Download A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of by David Norton PDF

By David Norton

A historical past 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 middle is the tale of the way the King James Bible went from being mocked as English writing to being "unsurpassed within the whole variety of literature." It reviews the Bible translators, writers resembling Milton and Bunyan who contributed loads to our feel of the Bible, and a desirable variety of critics and commentators.

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Extra info for A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of the Bible as Literature)

Sample text

And though for my part I use those words as little as any, yet I know no reason why I should not use them, and I find it a fault in myself that I do not use them: for it is indeed the ready way to enrich our tongue and make it copious, and it is the way which all tongues have taken to enrich themselves . . 28 By the s English had fetched so many terms from Latin that, for educated readers, Cheke’s attitude to the English of Tyndale and Coverdale was thoroughly out of date. Initially, then, it seems that the English of the Bible, in spite of Tyndale’s desire to be understood by ploughboys, had a real element of the inkhorn in it.

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. ). Clearly Gardiner would have preferred these meaningful and majestic words to remain untouched. As one surveys the list, two things become apparent: many of the words are theologically important, and many are now familiar parts of English vocabulary.

In this respect ‘majesty’ is important. Tunstal, writing in Latin, uses it in the literal Latin sense which became the earliest English sense, ‘the greatness and glory of God’ (OED b), or ‘the incomprehensible greatness of God’ (Wilson, Christian Dictionary, 23 Richard Pace, De Fructu (), p. . Ed. and trans. Frank Manley and Richard S. : Ungar for the Renaissance Society of America, ), p. . William Tyndale  ). The most revealing English use comes in the KJB’s rendering of Psalm  which calls its reader to ‘worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness’ (v.

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