprehension (as in the case of 
"Saint" prefixed to the names of the Evangelists). Moreover, 
the alternate title of the New Testament, and the mode of printing 
the headings of the Four Evangelists' narratives, are designed to 
recall to mind the inherent signification and primitive use of the 
terms "Testament" (compare Hebrews ix. 15 f.) and "Gospel." 
In the Book of Revelation, also, the " Glorias," " Trisagia," etc. 
have been marked typographically. 

In dealing with the Language, the American revisers have 
endeavored to act with becoming deference and reserve. A few 
archaisms, such as " how that," " for to," " the which," " how- 
beit," etc., which are becoming uncouth to a modern ear, have 
been generally although not invariably discarded. Not a few of 
the instances of the superfluous use of " do " and " did " as auxil- 
iaries, of " that " as equivalent to " that which," and the like, 
have also been removed; and current usage has been recognized 
in the case of forms which King James's revision employed indis- 
criminately, as " beside " and " besides " (see Luke xvi. 26; xxiv. 
21). But in making these and other slight changes, the American 
editors have not forgotten that they were dealing with a venerable 
monument of English usage, and have been careful not to obliterate 
the traces of its historic origin and descent. 

Notwithstanding the caution — as wise perhaps as prudent — 
which led the English Committee wholly to omit the headings of 

The Revised Versions 331 

chapters and pages, and in spite of the disfavor which has been 
the fate of many attempts to furnish them, it has been deemed best 
to equip the present edition with running headhnes, which may 
serve in some sort instead of a detailed Table of Contents, and as 
landmarks to a reader familiar with the text. In preparing them 
it has been the constant aim to avoid as far as possible all pre- 
commitments, whether doctrinal or exegetical; and with this 
object in view, the forms of statement employed have been drawn 
in the main from the Biblical text. Often a fragmentary quota- 
tion which might serve as a catchword or reminder of a well- 
known passage has been deemed sufficient. The limitations of 
space have frequently compelled a partial selection from the con- 
tents of a given page, the continuation of a heading from one page 
to the next, or even the entry of the kernel of a statement on a 
page adjoining that on which it appears in the text. Slight dis- 
placement in such a case seemed preferable to total omission. 

It is not superfluous to mention expressly the fact that in this 
edition the variant readings and renderings are placed at the foot 
of the pages, but in as close juxtaposition as possible with the 
passages to which they relate. The reader's attention is hereby 
drawn to the circumstance that some degree of uncertainty still 
cleaves, in the judgment of scholars, either to the text of the pas- 
sage before him, or to its translation, or to both. Accordingly, 
when he remembers that, by the rule of procedure which the Com- 
mittee followed, the translation of 1611 held its place in every 
instance until an alteration commanded the votes of two-thirds of 
the revisers, it will become evident to him that a rendering given 
in the margin may have commended itself to a majority, while 
still falling short of the degree of approval necessary to enable it 
to supplant the text. It is known that this was the case in a 
considerable number of instances, of which the established term 
" Comforter " as the appellation of the Holy Spirit in the four- 
teenth chapter of the Gospel of John is a notable representative. 

The present volume, it is believed, will on the one hand bring 
a plain reader more closely into contact with the exact thought of 
the sacred writers than any version now current in Christendom, 
and on the other hand prove itself especially serviceable to students 
of the Word. In this belief the editors bid it anew God-speed, and 
in the realization of this desired result they will find their all- 
sufficient reward. 

The following are samples of the Revised renderings: 

Psalm 2: 

1 Why do the nations rage, 

And the peoples imagine a vain thing.'' 

2 The kings of the earth set themselves. 
And the rulers take counsel together, 

Against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, 


The Book of Books 

3 Let us break their bands asunder, 
And cast away their cords from us. 

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: 
The Lord shsll have them in derision. 

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, 
And vex them in his sore displeasure: 

6 Yet I have set my king 
Upon my holy hill of Zion. 

7 I will tell of the decree: 

The Lord said unto me, Thou art my son; 
This day have I begotten thee. 

8 Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance, 
And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; 

Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. 

10 Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: 
Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 

11 Serve the Lord with fear. 
And rejoice with trembling. 

12 Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, 
For his wrath will soon be kindled. 

Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 

The Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6): 

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. 
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as 
we also have forgiven our debtors. And bring us not into temp- 
tation, but deliver us from the evil one. 


Left to right: Joseph Jacobs, Solomon Schechter, Max L. Margolis, Cyrus 

Adler, David Philipson, Kaufman Kohler, Samuel Schulman 

The Revised Versions 333 

The Jewish Revised Version was published at Phila- 
delphia in 1917 by the Jewish Publication Society of America. 
The circumstances under which it was produced and the 
nature of the work are set out in detail in the preface which 
is here reproduced by permission of the publishers. 

The sacred task of translating the Word of God, as revealed 
to Israel through lawgiver, prophet, psalmist, and sage, began at 
an early date. According to an ancient rabbinic interpretation, 
Joshua had the Torah engraved upon the stones of the altar 
(Joshua viii. 32) not in the original Hebrew alone, but in all the 
languages of mankind, which were held to be seventy, in order 
that all men might become acquainted with the words of the 
Scriptures. This statement, with its universalistic tendency, is, 
of course, a reflex of later times, when the Hebrew Scriptures had 
become a subject of curiosity and perhaps also of anxiety to the 
pagan or semi-pagan world. 

While this tradition contains an element of truth, it is certain 
that the primary object of translating the Bible was to minister to 
a need nearer home. Upon the establishment of the Second 
Commonwealth under Ezra and Nehemiah, it became imperative 
to make the Torah of God 'distinct and giving sense' through 
the means of interpretation (Nehemiah viii. 8 and xiii. 24) 
that the Word of God might be understood by all the people. 
The Rabbis perceived in this activity of the first generation of the 
Sopherim the origin of the Aramaic translation known as the 
Targum, first made orally and afterwards committed to writing, 
which was necessitated by the fact that Israel had forgotten the 
sacred language, and spoke the idiom current in a large part of 
western Asia. All this, however, is veiled in obscurity, as is the 
whole inner history of the Jews during the Persian rule. 

The historic necessity for translation was repeated with all 
the great changes in Israel's career. It is enough to point to the 
Septuagint, or the Greek translation of the Scriptures, the product 
of Israel's contact with the Hellenistic civilization dominating the 
world at that time; to the Arabic translation by Gaon Saadya, 
when the great majority of the Jewish people came under the 
sceptre of Mohammedan rulers; and to the German translation 
by Mendelssohn and his school, at the dawn of a new epoch, 
which brought the Jews in Europe, most of whom spoke a German 
dialect, into closer contact with their neighbours. These trans- 
lations are all historical products intimately connected with 
Israel's wanderings among the nations and with the great events 
of mankind in general. 

Ancient and continuous as this task of translation was, it 
would be a mistake to think that there were no misgivings about it. 
At least it is certain that opinions were divided as to the desir- 

334 The Book of Books 

ability of such undertakings. While Philo and his Alexandrian 
coreligionists looked upon the translation of the Seventy as a 
work of inspired men, the Palestinian Rabbis subsequently con- 
sidered the day on which the Septuagint was completed as one of 
the most unfortunate in Israel's history, seeing that the Torah 
could never be adequately translated. And there are indications 
enough that the consequences of such translations were not all of 
a desirable nature. However, in view of the eagerness with which 
they were undertaken almost in every land and in every great epoch 
of the world's history, it is evident that the people at large approved 
of such translations, thinking them to be a heave-offering to the 
Lord of each newly acquired vernacular adopted in the course of 
the ever-changing conditions of history, and in particular a tribute 
to the beauty of Japheth dwelling in the spiritual tents of Israel. 

The greatest change in the life of Israel during the last two 
generations was his renewed acquaintance with English-speaking 
civilization. Out of a handful of immigrants from Central Europe 
and the East who saw the shores of the New World, or even of 
England and her colonies, we have grown under Providence both 
in numbers and in importance, so that we constitute now the 
greatest section of Israel living in a single country outside of 
Russia. We are only following in the footsteps of our great pre- 
decessors when, with the growth of our numbers, we have applied 
ourselves to the sacred task of preparing a new translation of the 
Bible in the English language, which, unless all signs fail, is to 
become the current speech of the majority of the children of Israel. 

The need of such a translation was felt long ago. Mention 
may be made of the work of Isaac Leeser in America, which was 
both preceded and followed by two translations produced in 
England, the one by Dr. A. Benisch, the other by Dr. Michael 
Friedlander. The most popular, however, among these trans- 
lations was that of Leeser, which was not only the accepted 
version in all the synagogues of the United States, but was also 
reproduced in England. Its great merit consisted in the fact that 
it incorporated all the improvements proposed by the Mendel- 
ssohn School and their successors, whose combined efforts were 
included and further developed in the so-called Zunz Bible, which 
enjoyed a certain authority among German Jews for several 
generations. With all the advance of time and the progress made 
in almost all departments of Bible study, it was found that Leeser's 
translation would bear improvement and recasting. 

Steps leading to the preparation of a new translation into the 
English language were taken by the Jewish Publication Society of 
America in 1892. It was intended to secure, if possible, through 
the co-operation of scholars in the United States and in Great 
Britain, a new translation of each book, and to place it in the 
hands of an Editorial Committee, who by correspondence with 
the translators should harmonize the results of the work of the 

The Revised Versions 335 

individual contributors. This method was followed until 1 901 
under the general direction of Doctor Morris Jastrow, Editor-in- 
Chief, with Doctor Kaufman Kohler and Doctor Frederick de 
Sola Mendes as the other members of the Editorial Committee. 

It became apparent in 1901 that by this procedure the publi- 
cation of a translation of the entire Hebrew Bible would be in- 
definitely delayed, and accordingly the Book of Psalms, trans- 
lated by Doctor Kohler and revised by his colleagues, was given 
to the press and issued in 1903. The death of Doctor Jastrow in 
that year required the formation of a new committee under the 
chairmanship of Doctor Solomon Schechter. This committee, 
however, soon found that the method adopted was too complex, 
and that it was impossible to accomplish by correspondence the 
extensive work required. 

In 1908 the Jewish Publication Society of America and the 
Central Conference of American Rabbis reached an agreement to 
co-operate in bringing out the new translation upon a revised 
plan of having the entire work done by a Board of Editors instead 
of endeavoring to harmonize the translations of individual con- 
tributors. As a result of this understanding the present Board, 
consisting of Doctor Solomon Schechter, Doctor Cyrus Adler, and 
Doctor Joseph Jacobs, representing the Jewish Publication Society 
of America, and Doctor Kaufman Kohler, Doctor David Philipson, 
and Doctor Samuel Schulman, representing the Central Confer- 
ence of American Rabbis, was constituted, and by mutual agree- 
ment Professor Max L. Margolis was chosen as 'he seventh mem- 
ber, he to be the Editor-in-Chief of the work and Secretary to the 
Editorial Board, of which Doctor Cyrus Adler was elected Chair- 
man. Incidentally the selection thus made resulted in an equal 
representation of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America at 
New York, of the Hebrew Union College at Cincinnati, and of the 
Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning at Philadelphia. 
For one year Professor Israel Friedlander acted as a member of 
the Board in the stead of Doctor Schechter. 

The method employed by the Board was as follows: 

In preparing the manuscript for consideration by the Board 
of Editors, Professor Margolis took into account the existing 
English versions, the standard commentaries, ancient and modern, 
the translations already made for the Jewish Publication Society 
of America, the divergent renderings from the Revised Version 
prepared for the Jews of England, the marginal notes of the 
Revised Version, and the changes of the American Committee of 
Revisers. Due weight was given to the ancient versions as estab- 
lishing a tradition of interpretation notably the Septuagint and 
the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, the Targums, 
the Peshitta, the Vulgate, and the Arabic version of Saadya. 
Talmudic and midrashic allusions and all available Jewish com- 
mentators, both the great medieval authorities, like Rashi, 

336 The Book of Books 

Kimhi, and Ibn Ezra, and the moderns S. D. Luzzatto, Malbim, 
and Ehrlich, as well as all the Important non-Jewish commentators 
were consulted. On this basis, a manuscript was prepared by the 
Editor-in-Chief and a copy sent to every member of the Board of 
Editors. Sixteen meetings covering a period of seven years and 
occupying one hundred and sixty working days, were held, at 
which the proposals in this manuscript and many additional sug- 
gestions by the members of the Board were considered. Each 
point was thoroughly discussed, and the view of the majority was 
incorporated into the manuscript. When the Board was evenly 
divided, the Chairman cast the deciding vote. From time to time 
sub-committees were at work upon points left open, and their 
reports, submitted to the Board, were discussed and voted upon. 
The proof of the entire work was sent to each member of the Board 
for revision, and the new proposals which were made by one or 
another were in turn submitted to a vote by correspondence and 
to a final vote at the last meeting of the Board, held in October- 
November, 1915. 

The present translation is the first for which a group of men 
representative of Jewish learning among English-speaking Jews 
assume joint responsibility, all previous efforts in the English 
language having been the work of individual translators. It has a 
character of its own. It aims to combine the spirit of Jewish 
tradition with the results of biblical scholarship, ancient, mediaeval, 
and modern. It gives to the Jewish world a translation of the 
Scriptures done by men imbued with the Jewish consciousness, 
while the non-Jewish world, it is hoped, will welcome a translation 
that presents many passages from the Jewish traditional point of 

The repeated efforts by Jews in the field of biblical translation 
show their sentiment toward translations prepared by other 
denominations. The dominant feature of this sentiment, apart 
from the thought that the christological interpretations in non- 
Jewish translations are out of place in a Jewish Bible, is and was 
that the Jew cannot afford to have his Bible translation prepared 
for him by others. He cannot have it as a gift, even as he cannot 
borrow his soul from others. If a new country and a new language 
metamorphose him into a new man, the duty of this new man is 
to prepare a new garb and a new method of expression for what 
is most sacred and dear to him. 

We are, it is hardly needful to say, deeply grateful for the 
works of our non-Jewish predecessors, such as the Authorised 
Version with its admirable diction, which can never be surpassed, 
as well as for the Revised Version with its ample learning — but 
they are not ours. The Editors have not only used these famous 
English versions, but they have gone back to the earlier trans- 
lations of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, the Bishops' Bible, and 
the Douai Version, which is the authorised English translation of 

The Revised Versions 337 

the Vulgate used by the Roman Catholics; in a word, upon 
doubtful points in style, all English versions have been drawn 
upon. The renditions of parts of the Hebrew Scriptures by Lowth 
and others in the eighteenth century and by Cheyne and Driver 
in our own days were likewise consulted. 

As to the text and order of the biblical books, the present 
translation follows Jewish tradition, the Sacred Scriptures having 
come down in a definite compass and in a definite text. They are 
separated into three divisions: Law (Torah, Pentateuch), Prophets 
(Nebi'im), Writings (Ketubim). Each of these possesses a dif- 
ferent degree of holiness or authority. In the Prophets and the 
Writings the order of the books varies in manuscripts or among 
Jewish authorities; but there is absolute agreement as to the 
compass of these two divisions, and no book is transposed from 
one into the other. Thus Ruth, Lamentations, and Daniel are 
all placed in the division of Writings — not among the prophets, as 
in non- Jewish versions. 

With every step by which each of the three parts was sealed, 
nothing to be added or to be taken away, the text was likewise 
fixed and thenceforth made the object of zealous watchfulness. 
Even with regard to the latest book of our Scriptures, we read its 
text substantially in the form in which the great Rabbi Akiba 
read it, he who said that the system by which the sacred text was 
guarded constituted a fence about the Scriptures. In that system, 
at first oral and later committed to writing, the letters were 
actually counted and lists made, to the end that no alterations 
should creep in at the hands of careless scribes. The first to 
collect the notes known as Masorah was Jacob ben Haim Ibn 
Adonijah, the editor of the second Rabbinic Bible. In our own 
day many scholars have been prominent in this field of labour, 
chief among whom are Wolf Heidenheim, S. FrensdorfF, S. Baer, 
and C. D. Ginsburg. Not only does the text known as the mas- 
oretic represent the text current in the Synagogue with regard to 
consonants, but also with regard to its signs standing for vowels 
and accents, both of which embody the interpretation accepted 
by the Synagogue. While in the scrolls which are read in the 
Synagogue the bare consonants are alone permitted, readers must 
prepare themselves from copies allowed for private use, in ancient 
times written and now printed, which contain the additional signs 
for vowels and accents. A translation must naturally follow the 
guide of the latter. Moreover, the public reader is bound in 
certain cases to substitute mentally other consonants in the place 
of those found in the scrolls, in accordance with the marginal 
annotations in the copies intended for private use. These variants 
are taken traditionally for corrections, and the public reader who 
persists in ignoring them forfeits his position. It is true that in 
the case of such variations the Jewish commentators of the Middle 
Ages sought to elicit a meaning also from the textual reading, and 


338 The Book of Books 

seem here and there tacitly to give it preference, but all this par- 
takes of the nature of private judgment, and does not affect the 
uniform practice of the public readings in the Synagogue. While 
as a rule the margin (Kere) was followed, we have occasionally 
adopted the consonants of the text (Ketib), as for instance in 
Psalm cxxxix. 16, and II Chronicles xxiv. 27; xxxiv. 9. 

A translation destined for the people can follow only one 
text, and that must be the traditional. Nevertheless a translator 
is not a transcriber of the text. His principal function is to make 
the Hebrew intelligible. Faithful though he must be to the 
Hebrew idiom, he will nevertheless be forced by the genius of the 
English language to use circumlocution, to add a word or two, to 
alter a sequence of words, and the like. In general, our rule has 
been that, where the word or words added are implied in the 
Hebrew construction, no device is used to mark the addition; 
where, on the other hand, the addition is not at once to be inferred 
from the original wording and yet seems necessary for the under- 
standing, it has been enclosed in brackets. Naturally opinion will 
differ as to what may be deemed an addition warranted by the 
Hebrew construction and what may not, but as intelligibility was 
the principal aim, the Editors have felt justified in making their 
additions, sparingly it is true, but nevertheless as often as the 
occasion required. 

We have thought it proper to limit the margin to the shortest 
compass, confining it to such elucidation of and references to the 
literal meaning as are absolutely necessary for making the trans- 
lation intelligible. The Rabbis enumerate eighteen instances in 
which the scribes consciously altered the text. We have called 
attention to a change of this nature in Judges xviii. 30. 

Personal pronouns referring to the Deity have been capitalized. 
As an aid to clearness direct discourse has been indicated by 
quotation marks. In the prophetical writings, where the speech 
of the prophet imperceptibly glides into the words of the Deity, 
and in the legal portions of the Pentateuch, it has been thought 
best to use quotation marks sparingly. Although the spelling of 
proper names in the English Bible in many instances deviates 
somewhat from an accurate representation of the Hebrew, it has 
nevertheless been deemed wise, owing to the familiarity of Hebrew 
names in their usual form, generally to retain the current spelling. 

In all externals this translation is especially adapted for use 
in synagogue and school. The Keriat ha-Torah, or reading of 
the section from the Five Books of Moses, is the central feature 
of the Synagogue service. The Pentateuch is divided into fifty- 
four sections; beginning with the Sabbath following the Feast of 
Tabernacles, the readings on the Sabbaths of the year are taken 
in their order from the Five Books of Moses. The reading con- 
sists either of the whole section or of a selected portion. There 
was a variant custom according to which the reading of the Torah 

The Revised Versions 339 

extended over a period of three years instead of one year. How- 
ever, the one year cycle gradually superseded the three year cycle, 
and has become the universal custom in the Synagogue. 

The Pentateuchal readings are supplemented by readings 
from the Prophets known as Haftarot. Readings from the third 
portion of the Bible, though customary at one time, have now 
largely fallen into disuse. The five small books known as the 
Five Megillot are given a place in the Synagogue service in their 
entirety. On the feast of Purim the book of Esther is read; the 
book of Lamentations is read on Tish'ah be-Ab (Ninth of Ab), 
the fast-day observed in commemoration of the destruction 
of Jerusalem; Song of Songs, Ruth, and Ecclesiastes are read 
respectively on the Feast of Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the 
Feast of Tabernacles. 

The sections of the Pentateuch as traditionally read on the 
Sabbath are indicated, and a table gives all Scriptural readings, 
both on the Sabbath and on feast days and fast days. 

A note adds that two of the revisers died after the final 
meeting of the Board in November, 191 5, namely, Solomon 
Schechter and Joseph Jacobs. 

Then follows the table referred to in the preface, giving 
the appointed readings for Sabbaths, feast days, and fast 

The text follows in three divisions: 

The Law: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. 

The Prophets: Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, 
II Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, The Twelve (Hosea, Joel, 
Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, 
Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). 

The Writiiigs: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Ruth, 
Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 
I Chronicles, II Chronicles. 


The foregoing sketch of the wonderful story of the 
Book of Books has taken into account all the great events 
that had an important bearing on its external history. Any 
who desire to study the internal character of the various 
versions will find the works of Westcott, Eadie, and others 
mentioned in the Bibliography very valuable. 

Many other versions have been published during the 
four centuries that have elapsed since Tindale's New Testa- 
ment appeared, but though they are of interest they are 
more or less of a private character and have had relatively 
little influence. 

There was a translation of Matthew's gospel in 1550 
by Sir John Cheke, in which he tried to eliminate all Latin 
words and took great liberties with the Enghsh spelling. 
He omitted the silent "e" at the end of words as "were," 
"praise," writing them "wer," "prais," and writing single 
"1" in "al," "wel," and such words. This fragment was 
never printed till 1843. 

Lawrence Tomson in 1576 translated Beza's French 
New Testament into English, and editions of the Geneva 
Bible were published in which Tomson's version was used 
instead of the Genevan. 

A number of private translations of the New Testament, 
and a few of the Old, have been published in the last two 
hundred years. As these are in most instances the work of 
single scholars, they have not had a very wide influence. 
Of the more recent versions mention may be made of New- 
come's New Testament, Rotherham's Emphasized (Old and 
New Testaments), Wilson's Emphatic Diaglot (New Testa- 
ment in the original Greek, with a word for word interlinear 
translation as well as a free one), Ferrar Fenton's The Holy 
Bible in Modern English, Weymouth's The New Testament 


Conclusion 341 

in Modern Speech, The Twentieth Century New Testament, 
Moulton's Modern Reader's Bible, and MofFatt's new trans- 

The first Bible printed in America was Eliot's Indian 
Bible, published at Cambridge, Mass., 1661 and 1663. In 
1743 Christopher Saur printed a German Bible at German- 
town, Philadelphia. In 1777 Robert Aitken published the 
first American English New Testament, and in 1782 the 
complete Bible, at Philadelphia. In 1790 the first American 
edition of the Douay Bible was printed at Philadelphia by 
Matthew Carey, and in 1 851-1862 Kenrick's revised Douay 
Bible was published at Philadelphia. In 1808 Charles 
Thomson published an English Bible translated from the 
Septuagint, in four volumes, printed by Jane Aitken. In 
1853 Isaac Leeser's Jewish version of the Old Testament 
was published at Philadelphia. 

Many editions of the Bible have possessed peculiarities 
which have caused them to be known as "curious" Bibles, 
The Geneva is often called the "Breeches Bible" because 
Gen. 3 : 7 is translated "And they sewed figge tree leaves 
together, and made themselves breeches." The translation 
of Psa. 91 : 5 in some is "Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed 
for eny bugges by night," and such are known as " Bug 
Bibles," though the word means "terrors" or "bugaboos," 
not "insects." A 1562 edition has "Blessed are the place- 
makers" in Matt. 5 : 9 for "peacemakers." The Douay, 
1609, had in Jer. 8 : 22, "Is there no rosin in Gilead.''" 
while some versions have "triacle." A Bible was printed 
in 163 1 with the "not" omitted from the seventh com- 
mandment, Exod. 20 : 14; it is called the "Wicked Bible," 
and the printers were fined £300. In 1670 a small Bible 
was printed at Aberdeen, one inch square and half an inch 
thick, known as the "Thumb Bible." The "Vinegar Bible," 
1717, had the headUne to Luke 20, "The Parable of the 
Vinegar," instead of "Vineyard." In another edition Psa. 
119 : 161 is rendered "Printers have persecuted me," instead 
of "princes." A Bible in 1801 had "murderers" for "mur- 
murers" in Jude 16. One 1806 Bible had "I discharge thee 
before God" instead of "charge" in i Tim. 5 :2i; and 
another 1806 Bible had "The fishes will stand upon it" for 
"fishers" in Ezek. 47 : 10. 

342 The Book of Books 

Translations have been made into various modern lan- 
guages, which it would be interesting to consider; but as 
space is limited they are omitted here, because they have 
no particular bearing on the main story of how we got our 
English Bible. 

The survey has been comprehensive, but necessarily 
brief. Each section of it has at one time or another been 
made the subject of a good-sized volume. But the story 
is a wonderful one, and it is hoped that this review, brief 
though it is, will serve to stimulate interest in, and rever- 
ence for, the most wonderful of all books — the Book of Books. 



Anderson, Christopher. Annals of the English Bible. 2 Vols. 

London: Pickering, 1845. 
Arber, E. The First Printed English New Testament. London, 

Bible, The. Authorized Version, 1611, and modern editions. 
Bible, The. Revised Version, 1881 and 1885. 
Bible, The. American Standard Version. New York: Nelson, 

1 901. 
Bible, The. New Translation according to the Massoretic text. 

Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1917. 
Brown, J. The History of the English Bible. Cambridge, 1911. 
Burrows, Montagu. Wiclifs Place in History. Three Lectures 

at Oxford, 1881. London: Isbister, 1882. 
Chambers, Talbot W. A Companion to the Revised Old Testament. 

New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1885. 
Conant, H. C. The English Bible. New York: Sheldon, Blake- 
man & Co., 1856. 
Condit, Blackford. History of the English Bible. Chicago: 

Barnes, 1882. 
CoNLEY, J. W. The Bible in Modern Light. Philadelphia: The 

Griffith & Rowland Press, 1904. 
Dore, J. R. Old Bibles: An Account of the Early Versions of the 

English Bible. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode. 2d edn., 

Eadie, John. The English Bible. 2 vols. London: Macmillan, 

Ellicott, C. J. Considerations on the Revision of the English 

Version of the New Testament. London: Longmans, 1870. 
English Hexapla of the New Testament, The. London: Bagster & 

FoRSHALL, J. and Madden, F. Reprint of Wyclife's Bible. 

Oxford: University Press, 1850. 
Fry, Francis, F.S.A. The Editions of the New Testament, Tin- 
dale's Versions, 1^2^-1^66. London: Henry Sotheran & Co., 

Fuller, Thomas. Church History, 1655. 
Green, J. R. A Short History of the English People. New York: 

Harper & Bros., 1876. 


344 The Book of Books 

Guide to the Exhibited Manuscripts, British Museum. London: 

British Museum, 1912. 
Hall, Isaac H. The Revised New Testament and History of 

Revision. Philadelphia: Hubbard Bros., 1881. 
Helps to the Study of the Bible. Oxford: University Press. 
HoARE, H. W. The Evolution of the English Bible. London: 

Murray, 1901. 
Hunting, H. B. The Story of Our Bible. New York: Scribners, 

Kenyon, F. G. Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts. London: 
Eyre & Spottiswoode, 2d edn., 1896. 

LovETT, Richard. The Pri^ited English Bible, 152^^-1885. 
London: Religious Tract Society, 1894. 

Margolis, M. L. The Story of Bible Translations. Philadelphia: 
Jewish PubHcation Society of America, 1917. 

Merrill, G. E. The Parchments of the Faith. Philadelphia: 
American Baptist PubHcation Society, 1894. 

Merrill, G. E. The Story of the Manuscripts. Boston: Lothrop 
& Co., 1881. 

Mitchell, Edward C. The Critical Handbook of the Greek New 
Testament. New York: Harper & Bros., 1896. 

MoMBERT, J. L J Handbook of the English Versions of the Bible. 
New York: Randolph & Co., 1883. 

Moulton, W. F. The History of the English Bible. London: 
Cassell, 1878; 3d edn., 1887. 

New Testament. Various editions of the Greek Text: Tischen- 
dorfF, Griesbach, Emphatic Diaglott, Westcott and Hort, etc. 

New Testament. Various translations: Rotherham, Weymouth, 
Newcome, Moulton, MofFatt, New Century, etc. 

Pattison, T. Howard. The History of the English Bible. Phila- 
delphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1894. 

Penniman, J. H. A Book About the English Bible. New York: 
Macmillan, 1920. 

Pollard, Alfred W. An Exact Reprint of the Authorized Version 
161 1. Oxford: University Press, 191 1. 

Pollard, Alfred W. Records of the English Bible. Oxford: 
University Press, 1911. 

Price, Ira Maurice. The Ancestry of Our English Bible. Phila- 
delphia: Sunday School Times Co., 1907. 

Rice, Edwin W. Our Sixty-six Sacred Books. Philadelphia: 
American Sunday School Union, 1893. 

Riddle, M. B. The Story of the Revised Nezv Testament. Philadel- 
phia: Sunday School Times Co., 1908. 

Roberts, Alex. Companion to the Revised Version of the New 
Testament. New York: Funk & Co., 1881. 

Roberts, Alex. Old Testament Revision. London, Hodder & 
Stoughton, 1883. 

Bibliography 345 

ScHAFF, Philip. A Companion to the Greek Testament and the 
English Version. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1885. 

Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. New York: 
Funk & Wagnalls, 3d edn., 1894. 

Scrivener, F. H. A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the 
New Testament. Cambridge: Deighton, Bell & Co., 2d edn., 

Scrivener, F. H. The Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized 
Version. With a critical introduction. Cambridge: Uni- 
versity Press, 1873. 

Severn, Herman H. Makers of the Bible and Their Literary 
Methods. Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1922. 

Smyth, J. Paterson. The Old Documents and the New Bible. 
New York: James Pott & Co., 1890. 

Smyth, J. Paterson. How God Inspired the Bible. New York: 
James Pott & Co., 1892. 

Smyth, J. Paterson. The Bible in the Making. New York: 
James Pott & Co., 1914. 

Smyth, J. Paterson. Hozv We Got Our Bible. New York: James 
Pott & Co., 1915. 

Stanley, A. P. Biblia Pauperum — Facsimile Reprint with Intro- 
duction. London: Unwin, 1884. 

Stoughton, John. Our English Bible: Its Translations and 
Translators. London: The Religious Tract Society, about 

Strype, J. Me^norials of Archbishop Cranfner. 1694. 
Thomson, W. B. The History of the English Bible. Edinburgh: 

T. & T. Clark. 
TiscHENDORF, C. When Were Our Gospels Written? London: 

Religious Tract Society; New York: Revell. 
Westcott, B. F. a General View of the History of the English 

Bible. London: Macmillan, 2d edn., 1872. 
Westcott, B. F. The Bible in the Church. London: Macmillan, 



Abbot, Ezra, 14, 320, 321 

Acts and Monuments, 134 

Adams, John, 34, 35 

Adams, John Quincy, 34, 35 

Aelfric, 102 

Aiken, C. A. 314, 317 

Aitken's Bible, 341 

Aldhelm, loi 

Alexander, W. L., 282, 287, 289 

Alexandrian Manuscript, 76, JJ, 86 

Alfred, King, loi, 102 
Alford, H., 131, 132, 279, 283, 295- 

American Bible Society, 19, 21, 22, 

Apocrypha, 10 
Aquila's Version, 94 
Aramaic, 69, 91 
Arundel, Archbishop, no 
Augustine, 28, 31, 33 
Authorized Version, 244-77 

Bede, Venerable, 100, loi 
Bengel, 15, 130 
Bensly, R. L., 282, 291 
Beza, Theodore, 129 
Bible Best Seller, 17, 24 
Bible House, London, 20, 21 
Bible House, New York, 16, 22, 325 
Bible, Statistics of Circulation, 19- 

Bickersteth, E., 283, 295, 298 
Birrell, J., 284, 291 
Bishops' Bible, 235-39 
Blackie, Professor, 23 
Blakesley, J. W. 283, 287, 295 
Bluefield Daily Telegraph, 24 
Book About the English Bible, A, $1 
Boudinot, Elias, 22 
British and Foreign Bible Society, 

Brown, D., 295, 298 

Browne, E. H., 280, 281, 291 
Bryan, W. J., 44 
Bunyan, John, 33 
Burke, Edmund, 26 
Burr, J. K., 321 
Burrows, Montagu, 105 

Caedmon, 100, loi 

Caine, Hall, 49 

Calvin, John, 219 

Carlyle, Thomas, 48 

Caxton, William, 119 

Chained Bible, 21, 243 

Chambers, T. W., 314, 319 

Champollion, 63 

Chance, F., 291 

Chase, T., 320, 321 

Chenery, T., 284, 287, 291 

Cheyne, T. K., 291 

Christian, Geo. B., Jr., 41 

Clark, Champ, 45 

Cochlaeus, John, 141 

Codex A, 76, 77, 86, 87 

Codex B, 76, 84, 85 

Codex Bezae, 77, 78 

Codex C, 77, 88, 89 

Codex Claromontanus, 88 

Codex Laudianus, 89 

Codex Montfortianus, 127, 129 

Codex Purpureus, 88 

Codex Rossanensis, 90 

Codex Sinaiticus, 77, 82 

Cohen, Charles J., 70-73 

Coleridge, S., 50 

Colines, Simon de, 129 

Complutensian Polyglot, 128, 129 

Conant, T. J., 314, 319 

Convent of St. Catharine, 77, 80, 

Convocation of Canterbury (1534) 

176; (1856) 278; (1857) 279; 

1870) 281 
Coptic Versions, 97, 99 



The Book of Books 

Cook, F. C, 291 
Council of Constance, 112 
Council of Toulouse, 108 
Coverdale, Myles, 174-95, 219 
Cranmer, Thomas, 140, 176, 198, 

215, 219 
Critical Essays, 14 
Cromwell, Thomas, 174, 198, 206, 

211, 214 
Crooks, G. R., 321 
Crosby, H., 320, 321 
Cuneiform Inscriptions, li, 59-64 
Curious Bibles, 341 
Cuthbert, loi 
Cuthbert Gospels, 102 

Dana, Charles A., 50 
Davidson, A. B., 284, 287, 291 
Davies, B., 284, 287, 291 
Day, G. E., 3i4>3i9» 325 
De Witt, J., 316, 319, 325 
Dicken, Charles, 49 
Dostoevsky, 50 
Douay Bible, 240-43 
Douglas, G. C. M., 286, 291 
Driver, S. R., 286, 291 
Durham Book, 102 
Dwight, T., 320, 323, 325 

Eadfrith, 102 

Eadie, J., 287, 295, 298 

Egyptian Hieroglyphics, 58, 59 

Egyptian Versions, 97 

Ellicott, C. J., 172, 279, 281, 285, 

295, 300 
Elliott, C. J., 286, 291 
Elzevirs, The, 129 
English Prayer Book, 219, 291 
Ephraem Palimpsest, 77-79 
Erasmus, 127 

Evening Bulletin, 24, 122, 123 
Ewald, Heinrich, 29 

Faber, F. W., 276 
Fairbairn, Patrick, 291 
Fairbanks, C. W., 44 
Faraday, Michael, 32 
Farrar, F. W., 26, 27, 120 

Fell, Bishop, 130 
Field, F., 286, 287, 291 
Foch, Marshal, 46 
Foxe, 7, 134, 136 
Froude, J. A., 49, 172 
Fry, Francis, 21, 142, 171 

Garibaldi, General, 46 

Gaunt, John of, no 

Geden, J. D., 288, 291 

Geneva Bible, 219-33 

Ginsburg, C. D., 21, 287, 288, 293 

Gladstone, W. E., 43, 44 

Gotch, F. W., 287, 288, 293 

Gothic Versions, 97 

Grant, U. S., 36, 37 

Great Bible, 211 

Green, J. R., 33 

Green, W. H., 316, 319 

Grenville Fragment, 142, 146-50 

Griesbach, 130 

Guizot, 22 

Gutenberg Bible, 119, 125-27 

Gutenberg, Johan, 1 16-19 

Guthlac, loi 

Hackett, H. B., 322, 323 
Hadley, J., 322, 323 
Hagedorn, H., 39 
Hallam, A. H., 49 
Halle's Chronicles, 114 
Hammurabi, Stele of, 61 
Harding, Warren G., 41-43 
Hare, G. E., 316, 319. 
Harrison, B. (President), 36, 37 
Harrison, B. (Archdn.), 287, 288, 


Hastings, H. L., 4, 18 

Heber, Bishop, 17 

Heine, Heinrich, 29, 48 

Herbert, George, 50 

Hervey, A. C, 280, 283, 293 

Hicks, Jim, 43 

Hieroglyphics, 58, 59 

Hittites, 8, 63 

Hittites, The, the Story of a For- 
gotten People, 8 



Hodge, C. 322, 323 

Hooper, Bishop, 135, 140, 219 

Hort, F. J. A., 131, 132, 287, 29s, 

Humphry, W. G., 279, 287, 297, 

Huxley, T. H., 25, 47 

Inspiration of the Bible, 3 

Jackson, Andrew, 32, 34, 35 
Jay, John, 22 
Jebb, J., 283, 293 
Jefferson, T., 34, 35 
Jerome, 33, 95 
Jones, Sir William, 50 

Kant, Immanuel, 48 

Kay, William, 283, 290, 293 

Kendriek, A. C, 322, 323 

Kennedy, B. H., 287, 297, 298 

King Edward VH, 21 

Knox, John, 219 

Krauth, C. P., 316, 319 

Lachmann, C, 130 

Latham, Sir Henry, 32 

Latimer, Bishop, 140, 219 

Layard, Sir Austen, 7 

Leathes, S., 287, 290, 293 

Lee, Alfred, 323, 324 

Lee, Robert, E., 46 

Lee, Wm., 287, 297, 298 

Leeser's Translation, 341 

Lewis, Tayler, 318, 321 

Lightfoot, J. B., 287, 297, 298 

Lincoln, Abraham, 34, 37 

Livingstone, David, 32 

Lord's Prayer: Anglo-Saxon, 102; 
Wiclif's, 115; Tindale's, 161; 
Coverdale's, 195; Matthew's, 
206; Taverner's, 210; Great, 
215; Cranmer's, 218; Geneva, 
222,233; Bishops', 239; Rheims, 
241; Authorized, 275; Revised, 

Lumby, J. R., 290, 293 
Luther, Martin, 32, 124, 125 

McGill, J., 293 
McKinley, William, 36, 37 

Macaulay, Lord, 49 

Mahan, Admiral, 47 

Manuscripts, 11, 69 

Manuscripts, Hebrew, Writing, 72 

Marshall, Thomas R., 45 

Massoretes, 69 

Mead, C. M., 318, 321, 325 

Matthew, Thomas, 196 

Matthew's Bible, 196 

Memorials of Archbishop Cranmer 

Mendicant Orders, 107 
Merivale, C, 297 
Milligan, W., 287, 297, 298 
Mistakes in the Bible, 12-15 
Moabite Stone, 68, 69 
Moberly, G., 279, 281, 297, 298 
Modern Versions, 340 
Monmouth, Humphrey, 139 
Moulton, W. F., 287, 297, 298 

Napoleon, Emperor, 46 
Newman, Cardinal, 29, 287, 297 
Newth, S., 287, 297, 298 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 50 
North American Reviezv, 15 

Old Latin Versions, 95, 96 
Ollivant, A., 280, 281, 293 
Origen, 33, 95 
Ormulum, The, 103 
Osgood, H., 321 

Pacificus, Friar, 74 

Packard, J., 318, 321 

Packington, Augustine, 145, 146 

Palmer, E., 133, 297, 298 

Paper, 67 

Papyrus, li, 63, 65-67 

Parable of the Wicked Mammon, 164 

Parchment, 11, 69 

Parker, Matthew, 235-37 

Parker, Theodore, 23, 29 

Penniman, J. H., 25, 51 

Perowne, J. J. S., 26, 287, 290, 293 


The Book of Books 

Perowne, Miss E., 289 

Pershing, General J. J., 46 

Peshito Version, 95 

Plain Introduction to the Criticism, of 
the New Testament, 129 

Plumptre, E. H., 287, 292, 293 

Printing, Invention of, 1 16-123 

Prophecy, 9 

Psalm 2: Coverdale's, 194; Mat- 
thew's, 206; Taverner's, 210; 
Great, 214: Cranmer's, 217; 
Geneva, 222; Bishops', 239; 
Douay, 242; Authorized, 275; 
Revised, 331 

Pusey, E. B., 287, 293 

Quentel, Peter, 140 

RawHnson, Sir Henry, 7 
Renan, Ernest, 29 
Reuss, 15 

Revised Versions, 278-339 
Rheims Testament, 240 
Riddle, M. B., 323, 325, 326 
Ridley, Bishop, 140, 219 
Roberts, A., 287, 297, 299 
Roberts, Lord, 46 
Rogers, John, 196-98, 219 
Rolle, Richard, 103 
Roosevelt, Theodore, 37-40 
Rose, H. ]., 283, 293 
Rosetta Stone, 60 
Rousseau, J. J., 48 
Roye, William, 140 
Rushworth Gloss, 112 
Ruskin, John, 47 

Samaritan Pentateuch, 90-92 
Samaritans, 91 
Savonarola, 33 
Sayce, A. H., 8, 289, 293 
SchafF, P., 76, 133. 323, 326 
Scholz, J. M. A., 130 
Schurman, J. G., 50 
Scott, R., 287, 297, 298 
Scott, Sir Walter, 33, 50 
Scrivener, F. H. A., 129, 132, 287, 
297, 299 

Selwyn, W., 278, 283, 293 

Septuagint, 93, 94, 95 

Sewall, "Bill," 39 

Shakespeare, 15, 16 

Shoreham, William of, 103 

Short, C, 323 

Sinaitic Manuscript, yj, 82 

Singh, Rajah, 48 

Smith, G. v., 287, 299 

Smith H. B., 323, 324 

Smith, R. P., 287, 292, 293 

Smith, W. R., 294, 295 

Stanley, A. P., 29, 116, 283, 287, 

298, 299 
Stephens, Robert, 129 
Stichometry, y6, 88 
Stowe, C. E., 218, 321 
Strong, J., 321 

Strype's Memorials of Cranmer, 211 
Symmachus' Version, 94 
Syriac Versions, 95, 97, 98 

Targums, 92, 93 
Taverner, Richard, 206 
Taylor, Zachary, 34, 36 
Tel el- Amarna Tablets, 63, 64 
Tennyson, Lord, 120 
Thayer, J. H., 323, 325, 326 
Theodotion's Version, 94 
Thirlwall, C, 280, 281, 295 
Tindale, William, 6, 134-73 
Tindales' Pentateuch, 165, 168 
Tischendorf, C, yy, 130, 131 
Tolstoy, Count, 49 
Tyndale, JVilliam, A Biography, 134 
Tonstal, Cuthbert, 143, 144, 218 
Tregelles, S. P., 131, 287, 299 
Trench, R. C, 279, 287, 298, 299 
Trevisa, John, 103, 104 
Troutbeck, J., 296, 299, 300 

Van Dyck, C. V. A., 319, 321 

Vatican Library, 89, 85 

Vatican Manuscript, 76, 84, 85 

Vaughan, C. J., 287, 298, 299 

Vellum, II, 69 

Versions, 1 1 

Vilvorde Castle, 171, 173 



Vitality of the Bible, The, 23 
Vulgate, 95, 96, 97 

Walsh, Sir John, 135, 137, 138 

Walsingham, 109 

Warren, W. F., 323, 324 

Washburn, E. A., 325 

Washington, George, 34, 35 

Webster, Daniel, 32, 44 

Weir, D. H., 294, 295 

West Saxon Gospels, 102 

Westcott, B. F., 131, 132, 287, 299 

Wetstein, 130 

When Were Our Gospels Written? fj 

Whitfield, 33 

Whittingham, William, 219 
Wiclif, John, 6, 21, 103-15 
Wiclifs Place in History, 105 
Wilberforce, S., 281, 296, 299 
Wilson, Woodrow, 38, 40 
Woolse}", T. D., 324, 325 
Wordsworth, Charles, 298, 299 
Wordsworth, Christopher, 281, 282 

Wright, W, 287, 295 
Wright, W. A., 287, 294, 295, 300 
Writing, 11, 58 
Writing Materials, 58 

Date Due 

D i 3 ^:^7 


N 80 ¥ 

23 ■;] 

J . 

MY 6 '55 




-*^tPn J ; 



^r 1996 

Mn-i.-W-.^ ' ••^