“WHERE WAS THE BIBLE BEFORE 1611?” (Part 1)

 

MYTH #1.

“THERE WERE NO ENGLISH BIBLES BEFORE THE 1611 BIBLE SUDDENLY POPPED UP OUT OF NOWHERE.”

In the last half of the 1300’s, some 300 hundred years before the 1611 Authorized Bible, a fellow called John Trevisa, published an English edition of the entire Bible. In reality, he and others, were merely putting a polishing touch to the idioms and spelling of the Anglicized scriptures, that already were in existence.  Such that, when Wycliffe produced the first of his many editions of the Bible in 1380, there was no translation to be done as such, but merely a TRANSCRIBING of already existing versions!

 

MYTH #2.

“WYCLIFFE PUBLISHED THE FIRST ENGLISH BIBLE.”

You see, right from the start in AD 57 when Paul writes Romans, God states that the scriptures were already in all the nations –

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (Rom 16:26)

And so when ‘The Morning Star of the Reformation’, John Wycliffe, put his pen to paper to compile, not invent, the New Testament in 1380, the New Testament scriptures, the written words of God, had already been in existence since AD 37 when the gospel of Matthew was written.

The fact is that whole New Testament was compiled, canonized and accepted before the end of the first century, and so we have a conservative 1500 years till 1611, for the total Bible to have been in existence and circulating around the entire known world.

The Old Testament had already closed around 400BC with the last book of Malachi.

 

MYTH #3.

“THERE WERE FEW BIBLES, AND ANYHOW, PEOPLE COULDN’T READ.”

Foxe, in his eight large volumes called “Acts and Monuments”, clearly tracks Christianity from the 1st century through to the 1500’s.

In fact, a contemporary of Wycliffe’s in the 1300’s, said that every second man he met was a true Christian and it is recorded that Wycliffe’s Bibles were widely used by all classes of men, and most significantly by the common people.

Foxe, in 1496, states that many were burned at the stake for having in their possession ‘a little book of Scripture in English’.

Christians were called ‘known men and women’ because they knew the scriptures, memorizing whole books of the Bible.

For 125 years after Wycliffe, the law stated that it was illegal to own a Wycliffe Bible. Why? In its notes, it exposed the sodomy of priests and monks, with their lechery and defiling of virgins, treachery, gluttony, covetousness, greed and hypocrisy. Describing the popes as ‘the damned limbs of Lucifer’, Wycliffe exposed the evil deceit of transubstantiation, whereby a wafer could be transformed in the actual body of Christ. Furthermore, his Bible condemned the Apocryphal books as not scriptural.

 

MYTH #4.

“WYCLIFFE USED THE CORRUPTED ROMAN CATHOLIC LATIN VULGATE OF JEROME.”

In the 1st century, the common Latin scriptures were called the ‘vulgar (meaning common language) Latin’. However in the 4th century, these true scriptures were cannibalized and corrupted by Jerome to become the official Roman Catholic Latin Vulgate. Wycliffe translated into English from the vulgar Latin not the Latin Vulgate!

 

MYTH #5.

BIBLES WERE TOO EXPENSIVE.”

In 1420 An entire handwritten Bible was four marks and forty pence which was not an impossible sum if a group of people bought a copy between them. In 1525, with mechanical printing, a William Tyndale New Testament could be bought by a labouring man for an affordable 7 groats.

In 1535, Miles Coverdale put some polish on the English Old Testament and with his English New Testament, produced an entire Bible.

In 1537 John Rogers produced The Matthew’s Bible.

In 1539, the Great Bible was published and authorized by the King to be used in every church.

Then followed the 1560 Geneva Bible and the 1568 Bishop Bible and then the Authorized Bible, the King James Bible of 1611.

In summary: There has always been a godly line of Bibles since the 1st century ending with God’s final written authority in 1611.

Similarly, there is the ‘parallel’ ungodly line of counterfeit ‘bibles’.

 

Note: The oldest manuscripts support the godly line of Bibles, not the other way!!!



GODLY line of Bibles

The UNGODLY line

 

Peshitta Bible 150AD

 

Sinaiticus 331AD

Itala Bible 157AD

 

Vaticanus 331AD

Wycliffe’s 1380AD             1

 

Jerome’s Vulgate 382AD

Erasmus’s 1522AD

 

Alezandrian 450AD

Tyndale’s 1525AD             2

 

Ephraem 450AD

Luther’s 1534AD

 

Douay 1582AD

Coverdale’s 1535AD          3

 

Clementine 1592AD

Matthew’s 1537AD            4

 

Griesbach 1805AD

Great Bible 1539AD            5

 

Lachmann 1850

Stephen’s 1550AD

 

Tregelles 1870AD

Geneva 1560AD                 6

 

Tischendorf 1872AD

Bishop’s 1568AD                7

 

“…purified seven times…” (Psalm 12:6)

 

Alford 1872AD

 

Beza’s 1604AD

Westcott & Hort 1881AD

 

AUTHORIZED BIBLE 1611AD

The King James Bible         8

 

Three quotes from the King James Translators:

 

1. “… out of many good ones, one principal ....good one, not justly to be excepted ....against.”

 

No critic will have any argument over what we
have produced

 

2. “The same will shine as gold more brightly …..being rubbed and polished.

THEY DID NOT WRITE A NEW BIBLE!
They’d had COMPLETE English Bibles for 230 years prior to 1611

 

3.  They came to the work “… learned, not to  . ...learn:”

    

They forgot more Greek than the modern translators will ever know. This wasn’t arrogance on their part. They were just stating the obvious … they knew it all.

 

 

RSV, ASV, Amplified, Good News, NEB, NIV, Message, New King James Version, Living, Jerusalem + at least 300 others

 


**** ****

Harley Hitchcock


 

Saturday 4th September 2021


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