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Establishing and English Bible in Henry VIII's England: translation, vernacular theology, and William Tyndale

James, Janice (2011) Establishing and English Bible in Henry VIII's England: translation, vernacular theology, and William Tyndale. PhD thesis, University of York.

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In the 1520s, thanks to the infiltration into England of Martin Luther’s books, the English government began a dedicated campaign to protect the country from heresy. Their efforts, though substantial, failed to stem the tide of heresy. Though he was living in exile in the Low Countries, William Tyndale was the leading vernacular spokesman of the first generation of English religious reformers. He was also England’s most talented early sixteenth-century Bible translator. Tyndale’s opponents perceived him to be the greatest threat to the preservation of the traditional faith in England. This thesis argues that Tyndale’s position in modern historiography does not accurately reflect the one he held in his own day and that the erroneous portrayal is due to an inadequate examination of important aspects of the coming forth of the first printed editions of the English Bible. The areas of neglect include: the extent of the Biblical content of orthodox vernacular religious books published prior to 1526, English authorities’ perceptions of the social and political impact of an English Bible, Tyndale’s motivations for translating the Bible, the English government’s rejection of Tyndale’s English New Testament, and Tyndale’s theological influence on later translations of the English Bible. Drawing on all of Tyndale’s published works, the body of vernacular religious writings printed between 1500 and 1525, and on the six cardinal English Bible translations between 1535 and 1611, this thesis demonstrates Tyndale’s significant contributions to the English Reformation. It shows that Tyndale’s 1526 English New Testament filled lay desire for an English Bible, that Tyndale was a formidable theologian who developed a distinct theology and a unique Bible-based social structure, and that Tyndale exerted considerable influence over English vernacular theology as well as on the theology of the English Bibles that followed his own translations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: English Bible, William Tyndale, Bible translation, English Reformation, vernacular theology
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.546829
Depositing User: Ms Janice James
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2011 13:01
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 12:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2000

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