Page images
PDF
EPUB

been guided by it, we may now with some degree of to spread the knowledge of religion among his countryconfidence affirm, that the agreement observable in the men, employed himself in making a translation of the New ancient and modern versions of the New Testament, es- Testament into the English language, as it was then pecially in the more difficult passages, is owing, not to the spoken, and finished it about the year 1367. But because, justness of the translation, but to the translators having, by translating the Scriptures, Wickliff put it in the power one after another, followed the old Italic version, as it was of every one who could read to compare the doctrines of corrected by Jerome in the Vulgate edition. This being Rome with the doctrines of Christ, his translation was the case, it cannot be thought strange, that the errors and universally condemned as heretical by the Romish clergy: obscurities of the Vulgate have entered more or less into and a bill was brought into the House of Lords, anno all the ancient versions of the New Testament, and that 1390, for suppressing it. But the Duke of Lancaster, a from them they have crept into many of the modern ver- favourer of Wickliff

, and uncle to King Richard II., oppossions likewise.

ing the bill, it was thrown out. After Wicklift''s death,

by a constitution of the convocation at Oxford, the readSect. II.-Of the modern Versions of the New Testa- ing of his translation was prohibited, and some, for using

ment; and particularly of the Euglish Translations it, suffered death. of the greatest note.

Wickliff did not make his translation of the New TesAs the author does not pretend to be acquainted with tament from the Greek, which it is thought he did not all the vernacular translations of the Scriptures, used at understand, but from the Latin Bible then read in the present by the different nations of Europe, he will not churches, which he rendered verbatim, without regarding take upon him to say how far they have copied the Vul. the idiom of the languages. A translation of the New gate. But this he may affirm, that most of the vernacu. Testament made in that manner, from such an incorrect lar versions of the Scriptures made by the Roman Catho- copy as the Latin Bible then was, could not miss to be lics since the reformation are translations of the Vulgate, both erroneous and obscure. Nevertheless, being an xAnd with respect to the Protestants, though Luther and iously sought after, and much read by persons of all Olivetan gave out that they made their versions from the ranks, it was of great use in opening the eyes of the naHebrew, they must be understood with some limitation, if tion to the errors of popery; and the rather, that to the F. Simon's opinion be true, namely, that neither the one

books of the New Testament Wickliff had prefixed a nor the other understood Hebrew so well as to be able to translation of Jerome's prologues, with some additions of translate the Scriptures from that language. Be that, his own, tending to expose the Romish superstitions. however, as it will, this known, that all the vernacular Afterwards, the faults of Wickliff's translation being disversions now used by the Lutherans are translations of covered, some of his followers, as Lewis informs us, (p. Luther's German Bible, and that most of those used by 29.) revised it; or rather, made “another translation, no! the Calvinists are translations either from Olivetan's ver so strictly literal as his, and more according to the sense.' sion, as corrected by Calvin, or from Beza's Latin New of this revised translation, the MS. copies are more rare, Testament; consequently, neither the Lutheran nor the though some of them are still preserved in the public Calvinist vernacular versions can be supposed as exact libraries. In the advocates' library at Edinburgh, there is as they should be. But without insisting on this, the

a beautiful MS. of Wickliff's translation, on vellum. But author supposes the utility of a new English translation whether it is of the first, or of the revised translation, the of the apostolic epistles will be sufficiently evinced, if it author does not know. can be shown that the first English translators made their

Tyndal's TRANSLATION.—The next English translaversions from the Vulgate, and that the subsequent trans- tion of the New Testament which merits attention, was lators, by copying them, have retained a number of the made in the reign of Henry VIII. by William Tyndal, a errors of that ancient version.

Welchman, educated in Magdalen-hall, Oxford, where he Wicklift's New TESTAMENT.If we except the read lectures in divinity. But after a while, becoming Saxon translation of the four gospels, mentioned p. 2, the sensible of the errors of popery, to show their opposition most ancient English version of the New Testament now

to the word of God, he formed the design of translaremaining is that which was made by John Wickliff, a ting the New Testament into English, and of publishfellow of Merton College, Oxford. Such a change had ing it from the press ;-a measure at that time necessary, taken place in the language since the Norman conquest, as both the language and orthography of Wickliff's that the Anglo-Saxon, the only English version of the translation were become in a great measure obsolete. Scriptures then extant, was in Wicklift's time become un While Tyndal was executing his pious intention, he fell intelligible to the common people, who neither understood under the suspicion of heresy, and was obliged to flee to a number of the words, nor the spelling, nor even the

Antwerp, where, with the assistance of one John Frith, letters in which it was written.

'T'his excellent person,

he finished his translation of the New Testament, and therefore, with a view to expose the errors of popery, and

published it either at Antwerp or Hamburgh in the year

1526.— When the copies of Tyndal's translation were • To prove what is asserted above, the following examples are imported into England, and dispersed, the Romish clergy produced :--Matt. x. 29. 'Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.'

were exceedingly provoked. Some of them said it This translation implies, that the other might fall without their Fa was impossible to translate the Scriptures into English ; ther. The same error is found in the Syriac and Vulgate versions, others, that it was not lawful for the people to have them and in Beza, and most of the Latin translations, not excepting Eras. mus, and in all the old English versions, and in the Geneva Bible.

in their mother tongue; others, that it would make them But the absurdity may easily be reinoved, by construing the nega all heretics. They were displeased, likewise, because tive particle with the word (v) one, thus; Yet not one of them Tyndal, like Wicklift, had interpreted the sacred words alii duo nequam, cum eo, ut interficerentur. This translation most (sec p. 8.), whose meaning they wished to hide from the falsely represents Jesus as a malcfactor; and being found in the people; because, baving appropriated these words to first Syriac and Vulgale versions, the Arabic, Ethiopic, &c. derived it either from the Syriac or the Vulgate. Wicklitt also, Erasmus,

themselves, as long as they were not understood, the Castalio, the Rhemish, and even our English translators, have ali clergy were at liberty to affix to them any sense they followed the Vulgate in this gross error. original, Hyouto pleased, for aggrandizing their own order. Wherefore δε και στεροι δυο καπουργει συν αυτώ αναιρεθηναι, by supplying the word ortis, as Thomson hath done, may justly be rendered, Now

when they found that Tyndal, in his translation, had put with him also two others who were malefactors were led to be the word senior for priest, congregation for church, love put to death ;' or rather, without any addition, thus: Now, there were led also two others, malefactors, with him to be put to death ;'

for charity, repentance for penance, &c. they were so enand so the shocking absurdity will be avoided.

raged, that, by various constitutions, they condemned

et

the whole of his translation as heretical, forbade the peo- title : “ The Newe Testament, diligently corrected and ple to read it, made strict search after the copies of it, and compared wyth the Greke, by William Tyndal, and all that they found they burnt publicly. But the more finished in the yere of our Lord God 1534, in the Tyndal's translation was condemned, the more it was moneth of November.” But this edition was not pubsought after and read ; insomuch that the Dutch booksel- lished by Tyndal; for in a later edition, mentioned by lers printed four editions of it before Tyndal thought fit Lewis, which was printed in 1536, the title is, “The to reprint it. Concerning these Dutch editions, it is to Newe Testament, yet once agayne corrected by William be observed, that as the editors did not understand the Tindale." This, with other circumstances to be menEnglish language themselves, and had no person skilled tioned afterwards, shows, that Tyndal's translation was in it to correct their presses, three of their editions are ex. made from the Vulgate Latin, as most of the vernacular tremely erroneous.

translations of the New Testament, made in that age, unWhile the foreign booksellers were making gain of doubtedly were. Tyndal s labours, he was employed in translating the five Before Tyndal finished the printing of his second edibooks of Moses into English, with an intention to publish tion, in 1534, he was imprisoned in the castle of Antwerp, them likewise. In this part of his work he was assisted where he remained till he was strangled and burnt as an by Myles Coverdale, a native of Yorkshire, and one of heretic, in the year 1536. Hall tells us, that after the the Austin friars in Cambridge, who, being suspected of publication of the first edition of his New Testament, heresy, had fled to the continent. Having finished his Tydal prosecuted his design of translating the Old Testranslation, Tyndal printed it at Malborrow (Marpurg), tament with such diligence, that before he was put to in the land of Hesse, in the year 1530. To each of the death he had finished his translation, not only of the books of Moses he prefixed a prologue, and on the mar- Pentateuch, and of Jonah, but of all the other books to gin placed notes, and added ten wooden cuts, representing Nehemiah. These translations, according to Johnson, he the ark, the candlestick, &c. About this time, likewise, made not from the Hebrew, but from the Vulgate Latin; he translated the prophecy of Jonah, and some other books or, as the popish writers affirm, from Luther's German of Scripture.

translation. In the year 1534, the Dutch booksellers having resolved Tyndal's translation of the books of the Old Testament to print a fourth edition of Tyndal's New Testament, to Nehemiah, together with his translation of Jonah, and they hired one George Joye (á Bedfordshire man, bred of the books of the New Testament, make what is called in Peterhouse, Cambridge), to correct the press. But, as Tyndal's Bible. Joye tells us in his preface," he not only corrected the COVERDALE's Bible. While Tyndal was in prison, errors of the press; but when he came to some dark sen- the whole Bible, translated into English, was finished at tences, having the Latin text by him, he made them the press, in the year 1535, with a dedication to Henry plainer, and gave many words their native signification, VIII., subscribed by Myles Coverdale. In this dedication which they had not before." This edition was printed at Coverdale speaks with great bitterness against the bishop Antwerp in August 1534.

of Rome, and his usurpations, and tells the king, that In November 1534 the papal dominion was abolished "he took upon him to set forth this special translation, in England, and the king's supremacy established by act not as a checker, reprorer, or despiser of other men's of parliament; so that a way was opened for the reforma- translations, but lowly and faithfully following his intertion of religion, to the unspeakable advantage of the Eng- preters, and that under correction. Of these,” he said, lish nation.

“ he made use of five different ones, who had rendered This year, Tyndal published his New Testament a se- the Scriptures, not only into Latin, but also into Dutch.” cond time, because, in his former edition, as he acknow. Here it is to be observed, that Coverdale does not pretend ledges in the preface, there were many faults, which that he made his translation from the originals; he only the lack of help, and oversight, had occasioned.” The “ followed his interpreters,” that is, other translators. title of this edition is, “'The Newe Testament, diligently And by calling his “ a special translation,” he wished to corrected, and printed in the year of our Lord 1534, in have it considered as different from Tyndal's. Yet it is November." And at the end, “ Printed at Antwerp by well known, that he adopted all Tyndal's translations, Marten Emperour.” But the Dutch booksellers had both of the Old Testament and of the New, with somo made such haste, that, as was just now mentioned, their small alterations. Only he omitted Tyndal's prologues edition was published in August, three months before and notes, because they had given offence to the Papists. Tyndal's.

That Coverdale adopted Tyndal's translations, appears It hath been commonly said, that Tyndal made his likewise from his saying in his preface, that " Tyndal's translation of the New Testament from the Greek; but helpers and companions would finish what Tyndal bad no such thing is said in the titles of any of the editions left unfinished, and publish it in a better manner than published by himself,* or by Joye. In the library of himself had now done ;" referring to the books of the Old St. Paul's church, London, there is an edition with this Testament, and of the Apocrypha, which Tyndal had not

translated, but which Coverdale had now published. • If, as Lewis informs us, Tyndal translated an oration of Iso. These, therefore, are the only translations in this Bible which crates, he must have had some knowledge of the Greek; but as that are properly Coverdale's own; and, joined with Tyndal's language was very little studied in these days, it may be doubted whether he understood it so well as to be able to translate the New

translations, are what hath been commonly called CoverTestament from the Greek. 'The Hebrew being still less studied in dale's Bible, or rather Tyndaland Coverdale': translation. England, it is generally believed that neither he nor Coverdale un. derstond that language. Besides, the short time they spent in vicar-general to the king in matters ecclesiastical, ordered a

Soon after the publication of this Bible, Cromwell, as ders it more than probable that they did not inake their translations copy of it to be laid in the quire of each church, that every from the Hebrew, but from the Latin Bible. Perhaps they compared their translations with the originals. For, with a very slender

one who pleased might read it. knowledge of the languages, they inay have done what Olivetan

Matthew's Bible.- In the year 1537, Richard Grafsays he did, when he made his French translation from the Hebrew. "On meeting with any difficult text, which he did not understand, edition of Coverdale's Bible, with Tyndal's prologues and

ton and Edward Whytchurch, printers, published a second or which he doubted of, he consulted the translations and commentaries of others, and look what he judged best.”. (Simon, Crit.

notes. Because this Bible was printed with German Hist. du V. T. L. ii. c. 2.) This, I suppose, is all that the learned men meant, who, in the title of the Bible which they published in

types, and was superintended by John Rogers, pastor of a Hebrue and Greke textes." See page 6. the year 15:39, say, they translated it truely after the veryte or the church at Marbeck in the dutchy of Wittemberg, Lewis

thinks it was printed at Marbeck.-Rogers was educated

.

at Cambridge, where, in 1525, he took the degree of the following title : “The Byble in Englishe, that is to bachelor of arts; then removing to Oxford, he was made say, the content of all the Holy Scripture, bothe of the a junior canon of Cardinal's college ; after that, taking Oide and Newe Testament, truely translated after the orders, he was appointed chaplain to the English factory veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by the Jylygent at Antwerp, where, meeting with Tyndal, he was by him studye of diverse excellent searned men, expert in the made sensible of the errors of popery. From Antwerp he forsayde tonges." This is the first time any English went to Marbeck, and became pastor of a congregation there. translation of the Bible was set forth as made after the

Before this edition of Coverdale's Bible was finished, verity of the originals. (See page 5. note.) Who the Tyndal was burnt as an heretic. Wherefore Rogers, divers excellent learned men were, by whose diligent fearing that the prefixing of Tyndal's name to it might study this translation was made, is not known. Jobnson occasion its being ill received by the common people, he says it was corrected by Coverdale. And from the splenpublished it under the feigned name of Thomas Matthew, did manner in which it was printed, Lewis conjectures and dedicated it to Henry VIII. Bishop Bale says, that it was intended to be used in the churches, and was Rogers translated the Bible from the beginning to the patronized by Cranmer, who might appoint some learned end, having recourse to the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Eng- men to assist Coverdale in correcting it. But whoever lish, and German copies. But Lewis says this is evi- these excellent learned men were, it is certain that this is dently a mistake. For the Bible called Matthew's is not no new translation from the originals, but, as Lewis oba new translation, but, as Wanley observes, to the end of serves, a revisal only of Matthew's, that is, Rogers' edition, Chronicles it is Tyndal's, and from that to the end of the with some small alterations. However, to make it appear A pocrypha, it is Coverdale's. He ought to have excepted different, Matthew's name was omitted, as were 'Tyndal's Jonah, which is of Tyndal's translation, having his pro- prologues and notes, because they had been blamed as logue prefixed to it. The translation of the New Testa- heretical and defamatory. In this edition, the additions ment is likewise Tyndal's, as are the prologues and notes. to the Hebrew and Greek originals in the Vulgate Latin Farther, that the translation which goes under the name are translated, and inserted in a smaller letter than the of Matthew's was not made from the originals, is evi- text, particularly the three verses in Psalm xiv. which dent from the title, which runs thus: “ The Bible, which were omitted by Coverdale and Matthew ; likewise the is all the Holy Scripture, in which are contayned the Olde famous text, 1 John, ch. v. 7. which Tynd 1, in his New and Newe Testament, truelye and purelye translated into Testament, (published in 1526), had printed in small Englysh : By Thomas Matthewe." This, which is com- letters, to show that it was not then in the common Greek monly called Matthew's Bible, was begun and finished copies. Next, where the editors found various readings under the patronage of archbishop Cranmer; for it was in the text, they prefixed a cross to the word. In the presented by Grafton to him, and to the lord Cromwell; third place, to supply, in some measure, the want of the and Cromwell, at the archbishop's request, presented it to notes, they placed on the margin, bands pointing to the the king, who permitted it to be bought and used by all texts which were supposed to condemn the errors of popersons without distinction.-Rogers returned to England pery, that the reader might attend to them. This Bible in Edward VI.'s time, and was made a prebendary of St. being printed with types of a greater size than common, Paul's. But when Mary came to the throne, he was ap- and in a large folio, with a fine emblematical frontispiece, prehended and condemned under the name of Rogers, said to be designed by Hans Holben, and beautifully cut alias Matthew, for having published this translation of the in wood, it was called The Great Bible. Bible under the name of Mathew. He was the first When the liturgy was first compiled, in the reign of martyr in that reign.

Edward VI., the epistles, gospels, and psalms put into it, HOLLYBUSHE'S NEW TESTAMENT.-It seems the Pa. were all according to this translation ; and so they conpists, about this time, to discredit the English translations tinued till the restoration of Charles II., when the epistles of the Scriptures before mentioned, affirmed that they though in some places he used the honest and just libertye of a were contrary to the Latin Bible, which was then used in grammarian, as was needful for the readei's better understandthe churches, and which, as the Rhemish translators after ynge; yet, because he was lothe lo swerve from the text (the wards expressed it, was considered as truer than the orin Vulgate Latin), be so tempered his pen, that, if the reader wolde,

he might make plain construction of it by the English that standeth ginal itself ; by which they meant the copies of the Greek on the other side.” In 1539 Coverdale set forth a second edition ofthis Testament then used. For in the year 1538, Coverdale, New Testament, with a dedication to the lord Cromwell, in which, to show that his translation of the New Testament was

speaking of his inducement to publish the former edition, he says,

"Inasmuch as the New Testament which he had set forth in Eng. not different from the common Latin Bible, allowed one lis before (namely, in his Bible), did so agree with the Latyn, ho Johan Hollybushe to print, in a column opposite to the

was hartely well content that the Latyn and it shulde be set together, Vulgate Latin, the English translation of the New Testa

(namely, by Jollybushe), provydded alwaye, that the corrector

shulde followe the true copye of the Latyn in anye wyse, and to ment, which Coverdale had formerly set forth in his Bible. kepe the true and right Englishe of the same; and so doing, he This Holly bushe published while Coverdale was abroad,

was content to set his name wit; and that so he did, trusting that,

though he was out of the land, all shulde be well. But when he had with the following title : “ The Newe Testament, both in perused this copie, he found, that, as it was disagreeable to his Latine and Englishe, eche correspondent to the other, toriner translation in English (Tyndal's translation, which he had after the Vulgate text, communely called St. Jerome's, copied in his Bible), so was not ibe true copye of the Latyn text

observed, neither the English so correspondent to the saine as it faithfully translated by Johan Hollybushe, anno 1538."* ought to be. Therefore he had endeavoured himself to wede ont

Great Biale.-In the year 1539, Grafton and Whyt. the fanlts that were in the Latyn and English,” &c. From these church published a new edition of the English Bible, with quotations it is evident, that the translation of the New Testainent

which Coverdale allowed Hollybushe to print with the Latin text,

was the one which he had published in his Bible; consequently it • To this edition Coverdale prefixed a dedication :o Henry VIII.

was Tyndai's translation. It is evident, likewise, that that transin which he takes notice of the reflections made on the translation lation was made from the Vulgate, and in so literal a manner, that of the Bible in English which he had published, "as if he intended the reader inight make plain construction of the Latin by the Eng. to pervert the seripture, and to condemn the commune translation lish. It is true, Coverdale in some places corrected the Latin text; into Latyn, which costumably is red in the church." To obviate

but it was only as a grammarim; and in these corrections he was these false suggestions, he tells his Majesty," he has here set forth careful to swerve as little as possible from his text.

Wherefore, this commune translation in Latin, and also the English of it." Coverdale having assisted lyndal in making his tronslation, Next he observes, “Concerning this present Latin text, forasmuch they followed one and the saine method; that is, both of the as it has been, and was yet so greatly corrupt, as he thought none translated the Scriptures from the Vulgate; both of them translated other translation was, it were a godly and gracious dede, yf they that the Vulgate literally; and both of thein corrected the text of the have authorite, knowledge, and tyme, wolde, under his Grace's Vulgate as grammarians, making use of other translations for that correction, examen it better, after the most ancient interpre. purpose; such as, for the Old Testament, the Septuagint, Luther's ters, and most true textes of other languages." Accordingly, in luis German version, and Munster's Latin translation ; and for the New, epistle to the reader, speaking of the Latin text, he says,

"Wherein,

Wicklitř's and Erasinus' versions, and what others they could find.

and gospels were inserted from king James's Bible ; but them fled into foreign countries ; among whom was Cothe psalms of the Great Bible were allowed to remain. verdale, who, in Edward's reign, had returned to Eng

CRANMER'S BIBLE.-In 1540 another edition of the land, and had been made bishop of Exeter. He, with English Bible was printed in folio, with this title : “ The some others, fixed their residence at Geneva, where they Bible in Englishe; that is to say, the content of al the employed themselves in making a translation of the Bible. Holy Scripture, both of the Olde and Newe Testament, They began with the New Testament, which they pubwith a prologe thereinto made by the Reverende Father lished in 12mo., printed with a small but beautiful letter, in God, Thomas Archbyshop of Canterbury." On account in 1557. This is the first printed edition of the New of this prologue, and because Cranmer amended the trans- Testament, in which the verses of the chapters are dislation in this edition, in some places, with his own pen, it tinguished by numeral figures and breaks. hath been called Cranmer's Bible, though it is little dif Strype, in his Annals of the Reformation, tells us, that ferent from the Great Bible. In this, as in the Great the Geneva brethren, after publishing their New TestaBible, the verses of the psalms, proverbs, &c. which are ment, proceeded to revise the Old. But not having not in the Hebrew, but which are translated from the Vul- finished it when Elizabeth came to the throne, some of gate, are printed in smaller letters, and the order of the them staid behind the rest to complete their design. And psalms is different from that of the Vulgate, being accords having finished the Old Testament, they published the ing to the Hebrew.

whole Bible at Geneva in 4to, in the year 1560, printed By Cranmer's influence with the king, a proclamation by Rowland Hall. This is what is commonly called The was issued in May 1540, ordering this Bible to be bought, Geneva Bible; concerning which F. Simon affirms, that and placed in the churches. But the popish party mak- it is only a translation of a French version, made at Geing great complaints of the English translations in gene- , neva some time before. But he said this perhaps to disral as heretical, an act of parliament passed in January parage the work. In this translation cuts are inserted, 1542, prohibiting the reading of Tyndal and Coverdale's representing the garden of Eden, Noah's ark, &c. They translation in any church or open assembly within the likewise added a variety of notes, with two tables; the kingdom. However, the king being resolved to have an one containing an interpretation of the names, and the English translation of the New Testament, which should other an account of the principal matters in the Scripbe authorized by the clergy, Cranmer, in a convocation tures. There is also an epistle to Queen Elizabeth, in which met in February 1542, required the bishops and which they charge the English reformation with retainclergy, in the king's name, to revise the translation of the ing the remains of popery, and exhort her to strike off New Testament. Accordingly, each bishop had his part certain ceremonies. But this epistle giving offence, it was assigned to him. But Stokesly, bishop of London, refus- omitted in the subsequent editions.--The Geneva Bible ing to execute his part, the design miscarried.

was so universally used in private families, that there were of Tyndal and Coverdale's translation of the Bible, above thirty editions of it in folio, 4to., and 8vo., printed and of its revisions by Cranmer and others, many com from the year 1560 to the year 1616. The authors of plaints were made, even by the Protestants. B. Sandys this edition being all zealous Calvinists, their translation wrote to Abp. Parker, that "the setters forth of this our and notes are calculated to support the doctrine and discommon translation followed Munster too much.”* And cipline of that party. For which reason it was better of the New Testament in the Great Bible, Laurence, a esteemed at its first appearance than it hath been in later noted Greek scholar in that age, observed, that there are times. words which it hath not aptly translated; words and Tue Bishops' BIBLE.--Queen Mary dying in Novempieces of sentences in the original which it hath omitted; ber 1558, was succeeded by Elizabeth, who, treading in words not in the original which it hath superfluously the steps of her brother Edward VI., suppressed the added; nay, he charged this translation even with errors Romieh superstition in all her dominions, and filled the in doctrine. The encouragers also of the Geneva edi sees with Protestants. After this, Abp. Matthew Parker tion represented this Bible as ill translated, and falsely having represented to the queen that many churches either printed, and gave it the invidious name of a corrupted were without Bibles, or had incorrect copies, she resolved Bible.

that a revisal and correction of the former translation Henry VIII., dying in January 1546, was succeeded by should be made, in order to publication. The archhis son, Edward VI., in whose first parliament the above bishop therefore appointed some of the most learned of mentioned statute was reversed. The gospels and epistles the bishops and others to revise the Bible commonly used, were now, for the first time, appointed to be read in Eng- and to compare it with the originals; and to each of them lish in the public service.

he assigned a particular book of Scripture, with direcIn 1550 an edition of the New 'Testament was published tions not to vary from the former translation, cxcept with this title, “ The Newe Testament diligently trans- where it was not agreeable to the original, and to add lated by Myles Coverdale, and conferred with the trans- marginal notes for explaining the difficult text; reserv. lacyon of William Tyndal.” Coverdale's translation here ing to himself the oversight of the whole. A revisal of mentioned seems to have been that which he published in the English Bible, on the same plan, had been proposed the second edition of Hollybushe's New Testament. by Cranmer, (see above); but the design did not take

Genesa BIBLE.—Edward VI. dying in July 1553, effect. Parker was more successful in his attempt. The was succeeded by Mary, who immediately restored the persons employed by him performed their tasks with such popish service and sacraments, and persecuted the favour- cheerfulness, that the whole was ready for the press some ers of the reformation with such cruelty, that many of time before the year 1568; for in that year the Bible of

the bishops' revisal was printed in a very elegant manner, • Sebastian Munster was a learned protestant, well skilled in the with a beautiful English letter, on a royal paper, in a Hebrew language, and in rabbinical learning. He published a large folio, by Richard Jugge, the queen's printer. In Lalin translation of the Hebrew Bible at Basil in the year 1534 ; and in 1546 he gave a second edition of it in two volumes folio, contain:

this edition, which contains the Apocrypha, the chapters ing not only his Latin translation, but the Hebrew text with grain are divided into verses, as in our Bibles; and the several matical annotations, which F. Simon comiends as useful for un. derstanding the Hebrew language. Hluet gives Munster this com.

additions from the Vulgate Latin, which in the Great mendation: "He always adapted his style to the Hebrew, and, at

Bible were printed in small characters, are omitted, exthe same time, is not neglectful of the Latin, though ho' be not cept 1 John v. 7. which is printed in the same chaover attentive to the elegance of it." F. Simon preferred Mun.

racter with the rest of the text. To this edition Parker ster's version both to Pagnin's translation and to that of Arias Montanus.

added some good notes, different from those of Tyndal

and Coverdale, and two prefaces. In the one to the Old revised and published by their brethren of the college of Testament he exhorted the people to study the Scriptures, Doway. which, after St. Jerome, he termed The Scriptures of the King James's Bible.-Queen Elizabeth dying in People. In the preface to the New Testament, he ad- March 1602, was succeeded by James VI. King of Scotvised the reader not to be offended with the diversity of land, who, soon after his arrival at London, received a translation. After the preface to the Old Testament petition from the puritan ministers, desiring a reformaCranmer's prologue is inserted, and before the psalms tion of certain ceremonies and abuses in the church. In there is a prologue of St. Basil. On the margin, besides consequence of this petition, the king appointed several the notes, there are references, and the whole is embel- bishops and deans, together with the principal petitioners, lished with cuts and maps. This Bible, on account of to meet him at Hampton-court, January, 12, 1603, to the pains which the bishops took in perfecting it, was confer with him on these abuses. On the second day of called The Bishops' Bible, and was authorized to be read the conference, the puritans proposed that a new translain the churches. Yet it was found fault with by some, tion of the Bible should be made; and no one opposing on pretence that it was not as exact as it should be ; be- the proposition, the king, in the following year, 1604, cause in the Old Testament it does not always follow the appointed 54, or according to others, 47 persons, learned Hebrew, but in some places is on purpose accommodated in the languages, for revising the common translation. to the LXX., and is disfigured with divers errors. But These he divided into six companies, and to the several Lewis says, the Bishops' Bible “ hath fared somewliat companies he allotted certain books of Scripture, to be the worse through the intemperate zeal of the sticklers translated or amended by each individual of the company for the Geneva translation." In 1572 the Bishops' Bible separately. And that they might execute their work in was reprinted in folio, in the same splendid manner as in the best manner, he prescribed to them certain rules which 1568, with a few additions and alterations.

they were to observe.—The first was ; the ordinary Bible L. Thomson's New TESTAMENT.-In the year 1583, read in the churches, commonly called the Bishops' Bible, one Laurence Thomson, an under-secretary to Sir F. to be followed, and as little altered as the original would Walsinghame, published an English version of Beza's permit.—The third was; the old ecclesiastical words to Latin translation of the New Testament, to which he be kept; as the word church not to be translated congreadded notes from Beza, Camerarius, and others. This gation, &c.—The fifth ; the division of the chapters to be translation differs so very little from the Geneva Bible, altered, either not at all or as little as might be.—'Tho that it was sometimes printed with the Geneva transla- sixth ; no marginal notes to be affixed, but only for extion of the Old Testament.

plaining the Hebrew and Greek words which could not RHEMISH NEW TESTAMENT.-The English Papists, be expressed in the text without some circumlocution.who after Queen Mary's death fled to Rhemes, finding The eighth ; every particular man of each company to it impracticable to hinder their countrymen from having take the same chapter or chapters; and having amended the Scriptures in their mother-tongue, published an Eng- or translated them severally by himself, where he thought lish translation of the New Testament from the authenti- good, all were to meet together to compare what they had cal Latin ; that is, from the Vulgate, printed at Rhemes done, and to agree on what they thought should stand. by John Fogny, in the year 1582. At the same time The ninth ; when any one company had finished any they promised a translation of the Old Testament in the book in the manner prescribed, to send it to the other same language. Their translation of the New Testament companies to be considered by them. The fourteenth ; the Rhemists rendered unintelligible to common readers, the translations of Tyndal, Coverdale, Matthew, White by introducing into it a number of hard words, neither church, (the Great Bible), and Geneva, to be used where Greck, nor Latin, nor English, but a barbarous mixture they agree better with the original than the Bishops' of the three languages, such as Asymes, Tunike, Holo- Bible. This, therefore, was not to be a new translation, caust, Prepuce, Pasche, Parasceue, Neophite, Evangels but a correction only or amendment of the Bishops' ize, Penance, Chalice, Host, &c. These are what the Bible.—The translators entered on their work in spring Romish clergy call ecclesiastical and sacred words ; and 1607. by affirming that they contain certain deep and inexplicable Selden, in his table-talk, says, “ The king's translators meanings, they have raised in the minds of the vulgar a took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given superstitious veneration of the clerical orders, to the en. to the person who was most excellent in such a tongue. slaving of their consciences; (see p. 4.) To their trans- And then they met together, and one read the translalation the Rhemists added notes, from what they called tion, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, either of catholic tradition, from the expositions of the fathers, and the learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c. If from the decrees of popes and councils, for the support they found any fault they spoke ; if not, he read on.” of the Romish errors. This is what goes by the name After long and earnest expectation, the Bible, thus of the Rhemish New Testament.-In the year 1589, Dr. revised, came out in the year 1611, dedicated to the Fulke, master of Pembroke-hall, Cambridge, reprinted king; and is that which at present is used in all tho this translation, together with that of the Bishops' Bible, British dominions. in two columns; and in his notes confuted all its “ar To this edition of the Bible it hath been objected, guments, glosses, annotations, manifest impieties, and I. That it often differs from the Hebrew, to follow the slanders against the translations used in the church of LXX. if not the Gerinan translation ; particularly in England ;" and dedicated the whole to Queen Eliza- the proper names.—2. That the translators, following the beth.

Vulgato Latin, have adopted many of the original words, Dowar Bible.—About twenty-seven years after the without translating them; such as hallelujah, hosannah, publication of the Rhemish New Testament, an English mammon, anathema, &c. by which they have rendered translation of the Old Testament, from the authentical their version unintelligible to a mere English reader. Latin, came forth from the English college of Doway, But they may have done this in compliance with the in two vols. 4to; the first in the year 1609, the second king's injunction concerning the old ecclesiastical words, in 1610, both printed at Doway by Laurence Kellam. and because, by long use, many of them were as well But this translation is of the same complexion with the understood by the people as if they had been English.Rhemish New Testament, having been made many years 3. That by keeping too close to the Hebrew and Greek before in the college of Rhemes, by the very same per- idioms, they have rendered their version obscure.—4. sons who translated the New Testament; for it was only That they were a little too complaisant to the king, in

« PreviousContinue »