Vernacular Bibles Criticism: The English Bible - Essay

George Philip Krapp (essay date 1915)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Krapp, George Philip. “Bible and Prayer Book.” In The Rise of English Literary Prose, pp. 218-70. New York: Oxford University Press, 1915.

[In the following excerpt, Krapp identifies the principal English translations of the Bible as crucial factors in the formation of modern English prose.]


Most Englishmen were doubtless aware of the existence of such a book as the Bible before Wiclif's English version was made, but very few could have known any practical use of it. As an English book, the history of the Bible begins with the third quarter of the fourteenth century. But even this beginning was abortive, and not until Tindale published...

(The entire section is 16726 words.)

Luther A. Weigle (essay date 1949)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Weigle, Luther A. “The Church and the English Vernacular.” In The English New Testament: From Tyndale to the Revised Standard Version, pp. 28-54. New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1949.

[In the excerpt below, Weigle examines sixteenth-century concerns regarding the propriety and practicality of translating the Bible into English.]

The movement for a vernacular English Bible, from Tyndale to the King James Version, was part of the general movement that took the Church of England from the control of the Papacy. The Bible of the Roman church was the Latin Vulgate, and the language of its worship was Latin. Generally speaking the Roman Catholics in sixteenth-century...

(The entire section is 8031 words.)

F. F. Bruce (essay date 1961)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Bruce, F. F. The English Bible: A History of Translations from the Earliest English Versions to the New English Bible, pp. 24-126. New York: Oxford University Press, 1970.

[In the following excerpt from a work that was originally published in 1961, Bruce traces the history of the English Bible from William Tyndale's translation to the Authorized Version, including translations prepared for English Catholics.]



The three quarters of a century from 1450 to 1525 were momentous years in the history of Europe. Mid-century witnessed the invention of printing—an invention...

(The entire section is 36824 words.)

David Norton (essay date 2000)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

Norton, David. A History of the English Bible as Literature, pp. 1-114. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[In the following excerpt, Norton chronicles the history of English Bible translation, showing how the English Bible, originally perceived as a theological project, eventually assumed the aura and prestige of an exceptional literary work, and also attracted the attention of England's leading scholars, writers, philosophers, and scientists.]



To the early reformers, the Bible was a central part of religion hidden from the people in the occult language of...

(The entire section is 34178 words.)