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David Norton's A History of the English Bible as Literature (A History of 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 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 reminiscent of Milton and Bunyan who contributed quite a bit to our experience of the Bible, and a desirable diversity 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)

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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. ), and then builds up a description of ‘the voice of the Lord’, including this: ‘the voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty’ (v. ). This could be read as a description of the Bible, since the Bible is the voice of the Lord.

The point is clear in what is effectively Tyndale’s first draft of this epistle, the prologue to the unique copy of his  NT. There he beseeches those that are better seen in the tongues than I, and that have higher gifts of grace to interpret the sense of the Scripture and meaning of the spirit than I . . if they perceive in any places that I have not attained the very sense of the tongue, or meaning of the Scripture, or have not given the right English word, that they put to their hands to amend it.

The Great Bibles to which the proclamation applied were the first authorised English Bibles, and they declared themselves ‘the Bible appointed to the use of the Churches’. Coverdale’s prologues and dedications were replaced by a ‘prologue or preface’ by Cranmer (–), ‘the most reverend father in God, Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, Metropolitan and Primate of England’. This exhorts readers, if in a somewhat gentler tone, to exactly that kind of reading demanded in the King’s proclamation: How shouldest thou understand if thou wilt not read nor look upon it: take the books into thine hands, read the whole story, and that thou understandest keep it well in memory; that thou understandest not, read it again and again; if thou can neither so come by it, counsel with some other that is better learned.

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