Early English Bible Translations (1061 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Richard Marsden (University of Nottingham)
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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 of the “…

Citation: Marsden, Richard. "Early English Bible Translations". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 March 2003 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1270, accessed 28 October 2021.]

1270 Early English Bible Translations 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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