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A History of the English Bible as Literature

Part of A History of the Bible as Literature

  • Date Published: August 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521771405

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  • Revised and condensed from David Norton's acclaimed A History of the Bible as Literature, this book, first published in 2000, tells the story of English literary attitudes to the Bible. At first jeered at and mocked as English writing, then denigrated as having 'all the disadvantages of an old prose translation', the King James Bible somehow became 'unsurpassed in the entire range of literature'. How so startling a change happened and how it affected the making of modern translations such as the Revised Version and the New English Bible is at the heart of this exploration of a vast range of religious, literary and cultural ideas. Translators, writers such as Donne, Milton, Bunyan and the Romantics, reactionary Bishops and radical students all help to show the changes in religious ideas and in standards of language and literature that created our sense of the most important book in English.

    • Condensation and revision for a popular market of a major Cambridge book
    • Only up-to-date book on the subject
    • For general readers as well as students of the Bible and of literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A most instructive and fascinating work.' Expository Times

    'David Norton's long book fills a large gap very well: so well, in fact, being comprehensive and especially well written, that one hears of it being recommended to classes, by default, as a history of translations. His story is remarkable. It is compelling reading as a study of literary positions in successive centuries.' Reformation

    'The clarity and drive of Norton's own writing happily matches the fulness of his material: though too well-mannered to raise his voice, he successfully challenges the now-fashionable dismissal of the English Bible from history.' Oxford Academic Journals

    'The clarity and drive of Morton's writing happily matches the fulness of his material … he successfully challenges the now-fashionable dismissal of the English bible from history.' The Journal of Theological Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2000
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521771405
    • length: 524 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 158 x 33 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Creators of English
    2. From the Great Bible to the Rheims-Douai Bible: arguments about language
    3. The King James Bible
    4. Literary implications of Bible presentation
    5. The struggle for acceptance
    6. The Psalter in verse and poetry
    7. The eloquentest book in the world'
    8. Writers and the Bible 1: Milton and Bunyan
    9. The early eighteenth century and the KJB
    10. Mid-century
    11. The critical rise of the KJB
    12. Writers and the Bible 2: the Romantics
    13. Literary discussion to mid-victorian times
    14. The revised version
    15. 'The Bible as literature'
    16. The later reputation of the KJB
    17. The New English Bible.

  • Author

    David Norton, Victoria University of Wellington

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