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The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain$
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Polly Ha and Patrick Collinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264683

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264683.001.0001

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The Authority of Antiquity: England and the Protestant Latin Bible

The Authority of Antiquity: England and the Protestant Latin Bible

(p.1) 1 The Authority of Antiquity: England and the Protestant Latin Bible
The Reception of Continental Reformation in Britain

Bruce Gordon

British Academy

This chapter provides a complex narrative of biblical translation in Protestant scholarship. It draws attention to Protestant efforts to produce a universal Latin translation as an intermediary between the original languages of Scripture and the vernacular. Despite the tendency to associate Protestantism with personal reading of Scripture, the multiple levels involved in biblical interpretation complicate any straightforward relationship between reformation, text, and individual reader. The Latin Bible translation also held the potential of unifying Protestants by becoming the basis of all vernacular translations. The attempt to harmonise Protestant theology through a single Latin translation, however, ultimately exposed deep divisions in Protestant biblical scholarship. The chapter also notes that Archbishop Cranmer not only extended hospitality to continental scholars fleeing from the restoration of Catholic worship under the Augsburg Interim, but solicited their work on the Latin Bible translation and laboured to bridge divisions between them.

Keywords:   biblical translation, Protestant scholarship, Latin translation, Scripture, Continental reformers, Archbishop Cranmer, Augsburg Interim

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