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A History of the English Bible as Literature (2000) (A by David Norton

By David Norton

A historical past 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 center is the tale of ways the King James Bible went from being mocked as English writing to being "unsurpassed within the complete diversity of literature." It reports the Bible translators, writers akin to Milton and Bunyan who contributed a lot to our feel of the Bible, and a desirable diversity of critics and commentators.

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This implies both private readers and private ownership, which is probably a testimony to the popular domestic impact of the Geneva Bible. Like Tyndale and Cranmer, Parker believes that ‘the only surety to our faith and conscience is to stick to the Scriptures’. However, though he also believes that ‘no man, woman, or child, is excluded from this salvation’, he is less optimistic about Scripture being rightly understood than his predecessors: For not so lieth it in charge to the worldly artificer to search, or to any other private man so exquisitely to study, as it lieth to the charge of the public teacher to search in the Scriptures, to be the more able to walk in the house of God 12 John : .

One early-seventeenth-century writer recognized and commented on this situation. William L’Isle contrasts the Saxon versions of the Scriptures with the Rheims-Douai Bible (a text stuffed ‘with such fustian, such inkhorn terms’). The Saxon hath words for Trinity, Unity, Deity and persons thereof; for Co-equal, Coeternal, Invisible, Incomprehensible . . for Catholic and all such foreign words as we are now fain to use, because we have forgot better of our own. I speak not 28 The Civil Conversation of M.

Erasmus, Christian Humanism and the Reformation: Selected Writings, ed. John C. Olin (New York: Harper, ), p. . William Tyndale  if there were any power of song which truly could inspire . . I would desire that it be at hand for me so that I might convince all of the most wholesome truth of all. However, it is more desirable that Christ Himself, whose business we are about, so guide the strings of our lyre that this song might deeply affect and move the minds of all . . What we desire is that nothing may stand forth with greater certainty than the truth itself, whose expression is the more powerful the simpler it is.

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