Developed from the appendices to my doctoral thesis, this article in the journal Reformation was published as part of a special issue, in memory of the great Tyndale scholar David Daniell (1929-2016). Scholars have often assumed that the 1534 Zurich Bible was simply a reprint of the 1531 edition. This is a false assumption. Indeed, the differences are sufficient to prove that the first English bible in print had a manifest dependency on the later version, demonstrable in spite of the fact that Coverdale used other sources. The argument is necessarily forensic, the careful groundwork enabling subsequent illustration of Coverdale’s own agency as a translator.Continue reading “Modeled on Zürich: a fresh study of Miles Coverdale’s 1535 Bible”
I have previously written about Germanic bibles before Luther. But we might as well ask “before what Luther?”
As I’ve written previously, Martin Luther began translating the Bible programmatically in 1522, with two versions of the New Testament appearing in quick succession. Another portion appeared in 1523, covering what Luther referred to as the “Five Books of Moses”. A complete Luther bible did not arrive until 1534 (or 1533 if we include the Low German bible prepared by Luther’s associate Joannes Bugenhagen which carried Luther’s endorsement).1 In the meantime, Luther had already begun to revise his work, and he would continue making changes until his death in 1546.
I often frame my explanations with reference to the book of Ruth.2 In this case though, prompted by an enquiry, I’m going to illustrate some of the steps in tracing Luther’s translation (and, allied with that, his thinking) with attention to Genesis. Continue reading “Luther’s bibles: a question of church?”
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit the new Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition at the British Library. It wasn’t a frivolous visit; I was preparing for the discussion about religion and power that you could have heard as part of this evening’s Radio 3 Free Thinking.
It is a lavish and expansive exhibition. Potentially overwhelming when you approach it, as I did, with the intent of looking at and absorbing as much detail as possible. Continue reading “Things I read in the Bible”
German(ic) bibles before Luther
Anyone who has heard me speak about Luther’s bible translation will know that he was not the first person to translate the Bible into German. Bringing together Germanic languages, including the variants found in the territories we now know as Switzerland, Austria, and the Low Countries, we might count as many as 18 different bible texts in circulation before Luther’s first complete Bible (and this is without counting variant editions of Luther’s own interim work). The following discussion highlights some significant printed bibles whose translations pre-date Luther’s first published version of the book of Ruth (published in Der Ander Teyl, 1524). Continue reading “Before Luther: Germanic Bibles on the net”
As one whose university career began in the 1990s, I cannot fail to appreciate the ways in which digital resources are constantly evolving and extending. The breadth of data collated within this study would have been impossible without the many digitisation projects, and the growth of Open Access collections.
When I wrote Continue reading “Early Modern Bibles on the net”
Twice in as many weeks, I’ve provided an expert voice to aid discussion on local radio. The first invitation was to talk about Martin Luther and “what he’d ever done for us”. The most recent, to discuss religious notions of evil and forgiveness following the death of an unrepentant serial killer. Continue reading “Religion, evil and forgiveness: some thoughts off air”
Uncovering the Ideologies of Early Modern Bible Translation
Paper presented at the School of English research seminar, University of Sheffield, 23 November 2016. Continue reading “Reading English in a European Context”