The Bible was translated into English for the first time in the late 1300s by John Wyclif and his supporters. In the first study of the Wycliffite Bible for nearly a century, Mary Dove explains why people wanted an English translation, why many clergy opposed the idea, and why the church’s attempt to censor the translation was unsuccessful. Based on intensive study of the surviving manuscripts, Dove takes the reader through every step of the conception, design and execution of the first English Bible. Illuminating examples are included at every point, and textual analyses and a complete listing of surviving manuscripts are appended. Despite the meagre and inadequate resources with which the Wycliffites carried through their enormous enterprise, and the disagreements and changes of direction it involved, Dove demonstrates that the first English Bible initiated a tradition of scholarly, stylish and thoughtful biblical translation, and remains a major cultural landmark.
Preface; 1. The Bible debate; 2. Censorship; 3. The translators; 4. The Canonical Scriptures; 5. The English prologues; 6. The text; 7. The effects; Appendix 1. Contents of the Wycliffite Bible; Appendix 2. Additions and select emendations to the text of LV in WB; Appendix 3. Textual scholarship: select readings; Appendix 4. Descriptions of select Wycliffite Bible manuscripts; Bibliography; Index of manuscripts of the Wycliffite Bible; General index.
In the first study of the Wycliffite Bible for nearly a century, Mary Dove takes the reader through every step of the conception, design and execution of the first English Bible. Wyclif's work initiated a tradition of scholarly, stylish and thoughtful biblical translation, and remains a major cultural landmark.