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It was what we now call a “study Bible,” and it enabled readers to drink deeply from the words of the prophets and Apostles without the mediation of priests or the church.More than any other Bible in English, the popular Geneva Bible liberated the word of God from its medieval past and placed it in the hands of hundreds of thousands of readers.It was also the Bible of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and was an important foundation of modern English.
The medieval Christian church, in contrast, taught that access to the Bible should be controlled by the church through the priests and that the only legitimate Bible was the Latin Vulgate translation that had been in use in the church for a thousand years—though very few Christians could read it. Tyndale knew that the original Hebrew and Greek texts, in the words of the ancient prophets and Apostles themselves, were more authoritative than any man-made translation could be.
William Tyndale (1494–1536) is the father of the English Bible; unfortunately, however, few Latter-day Saints know of him and of his profound contributions to the scriptures. In violation of the law and in constant danger of imprisonment and death, Tyndale translated and published parts of the Bible into English and created the translation from which much of the King James Version ultimately descended. Tyndale, like Martin Luther and other Reformers of their time, believed that the Bible should be in the language of the people and available to believers individually.
The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in the everyday spoken languages of the ancient Israelites and the early Christians. But because few readers today know those languages, we must rely on translations and hope the translators conveyed accurately the words, thoughts, and intents of the original writers as recorded on the original manuscripts.
Jackson was a professor of ancient scripture at BYU when this was written. Judd was an assistant professor of ancient scripture at BYU when this was written. Seely was a professor of ancient scripture at BYU when this was written.
And he knew that the manuscripts in those languages that were closest to the writers’ originals should be the sources from which translations should come.