The English Bible

The English Bible

The English Bible

The English Bible

Excerpt

No one can write on so large a theme as that of the English Bible within so short a compass as that prescribed by this series of booklets, without being very conscious of omissions which he cannot but regret. For example, I have written practically nothing in the following pages about the Apocrypha, that collection of books often bound up with the Old and New Testaments, and regarded by Roman Catholics as a true part of their Bible and by Anglicans as books which "the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine . . ." (Article VI). Nor have I written about those apocryphal books which failed, sometimes by only a narrow margin, to gain access to the Canon of the New Testament. Those who want to follow up this theme might well begin by reading The Apocryphal New Testament, by M. R. James, Oxford, 1924, corrected edition 1953. Nor have I entered the field of the Dead Sea Scrolls which in recent years have acquired an extensive literature of their own. To embark on any of these themes would be to use space which were better given to the main theme.

Even within the compass of the story of the English Bible, the theme is so large as to call for an outlinear, rather than a detailed treatment. For example, when dealing with translations of the sixteenth century, I have not even mentioned Matthew's Bible (1537) nor Taverner's of about the same date, nor the Douai-Rheims Version. It is to be hoped that the select bibliography which appears at the end of the booklet will help those who wish to do so to make up certain of these deficiencies.

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