Letters to the Editor

Mr Robin Everitt has provided us with a copy of a letter which he sent to the publishers of ‘If God Spare My Life’ by Bryan Moynahan (see review of this book elsewhere in this Journal by Prof Don Millus) pointing out errors in it. (They have since assured him a correction of his main point will appear in due course). Mr Everitt found it strange that Knibley Knoll (page 23 and elsewhere) on which the Tyndale’s monument stands was spelt incorrectly. Mr Everitt’s main point, which he describes as a serious error in an ‘otherwise interesting narrative’, is the following: -

‘On page 177 we read ‘The Muslims…. created such revulsion that English parsons prayed each Good Friday for more than a century that all ‘Jews, Turks, infidels and Hereticks’ should be punished as murderers of Christ and enemies of God’.

This simply will not do. The phrase ‘Jews, Turks Infidels and Hereticks’ is (presumably) taken from the Third Collect for Good Friday, which appeared in the First Prayer Book of King Edward VI, published in 1549. Except for the modernization of the spelling, it is still printed in the Book of Common Prayer, although in practice a more emollient prayer has replaced it in general usage. It is worth quoting this collect in full.

O merciful God, who has made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live: Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels and Hereticks, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of Thy word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to Thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Far from being an invocation of God’s wrath, this is a plea for mercy and the conversion of enemies. If one remembers the brutality of the times, and the fact that the Turks had reached the gates of Vienna only 20 years earlier, one must say that it shows a remarkable degree of compassion. ……’

Dear Valerie,

I’ve been having an interesting time reading the Wycliffe New Testament. What a wonderful lot of words: rightwiseness: sourdough; hidels; grouched and dearworth. I have also been greatly enjoying ‘If God Spare My Life’ by Brian Moynahan; delightful reading. I hope it will be published in the United States – it ought to be.

Best wishes,

Ronald Mansbridge Connecticut, USA. July 2002.

Vic Perry sent by email in August 2002 the following information concerning the Authorized Version 1611: -

‘In the Tyndale Society Journal No. 19 (August 2001) it was said that Thomas Nelson had issued an edition of the AV described as ‘ a special reproduction of the original text of 1611’, but that it was ‘out-of-stock’. This Bible is now available again, and, as suspected, it is a reprint of A. W. Pollard’s edition of 1911 (DMH 2166). This, in turn, was based on the Oxford edition of 1833 (DMH 1792). But Thomas Nelson have omitted Pollard’s ‘bibliographical introduction’. None of this is stated in this reprint, which contains no bibliographical information at all, not even a date of publication. It is a ‘He’ Bible.’

Grace and peace,

Vic Perry

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