Early English Bible Translations

(1062 words)
  • Richard Marsden (University of Nottingham)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


The language of western Christianity in the early medieval period was Latin, and it was the Latin Bible (in the form known as the Vulgate) which remained the official source of scripture for the English church until the Reformation. Yet even before the Norman Conquest of 1066, a signifcant proportion of the Bible was available in vernacular translation also — in Old English — even though there was never a complete “Old English Bible”.

As early as the opening decades of the eighth century, the Venerable Bede, well aware of the problems faced by English monks having to master Latin, seems to have put at least parts of the gospel of St John into English, but the details are sketchy. Our first clear evidence o…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Marsden, Richard. "Early English Bible Translations". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 March 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1270, accessed 02 September 2015.]