The Bible and the Renaissance

In the late Middle Ages, new factors had begun to make necessary a fresh and even greater and more successful movement for a greater availability of the Bible in the vernacular.

One of these main factors was the Renaissance, or re-birth of learning. This opened up in a new way the treasures of classical and patristic learning.

More than that, it also revived and extended the study of Greek and Hebrew, thus making possible a consultation of Scripture in the original languages. This was an immense advantage for scholarship since up till then the Bible was mainly available through Jeromeís Vulgate, which is certainly not free from translation error and inaccuracy.

The Renaissance therefore stimulated textual research with a view to the preparation of original editions. It brought a searching light to bear on the ignorance and corruption of the contemporary church and in so doing showed a need to return to the first springs, which were pure and uncontaminated.

Finally, it gave a sense of the value of learning, which filled scholars like Erasmus (within Romanism) with enthusiasm to make Scripture available to people of all ages, states, and countries. Outside of Romanism the story is even more exiting for Protestantism was replete with men of high scholarship, like Luther and Tyndale, who were intent to give the Bible to the people in their own tongue.

Thus a side-effect of the Renaissance (mainly a humanistic movement) was, under Godís wise providence,

1. An available Bible that could be hidden no more.

2. A far more accurate Bible, going to the sources.

3. A translated Bible, for all to read and understand in their own mother-tongue.