By David Norton
A background of the English Bible as Literature (revised and condensed from the author's acclaimed background of the Bible as Literature CUP, 1993) explores years of spiritual and literary rules. At its center 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 reports the Bible translators, writers comparable to Milton and Bunyan who contributed loads to our experience of the Bible, and a desirable variety of critics and commentators.
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Extra resources for A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of the Bible as Literature)
Creators of English justification, he sees Tyndale as attacking the teaching and practice of the Church. Some of these choices More attacks not only because they have heretical tendencies but because they are poor English, and this leads him to suggest some linguistic principles of translation in the later of his two works against Tyndale, The Confutation of Tyndale’s Answer (). In the earlier work, A Dialogue Concerning Heresies (), More instances some false translations of words, refers to the difficulties of translation and responds to the argument against English.
Given the later evidence of obscene reading of the Bible (see below, pp. ), it seems likely that they were to remove possible doubles entendres. I doubt if bowdlerisation was contemplated as that would have been inconsistent with literalness. The translators worked separately rather than in committee, and so probably had to interpret the instruction as they saw fit. One of the translators, Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely, wrote that ‘I would wish that such usual words as we English people be acquainted with might still remain in their form and sound, so far forth as the Hebrew will well bear; inkhorn terms to be avoided’ (Pollard, p.
This is from Foxe’s first edition. Later editions such as the one I have used turn this passage into reported speech (V: ). Creators of English phrase, ‘proper English’. In his ‘Epistle to the Reader’ at the end of his NT, he reviews ways in which the work might be improved: In time to come . . we will give it his full shape: and put out if ought be added superfluously: and add to if ought be overseen through negligence: and will enforce to bring to compendiousness, that which is now translated at the length, and to give light where it is required, and to seek in certain places more proper English, and with a table to expound the words which are not commonly used, and show how the Scripture useth many words, which are otherwise understood of the common people: and to help with a declaration where one tongue taketh not another.
A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of the Bible as Literature) by David Norton