This Day in Information (Extra): The First Complete English Bible

Today in 1535, the first complete English-language edition of the Bible, translated by Miles Coverdale, was printed in Antwerp. It was printed in England 3 years later. The significance of this event is summarized by Liah Greenfeld in Nationalism: “..the reading of the Bible planted and nurtured among the common people in England a novel sense of human – individual – dignity, which was instantly to become one of their dearest possessions, to be held dearer than life and jealously protected from infringement. This was a momentous development. Not only has it awakened thousands of individuals to sentiments which common people nowhere had experienced before, and gave them a position from which they were to view their social world in a new way, but it opened a new, vast terrain to the possible influence of the national idea and at once immediately broadened the population potentially susceptible to its appeal. .. The masses… would find in their Englishness the right and guarantee of the new status to which they were elevated by self-respect and see their individual destinies as linked to the destiny of the nation.”

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