The Origin And Authority Of The Biblical Canon In The Anglican Church

H. W. Howorth

Journal Of Theological Studies, 1906, pp.1-40.

It has been often said that the English Reformation under Henry VIII differed from the Continental Reformation in that it was administrative and not doctrinal, and that the doctrinal reformation in England came later in the reign of Edward VI. This is largely true, but it is not true of the greatest and most important of all the doctrinal changes that took place in the English Church in the sixteenth century, namely, the substitution of a new Bible for the old one which had been acknowledged as its Rule of Faith by the Western Church since its beginning.

When I say that the English reformers substituted a new Bible for the old one, I do not mean that they substituted a translation of the Bible into English for the old Latin Vulgate. Such translations had of course been made before. Nor yet that they introduced numerous corrections and changes into the text itself. The Latin Vulgate was, of course, undergoing revision from the earliest times.

What I mean is that they substituted a new canon for the old one, and ejected from the English Bible several books which had always been treated as canonical by the Church both in East and West, and pronounced them invalid and unauthoritative, and that in doing so they set up a new-fangled criterion of canonicity hitherto unrecognized by the Church,

and thus separated themselves sharply and definitely from old and primitive tradition not merely in matters of ceremonial, or discipline, or interpretation of dogma, but in regard to the fundamental question of what rightly constitutes the ultimate sanction of the Christian Faith and what gives the Bible its authority.

This position might be logically held by those continental reformers who discarded ecclesiastical tradition from their platform and fell back on internal intuition or some effort of private judgement to discriminate for them what was legitimate and what not in Scripture; but the Anglican Church took up no such position. It claimed to be essentially continuous with the mediaeval Church, and merely to discard the unauthorized accretions which had distorted the primitive purity of that Church.

For a Church thus based upon attachment to primitive tradition wilfully and determinately to apply an entirely unauthorized criterion by which to test the canonicity of the Bible books would assuredly have been a proceeding as capricious and arbitrary as well could be.

I propose to shew that, while the Anglican Church no doubt did change its Biblical Canon, this was done indirectly and without consultation with, or the adhesion of, those with whom the Church tradition on such matters had hitherto rested.

Having been so introduced it made its way gradually without any recorded protest or suspicion until the new canon had entirely occupied the ground, when it was virtually impossible to recall or undo what had been done, and the status quo was acquiesced in without further consideration or examination.

It will not be thought remarkable by those who have read the history of the sixteenth century with attention, that, at a time when men’s minds and hearts were all on fire about concrete issues that were very practical, the introduction of a Bible Canon, which had been upheld by at least one Doctor of the Church in early times and by several individual scholars at various times afterwards and did not superficially seem to sacrifice much of real importance, should have been treated as of academic interest and ignored.

What is strange is that in later times, when the controversies of that same century have been reviewed with more judicial eyes, the fateful importance of the change should not have been appreciated, and that the question should have been so perfunctorily and inadequately treated by Church historians and writers on the Bible.

The question is assuredly interesting and important enough to deserve the attention of every theologian. Its treatment involves a reference to some elementary matters.

Whatever may have been the attitude in earlier days, it is not to be doubted that the result of Lollardism was to produce in the public mind and in the mind of the clergy in England a feeling that that mixture of evangelicalism in religion and socialism in politics was largely connected with the popular reading of the Bible, and, if not to create, greatly to strengthen the prejudice against English translations of the Scriptures.

The view current on the subject in the earlier part of Henry VIII’s reign is well expressed in a letter addressed to the king by Dr Edward Lee, Archbishop of York. This letter is dated December 2, 1525, and refers to the impending arrival of Tindale[1] with his translation in England. In it he says inter alia :- ‘I neede not to advertise your Grace what infection and daunger may ensue heerbie, if it be not withstonded. This is the next way to fulfill your Realme with Lutherians.

For all Luther’s perverse opinions bee grounded upon bar words of Scripture, not well taken ne ondrestonded. All our forfadres, governors of the churche of England, hathe with all diligence forbid and eschued publication of Englishe bibles, as apperethe in constitutions provinciall of the Churche of England.’[2]

With this objection to a Bible in the vernacular Henry VIII quite fell in. Defensor fidei was the title he probably most valued. In his answer to Luther he expressly says of the latter that he ‘fell into device with one or two lewd fellows born in this our realm for the translating of the New Testament into English’, and accordingly, as is well known, Tindale and his works were ruthlessly pursued by the English authorities.

To speak the truth, Tindale’s New Testament was something more than a mere translation, and contained prologues to the books largely in the language and with the tendency of Luther. Its polemical marginal notes, the tone of which might well deserve the description ‘pestilent glosses’ from the orthodox, were also largely derived from Luther, and

expressed his views; while in his published tracts Tindale more undisguisedly took Luther’s standpoint, and plainlyand forcibly attacked the Papacy and its teaching. On the title-page to his ‘Dialogue’, Sir Thomas More in fact links Tindale and Luther together in the phrase, ‘Touching the pestilent sect of Luther and Tindale’.

It was therefore largely as a supposed Lutheran and heretic and enemy of the Church, and not as a Bible translator in the first instance, that Tindale and his works were pursued. His offence as a translator of the Bible was a subsidiary one; for it was really the use made of such translations by the Reformers, like the similar use made of Wicliffe’s translation by the Lollards, that made them distasteful and repugnant to the Church.

Tindale’s translations from the Old Testament, however, did not in any way involve a departure from the old canon of the Church. When he was put to death he had published of the Old Testament the Pentateuch and the book of Jonah,with Lections from the Old Testament according to the use of Salisbury, which included lessons from Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom – that is from books treated as apocryphal in the later English Bibles.

In regard to Tindale’s New Testament it has not, I think, been previously noticed that in the table of contents appended to the only fragment of the first edition which is extant, namely, that in the Grenville Library, he follows Luther precisely in detaching the Epistle to the Hebrews and those of James and Jude with the Apocalypse from the rest of the books, all of which except these four are consecutively numbered.

The four books in question are further enumerated together at the end of the other Bible books and separated by a gap from the rest, so that it is clear Tindale accepted Luther’s depreciatory treatment of these books. In the second edition of this New Testament, of which only two imperfect copies are known, the prefatory list of books is lost, but the four books in question, as in Luther’s New Testament, are printed together in Luther’s order and at the end of the Bible, thus confirming the testimony of the table of contents in the first edition.

Henry’s opposition to a Bible in the English vernacular remained constant until his divorce from Katherine and his breach with the Pope in 1534. When his view on the matter was modified it was unquestionably under the powerful and adroit influence of his vicegerent, Cromwell.

Cromwell’s exact attitude on many matters, warmly disputed in the sixteenth century, is not easy to gauge, but on one subject he seems to have held strong views and pressed them consistently, namely in regard to the wisdom and advantage of a new translation of the Bible into the vernacular and its dissemination among the laity.

In this view he was supported by Henry’s archbishop, Cranmer, and apparently also at one time by More. It was difficult, however, to initiate a plan for carrying this out in England, not only because the king had committed himself so fiercely to the other view in the case of Tindale, and had to be carefully led into other ways, but also because the great mass of the clergy were opposed to it.

The matter had therefore to be carried out with some diplomacy. Convocation was induced, we do not know quite at whose instance, but probably at that of Cranmer, to petition the king inter alia that his Majesty would vouchsafe to decree that ‘the Scriptures should be translated into the vulgar tongue by some honest and learned men to be nominated by the king, and to be delivered to the people according to their learning ‘.[3] This petition was formulated on December 19, 1534.

The request of Convocation probably affected Henry’s opinion considerably. If we are to credit the reports of Chapuys and the other Spanish agents in London, he was further attracted towards the new venture by the fact that in the new translation it was possible to present more plausibly the critical texts, and notably Deuteronomy ch. xix, upon which the divorce from Katherine of Aragon was justified.[4] Meanwhile a new translation of the whole Bible had for some time been in preparation.

Notwithstanding Henry’s prejudices the other way, Cromwell hardly disguised his own Lutheran sympathies. The English translation of the Augsburg Confession, and of Melanchthon’s ‘Apology’, by Taverner, published in 1636, was made, as is expressly said on the title-page, ‘at the commandement of his Master the ryght honourable Master Thomas Cromwell, chefe secretare to the Kynges grace’. Taverner was a client of Cromwell’s, and was appointed by him Clerk of the Privy Seal.

Probably with the knowledge and approval of Cromwell and Cranmer, Coverdale, a very competent Cambridge scholar, went abroad to Germany, where he consorted with Tindale and the continental reformers and where he found much literary help in his work and also the mechanical appliances to carry such a large printing undertaking through. Coverdale’s work was complete and ready at the end of 1534, when, as we have seen,

Convocation passed its resolution already named. Coverdale’s Bible, however, was clearly not the sort of translation contemplated by that body. Previous translations of the Bible into English had been taken directly from the Vulgate, the recognized Bible of the Western Church, and had accepted without any question the canon of the Vulgate.

Coverdale’s Bible was a very different book altogether. He turned from the Vulgate to the new Bibles of Luther and Zwingli not only in regard to his text, but also in regard to the Biblical Canon, in which he completely abandoned the old Catholic usage and like the continental reformers, adopted a brand-new canon.

This was a great and critical innovation in the treatment of the Bible in England, where hitherto no distinction had been made in regard to the relative authority of its several books, all having been treated as similarly canonical.

Following his German guides and the example of the Zurich Bible of 1524-9, which he accepted as his prototype, Coverdale, for the first time in England, separated a number of the Bible books from the rest, and printed them in a special class at the end of the Old Testament with a new and special heading. He did this without any kind of authoritative sanction, apparently accepting the arguments and obiter dicta of the German reformers as conclusive.

Immediately after the ‘prologue to the reader’ in Coverdale’s Bible we have a list of the books of the Bible and how they are named in English and Latin, with the number of chapters in each and the number of the pages where they begin. These books are separated into four series, one of which has the heading ‘The Apocrypha’ with the following list of books beneath it in, ‘abbreuiacion ‘: ‘III. Esdre. IIII. Esdre. Tob. Iudith. Certayne Chapiters of Hester. Sap. Eccli. Sus. Bel. I. Mac. II. Mac.’

Then follows the list of the New Testament books which, like Tindale’s, adopts Luther’s order and, as in Luther’s New Testament, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation are printed at the end of the Bible.

Thus for the first time in these realms the so-called Apocryphal books were separated from the canonical ones and put into a distinct class and labelled with a ban of inferiority. Neither the Prayer of Manasses nor the third book of Maccabees occurs in Coverdale’s Bible at all.

Turning to the actual text of the Bible we find immediately after the book of ‘Malachy’ afresh title-page, with the heading ‘Apocripha’ . . . ‘The bokes and treatises which amonge the fathers of olde are not rekened to be of like authorite with the other bokes of the byble, nether are they foude in the Canon of the Hebrue.’ Then follows a list of the books given above, with the titles at greater length, ending up with the phrase, ‘Vnto these also belongeth Baruc, whom we have set amoge the prophetes next vnto Ieremy, because he was his scrybe, and in his tyme’.

This apologia, based on the fact that the excluded books were not found in Hebrew, was taken over from the Zurich Bible by Coverdale, and was supplemented by a still longer apology which I must be allowed to quote, since the occasion was a very critical one in the history of our Canon. On the back of the second title-page just referred to we have an address from the translator to the reader in these words :-

‘These bokes (good reader) which be called Apocrypha, are not iudged amonge the doctours to be of like reputacion with the other scripture, as thou mayest perceave by S. Ierome in epistola ad Paulinum. And the chefe cause therof is this: there be many places in them, that seme to be repugnaunt vnto the open and manyfest trueth in the other bokes of the byble.

Neuertheles I haue not gathered them together to the intent that I wolde haue them despysed, or little sett by, or that I shulde thinke them false, for I am not able to proue it: Yee I doute not verely, yf they were equally conferred with the other open scripture (tyme, place, and circumstaunce in all thinges considered) they shulde nether seme contrary, ner be vntruly & peruersly aledged. Treuth it is:

A mas face can not be sene so wel in a water, as in a fayre glasse : nether ca it be shewed so clearly in a water that is stered or moued, as in a stylI water. These & many other darck places of scripture haue bene sore stered and myxte with blynde and cuvetous opynions of men, which have caste soch a myst afore the eyes of ye symple, that as longe as they be not coferred with the other places of scripture, they shall not seme other wyse to be vnderstonde,

then as cuvetousnes expoundeth them. But who so euer thou be that readest scripture, let the holy goost be thy teacher, and let one text expounde another vnto the: As for soch dreames, visions and darck sentences as be hyd from thy vnderstondinge, commytte them vnto God and make no articles of them: But let the playne text be thy gyde, and the sprete of God (which is the author therof) shal lede the in all trueth.

‘As for the prayer of Salomo (which thou findest not herin) ye prayer of Azarias, and the swete songe that he and his two felowes songe in the fyre: the first (namely the prayer of Salomon) readest thou in the eight chapter of the thirde boke of the kynges, so thatit appeareth not to be Apocryphum:

The other prayer and songe (namely of the thre children) haue I not founde amonge eny of the interpreters, but onely in the olde latyn texte, which reporteth it to be of Theodotios translacion. Neuertheles, both because of those yt be weake and scrupulous, and for their sakes also that loue soch swete songes of thankesgeuinge :

I haue not left them out : to the intent that the one shulde have no cause to complayne, and that the other also might haue the more occasion to geue thankes vnto God in aduersite, as the thre children dyd in the fyre. Grace be with the. Amen.

This remarkable address contains Coverdale’s apology for, and explanation of, the new departure which he was taking. As I have said, it was entirely his own private composition and was appended to his translation without any ecclesiastical sanction of any kind, nor have we any reason to believe that before his Bible had itself been issued it had been even seen by any person with any authority to sanction it, certainly not by the bishops or by Convocation.

Nor were they consulted about it after it was introduced, but on the contrary the introduction of it into the realm was absolutely irregular and furtive, so that there was no opportunity for protest.

No royal licence was obtained for its issue. There is no statement on its title-page that it was so licensed, and there can be no doubt that legally and according to all precedent the issue of the book was quite irregular, and might have subjected its author and printers to sharp penalties if those in high authority, like Cromwell and the archbishop, had not tacitly looked at it with a perfectly friendly eye.

Although it no doubt circulated widely over the realm, it did so only as a private venture, and was apparently quite ignored by Convocation and the clergy. It was in fact very different from the translation contemplated by Convocation, viz. one to be ‘made by some honest and learned men to be nominated by the king and to be delivered to the people according to their learning’.

It is quite plain from the fact that Convocation presented a second petition to the king in 1536 in favour of a new translation that it was not satisfied with Coverdale’s.

In the year 1537 there appeared two new editions of Coverdale’s Bible, one in folio printed at Southwark by James Nycolson, which was also unlicensed and unauthorized. In it the book of Baruch was separated from Jeremiah and definitely placed immediately after Tobit with the title ‘The prophet Baruch ‘.

The other edition was in quarto. There is no special variation in its text, but there is a very remarkable innovation on its title-page, for on it we read for the first time ‘Sett foorth with the Kynges most Gracious lycence’. Like the preceding editions this one,

however, had no ecclesiastical sanction of any kind. It was never submitted to Convocation for approval, nor yet to any persons in authority in the Church, and the licence to sell it was the mere personal act of the king working through his lieutenant Cromwell.

This personal intervention of the king in a matter dealing, not with the administration of the Church, but with such an important question as the issue and circulation of a particular Canon and text of the Bible, was possibly the most extravagant exercise of royal prerogative in religious matters which occurred in Henry’s reign, and yet it has been scarcely noticed in the vast turmoil of discussion that his various acts initiated.

There cannot be any doubt that under the logical and unbending Erastian counsels of Cromwell, and during the dominance of that minister, Henry treated the royal supremacy not as a titular supremacy, but as a real one. In Cromwell’s eyes, and in the eyes of the king until Cromwell’s death, whatever power had lodged in the Pope as head of the Church passed to the king in the same capacity.

He claimed to be as much the head of the spiritualty as of the laity, and it was really for resisting this claim that More and Fisher died. Chapuys was quite accurate in describing the new supremacy as a new papacy.[5] 

When he pleased he consulted Convocation and asked its views, and when he pleased he dispensed with the appeal, but in either case he claimed that the efficient administrative act was his own. No one can read the history of the years 1534-40 without feeling this at every moment.

While the king was thus supreme, and claimed that he was specially illuminated in virtue of his divine right to judge of things spiritual as well as of things temporal, he deputed with singular confidence a great deal of very delicate and far-reaching power in matters involving theological issues to his vicegerent Cromwell, whom for some years he implicitly trusted and who was certainly devoted to his ideals, and had the courage to press them whatever the consequences might be.

The licence to print and sell Coverdale’s Bible made the issue of the book legal and protected it against prosecution, but it clearly did not, except on quite ultra-Erastian grounds, give it any ecclesiastical sanction, since neither Convocation nor the authorities of the Church were in any wise consulted about it.

All that it proved was that a Bible in which certain books were evicted from the Canon and placed in a separate section was issued with royal licence in England for the first time. It is hardly likely that the king’s attention was specially drawn to the innovation in regard to the Canon in the book, or, if it had been, that he would have been competent to decide, as a theologian, as to its legitimacy. There can hardly be a doubt, however, that the licence greatly assisted its circulation.

It is clear that in this respect as in others Coverdale, to use Westcott’s phrase, had ‘established a precedent, and his successors were found at once to avail themselves of it’. The first of them was John Rogers, who was responsible for another English Bible, which was known as Matthew’s Bible, and which was largely based on the text of Coverdale, whose Canon it adopted, merely adding to the books printed by the latter the Prayer of Manasses, which was now first translated into English and first appears among the Apocrypha in this Bible; this addition was the mere arbitrary act of the translator and had never been subjected to authoritative decision.

This Bible also was printed abroad, and the first copies of it reached England in August 1537. Cromwell shewed the king a copy, and although the translation incorporated Tindale’s, which had been so ruthlessly suppressed, he obtained a licence for it too to be bought and read in the kingdom. As Westcott says, ‘By Cranmer’s petition, by Cromwell’s influence, and by Henry’s authority without any formal ecclesiastical sanction, the book was given to the English people’.[6]

In Matthew’s Bible there is also a second title-page after ‘Malachy’ with the title, ‘The volume of the bokes called Apocripha : Contayned in the comen Transl. in Latyne, whych are not founde in the Hebrue nor in the Chalde. The register thereof. The thyrde boke of Esdras. The fourth boke of Esdras. The boke of Tobiah, The boke of Iudith. The reast of the boke of Hester.

The boke of Wysdome. Ecclesiasticus. Baruch the Prophete, The songe of the .iij. Chyldre in the oue. The storye of Susanna. The storye of Bel and the Dragon. The prayer of Manasseh. The fyrst boke of the Machabees. The second boke of the Machabees.’

In this Bible Luther’s order of the New Testament books was maintained as in Tindale’s and Coverdale’s New Testaments, and the four books Luther had treated with contumely were also placed at the end of the Bible.

In this edition we have a new apologia for the separation of the Apocrypha from the other books of the Bible which was literally translated from the French Bible generally known as Olivetan’s published in 1535 : it was from the same French Bible that the text of the Prayer of Manasses, in Matthew’s translation, was chiefly derived. Behind the second title-page in Matthew’s Bible we find :-

‘To The Reader

‘In consyderacyon that the bokes before are founde in the Hebrue tonge, receaved of all men: & that the other folowyng, which are called Apocripha (because they were wont to be reade, not openly & in comen, but as it were in secret and aparte) are nether founde in the Hebrue nor in the Chalde: in which tonges they haue not of longe bene written (in lesse then it were happly the boke of Sapience) whervpon it were now very harde to repayre & amende them:

And that also they are not receaved nor taken as legyttymate and leafull, as well of the Hebrues as of the whole Churche, as S. Hierome sheweth: we haue separat them, and sett them asyde, that they may the better be knowen : to thintent that men maye knowe of which bokes witnes ought to be receaved, and of which not.

For the sayde S, Hierome speakinge of the boke of Judith (which is Apocriphe) sayth, that the autorytye therof is not esteamed worthy & suffycyent to confyrme and stablysh the thynges that Iyght in dysputacyon. And generally of all the bokes called Apocripha, he sayth, that men maye reade them to the edyfyinge of the people: but not to confyrme & strengthen the doctryne of the Churche.

I leave oute here the lawe (as they call it) of Canon .c. Sancta Romana .xv. distinct. where he sheweth his iudgmet. Lykewyse the Glose of .c. Canones .xvj. distinc. which sayth, that men reade the, but not in generall : as though he shulde saye, that generally andthorouly they are not alowed. And not wythout a cause: For that they haue bene corrupted and falsyfyed in many places, it appeareth sufficiently by Eusebius in his boke callud Historia Ecclesiastica :

Which thinge is easye to be knowe eue now a dayes in certe poyntes, namely in the bokes of the Machabees: whose second boke S. Hiero. cofesseth that he founde not in the Hebrue, by the meanes wherof it is become vnto vs the more suspect and the lesse receaued. In Iyke maner is it of the thyrde and fourthe boke of Esdras, which S. Hierome protesteth that he wolde not haue translated, esteamyng them for dreames :

where as Iosephus yet in his boke of his Antiquities declareth ye summe of the matter after the maner of a storye, as well of the boke of Machabees as of the .iij. of Esdras: although he esteame the bokes compyled from the raygne of King Artaxerses vnto hys tyme, to be Apocripha.

‘Wherfore then, when thou wylt manteyne any thynge for certen, rendryng a reason of thy fayth, take heade to proceade therin by the lyuynge & pyththye Scriptures, folowinge S. Peter, which sayth: He that speaketh, let hym speake as thoughe he spake the worde of God.

He sayth the worde of God, as a thyng most true & certen, opened by the Prophetes & Apostles, inspyred with the holy goost : of whom we haue wytnesse moare cleare then the daye. Lawers hauynge greate desyre to confyrme and stablysh their opynyons by the lawe of man, saye, that they shame to speake wythout lawe :

How moch more feare and dreade then ought he to haue, that sayth he is a Chrystyan, the whych holdeth not hym selfe, or reasteth not in the lawes of the lyvynge God: but in mennes invencyons, iudgynge of all thynges accordynge to them, and leanyng to an vncertain ymagynacyon & phantasye?

Let vs therfore that are buylded on the foundacyon of the holy Prophetes & Apostles, and on the head corner stone ( on which they them selues were fouded, and which they preached, that is lesus Christ, the suer stone) leaue the thinges that are vncerten to folowe the certe :

holdinge vs and reastynge vs in them, and fasteninge oure ancre there, as in a sure place. For oure Christen fayth consysteth not in doutefull thinges, but in playne & moost certen assurance, & in moost true persuasyon, taken and confyrmed by infallible verite.

In which God graunte vs to walcke perpetuallye, to thintent that accordynge to it (fulfyllynge his holy wyll in vs, & settynge asyde all inuencyons contrary vnto hym) we maye lyue to hys honour, and to the edyfyinge of hys Churche. So be it.’

Wilkins in his Concilia, p. 815, prints a copy of a Royal Ordinance issued to the Clergy, dated 1538, and ordering that before the Festival of the Nativity next, one book of the whole Bible of the largest volume in English should be set up by the Curate by some convenient day in every Church, the charge to be borne equally by the parson and the parishioners. This, as Anderson says, clearly refers to Matthew’s Bible which was two inches longer than Coverdale’s.

This injunction shews how completely Convocation and the authorities of the English Church were supplanted in the matter of issuing the Bible by Cromwell acting as the king’s Vicar-General, and how lacking in all essential ecclesiastical authority the new Bible was.

The royal licence for the printing and publishing of Matthew’s Bible was in fact presently followed by certain letters patent dated November 14, 1539, decreeing that no person ‘should attempt to print any Bible in the English tongue during the space of five years but only such as should be deputed and approved by the said Lord Cromwell’.[7]

Taverner’s Bible which was also published in 1539 was a revision of Matthew’s Bible, and was so named from its author, a very competent scholar. It contains as usual at the beginning a list of the books in the Bible.

The Old Testament part is divided into three portions, headed respectively ‘the bokes of the Olde Testament’, ‘the Prophets’ and ‘the Apocrypha’. In the list following this last heading is a variant not found in Matthew’s Bible. The eighth item reads: ‘Baruch the Prophet, with the epistle of Jeremye.’

The words in italics are not found in the special title-page to the section containing the Apocrypha, although as usual the ‘Epistle’ is printed in the text, forming the sixth chapter of Baruch. In other respects the title-page follows that of Matthew’s Bible. What is more singular,

however, is that in this edition there is no prologue or apology explaining the separate and peculiar treatment of the so-called Apocryphal books as in Coverdale’s and Matthew’s, and it is the first English Bible in which the omission occurs.

In the New Testament in Taverner’s Bible, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation are, as in the previous Bibles which followed Luther’s example, printed together at the end of the whole Bible, and not in their usual place in the text. Meanwhile, under the influence of Cromwell, Coverdale was commissioned to revise and correct his former translation. The new edition, known as the Great Bible, was printed in Paris and London, and issued in 1539, ‘Cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum’.

On the fine engraved title-page to this Bible the king, Cranmer, and Cromwell are all represented in full-Iength figures with their usual coats of arms. The king hands the Bible with either hand to Cranmer and Cromwell, and Cranmer and Cromwell do the same to the clergy and the laity respectively, while the crowd, represented by men and women, each carry a label on which we read Vivat Rex or ‘God save the King’. In this Bible the same apologetic preface to the Apocrypha is found as occurs in Matthew’s Bible already quoted.

The word Apocrypha, however, does not occur in it, but is replaced by that of Hagiographa, which is also variously spelt Hagiogrypha and Aagiographa. Precisely the same things are said of the Hagiographa that were said in Matthew’s Bible of the Apocrypha and the two names are in fact used as synonyms. It is important to note that in this Bible Luther’s order of the New Testament books is abandoned for that previously in vogue in the Church.

According to Westcott there is no evidence that Cranmer had anything to do with the preparation of the Great Bible, and I need not say that he had no direct part in its authorization. This was entirely Cromwell’s work. When Cromwell was attainted his arms were erased from the title-page, so that they only appear in the first three editions.

Cranmer no doubt approved of the new Bible and wrote a special preface for its second edition, whence that and five subsequent editions, which appeared in 1540 and 1541, came to be known as Cranmer’s Bible, although Coverdale was entirely responsible for their contents.

In this second edition, April 1540, an entirely new title-page was engraved for ‘the Hagiographa’ with a number of small pictures relating to incidents in the books. In. this edition for the first time we have the inscription: ‘This is the Byble apoynted to the vse of the churches.’

In May, 1540, it was ordered that ‘the Great Bible’ should be provided by the curates and parishioners of each parish, for.notwithstanding fresh injunctions many parishes still lacked Bibles. This was to be done before All Saints’ Day following, subject to a fine of 40s. a month. The proclamation also fixed the price at 10s. a book unbound, and well bound and clasped not more than 12s., and charged all ordinaries to see this carried out.

These ordinances no doubt gave a great impetus to the spread of this Bible over the whole land, giving a corresponding prestige to its contents.

The fourth edition of the Great Bible, which is otherwise like the three earlier ones, has the arms of Cromwell erased on the title-page. Although dated on the title-page 1540, the colophon is dated December 1541. The delay in its issue was doubtless due to Cromwell’s death.

The fifth edition, dated May 28, 1541, contains some notable changes. The arms of Cromwell are erased as in the previous one, and the list of deutero-canonical books at the beginning is headed as before ‘The books of Hagiographa’; but in the second title-page the heading ‘The IIII part of ye Byble contayning these bookes’ is substituted for it, while the introduction to the books themselves is cancelled.

This is the first ‘Great Bible’ in which the books in question are not introduced by a special preface, and called either Apocrypha or Hagiographa; and in both respects the change was a conservative one and tended to minimize the difference between them and the other books.

The fact that Cranmer wrote a preface to these Bibles in no sense implies that they had any authoritative sanction from the Church. It was a private and personal act of his own, in which neither the other English bishops nor Convocation had any part. This is p]ain from Cranmer’s own words on the fourth page of the preface in question, in which he says ;-

‘The kynges hyghnes beyinge supreme hede nexte under Christe of thys Churche of Englande hath approued with his royall assente the setting furthe herof, which onely to all true and obedient subjectes ought to be a sufficiente reason, for the alowance of the same, without further delaye, reclamation or resystaunce although there were no preface nor other reason hearin expressed.’

On the title-page of the third and fourth editions as on that of the second we have the words: ‘This is the Byble apoynted to the use of the churches.’ The meaning of the phrase is made plain by the title of the fourth and sixth editions of the same Bible, already named (which were apparently published in November 1540 and November 1541)[8] where it is thus enlarged :-

‘The Byble in Englyshe of the largest and greatest volume, auctorized and apoynted by the commaundement of oure moost redoubted prynce and souueragne Lord Kynge Henrye the VIII supreme head of this his churche and realme of Englande : to be frequented and v sed in every church w’in this his sayd realme, accordynge to the tenoure of hys former Injunctions geuen in that behalfe. Ouersene and perused at the comaundemet of the kynges hyghnes by the ryght reuerende fathers in God Cuthbert bysshop of Duresme and Nicolas bisshop of Rochester.’

It is notable that, while these two Bibles contain the names of two strongly Catholic Bishops on the title-pages, that of Cranmer is not found on them as before. Neither of the words Apocrypha and Hagiographa occurs in them, the books so called elsewhere being simply headed ‘The bookes of the fourth parte’, nor is there any preface to them.

Whatever sanction therefore the Great Bibles had in the Church came directly from the king’s prerogative, exercised at the instance of Cromwell, and from no adequate ecclesiastical tribunal.

How definitely this was so is shewn by the fact that soon after Cromwell was executed on July 28, 1540, notwithstanding Cranmer’s private devotion to the cause, the printing of the Bible ceased. No Bibles, in fact, were printed in English between 1541 and 1547, that is, during the rest of Henry VIII’s reign.

As Foxe tells us, its sale was stopped, and Grafton the printer of the previous Bibles was sent to the Fleet prison, where he remained for 6 weeks and was bound in a sum of 300l. neither to ‘sell nor imprint or cause to be imprinted any mo Bibles until the King and the Clergy should agree upon a translation. And thus was the Bible from that time stayed during the reign of King Henry VIII ‘.[9]

The phrase, ‘until the King and the Clergy should agree upon a translation’, is particularly important in regard to the issue I am elucidating, for it shews that the existing English Bibles were looked upon as unauthoritative and unsatisfactory.

In 1541 and 1542 a fresh effort was made in Convocation in the king’s name to get a more acceptable translation of the New Testament made, but it broke down in consequence of the disagreement of Cranmer and Gardiner as to the kind of translation contemplated and who was to make it. As Westcott says, ‘Convocation was no more consulted on the subject’.

After the accession of Edward VI the disabilities on the printing of the Bible were removed, but it was not for two years, namely till 1549, that the whole Bible was again printed and issued. Between that date and Queen Mary’s accession on July 6, 1553, several reprints of Coverdale’s, Matthew’s, Taverner’s, and the Great Bible were issued, in every case except two containing one or other of the apologetic prefaces to the Apocrypha already named.

One copy dated in 1549, published by Edward Whitchurche, has a separate title-page for the so-called Apocrypha entitled ‘Apogrypha, the fourth parte of the Bible containinge these bookes’, &c. Another was published by the same printer and is dated 1553. It also has a separate title-page which is inscribed ‘The volume of the bokes called Hagiographa’. This is also a Great Bible version.

One Bible only, Becke’s, a revised edition of Taverner’s text, issued in Edward VI’s reign, namely in 1549-1551, and printed by John Day and William Seres, is notable for our purpose. This was issued in several volumes, one of them being specially devoted to the Apocrypha. In this edition the books of 3 Esdras, Tobit, and Judith are entirely retranslated, the Greek version being used as well as the Latin, while that of 3 Maccabees appears in English for the first time.

The latter fact again proves how perfectly arbitrary was the method adopted by these translators in excluding from or adding to the list of books in the Bible. The Prayer of Manasses also occurs in this edition. It further contains a new special address to the reader justifying the separation of the so-called Apocrypha, which is thus worded:-

‘Good Christian reader you shall vnderstand that in these bokes comonly called Apocripha we haue take the laboures to cofer them with the ttranslacion of Leo Juda, and finde therin more the is conteined in our comon Bibles, it was thought good to learned men to supply our want by their exaples.

And because we lacked so much in some bokes, that it was more easy to translate them a new, then briefly to note the defect, we haue euen so done as it dothe appeare to the reader, and where both the copies fully agreed, wee haue altered nothing in the comon translacion.

This we thought to warne the of (getle reader) that thou shouldest not be offended with the variacio of the text sith we haue done nothing rashely of our owne head nor with. out cause, and that the matter itselfe is nothing at al chauged, when it is declared more at large.

And although these bokes be not founde in the Hebreue nor in the Chalde & for that not take of so great authoritie as be the other bokes of the holy Bible, yet haue the holi fathers alwaies so estemed the and worthely they call the (Libros ecclesiaticos) that is to saye, bokes of the churche, or bokes mete to be read among the whole congregacion namely

for that thei do agree with the other bokes of the holy Bible and containe moste godly examples and preceptes of the feare and loue of God and our neyghboure. Wherfore they are diligentlie to be read, and the learning in them earnestly to be folowed that by our good exaumple of liuynge the name of our heauenli father thorowout al nacions may be praised & glorified to who onelie be honoure & glorie for euer Amen.’

Neither for this nor for any other Bible issued in Edward the Sixth’s reign was there any sanction, however, beyond the mere royal licence. The ‘Great Synod’ of the Church had nothing to say to any of them. Let us now turn elsewhere.

In the year 1549 there was published the first edition of the Prayer Book.

In no respect was the English Church more contrasted with the other reformed communities (except the Lutherans) than in its book of Common Prayer, which was a perpetual grievance to the Puritans and the continental reformers who inspired them. In spite of alterations, of the cutting down of redundancies and other changes, it retained in a very large measure the flavour and the matter of the Breviary and the Missal from which it was mainly compiled.

It is interesting to note that among the Offertory sentences in the Communion Service, the most solemn of all our services, which are otherwise all taken from the New Testament or the Psalms and Proverbs, two are taken from Tobit, chapter iv, and they remain in our present Prayer Book as they occur in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI.

Again, in the invocation of God’s blessing on the married pair in the Marriage Service in Edward the Sixth’s first Prayer Book of 1549 we find the sentence, ‘thou didst send thy angel Raphael to Thobie and Sara, the daughter of Raguel’, &c. This sentence was omitted in subsequent editions of the book and a passage from the life of Abraham and Sarah was substituted for it.

A more remarkable fact in this respect is that the Song of the Three Children, which we otherwise know as the Benedicite, was made into a canticle to be used as an occasional alternative to the Te Deum in the Morning Service. This was done in the First Prayer Book of Edward VI, and the canticle still remains untouched, although the sixth Article, as we shall see, put it into the Apocrypha.

Let us now turn to the Lectionary. The new lectionary of the English Prayer Book was in essence the old one translated into English. Lessons from saints’ lives, &c., were no doubt omitted, but otherwise the old system of lessons was in principle retained.

Notwithstanding the wide diffusion which the current English Bibles had attained and the familiarity which almost every household must have consequently acquired with the discrimination in them of the Bible books into Canonical and Apocryphal, the Lectionary remains a very potent piece of evidence to shew that no such distinction was recognized by the highest and paramount ecclesiastical authority in the realm, namely, Convocation.

In 1549, as I have said, there appeared the first edition of the Prayer Book, known as the First Prayer Book of Edward VI. In that book there is not a word to shew that the Church recognized any distinction in authority between the books of the Bible as they had been received from primitive times. In its preface we read ‘here. . .is ordeyned nothyng to be read, but the very pure worde of God, the holy scriptures, or that whiche is euidently grounded vpon thesame’.

On turning to the Kalendar which prescribes the daily lessons to be read throughout the year, we shall find that from October 5 to November 27 the first lesson, both morning and evening, is taken from the so-called apocryphal books, including Tobit (Toby, as it is called), Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch.

Assuredly this testimony is not merely strong but conclusive as to the real attitude of the English Church towards the Old Canon in the year 1549. The same applies to the Second Prayer Book of Edward VI issued in 1552, and in which no alteration was made in the table of lessons.

During Mary’s reign the printing and circulation of the English Bible was, of course, in abeyance.

Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on November 17, 1558. No new edition of the English Bible was printed until two years after this date, when the famous so-called Genevan Bible was issued by the English Puritan colony at Geneva. In the list of books on the back of its title-page the Prayer of Manasses is separated from the rest of the apocryphal

books and put immediately after 2 Chronicles, with the word ‘apocryphe’ added to it. In this list Baruch is named with the Epistle of Jeremiah, and the latter is duly printed in the text forming the sixth chapter of Baruch. The third book of Maccabees is omitted.

There is no special title-page to the Apocrypha, but after Malachi the heading ‘Apocrypha’ is followed by ‘The Argument’ :-

‘These bokes that follow in order after the Prophetes vnto the Newe testament, are called Apocrypha, that is bokes, which were not receiued by a comune consent to be red and expounded publikely in the Church, nether yet serued to proue any point of Christian religion, saue in asmuche as they had the consent of the other Scriptures called Canonical to confirme the same, or rather whereon they were grounded : but as bokes from godlie men, were receiued to be red for the aduancement and furtherance of the knowledge of the historie, & for the instruction of godlie maners :

which bokes declare that at all times God had an especial care of his Church and left them not vtterly destitute of teachers and meanes to confirme them, in the hope of the promised Messiah, and also witnesse that those calamities that God sent to his Church, were according to his prouidence, who had bothe so threatened by his Prophetes, and so broght it to passe for the destruction of their enemies, and for the tryal of his children.’

The additions to Esther are headed ‘Certeine porcions of the storie of Esther which are found in some Greke and Latin translacions’.

In this Bible the order of the New Testament books is the old one and not that of Luther.

If the previous Bibles lacked ecclesiastical sanction in these realms, much more so did the Genevan Bible. It was produced at the instance of the Calvinistic English congregation at Geneva, who paid the cost of it and to whom the Calvinistic notes it contains were specially grateful. It became the favourite Bible of the English Puritans, and between 1560 and 1644 we are told that 140 editions of it were printed.

On January 8, 1561, John Bodley received from Queen Elizabeth a patent for the exclusive right to print this Bible in England for seven years. The Great Bible continued, however, to be the official Bible. In its editions of 1561 and 1562 we read on the title-page, ‘accordynge to the translation that is appoynted to be red in the churches’.

In that of 1566, ‘according to the translation apoynted by the Queenes Majesties Injunctions to be read in all churches within her Majesties realme ” which shews that the authorization, as in Henry’s reign, was still a matter of the royal prerogative. It is perfectly plain therefore that up to this date no English Bible had been issued in these realms whose contents had been examined or authorized by Convocation or by any competent and adequate ecclesiastical authority.

They had merely been issued with the royal licence, but without any guarantee that their contents were legitimate, and their authors were all private and irresponsible scholars who had absolutely no authority to commit the English Church to anything, much less to the drastic revolution involved in a pronouncement that certain books hitherto received by the Church were illegitimate and uncanonical, and in the ejection of them accordingly from the Bible text.

This view was practically and completely endorsed in 1559 when Queen Elizabeth’s revised Prayer Book was issued, and when precisely the same lessons from the same books (all of them classed in the current Bibles as apocryphal) were prescribed to be read morning and evening on every day from October 5 to November 27, as in Edward VI’s two Prayer Books, and others on several holydays, and were therefore pronounced most authoritatively to be ‘the very pure word of God, the holy scriptures or that which is evidently grounded on the same’.

We have now reached a period, however, when the English Church through its Convocation made a distinct pronouncement on the contents of its Bible which looks like an entirely new departure. This was in the famous Convocation of 1562-3, in which the Thirty Nine Articles were first passed and authorized.

In the Forty Two Articles issued in Edward VI’s reign there is no enumeration of Bible books whatever. This first occurs in the Articles of the year 1562, when it is appended to the fifth article of the previous series with the heading Sacrae scripturae nomine, eos canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti intelltgimus, de quorum auctoritate, in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.

Then follows a list of the Old Testament canonical books only. After which comes another heading, namely, Alios autem libros (ut ait Hieronymus) legit quidem Ecclesia, ad exempla vitae, et formandos mores; illos tamen ad dogmata confirmanda non adhibet; ut sunt, Tertius liber Esdrae, Quartus liber Esdrae, Liber Tobiae, Liber Judith, Sapientia, Jesus filius Sirach, Libri Machabaeorum 2. After this we read Novi Testamenti libros omnes (ut vulgo recepti sunt) recipimus, et habemus pro canonicis.[10]

This, the sixth of the Thirty Nine Articles, is an extraordinary pronouncement. Westcott could not repress his astonishment that no historian of the Articles had called attention to its patent ambiguities which he does not profess to solve, and which he can onlye xplain as an attempt to satisfy two contending parties in the Church. The result, whether a compromise or not, has ended in an utterly confused and unintelligible phraseology, which entirely destroys any supposed virtue or authority in the article in question.

First we have the contradiction between its initial and its last clause in which two different criteria of canonicity are involved. In the initial clause we read eos canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti intelligimus de quorum auctoritate, in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.

Hardwick, in his monograph on the Articles, traces this phrase directly to the Wurtemberg Confession of 1552, in the clause of which de Sacra Scriptura we read Sacram scripturam vocamus eos Canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti de quorum auctoritate in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est. The English Article, therefore, is virtually a transcript of the Lutheran.

The first criterion in question, as will be seen, is applied in the Articles both to the Old and to the New Testament, and the statement is followed by a list of the books which conform to it.Then comes, a propos of nothing, an entirely new and otherwise inconsistent criterion applied only to the New Testament books, namely, libros omnes (ut vulgo recepti sunt) recipimus et habuimus pro canonicis. How we are to reconcile these two statements is indeed a puzzle,

for it is quite plain that the New Testament books accepted as canonical in 1562 by the English Church had not always been so accepted and were not even so accepted by Luther, nor by Tindale, nor, it would appear, by Coverdale.

It is plain, therefore, that while the closing clause of the Article is merely an ‘identical expression’ and affirms that the books of the New Testament previously cited are to be alone deemed canonical, that statement cannot be equated with the initial phrase which applies to the New Testament as well as the Old.

When we turn to what is said of the Old Testament, apart from the New, the contradiction is still more marked, for it is plain that the books there classed as apocryphal were, for the most part, once considered canonical both by the Eastern and by the Western Church, while some others, like Canticles and Esther, which were now classed as canonical, had notoriously been disputed alike in ancient and in modern times.

No wonder that critics from various sides have assailed this Article as absurd, contradictory, and meaningless. Thus Dr Salmon, a very learned churchman, points out the impossibility of reconciling the statement in the Article with the facts, and refers to the inaccuracy of its language (Introduction to the New Testament pp. 529-530).

The Jesuit Father Hunter says of the Article, ‘It will be observed that it sets up different standards for the Old and New Testament. In both cases it rests on the general acceptance of the books by the Church. This is the true Catholic principle, but it is totally inconsistent with the teaching of another clause in the same Article, which insists on the sufficiency of Scripture as the Rule of Faith.

In the application, however, of this rule to the Old Testament, it is required that there never should have been any doubt, while for the New, the actual consent of the Church in the year 1571, when the Articles were finally put into their present form, is held to be sufficient; and no account is taken of the grave doubts which once existed as to the authority of the seven ‘deutero-canonical Books’ (Outliues of Dogmatic Theology pp. 206, 207 ).

I do not know how this can be answered. A similar objection is raised by the learned Nonconformist, Dr S. Davidson, in his history of the Canon. Thus he says:

‘The article is ambiguous. If the canonical books enumerated are those meant in the phrase “of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church”, the statement is incorrect. If a distinction is implied between the canonical books and such canonical ones as have never been doubted in the Church the meaning is obscure. In either case the language is not explicit’ (The Canon of the Bible, third edition, pp. 243, 244).

The Article in question is not merely contradictory with itself and unintelligible, but it is also inconsistent with another Article, namely, the thirty-fifth, in which we read: ‘The second book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times,

as doth the former book of Homilies which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly that they may be understanded of the people.’

It was Dr Pusey who first pointed out the importance of this Article in reference to the issue we are discussing, and shewed what were the views on the Canon held by those who were responsible for the books of Homilies, who, it will be remembered, included inter alios Cranmer, Bonner, Harpsfield, Becon (Cranmer’s chaplain), and probably Ridley and Latimer, Jewel, Grindal, Pilkington,and Parker, men therefore representing different schools of thought.

The first book,which was issued in 1547, is entitled ‘Certayne sermons or homilies appoynted by the Kynges Majesty to be declared and redde by all persones, vicars or curates every Sonday in their churches where they have cure’. The second was issued in 1563, that is to say, a year after the promulgation of Elizabeth’s first Articles, and is declared to be ‘set out by the aucthoritie of the Quene’s Majestie and to be read in every Parish Churche agreablye’.

It is important, therefore, to learn how the so-called Apocryphal books were treated in the Homilies and by the men named. As Dr Pusey says, they are quoted forty-three times either in the body of the Homilies or in the margins – and how are they referred to?

In the Homily on the Misery of Mankind, Pt. I: ‘The Holy Ghost, in writing the Holy Scripture is in nothing more diligent than to pull down man’s vain glory. . . and therefore we read in many places of Scripture many notable lessons against this old rooted vice. . . we read that Judith, Esther, Job, Jeremy, with other holy men and women in the Old Testament did use sack cloth, &c. The Book of Wisdom also. . . moveth us diligently. . . . And, Almighty God commanded his prophet Esay to make proclamation,’ &c.

In that on the Fear of Death, Pt. III: ‘The fathers of the old law . . . did by death depart. . . unto joyful refreshing in Abraham’s bosom as the Scriptures do plainly by manifest words testify. The Book of Wisdom saith that. . . (Wisd. iii I, &c.), and in another place. . . (v. 15), and in another. . . (iv. 7).’

In that on Alms-deeds, Pt. II : ‘Give alms, saith he, . . . The same lesson doth the Holy Ghost also teach in sundry places of the Scripture saying, “Mercifulness and alms-giving. . .” (Tobit iv). The wise preacher, the son of Sirach, confirmeth the same, when he saith, “That as water quencheth burning fire, even so mercy and alms resisteth and reconcileth sins”.’

In that Against Peril of Idolatry, Pt. I: ‘Agreeable hereunto are many other notable places in the Old Testament. . . . Read the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters of the book of Wisdom concerning idols and images, . . . The weakness, vileness, and foolishness, in device of the images is expressed at large in the Scriptures; namely, the Psalms, the book of Wisdom, the prophet Esaias, Ezekiel, and Baruch, specially in these places of them . . . Wisdom xiii, xiv, xv, Baruch vi.’ Later Baruch is quoted as ‘the prophet Baruch’ later on again Wisdom xiii, xiv are referred to as ‘scripture’ and xiv is also prefaced with the words as it is written.

In that against Wilful Rebellion, Pt. I: we read, ‘Will you yet hear the Word of God to the Jews, . . . ? Will you hear yet what the prophet Baruch saith unto God’s people. . . ? (Baruch i II). Thus far the prophet Baruch’s words which are spoken by him unto the people of God,’ &c.

In that against Peril of Idolatry, Pt. III, the sixth chapter of Baruch is referred to as the word of God.

In that on Obedience we read: ‘For thus we read there spoken to kings. . . (Wisdom vi 1-3). Let us learn also here by the infallible and undeceivable word of God, that kings. . . are ordained of God who is most highest.’

In those For Rogation Week and Against Gluttony, Wisdom and Jesus the son of Sirach are quoted alongside of and as of co-ordinate authority with the other Old Testament books.

In that on Alms-deeds a reference is made to the godly fathers both before and since Christ, endued without doubt with the Holy Ghost and most certainly certified of God’s Holy will. . . Paul and Isaiah are then quoted as examples; then we read ‘And the holy father Tobie giveth this counsel’ (Tob. iv). In the same homily Jesus the son of Sirach is quoted in support of St James.

In that on the Misery of Man, Pt. II, we read ‘Let us all say with holy Baruch. ..’ (Baruch ii); ( Let us all say with the Holy Prophet Daniel. . .’ (Dan. ix).

In that on Fasting we read, ‘Fasting, thus used with prayer, is of great efficacy and weigheth much with God. So the angel Raphael told Tobias.’

In that on Peril of Idolatry Wisdom is quoted as from ‘the godly writings of Solomon’.[11]

It is perfectly plain from these extracts that the so-called apocryphal books were treated by those who had the formulating of the Articles and the fixing of the dogmatic position of the Church as books of concurrent and equal authority with the rest of the books of the Bible.

Consequently the thirty-first Article (in which the Homilies containing these statements are approved – statements which cannot be equated with the depreciatory clause in the sixth Article about the Apocrypha) must be accepted as embodying the Church’s teaching on the subject, and not the sixth quite contradictory and unintelligible Article.

It is perhaps characteristic of Dr Pusey that, having done so much to establish the validity of the deutero-canonical books in the Anglican Church, he should, in his Eirenicon, suggest as a means of making peace with Rome that we should be allowed to retain St Jerome’s distinction as to these books, and offers to sacrifice them with no advantage to anybody, since the Church of Rome accepts them, while the Anglican Church nowhere definitely rejects them save in the discredited sixth Article.

Cardwell says that the Articles which had been passed by Convocation did not receive the Queen’s sanction till February 1563, when, according to Coke, they were ratified under her Sign Manual.[12] It does not appear that any question was raised or that any discussion took place on the critical Article in question.

The discussion on the whole of the Articles was indeed very short, and they were accepted virtually in the form brought before Convocation by Archbishop Parker.

This is not so strange in regard to most of the contents of the fateful document, for it in the main reiterated the previous Articles of Edward VI; but in regard to the article dealing with the biblical Canon there had never, so far as I can discover, been any discussion whatever, either in Convocation or in other ways, and the matter was quite new. No wonder that its language was contradictory and unintelligible, for men of very different views had to be reconciled.

One class of them doubtless felt bound by the decisions of the primitive Church in the matter, for their claim was that the authority of the English Church was largely based upon its continuity with the Church of the Apostles. Another class doubtless felt that a real difficulty had arisen, since the great mass of those in sympathy with the Reformation had learnt to look upon the Canon contained in the current Bibles as authoritative.

The fact is that the position had been hopelessly compromised. For thirty years the Bible in English had been widelydisseminated and read. It had been by special royal injunctions ordered to be kept in every parish church, and had become a most familiar book to everybody, priest and layman alike. In every edition of it which had been circulated in Britain the old Church Canon had been abandoned in favour of the Jewish Canon, and a certain number of books had been separated from the rest and printed apart and given the opprobrious name of Apocrypha.

No one in authority had raised any question about it, and the matter was therefore tacitly accepted everywhere as settled, at least by the laity and simple people, that in some way or other there had been excellent reasons for the change. They did not realize that the only reason in fact for what had happened was that Coverdale and his successors had in this matter followed the lead of their foreign teachers, the continental reformers.

As the Canon thus initiated in England had been introduced and officially sanctioned by the royal head of the Church in the days when nearly all men still remained Catholics, it is not surprising that Parker and his brethren, who were in much closer alliance and sympathy with the continental reformers than were Henry VIII’s bishops, should have been prepared to accept their Canon as they accepted so much else from the same source.

It would probably have caused a great deal of questioning and heartburning among men if Convocation had now definitely and frankly reverted to the older Church Canon instead of following that contained in the modern English Bibles, and notably in the Great Bible which had a special official sanction.

At all events it is plain that Convocation passed without comment an Article full of ambiguity committing the English Church on the one hand to the view on the Canon contained and embodied in Coverdale’s Bible, and on the other to a position which the Church of Rome might have adopted at Trent.

The pronouncement on the subject in the Articles is, as we have seen, anything but clear and consistent, and in fact very much the reverse. In the one case the appeal is to the universal adhesion of the Church, and in the other merely to common usage in 1563.

In both cases there is ambiguity. It cannot be truthfully said that the Church had never doubted any of the so-called Canonical books, the fact being quite the reverse; nor can it be said there was unanimity in 1563 in regard to the reception even of all the books in the New Testament declared to be Canonical in the Articles. Four of them had been treated in several English Bibles which followed in the wake of Luther as of inferior authority to the rest. The reference to the so-called Apocryphal books of the Old Testament is also ambiguous. Those enumerated are very few, and the list is clearly not meant to be complete, but only a sample: ut sunt is the phrase with which they are headed, and, as we shall see, seven additional books were added in the edition of 1571.

Apart from these ambiguities the definite statement above quoted from the Articles in regard to the Canon, in so far as a sharp distinction is drawn between Canonical books and apocryphal, is one that was quite unknown to the official decisions of the Church on the subject. It is contrary to the distinct pronouncements and Canons of the Councils of early times where no such distinctions are to be found;

and it treats with despite and contumely alike the Bible of Christ and the Bible of Josephus in favour of what we now know to have been the delusive and unfounded theories of Jerome about the origin and authority of the Jewish Canon.

In the year 1568 there was published anew edition of the English Bible known as the Bishops’ Bible, from the fact that the revision it embodied was largely the handiwork of the bishops. The Apocrypha occurs in it without any apology or explanation,

But with a separate title-page entitled ‘The volume of the bookes called Apocrypha, contayning these bookes folowing’. The list includes the Prayer of Manasses. The list of books at the beginning is curiously headed ‘Apocryphus’. The third book of Maccabees is excluded from it. The books of the New Testament are arranged in this Bible in the old order and not in that of Luther. The Bishops’ Bible now replaced the Great Bible as the official text to be read in churches.

In the instructions to the translators of this Bible they were especially admonished to follow the common English translation used in the churches, that is the Great Bib]e, and not to recede from it ‘but where it varieth manifestly from the Hebrew or Greek original’.[13]

To the preface in the Bishops’ Bible is the heading ‘The summe of the whole Scripture, of the bookes of the olde and new Testament’. The Old Testament books have the heading ‘The order of the bookes of the olde Testament’. They are divided into four sections, each with a special heading, the last of which is prefaced ‘

The fourth part of the Bible called Apocryphus’. This fourth part has a separate title-page headed ‘The volume of the bookes called Apocrypha, contayning these bookes folowing ‘ &c. In all these respects the so-called Apocrypha are treated as integral parts of the Bible.

This Bible never received the royal sanction, and the claim to be ‘set foorth by aucthoritie’ made by the editions of 1574 and 1575 must refer, as Dr Lupton says, to the sanction of Convocation in 1571, which was apparently a mere order to have it put in the churches as the Great Bible had been before. In April 1571, in fact, the Convocation of Canterbury ordered a copy of the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 to be placed in every cathedral and, as far as possible, in every church, and every ecclesiastical dignitary was told to exhibit a copy in his house.[14]

This is the first time in our Church history when any English Bible was given a form of official ecclesiastical sanction outside the mere royal licence. The actual words of the critical Canon in which it occurs are therefore worth quoting; it says: Quivis Archiepiscopus et episcopus habebit domi suae Sacra Biblia in amplissimo voluntine, uti nuperrime Londini excusa sunt.

These Bibles with the Monumenta Martyrum and other religious books were to be placed vel in aula vel in grandi coenaculo ut et ipsorum famulis et advenis usui esse possint . . . Eosdem illos libros quos proxime diximus decanus quisque curabit emi, et locari in ecclesia sua cathedrali eiusmodi in loco, ut a vicariis et minoribus canonicis et ministris ecclesiae et ab advenis et peregrinis commode audiri et legi possint.

In 1571 a new edition of the Articles revised by Bishop Jewel and duly subscribed by Convocation both in Latin and English was also issued with the royal sanction. In this edition, being the text still current, seven books were added to the Apocrypha not contained in the Articles of 1562, namely,

‘Liber Tobiae, Reliquum libri Hester, Baruch Propheta, Canticum trium puerorum, Historia Susannae, De Bel et Dracone, Oratio Manasses’. ‘Hester’ is omitted in Dr Lamb’s notice of the changes,[15] In this edition again the books treated as deutero-canonical are still preceded by the ambiguous words ut sunt, or, as they are translated, ‘such are these folowing ‘.

The form of the article in question is that still accepted by the Church, and it is obviously inconsistent with the very foundation of the Anglican position which is that the English Church is no new Church, but has a continuous and unbroken tie with the Church of primitive times. If that pretension is to be justified it ought assuredly to cover the question of the Bible Canon.

The primitive Church as it speaks through the early Councils knows no such distinction as is made in Article VI between the Canonical books of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha, nor can the distinction be supported by an appeal to the earliest Christian Bibles, in which the books included by the Articles of the Church as apocryphal are accepted as being as fully canonical as the rest. The position in fact is most inconsequent, and should be faced by those who are responsible for giving the Anglican Church a consistent status in regard to its Bible.

We now reach a time when the influence of the more moderate continental reformers on the English Church was giving place to more drastic and revolutionary suggestions which were being pressed by the more extreme and perhaps more logical Puritans. Among these the most persistent and able was Thomas Cartwright, who, in his famous controversy with Whitgift says:

‘Whereupon it appeareth that it is not so well ordained in the Church of England, where both homilies and Apocrypha are read, especially when as divers chapters of the books called Apocrypha are lifted up so high, that they are sometimes appointed for extraordinary lessons upon feast days whereon the greatest assembiles be made and some of the chapters of the Canonical scriptures (as certain chapters of the Apocalypse) quite left out, and not read at all’.

To this Whitgift replied: ‘The apocrypha that we read in the Church have been so used of long time; as it may appear in that third council of Carthage and 47th canon, where they be reckoned among the canonical books of the Scriptures, They may as well be read in the church, as counted portions of the Old and New Testament; and, forasmuch as there is nothing in them contrary to the rest of the Scripture I see no inconvenience but much commodity that may come by the reading of them.’ [16]

This reply was first published in 1572. The archbishop was attacked by other Puritan champions and notably by their fiery mouthpiece John Penry, better known as Martin Marprelate. Like others of this school, he felt uneasy that there should be any books in the Bible save those which he held to be absolutely inspired.

The Bible was the rock on which Puritanism built its polity, and to mix the sacred and unimpeachable books known as canonical with others having no such sanction was rank blasphemy. He accordingly, in one of his tracts published in 1589 attacked Archbishop Whitgift for insisting on the Apocrypha being issued with the other Bible books. To this attack Whitgift replied in vigorous language, which is reported by Strype.

The archbishop said he had given the commandment and ‘meant to see it observed: asking, who ever separated the Apocrypha from the rest of the Bible from the beginning of Christianity to that day? Or what Church in the world, reformed or other, did it at that present? And shall we, added he, suffer this singularity in the Church of England, to the advantage of the adversary, offence of the godly, and contrary to all the world besides?’

He said ‘he knew there was great difference between the one and the other; yet that all learned men had from the beginning given to the Apocrypha authority, next to the Canonical Scriptures. And therefore that such giddy heads as thought to deface them were to be bridled, and that it was afoul shame and not to be suffered, that such speeches should be uttered against those books as by some had been; enough to cause ignorant people to discredit the whole Bible.’[17]

This controversy shews us plainly how far the movement in regard to the Judaizing of the Christian Canon had progressed among the Puritans at the end of the sixteenth century. It was reflected in the Bible texts, for in a series of Genevan Bibles published in 1599 mainly at Geneva, as my friend Mr Moule has pointed out to me, we for the first time actually find copies of the Bible in which the Apocrypha is excluded altogether.

This was apparently the work of the binders. In one copy in the Bible Society’s collection the titles of the Apocryphal books occur at the beginning of the Bible, although crossed out in ink, but the sheets containing the Apocrypha seem to have been dropped out by the binder, for we jump in their numeration from qq to aaa, passing from Malachi to the New Testament. This seems to be the first recorded omission of the so-called Apocrypha from any copy of the English Bible.

In 1604 a revised edition of the Prayer Book was publIshed in which the preface to that of 1549 was retained and the Lectionary was also in large part retained also, the principal change being an addition to, and not a reduction of, the so-called apocryphal writings read as lessons, and therefore treated as Holy Scripture.

This change was a concession made to the Puritans at the Hampton Court Conference where they protested against the use of certain passages from the Apocrypha which were said to be contrary to other parts of Holy Writ. The king asked them to point these out,

and, in consequence, after the termination of the Conference, he issued a commission to the Bishops to make certain alterations in the Book of Common Prayer. In conformity with the agreement that had been arrived at, we are told it was ordered that ‘the Apocrypha which had any repugnancy to the Canonical Scripture should not be read, but other places chosen’.

Certain changes were accordingly made in the table of lessons. Thus, on the festival of the Conversion of St Paul, Wisdom 5 and 6 are substituted for Genesis 46 and 47 ; on the Purification, Wisdom 9 and 12 for Exodus 12 and 13; on St Matthias’s day,

Wisdom 19 and Ecclesiasticus 1 for Numbers 33 and 34; on the Annunciation, Ecclus. 2 and 3 for Joshua 21 and 22; on St Mark’s day, Ecclus. 4 and 5 for 2 Kings 3 and 4; on SS. Philip and James’s day, Ecclus. 7 and 9 for 2 Kings 15 and 16; on St Barnabas’ day, Ecclus. 10 and 12 for Esther 3 and 4; on St Peter’s day, Ecclus. 15 and 19 for Job 31

and 32; on St James’s day, Ecclus. 21, 22 for Eccles. 10, 11; on St Bartholomew’s day, Ecclus. 25 and 29 for Ezekiel 3 and 6 ; on St Matthew’s and St Michael’s days, Ecclus. 35 and 38 and 39 and 44 respectively for Micah 1 and 2 and Zech. 7 and 8.[18] To August 26 this note was added : ‘the 13. of Daniel, touching the History of Susanna, is to be read vntil these words: And King Astyages, &c.’

The same day at Evening prayer Proverbs 30 was substituted for Daniel 14 concerning Bel and the Dragon. On October 1st instead of Tobit 6 a portion of Exodus 6 was appointed at morning prayer, and in the evening Joshua 20 was to be read for Tobit 8.

All this is assuredly most difficult to equate with the sixth Article, and is, in fact, irreconcilably inconsistent with it as it is consistent with the traditional position of the English Church. In Canon 80, issued in the same year, we read Si quae ecclesiae, vel Bibliis amplissimi voluminis, vel homiliarum libris publica auctoritate approbatis adhuc carebunt, praefati oeconomi similiter efficient, ut dicti libri parochianorum impensis infra tempus idoneum coemantur.

When King James’s Bible, so long known as the Authorized Version, was prepared and issued in 1611 the body of translators do not seem to have given any special thought to the question of the Canon; their efforts being directed only to the revision of the text.

In regard to the Canon they no doubt felt themselves bound and committed by ‘the Articles’ and they seem to have forgotten their Prayer Books, and to have taken over the English Bible as they found it in the official copies, which were so widely and indeed so universally distributed, and accordingly separated the so-called apocryphal books from those which were treated as canonical.

The translators could hardly do otherwise, since they were especially instructed to make the Bishops’ Bible the basis of their edition, just as the editors of the latter were similarly bidden to follow the Great Bible. There is no special title-page, preface, or table of contents to the Apocryphal books in this Bible.

They are merely headed with the general word Apocrypha, and the same word is used as a running title at the head of every page. In the table of lessons at the beginning they are included in the general title of Old Testament.

The translation of these so-called Apocryphal books was very carelessly done. It is a further remarkable fact that no evidence exists that King James’s version received any definite ecclesiastical or legislative sanc- tion. As Eadie says there can be found for it ‘no Edict of Convocation, no Act of Parliament, no decision of the Privy Council, no Royal Proclamation’ (The English Bible ii 204). It would seem that the practice of issuing copies of the Bible without the Apocrypha being bound up with it continued, for in the year 1615 we find Archbishop Abbot forbidding any stationer to issue a Bible without the Apocrypha, under penalty of a year’s imprisonment.[19]

In 1640 an edition of the Genevan version of the EnglIsh Bible appeared at Amsterdam, to which my attention has been called by Mr Moule; and in this for the first time the apocryphal books were deliberately omitted from an English Bible. An elaborate apology for this omission is inserted between Malachi and the books of the New Testament, and is expressly said to be taken ‘from the Dutch Bible recently published ‘.

The Dutch Bible thus referred to was no doubt the famous Bible ordered by the Synod of Dort to be prepared and issued, which appeared in 1637 under the special authority of the States-General. In this and subsequent editions of the Dutch Bible the Apocrypha is printed in a kind of appendix at the end of the work,

and is preceded by the long apologia just referred to, which was translated from Dutch and inserted in the English Bible of 1640 above referred to. In the latter, however, the Apocrypha are omitted, the exordium only occurring.

In 1643 Dr Lightfoot, when preaching before the House of Commons, complained of the use of the apocryphal writers, and inter alia said:

‘Thus meetly and nearly should the two Testaments join together, and thus divinely would they kiss each other, but that the wretched Apocrypha did thrust in between.’ ‘Like the two cherubins in the Temple oracle,’ he continues, ‘the law and the gospel would touch each other did not this patchery of human invention divorce them asunder’ (Salmon Gen. Intr. xxxvii).

The next year the Parliament issued regulations about public worship and ordered that all the Canonical books of the Old and New Testaments (but none of those which are commonly called Apocrypha) were to be publicly read in the vulgar tongue.

The Westminster Confession of 1648 contains a statement about the Canon shewing how far the English Nonconformists had then gone in their rejection of the Apocrypha. It runs thus:

‘The books commonly called Apocrypha not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of the Scripture, and therefore are of no authority in the Church of God, nor to be in any other wise approved or made use of, than other human writings.’ This, as Dr F. C. Porter says, meant the exclusion of the Apocrypha from the Bible and from use in Church service.

The famous and very authoritative edition of the Book of Common Prayer, which in most matters controls the present practice of the Church, was issued in 1662. In this Prayer Book, as in previous ones, almost the entire lectionary (in so far as it is derived from the Old Testament) in October and November, is taken from the so-called Apocrypha. Not only so, but in addition to the books of Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and Baruch, Bel and the Dragon is also drawn upon.

The number of days on which the first lesson was to be taken from the so-called Apocrypha was in fact increased in this edition of the Prayer Book from 54 to 62. This assuredly shews what opinion the great Caroline divines held in reference to these books, for they were retained in the Lectionary in spite of the sixth Article and in spite of the strong efforts of the puritanical party at the Savoy Conference entirely to exclude them from the Bible.

In 1666 there was published a Bible by Field, at Cambridge, entitled ‘The Old and New Testament without the Apocrypha’.

Meanwhile the exclusion of the Apocrypha was warmly advocated, notwithstanding the protests of Hooker and Andrewes and Dean Jackson who wrote in favour of the continued use of the same books. Inter alia Jacksons ays, speaking of 1 Maccabees xiii 33-52, ‘He that will compare these and many other passages in this grave writer with the 9th of the prophet Zechariah, will perceive . . . that this book though apocryphal, did not deserve to be left out in the new impressions, or binding up of the Bible’.

The exclusion of the Apocrypha came to be more and more favoured among the English Nonconforming bodies, and numerous Bibles in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries occur without the Apocrypha, and it is perhaps not singular that the first Bible printed in America, which appeared in the years 1782-3, should not have included the Apocrypha.

The process of exclusion at length reached a special crisis which caused a great deal of heartburning in the Bible Society, and led to the formation of another Bible Society beyond the Tweed.

In 1826 the Bible Society in fact, urged on by the more extravagant Evangelicals and Nonconformists, and especially by its president, Lord Teignmouth, whose rhetorical phrases included the denunciation of ‘the mixture of the works of man with those of God’ and by the Scotch Presbyterians, decided not to print or circulate in future any edition of the Old Testament contaning the Apocrypha, and to refuse assistance to anyone preparing any such copy.

This example was followed by the various Protestant sects of the Continent, except the Lutherans (both in Scandinavia and Germany), and was in effect followed by the English universities which had the exclusive privilege of issuing the Bible. Thus it came about that a considerable part of the Bible, as received by St Augustine and as generally accepted, so far as we know, by the Western Church in the first four centuries, was finally evictcd from that work by the Society which has done most to circulate the Bible all over the world.

The Bible Society has found itself in consequence in the extraordinary position of not being able to circulate the Bible among the Christians of Greece and Syria, of Russia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and Norway, since in all these countries Bibles without the so-called Apocrypha are treated as mutilated and impious.

It is an interesting fact that at the Coronation of our present King, when the same Society offered to supply the Bible for the ceremony, the copy was rejected by Archbishop Temple on the ground that it did not contain the Apocrypha, and was therefore a mutilated and imperfect Bible.

Meanwhile, the responsible authorities of the English Church in the year 1867 caused another breach with primitive times by a needless and arbitrary revolution in the Lectionary. Our table of Lessons had largely survived the fierce controversies of three centurics, and had remained as a potent witness of the Canon accepted by the Church at least since the days of St Augustine.

Inspired by a quite mistaken view as to primitive theory and practice its guardians ejected from the table of Lessons of the English Church a large number of those taken from the so-called Apocrypha, and substituted for them lessons which however excellent lacked the flavour of very old associations and thus deprived us of a continual protest against a mutilated Bible and in favour of the Bible used by Christ and His apostles.

The number of days on which lessons from the Apocrypha were prescribed was in fact reduced from 66 to 23. Under what pretence any lessons at all from the Apocrypha were retained when this sacrifice was made I do not know. The partial concession to a most retrograde prejudice, to whatever motive it was due, was assuredly illogical and inconsequent.

The American Prayer Book, while retaining the lessons from the Apocrypha to be read on Saints’ days, has expunged the rest. When the Irish Church, on the other hand, was disestablished and a new Prayer Book was introduced it is perhaps not strange that a more logical if deplorable conclusion was adopted and the so-called apocryphal books entirely disappeared from its pages.

A few years later the translation of the English Bible of 1611 was revised. The revision of the Apocrypha was then treated as an after-thought. This also is not to be wondered at considering the rabbinical and quite obsolete theories of exegesis and criticism which governed the revising Committee of the Old Testament.

In the corresponding revision in America the so-called apooryphal books were entirely omitted. This then is the later history of what those who have most at heart the justification of the historic position of the English Church must deplore as a continuous movement in a retrograde direction.

In conclusion, whatever excuse the Lutherans and Calvinists of the Continent may have had for treating the so-called apocryphal books as non-canonical, it seems to me that that excuse cannot cover the position of the Church of England, whose polity was not a product of the sixteenth century, but is based on the practices and theories of the primitive Church.

It seems plain, in fact, from the analysis above given of the attitude of the English Church in regard to the Canon of the Bible that it has been inconsequent from the beginning. The raison d’etre of the Anglican communion is, that it is founded on the primitive traditions of the first centuries, before the Christian Church was rent asunder, and it appeals to those primitive times to justify its constitution, its ritual, and its faith.

Above all therefore should it be found in unison with the accepted theories of the earlier centuries on such a critical matter as the Canon of the Bible.

Instead of this it accepted, or rather allowed to have forced upon it by the entirely private and irresponsible men who first translated its Bible, a Bible Canon which had no adequate warrant from antiquity, but had been devised and accepted by the German reformers, and was defended by them on grounds entirely inconsistent with its own theories.

When it thus adopted the foreign and in essence modern Canon, which it ambiguously professes in its Articles to accept, it did so, as far as we know, without any due enquiry and discussion, although the burden of proof was clearly upon the champions of change.

No traces of any such examination of the problem are to be found in its literature. The change was one indorsed ongrounds of mere expediency, or perhaps it was made unwittingly at a time when the real theological fight was on other issues which absorbed men’s attention to the exclusion of matters of more lasting moment like this. It is surely time that the matter should be reconsidered and rediscussed.

At least let us revert to the practice so ably defended by Archbishop Whitgift and Archbishop Abbot (assuredly no champions of retrograde theories in these matters) of including the so-called apocryphal books in our editions of the Bible, and not pursue the road along which we were driven when the fanaticism of the ill-informed Scotch Puritans compelled the Bible Society to eject some of its most reputable contents from the English Bible, and thus to circulate it everywhere in a mutilated form.

Perhaps on another occasion I may be permitted to complete this analysis by an examination of the co-ordinate problem of the early history of the Canon among the continental reformers, and of the arguments by which that Canon has been defended.

Henry H. Howorth


I. – It is a noteworthy fact that when the Bible Society took the very drastic step of excluding the so-called apocryphal books from the Bible it was strongly opposed by the most learned and responsible evangehcal divines in the country. A very influential protest came especially from Cambridge, signed by the following very noteworthy names:-

J. Lamb,.Master of C.C.C.; S. Lee, Prof. of Arabic; F. Thackeray D.D.; Wm. Farish D.D., Jack Prof;. A. Sedwick, Woodw. Prof.; C.Simeon; C. King, Preb. of Ely; J. Scholefield, Fellow of Jesus and Secretary of the Cambridge branch of the Bible Society; L. Richmond; W. Clark ;

W. Mandell, Fellow of Caius College; H. P. Elliot, Fellow of Trinity; G. Milman; J. Lodge, Librarian of the University; Baptist V. Noel; T. Platt, Fellow of Trinity; G. Cosin, Fellow and Tutor of Cath. Hall ; W. Trigg; E. Edwards; S. Hawkes, Fellow of Trinity; H. Viner, Fellow of Queens’; H. Sperling; W. H. Mark by; S. Carr, Fellow of Queens’; W. Cecil, Fellow of Magdalene; H. Godfrey, President of Queens’.

NOTE 2. – I cannot in conclusion refrain from adding a note to express my admiration of, and indebtedness to, the ideal bibliography of the English Bible by Messrs Darlow and Moule, to the next edition of which I hope I may have contributed some new facts.


[1] The name is so spelt in the only autograph of Tindale extant.

[2] Ellis Hist. Lett. 3rd ser. ii 7 seq.

[3] Wilkins iii 769-770 and 776; Strype Cranmer, ed. 1840, i p. 34; see also Calendar of State Papers of Henry VIII, 1534, p. 581.

[4] See letter of Chapuys, date Feb. 25, 1536, and that of De Ortez in the Calendar of State Papers of Henry VIII, vol. x p. 287.

[5] The Elector of Saxony, the head of the ‘Lutheran league, similarly declared that Henry’s only object in the Reformation was to become head of the Church. This was no more than the Lutherans themselves did when they constituted their temporal rulers summi Episcopi:

We can hardly doubt that but for Henry’s insistence on this claim, combined with his determined orthodoxy in doctrinal matters, the Enghsh Church would at this time under the influence of Cromwell and Cranmer have adopted the Augsburg Confession and become Lutheran.

It is perfectly plain also that If Henry was to give the character of strict legality to his divorce, the enforcement of which was his only quarrel with Rome, he must either deny or appropriate the Pope’s dispensing power in matrimonial causes.

[6] Westcott English Bible, ed. A. Wright, 71.

[7] Strype Eccl. Mem. i 546.

[8] The former Bible is also dated 1541 on the title-page, but November 1540 in the colophon. It would seem that on Cromwell’s death, which took place at this time, there was some delay in bringing out this edition, and that the names of the two bishops on its title-page mean little more than that there was a necessity for some one in authority to license the Bible in the place of Cromwell, for the alterations in it are few and unimportant. It is noteworthy that in these two Bibles Cromwell’s arms on the title-page are also erased.

[9] Foxe Acts and Monuments, ed. Townsend-Pratt, v p. 412.

[10] Cardwell Synodalia i pp. 31 sq.

[11] See Pusey Eirenicon III (1865) pp. 150-156.

[12] Cardwell Synodalia i pp. 31 sq.

[13] Parker’s Correspondence p. 336 note.

[14] Cardwell Synodalia pp. 115, 123.

[15] Ibid. i pp. 76 sq.

[16] The defence of the answer to the admonition against the reply of T. C., Tract 21.

[17] Strype Life and Acts of John Whitgift iii 22.

[18] [These proper lessons were in fact provided in the Prayer Book of 1559, in addition to the lessons of the ferial course on the same days. In the Kalendar of 1561 the course was modified and readjusted so as to leave these days vacant for the exclusive use of the propers; and Tobit was begun on Sept. 28 instead of Oct. 5. In 1604 the changes following in the text were made; and Ecclus. 22 was substituted for Ecclus. 23 on the evening of S. James’s day – F. E. B.]

[19] See Arber Transcripts of the Registers of the Stationers’ Co. vol. v p. xlix.