The Prehistoric English Bible
The Bible tells us that history has a beginning and an end, so it is only natural that the history of the Bible should be structured upon the same model. Every (English) school-boy knows that the Creation of the English Bible occurred in 1525 A.D., when William Tyndale (1494?-1536) printed his translation of the New Testament. William Tyndale, the Creator of the English Bible, and much more: M.M. Knappen, in his influential history of Tudor Puritanism, made him the Creator of that too.1 Historians shy away from admitting that they write according to models: indeed, the very word ‘model’ makes us cringe with loathing. Yet it is undeniable that for many centuries, the history of the world, of Parliament, of religion, was written on the biblical model. It was a search for King Edward I, the Creator of the Model Parliament; Martin Luther, the first Protestant; or the anonymous First Jew in Hampstead. Even after Butterfield warned us against ends-oriented Whig History, the biblical model remained most satisfying, especially by the generation which saw during the Second World War what one man could do to change the course of history.
KeywordsSixteenth Century Title Page British Library Latin Translation Henry VIII
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