Our review of the Elizabethan Age and the end of the 16th- the beginning of the 17th century would be incomplete if we did not mention the history of the English Bible, because it was during that particular period that the most well-known and widely- read version of it was created in English.
As far as we know, for many centuries the Bible was written in Latin, so it was unknown to the ordinary English people.
The first attempt to bring the Word of God to the common people was made by Alfred the Great in the 8th century.
During the Middle Ages the mystery and miracle plays, based on the lives of and some episodes from the Bible were presented to the English.
Later the priest
Later the priest
John Wycliff (1320-1384)
translated the Bible into English.
Later came William Tyndale, who was burning with desire to bring the Bible to everyone.
Tyndale began printing his translation in 1525.
However, religious wars and conflicts cut short his work and made a martyr of him.
He was executed
Miles Coverdale later issued a translation, based partly on Tyndale’s and he supervised the preparation of the Great Bible.
In 1540 it was established in all the churches.
During the reign of King James I, who succeeded Queen Elizabeth on the throne after her death in 1603, the need for a better translation was recognized.
54 scholars and churchmen assembled in 1604 and worked for 7 years together.
In 1611 they completed
“The King James Bible” –the most familiar version among Protestants.
This translation is more poetic than other translations of the Bible.
No other book has had greater influence on English literature than the Bible.
Its literary value lies in its variety and wealth of material.
Its style is stately and simple, direct and poetic.
Кукурян И.Л.,”An Outline of English Literature”, М., изд-во МГУ, 1997г.