Vernacular Translations of Scripture in England and Lithuania before the 17th Century

In: Lithuanian Historical Studies
Author: S.C. Rowell
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This article gives a general survey of the development of a need among Lithuanian Catholics at the end of the fifteenth century for access to religious literature and especially Scripture in the vernacular (for sake of convenience, in Ruthenian translation). The work of Francis Skorina is examined in this context as a distant forerunner of Chylinski’s first published translation of the Bible into Lithuanian. The development of vernacular translations of parts of Holy Writ into Anglo-Saxon, Anglo- Norman and English are presented in very broad outline, culminating in the Roman Catholic and Anglican versions of the English Bible in the late sixteenth century and 1610. A reminder is given that merely having a text in the vernacular does not mean that such a text is available to all and understood by all.

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