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ERASMUS, Desiderius, “a great and wonderful light of learning," and reformer. He studied at St. Mary's

College, Oxford, 1497-9, and was Professor of Greek at Cambridge from 1509 to 1524. Born at Rotterdam,
Oct. 28, 1467, died at Basle, July 12th, 1536.



The first published This edition pre-

Remarkable chiefly from This edition contains, This deviates
edition of the entire sents purer its containing the contro- besides the Greek from the last
Greek Testament. text, and more verted clause in 1 Jno. v. text and Latin ver- in four places
Froben, an eminent valuable read-

7. The history of its sion of Erasmus, the only, where

Basle, ings than the first insertion is as follows: Latin Vulgate as a better read
anxious to forestali edition, which Erasmus had been drawn third column in each ings are sub-
the Complutensian Erasmus here into controversy by the page.

The Greek stituted.
Bible, (which see,) altered in more divines of Louvain, and text is partly taken
solicited Erasmus, than four hun. by Stunica, the most from the third edition
while in England, in dred places, the learned of the Compluten- and partly from the
April, 1515, to prepare amended read- sian Editors, for not in- Complutensian, and
an Editionof the New ings being mostly serting this clause in his it also contains vari.
Testament, which he from a fresh Co- first edition. It was not ous readings from the
undertook to do, and dex of the Gos- in any of the MSS. he had Complutensian. Of
it was printed in ten pels, Acts, and at that time, but he rashly one hundred altera-
months' time. The Paul. of this promised to insert it in a tions, ninety are in
MSS. Erasmus used and the


subsequent edition, if it the Apocalypse. This
are all but

edition together could be found in any edition is the most
at Basle, and with there were print- Greek MS. He redeemed notable of all the
one exception, are ed 3,300 copies. his promise on being editions of Erasmus,
“neither ancient nor

directed to a MS. now from the fact that
particularly valua-


the Codex Stephens adopted it
able. The last six Montfortianus, in which it appears, “in a form as the basis of his
verses of the Apo- which obviously betrays its origin as a clumsy third edition, and
calypse which were translation from the Vulgate." -(Westcott). was in turn followed
missing in his muti. This MS. belonged to Dr. Montford, of Cam. by Beza, and by the
lated MS. of the bridge, then to Archbishop Ussher, who pre- Elzevir edition of
Apocalypse, he sup- sented it to Trinity College, Dublin, Erasmus

plied, as he did other calls it Codex Britannicus. The MS. made its

parts, by his own appearance in 1520, and though some critics
Greek translation have assigned it to the twelfth century, there
from the Latin. is indisputable internal evidence, that it was

written shortly prior to 1520, and probably for
a particular purpose. Tyndale used this edi.
tion for his translation. Luther used the 1519

and 1522 editions for his German Bible.


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The Complutensian Poly

glott, so called because The MS, from which
printed at Complutum this edition of the
(Alcala) in Spain. This Greek Bible was com-
splendid Bible, the first posed were collated by
printed Polyglott, was Aldus, the printer of
executed for the able Venice. He died in
and munificent Cardinal 1515, and his father-
Ximenes, Primate of in-law, Andreas Asu-
Spain, at a cost, it is said, lanus, undertook the
of £23,000. It is in six publication of the
large folio volumes, four work.
of which contain the Old In the New Testa-
Testament in Hebrew, ment he closely fol-
Greek, and Latin, with lowed Erasmus. Mill
the Chaldee Paraphrase. says, "he corrected
The fifth volume bears Erasmus in one hun-
the date 1514, and is thus dred places, and viti-
the first printed Greek ated his text in al-
Testament, though that most as many." He
of Erasmus was first pub- retained even many
lished. It comprises the errors of the press.
New Testament in Greek
and the Latin Vulgate,
with marginal references
to passages in the Old and New Testaments. The
sixth volume is an Hebrew and Chaldaic Vocabu-
lary of the Old Testament. The fourth volume
was the last printed, in 1517. The Cardinal em-
ployed various learned men to compose the work :
and though upwards of sixty years of age, under-
took to make himself master

of the Hebrew tongue,
in order to be better acquainted with the more
learned parts of it. There is "no cause for believing
that any document of high antiquity or first-rate
importance was employed by the editors of this
Polyglott" (Scrivener). This splendid Bible was
commenced in 1502, completed in 1517, but not
published until 1522, owing to some doubts of the
Church of Rome as to whether it was proper to
bring it into general circulation. The Bull of Pope
Leo X., giving permission for its publication, was
dated March 22nd, 1520, and is affixed to the work,
and from which it appears that about 600 copies
were printed. By mandate of the Pope, the
Polyglott was originally sold at six and a half
ducats. Copies of this Bible are in the British
Museum, at Oxford and Cambridge, and at Sion



STEPHENS, or Estienne of Paris. This family whose publications date from 1502 to 1664, was as

distinguished for its learning as for its excellence in printing

1546, 1549. These two editions are in izmo. size, beautifully printed by Robert Stephens, from elegant type cast at the King's cost, and as well as the 1550 edition, were printed at the Royal press of Paris. The text was compiled from the Complutensian, the 1531 and 1535 editions of Bebelius, the fifth edition of Erasmus. and 15

Paris, folio. A splen-
did specimen of typo-
graphy: This is the
most celebrated of the
Stephens editions.
It contains the first
collection of various

12mo, printed at Geneva, where Ste-
phens took up his residence on pro-
fessing Protestantism. It is the first
Greek New Test, divided into verses.
Stephens' son tells us that his father
marked the divisions during a journey
from Paris to Lyons on horseback. The


MSS. (one of them the Codex Bezæ) collated readings, in number figures of the verses were printed in the by Stephens' son Henry. They consisted of 10 2,100, but no critical margin,

as in the Revised Version of MSS. of the Gospels, 8 of the Acts, 7 of the use was made of them. 1881. The paragraphs were first broCatholic Epistles, 8 of Pauline Epistles, 2 of Except in the Apoca- ken up into verses in the Genevan the Apocalypse. The second edition differs lypse, it is little more Bible. He probably adopted the plan from two editions from the first in 67 places (Mill), and is pre- than a reprint of the of the "Psalterium quincuplex," printed by old. Henry ferred for its greater rarity and correctness. fifth edition of Eras- Stephens in 1509, and from a Book of Psalms printed in


1541. This edition is said to have the Greek of the preced-

ing edition almost unaltered, with the Vulgate and the Latin

version of Erasmus, and parallel passages in the margin.
BEZA, Theodore, a native of France, the scholarly and pious leader
of the
Reformation Party.

He fled to Switzerland on account of better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one, not justly to be excepted
his religion. Born 1518, died Feb., 1605.

The Bishops' Bible was to be followed. The work of revision was carried

on by six companies, two meeting at each of the three cities of Oxford, Cambridge, 1565, 1576, 1582, 1589.


and Westminster; and the whole work was revised again in London, by selected
Beza's Latin Version was first published doctrinal, and practical notes. members of each company of revisers. This last work of supervision occupied nine
at Geneva, in folio, in 1556; and at Basle Beza, being a commentator

months, and the Bible was issued in 1611, in folio. “The revision of the New Testa-
in 1559, with Stephens' Greek of 1551. rather than a critic, did not ment” may be generally described as a careful examination of the Bishops' version,
His first complete Greek and Latin New make the use of his materiais 1572, with the Greek Text, and with Beza's, the German, and the Rhenish version.
Testament was published in 1565. The which might have been expect (Westcott's English Bible.) The Greek Text they used is substantially that of Beza,
critical materials at his command were ed ; and used his various read- 1589. There is no ascertained authority of Convocation, or Parliamentary, or Privy
the papers of Stephens; the lately pub- ings rather for polemical pur- Council, or Royal Proclamation for the words on the title-page." Appointed to be
lished Syriac Version, with Latin trans- poses in his notes than for read in Churches " But, viewing this version as the recognized descendant of the
lation, of Tremellius; the Codex Bezæ; emendating the text. His “Great Bible," which was unquestionably "authorized” by proclamation of Henry
and for his third and principal edition, editions do not vary materially VIII. in 1538, the authority was probably taken and accepted without further for-
the Codex Claromontanus. All his from Stephens of 1550, and each mality: The 1611 version gradually superseded the other existing versions"

" by its
editions have the Vulgate. and the other. The 1598 edition is intrinsic superiority over its rivals. In the Book of Common Prayer, the Psalms
Latin Version of Beza, with philological, esteemed the most accurate.

of Cranmer's version were retained, and are still in use. The Epistles and Gospels V V

were those of the Bishops' Bible, and gave place to those of the 1611 version, at the

revision of the Prayer Book in 1661. For details of the general excellencies and ELZEVIR. This family of learned and eminent printers numbered 14

defects of the Authorised Version, and for lists of its variations from former versions, printers in five generations, at Leyden, Amsterdam, etc. Printing

its marginal readings, and much deeply interesting information as to it, see Scrivener's remarkable for the beauty of its types and its finish. 1583-1712.

Cambridge Paragraph Bible, Canon Westcott's History of the English Bible, and

Eadie's History of the English Bible. 1624, 1633.

1641, Small 12mo. The Editor is unknown. The text is

printed at
mainly that of Stephens, 1550, from which it differs in Leyden.
278 places (many unimportant), when it generally agrees 1652, 1656,

with Beza. In the second edition, the editor in his 1670, 1678,
preface, apparently alludes to Beza, though not by printed
His readings are those of Stevens and Beza,


WYCLIFFE'S VERSION.- John Wycliffe, born in Yorkshire in 1324, died the latter of whom he seems to prefer. The preface

Dec. 31st, 1384. He was an able and acute, a zealous and determined man, and
claims for the 1624 edition, that it has been accepted

The edition of withal an excellent Latin Scholar, but of Greek or Hebrew he knew nothing.'
by all, and the 1633 text that it is *textum ab omnibus

1641 was admirably finished his translation of the New Testament from the Latin Vulgate in 1380; and

counterfeited receptum,” in which is nothing to be amended, or

his friend, Nicholas de Hereford, translated the greater portion of the Old Testa

Arnold Leers, corrupt. From he above expression it has, until a

ment, which Wycliffe completed. No portion of Wycliffe's version had been printed Rotterdam,

and recent date, been generally accepted as the “Received

until 1731, when the Rev. J. Lewis, of London, first printed the New Testament of

published by him. Text" on the Continent, as the 1550 Stephens has

12 mo., 1654
Wycliffe, and it was re-edited by the Rev. H. H. Baber, M.A., in 1810.

It is one
been chiefly in England.

of the versions given in Bagster's English Hexapla.

The Registry of Bishop Alnewick, of Norwich, mentions the price of a manu

script copy of the New Testament at a sum equal to forty pounds of our money, in THE KING'S BIBLE, OR AUTHORISED VERSION,


TYNDALE'S VERSION.—To William Tyndale the martyr, England owed her 1611.

first printed English New Testament. Born in Gloucestershire, about 1484, he studied At a conference held at Hampton Court, in January, 1604, to hear and at Oxford and Cambridge, and was well acquainted with the Hebrew, Greek, and determine "things pretended to be amiss in the church,” Dr. Reinolds, other languages. A German scholar speaks of him in 1526, as "a complete master President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, moved King James who was of seven languages, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Italian, Spanish, English, French." He present, that there might be a new translation of the Bible. In June, the became a diligent student of Holy Scripture, and says that he was moved to the work King appointed fifty-four men to undertake the task; the actual number of translation, because he “perceived by experience, how that it was impossible to who engaged in it in 1607, when the work was formally undertaken, was establish the lay people in any truth except the Scripture were plainly laid before forty-seven, and they were men distinguished for their piety and learning. their eyes in their mother tongue, that they might see the process, order and meaning Directions were given to them for their work, which was to be of the nature of the text. His version is the work of a learned, independent, and original transof revision, rather than translation. As their preface states, “We never lator, of singular purity of purpose and laborious patience, who "had no man to thought from the beginning that we should neede to make a new transla- counterfeit (imitate), neither was helped with English of any that had interpreted the into, nor yet to make of a bad a good one * * but to make a good one same or such like thing in the Scripture beforetime.” (His epilogue to the first Ed.]



He translated about half the Old Testament and the whole of the leisure. The influence of Beza is perceptible. The editor was New, and all subsequent English versions have followed the standard William Whittingham. The chapters are divided into verses and of translation which he laid down, whilst they have for the most part numbered. In 1576, Laurence Tonson, Under-Secretary to Sir F. retained his very words. Westcott states as examples, that about Walsingham, published a revision professedly from the text of Beza. nine-tenths of the Authorised Version of the first Epistle of St. John, The variations from the Genevan are few, but the marginal notes and five-sixths of that to the Ephesians (which is extremely difficult) differ. This revision was frequently bound up with the Genevan are retained from Tyndale. In the New Testament he rendered the Old Testament. Greek Text of Erasmus directly, while still he consulted the Vulgate GENEVAN BIBLE, OF 1560, printed at Geneva, by Hall, an and the German of Luther. He found he would not be allowed to English refugee, was the work of Coverdale, Knox, and other translate in England, and went to Hamburgh. In 1524, he published exiles at Geneva. The version of the New Testament is not that the Gospels of SS. Matthew and Mark separately, with notes, and of 1557. This version is commonly known as the “ Breeches Bible," in 1525, went to Cologne to print his complete New Testament. from the word Breeches in Gen. iii. 7. The same word is used in Cochlæus, a relentless enemy of the Reformation, obtained from both the Wycliffite Versions, in Caxton's "Golden Legende," the printers the secret that 3,000 Testaments were being printed and in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 12882. Of this version about for England, and got the Authorities to forbid the work. Tyndale 170 editions were printed, in folio, quarto, and octavo.

The escaped, with his printed sheets, to Worms. He was here in safety, convenience of the smaller sizes, the division into verses, and and completed his quarto edition, and also published a new edition the Roman type now first used, with the marginal commentary, without glosses, in octavo. This latter edition was first finished, and "pure and vigorous in style, and, if slightly tinged with Calvinistic both editions reached England in 1526, without any indication of doctrine, yet on the whole neither unjust nor illiteral" (Westcott's the translator's name. The quarto edition was commenced by English Bible), at once gave it a place in the English household, Quentel, and was probably completed by Peter Schoeffer, of Worms, and it maintained its position until towards the middle of the who printed the smaller edition. The book was bought up, forbidden, seventeenth century. and publicly burnt in England. But these efforts were vain to check THE BISHOPS BIBLE, 1568, was proposed by Archbishop its circulation, and indeed led to its careful revision by Tyndale in Parker, and the work was allotted by him to various learned men, 1534 (2nd Ed.) with #narginal notes, prologues to the books, and many of them Bishops. The revision was about four years in hand, markings of the Church Lessons: and again, while in prison, in and the Great Bible was mainly followed. The New Testament was 1535 (3rd Ed.) without notes. Three surreptitious editions were

revised in the editions of 1572. This Bible was published in folio, printed at Antwerp, in 1534. Tyndale was first strangled and then quarto, and in octavo ; but the editions were not so numerous as burned, at Vilevorde, near Antwerp, Oct. 6th, 1536.

those of the Genevan. COVERDALE'S VERSION.-The first complete English Bible, THE RHEIMS AND DOUAI VERSION.-At Douai, in Flan. finished October 4th, 1535, was the work of Myles Coverdale, a ders, a number of English Roman Catholics settled and founded a Yorkshireman, born 1488, afterwards Bishop of Exeter, a man Seminary for the training of Priests for England. The Seminary greatly esteemed for his piety, knowledge of the Scriptures, and being broken up owing to a Huguenot riot, it was transferred to diligent preaching. It is now pretty conclusively proved by Mr. Rheims, in France, and while there the Rheims version of the New H. Stevens, that it was printed at Antwerp, by Jacob van Meteren, Testament was published, in 1582. In 1593, the Seminary was ("The Bibles in the Caxton Exhibition, 1878"). The title speaks allowed to return to Douai, and the work of translation was carried of it as “faithfully and truly translated out of the Douche (that is, “For lack of good meanes the publication of the Old Testa. German) and Latin," and though in subsequent editions it is simply ment did not take place until 1609-10 The translation is made “translated in Englishe,” it would appear that this is a secondary from the Latin Vulgate, and may be said to be in Latinized English, translation, Coverdale using. " five sundry interpreters” as he calls almost unintelligible. In the text and the notes the Book is strongly them, of which were the Vulgate, Luther, the Zürich or Swiss Romish. In after editions of the translation these characteristics German, the Latin of Pagninus, and he certainly consulted Tyndale's have been toned down. This version has been nicknamed “the Pentateuch and New Testament. In the New Testament, he Rosin Bible," from the reading, Jer. viii. 22, "is there no rosin in follows the 1526 and 1534 editions of Tyndale. In 1537, James Gilead?” The Bishops' and other early versions had “triacle Nycolson, printer, of St. Thomas' Hospital, Southwark, printed “tryacle." and the A.V. balm. an edition " Set forth with the Kynge's most gracious license.' THE KING'S BIBLE, OR AUTHORISED VERSION, 1611, It has been thought that in consequence of a law passed 1534, completes

this list of English Bibles. (See above.) compelling foreigners to sell their Bibles in sheets to some English REVISED VERSION OF THE NÈW TESTAMENT, 1881. stationers, that the whole edition was sold, with the blocks, to Reasons in favour of a revision of the 1611 Bible have been forcibly Nycolson, who bound and issued them.

and persistently urged during many years past, by Scholars and MATTHEW'S BIBLE, 1537, though published and known as Divines of the first rank ; while on the other hand, popular instinct Matthew's, was the work of John Rogers the Martyr. It has been seemed to a large extent to support many learned and pious men in conjectured that the name of Matthew was assumed by Rogers their objections to any such work. Nor is a wise jealousy on this through prudence or fear. Westcott thinks this most improbable, head to be wondered at, or to be regretted. An interesting account as the name stands at the end of the dedication, and J. R. at the is given of the opposition which revision has called forth, from the end of the exhortation, and he suggests that Matthew found money days of Origen and Jerome; and also of works on the revision of the for the work. It is not a new translation, but is made up of the English version in Eadie's English Bible, ch. l., li. translations of Tyndale and Coverdale. Tyndale had already The history of the Bible in Great Britain shows that it has ever published the Pentateuch, and it is believed that he had translated been synchronous with the true life and progress of the nation ; and to the end of Chronicles. The New Testament is chiefly Tyndale's, the national reverence for the very volume itself-charged upon us and of the whole Bible two-thirds are Tyndale's and one-third as Bibliolatry—is an hereditary quality and trait transmitted to us Coverdale's. Several revised editions of Matthew's Bible by from the generations to whom that volume was at once the symbol Richard Taverner and others were published.

In Aug. 1537,

and the guarantee, the weapon and the guerdon, of truth and Cromwell had exhibited the Bible to the king, who ordered that it freedom. The 1611 version, representing all its predecessors--and “shall be allowed by his authority to be bought and read within itself consecrated by the usage of nearly three centuries, written at this realm."

a time when the English language was in its most perfect state and THE GREAT BIBLE, so called from its size, was published vigour, has powerfully influenced the literature and the struggles of owing to the zeal of Lord Cromwell, under the authority of King the Anglo-Saxon race, and has thus grown up with that national Henry VIII; the 1539 edition being generally known as Cromwell's greatness of which Queen Victoria, on a memorable occasion, wisely Bible; and the second, or 1549 edition, as Cranmer's, from the and truthfully declared it to be the source. presace which he wrote for it. This Bible was partly printed in Paris, Jealousy for the integrity of the Bible, and a desire for its revision, when the Inquisitor-General forbade the work, and seized the naturally subsist together, and are alike an evidence of the value at printed sheets. Presses and workmen were brought to England, which it is estimated. It is too precious to be lightly tampered withand the Book was then finished in April, 1539. It is printed in it is so precious that if it can be rendered more pure no cost is too great black letter, and is Coverdale's revision of his own translation and for that object. Suggestions for a revision of the 1611 version were of Tyndale's, with the help of Munster and Pagninus for the Old, made not long after its introduction ; for as early as 1645, Dr. and the Latin version of Erasmus for the New Testament. This is Lightfoot, in a sermon before the Commons, urged them to think the first edition of the English Bible with the words on the title- of a review and survey of the translation of the Bible.” In 1653, a page, “ Appoynted to the vse of the Churches.". The appointment Bill was before the Commons for a new translation. The following is expressed in full in the Kalendar. Public copies were sometimes extract from it contains at once the great reason for revision, and içs attached by a chain to one of the pillars of the church, with the justification :-"In the original text of the Holy Scriptures there is king's injunction that it should be read with “Discretion, Honest so great depth, that only by degrees there is progress of light towards Intent, Charity, Reverence, and Quiet behaviour."

the attaining of perfection of the knowledge in the bettering of the GENEVAN NEW TESTAMENT, OF 1557, printed at Geneva, translation thereof." by Conrad Badius, in 16mo, is a revision of 'Tyndale's version, The Table given above shows that the 1527 version of Erasmus collated with the Great Bible, and carefully done, but without due has been the basis on which the text of the succession of versions,


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