Our former director and dear friend, Professor Henry Ansgar “Andy” Kelly’s latest book, The Middle English Bible: A Reassessment, was just published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. His book traces the history of the translation of the Old and New Testaments into English from Latin in the late fourteenth century. Professor Kelly has also launched a website that offers detailed information about the book as well as high-resolution photos of important documents discussed in the book.
Traditionally it was thought that this translated Scripture was harshly suppressed, but was it? Professor Kelly outlines the ups-and-downs of the “Wycliffite” Bible, as it has come to be known, although Kelly suggests it should be called the Middle English Bible instead. The medieval Scripture translation was a great religious and literary achievement, and it is high time to recognize it for what it was, a nonpartisan attempt to make the word of God more understandable to more people.
“Few scholars are as skilled as Kelly in reading and interpreting scholastic and legal documents, and he has done a great service here in clearing up many points of confusion.”—Fiona Somerset, University of Connecticut