ginal references, both before and after 1611, for their history involves many details of great interest. One question however in connexion with the Authorised Version I have purposely neglected. It seemed useless to discuss its revision. The revision of the original texts must precede the revision of the translation, and the time for this, even in the New Testament, has not yet fully come1.

But however painful the sense of incompleteness and inaccuracy in such an essay as this must be, it has this advantage, that it bears witness almost on every page to the kindness of friends. It would have been far more imperfect than it is if I had not been allowed every facility for using the magnificent collections of Bibles in the British Museum, the University Library at Cambridge, and the Baptist College at Bristol. For this privilege and for similar acts of courtesy my warmest thanks are due to the Rev. H. O. Coxe, Bodley's Librarian at Oxford, Mr Bradshaw, University Librarian at Cambridge, Mr Bullen of the British Museum, the Rev. Dr Gotch, Principal of the Baptist College, Bristol, Mr Aldis Wright, Librarian of Trinity College, Cambridge, Mr [Francis] Fry Cotham, Bristol, and the late Rev. Dr Milman, Dean of St Paul's.


Νου. 3, 1868.

B. F. W.

1 [The experience of the work of New Testament Revision during the last two years has shewn me that I was wrong in this opinion. Whatever may be the merits of the revised version it can be said confidently that in no parallel case have the readings of the original text to be translated been discussed and determined with equal care, thoroughness and candour. 1872]

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THE kindness of many friends has enabled me to issue this second edition of the History of the English Bible with considerable additions in different sections, but the book is substantially unchanged. Later researches have fully established the general results which I indicated as to the composite character of our present Authorised Version; and the labours of the New Revision have brought into clearer relief the merits and defects of the Scholars who successively fulfilled the office of Revisers in earlier times. Even now perhaps full justice has not been done to the exquisite delicacy of Coverdale and the stern fidelity of the Rhemists. But, not to dwell on the individual characteristics of former Revisers, it may fairly be said that they have marked a general method of procedure which those who follow them are not likely to abandon. The changes in our Authorised Version which are still necessary are due for the most part to the claims of riper scholarship and more searching criticism, and not to any altered conception of the style and character most appropriate to a popular Version of the Holy Scriptures. That question most happily has been settled for ever.

One most remarkable discovery which has been made lately as to the early editions of the English Testament requires to be brought into special notice. Mr F. Fry has found the text of 'Tyndale 1535' in an edition dated 1534 (see p. 168 n.). It is possible, therefore, that the misspelt copies may belong to a pirated reprint of Tyndale's own work.

The admirable biography of Tyndale by the Rev. R. Demaus appeared after my early sheets were printed off; but I owe to the kindness of the author several criticisms and corrections of which I have gladly availed myself. In expressing the hope that he will be encouraged to continue his exhaustive labours upon the great leaders of our Reformation, I say only what all must feel who have had occasion to profit by his researches.

To Mr F. Fry and Professor Moulton my warmest thanks are due. Both placed at my disposal extensive collections, which I have used only partially, yet, as I hope, in such a manner as to shew how highly I value the generosity which allowed me to gather the fruits of long and unattractive work'.


Nov. 7, 1872.

B. F. W.

1 As this last sheet is passing through the press, I have noticed a very remarkable detail in the History of the English Bible, which seems to call for further investigation. In the Library of the House of Lords there is a draft of An Act for reducing of diversities of Bibles now extant in the English tongue to one settled Vulgar translated from the original.' The draft is not dated, but is referred to the reign of Elizabeth, and is certainly after 1560 from internal evidence. 'Great errors,' it is recited, arise and 'papistry and atheism increase from the variety of translations of Bibles, 'while many desire an authorised translation, which the Lords spiritual 'could complete had they power to compel assistance from students of the 'Universities. The Lords spiritual or any six of them (of whom the Arch'bishop of Canterbury for the time being is to be one) may assemble, treat, 'and deal touching the accomplishment of the work, and may call for the 'assistance of students of either University, and pay them out of moneys 'to be levied on such cathedral churches or colleges as shall be thought requisite, and any temporal person may give gift or legacy for further'ance of the work.' I owe this abstract of the draft to the kindness of Mr R. W. Monro.



Vernacular versions of Scripture among the first works of Chris-

tian antiquity.

Early Saxon Versions: Bede, Alfred, and others

A pause in the work .

Characteristics of the fourteenth century


Spirit of the translators

The progress of the work checked

Manuscripts of the version still remaining

The version secretly used in the xvith century

§ 1. TYNDALE, pp. 25—55.

Tyndale's early life: residence at London

Visits Hamburg 1524: Cologne 1525.

The first New Testament finished at Worms in two editions

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