By David Norton
A background of the English Bible as Literature (revised and condensed from the author's acclaimed historical past of the Bible as Literature CUP, 1993) explores years of non secular and literary rules. At its middle is the tale of the way the King James Bible went from being mocked as English writing to being "unsurpassed within the complete variety of literature." It experiences the Bible translators, writers similar to Milton and Bunyan who contributed a lot to our feel of the Bible, and a desirable variety of critics and commentators.
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Additional resources for A History of the English Bible as Literature (2000) (A History of the Bible as Literature)
18 He also sees the Scripture as ‘somewhat hard and some deal rough and sharp’ (pp. –), and later writes that ‘the wisdom of God stuttereth and lispeth as it were a diligent mother, fashioneth her words according to our infancy and feebleness . . She stoopeth down and boweth herself to thy humility and lowness’ (p. ). Erasmus returned to this idea in his Paraclesis which prefaces his edition of his Greek and Latin NT. It adds one important element to his sense of the nature of the Bible by beginning with a desire for eloquence.
Throughout the century there was a sharp consciousness of the distinction between vocabulary of Anglo-Saxon origin and vocabulary of Latin origin. The signiﬁcance of Cheke is that he underlines the diﬃculties there could be at this time even with what seem to be thoroughly ordinary words of Latin origin. Evidence from other comments on the Bible for this point is scarce because of the Protestant need to believe that the Bible was translatable (to say nothing of the wish to believe that it was easy to understand), and because Cheke’s is an extreme position.
In parliament the archbishop ‘asked members individually whether without scandal, error and manifest oﬀence of Christ’s faithful they voted to retain the Great Bible in the English speech. The majority resolved that the said Bible could not be retained until ﬁrst duly purged and examined side by side with the [Latin] Bible commonly read in the English Church’. The work went into committee, and the last one hears of it is a list of Latin words which Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, ‘desired for their germane and native meaning and for the majesty of their matter might be retained as far as possible in their own nature or be turned into English speech as closely as possible’ (Pollard, p.
A History of the English Bible as Literature (2000) (A History of the Bible as Literature) by David Norton