Letter: The threat from the Bible

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Rev Gilbert Markus (letter, 1 December) has completely missed the point of Luther's translations of the Bible. His was not a translation of St Jerome's Latin Vulgate, it was a new translation of the Greek and Hebrew originals, of which the Vulgate itself was a translation.

Erasmus had produced a printed edition of the Greek Testament in 1516. Luther and Tyndale followed this in 1522 and 1526 respectively with translations of it into German and English. Martin Luther managed to complete his Bible by translating the Old Testament from the Greek and Hebrew, bypassing the Vulgate and going back to the original texts. Tyndale was not so lucky, he was burnt at the stake before he could complete his Old Testament.

It was these translations of the Bible from the original languages that outraged the Roman Catholic Church, making it feel threatened, not new translations of St Jerome's Latin version of them.

Yours faithfully,

R. V. Wells

Widley, Hampshire

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