A Chronology of the English Bible

I am grabbing the list below from this site (a great site for lots of information on Bible translations, etc). Some of the information in this list is a little strange, such as when so-and-so became President of the U.S., but it’s still interesting to anyone who loves history. I am thinking it should be titled “An Historical Chronology of Christendom and Post-Christendom with the Inclusion of Significant English Bible Translations.”

Listing the events in the history of the English versions
of Scripture, and of the place of Scripture
in the church and in society.

  • 440. Roman legions withdraw from Britain.
  • 450. Anglo-Saxon invasions and settlement of Britain displace the native Celts in the south.
  • 597. Pope Gregory sends missionaries to Ethelbert of Kent, in the southeast of Britain.
  • 629. Mohammed becomes ruler of Mecca in Arabia, publishes the Koran.
  • 633. Christian churches in Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem are seized by Mohammedans and turned into mosques.
  • 669. Theodore of Tarsus becomes archbishop of Canterbury, promotes episcopal hierarchy and Roman culture in the south of Britain.
  • 670. The herdsman Caedmon in northern Britain composes poems based on Biblical narratives in Old English.
  • 700. Beowulf, Nordic epic poem, written about this time.
  • 768. Charlemagne begins rule in France.
  • 825. Vespasian Psalter gives interlinear Old English translation.
  • 856. Danes begin large scale invasion of eastern Britain. Destruction of monasteries there.
  • 878. King Alfred halts Danish invasion, divides Britain by treaty. Danes inhabit northeast half of Britain.
  • 900. Paris Psalter gives Old English version of the first fifty Psalms.
  • 924. Ethelstan becomes King and pursues conciliation and fushion with the Danes. Oda (a full-blooded Dane) appointed archbishop of Canterbury.
  • 950. Aldred (Bishop of Durham) writes Old English between the lines of the Lindisfarne Gospels.
  • 970. Faerman (Priest in Yorkshire) makes the first Old English version of the Gospel of Matthew in the Rushworth Gospels, based upon Aldred’s gloss.
  • 1000. England overwhelmed by new invasion of Danes. King Ethelred flees to allies in Normandy. Aelfric (Abbot in Oxfordshire) translates abridged Pentateuch and several other portions of Scripture into Old English. Wessex Gospels give first Old English version of all four gospels.
  • 1042. King Edward, brought up in Normandy, attempts to Normanize the English Court, appoints a Norman archbishop. Godwin (Earl of Wessex) opposes him and causes the deposition of the archbishop.
  • 1066. Norman conquest of Britain, sponsored by Pope Alexander II, destroys Old English literature, makes Norman French the language of the nobility.
  • 1150. Old English yields to Middle English as the common language of Britain.
  • 1200. Orm composes poetical paraphrase of Gospels and Acts in Middle English.
  • 1300. Midland Psalter gives metrical version of the Psalms in Middle English.
  • 1309. Pope Clement V moves the headquarters of the Papacy from Rome to Avignon under domination of the French King.
  • 1320. Richard Rolle’s Middle English Psalter.
  • 1330. Birth of John Wyclif.
  • 1340. Birth of Chaucer.
  • 1348. English replaces Latin as the medium of instruction in schools (except at Oxford and Cambridge).
  • 1360. Various gospel narratives translated into Middle English.
  • 1362. English replaces French as the language of law in England. English used for the first time in Parliament.
  • 1377. Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome.
  • 1378. French Cardinals create schism in the Roman Catholic Church by electing a rival Pope and returning to Avignon. Rival popes excommunicate one another.
  • 1380. Oxford professor John Wyclif publicly rejects Roman doctrine of transubstantiation, begins translating Latin Vulgate into English.
  • 1381. Peasants revolt in England. They seize London, but are soon overcome.
  • 1382. Wyclif expelled from his teaching post at Oxford for heresy. Completes translation of Bible with help of his students.
  • 1384. Death of Wyclif. His disciples continue to preach against the clergy, copy and sell manuscripts (mostly the Gospels).
  • 1388. Wyclif Bible revised by his student John Purvey.
  • 1400. Death of Chaucer.
  • 1401. English parliament decrees the burning of heretics. Statute is aimed against the followers of Wyclif, called Lollards
  • 1408. Arundelian Constitutions enacted by Convocation of bishops at Oxford forbids unauthorized translation, distribution, or public reading of the Scripture.
  • 1411. Bonfire of Wyclif’s writings at Oxford.
  • 1415. John Hus, the radical Bohemian reformer and advocate of Wyclif’s anti-clerical teachings, is burned at the stake.
  • 1417. Concil of Constance elects Martin V as Pope, and ends Roman Catholic schism.
  • 1450. Middle English yields to Early Modern English as the common language of Britain about now.
  • 1453. Moslems take Constantinople. Great exodus of Greek scholars from there to Western Europe, bringing with them Greek manuscripts of the Bible.
  • 1456. First printed book: Gutenberg Bible, containing the Latin text.
  • 1466. Birth of Erasmus.
  • 1476. First English book printed by William Caxton (The Recital of the Histories of Troy, translated from French).
  • 1478. Caxton prints Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
  • 1483. Birth of Martin Luther.
  • 1484. Birth of William Tyndale.
  • 1485. Henry Tudor becomes king Henry VII of England.
  • 1488. Birth of Miles Coverdale. • Hebrew Old Testament first printed by Jews at Soncino, Italy.
  • 1489. Birth of Thomas Cranmer.
  • 1491. Greek first taught at Oxford University.
  • 1496. John Colet gives lectures on Romans at Oxford.
  • 1499. Erasmus at Oxford.
  • 1500. Birth of John Rogers.
  • 1504. Birth of Matthew Parker.
  • 1505. Birth of Richard Taverner. • Birth of John Knox. • Luther enters the Augustinian Order.
  • 1506. New Cathedral of St. Peter begun in Rome (completed in 1590).
  • 1509. Henry VIII becomes king of England. • Birth of John Calvin. • Erasmus professor of Greek at Cambridge University.
  • 1510. William Tyndale at Cambridge.
  • 1514. Coverdale ordained.
  • 1515. Luther begins lectures on Romans at Wittenberg University. • Tyndale gets M.A. degree at Oxford.
  • 1516. Erasmus’ first Greek New Testament (First printed Greek New Testament).
  • 1517. Pope Leo X decrees preaching and sale of indulgences for the benefit of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. • Luther nails his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31. Reformation era begins.
  • 1518. Septuagint printed by Aldus in Italy. • Zwingli begins Reformation in Switzerland.
  • 1519. Erasmus’ 2nd Greek New Testament • Birth of Theodore Beza.
  • 1520. Luther excommunicated. • Tyndale goes home to Gloucester, begins translating.
  • 1522. First edition of Luther’s German New Testament • Parker at Cambridge. • Complutensian Polyglot (including Septuagint, Vulgate, Hebrew Old Testament) published. • Erasmus’ 3rd Greek New Testament • Tyndale goes to London in search of financial help.
  • 1524. Tyndale leaves England for Germany. • Peasants revolt in Germany. • William Whittingham born.
  • 1525. Tyndale’s English New Testament (first printed English text) published in Germany. • Rogers gets B.A. degree at Cambridge.
  • 1526. Copies of Tyndale’s New Testament enter England, many burned.
  • 1527. Erasmus’ 4th Greek New Testament
  • 1528. Coverdale preaches against the mass, is compelled to leave England.
  • 1529. Tyndale and Coverdale work together at Hamburg. • Luther’s Small Catechism. • Cranmer commissioned by king Henry to write a treatise justifying his divorce from Catherine.
  • 1530. Augsburg Confession.
  • 1531. Tyndale’s Pentateuch is published. • Zwingli killed in battle.
  • 1533. Cranmer made Archbishop of Canterbury, approves Henry’s divorce.
  • 1534. Tyndale’s New Testament and Pentateuch revised. • Henry VIII excommunicated by the Pope, severs English churches from Rome, becomes head of the Church of England without any intention of reforming it. • Cranmer petitions Henry for creation of an authorized English version. • Luther’s first complete German Bible. • Anabaptists establish short-lived socialist community at Münster. • Geneva becomes independent Protestant commonwealth.
  • 1535. Tyndale’s last revised New Testament • Tyndale betrayed to Roman Catholic authorities, charged with heresy and imprisoned. He continues to translate the historical books of the Old Testament • Coverdale’s Bible published in England. (first printed English Bible). • Erasmus’ 5th edition of the Greek.
  • 1536. Tyndale’s New Testament reprinted in England. • Tyndale condemned. He commits his manuscript to his friend John Rogers, and is burned at the stake. • Calvin publishes his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
  • 1537. “Matthew’s Bible” published by John Rogers in Germany, giving Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament, Pentateuch, and historical books of the Old Testament • John Calvin preaches in Geneva. • Matthew’s and Coverdale’s Bibles licensed for unhindered sale in England.
  • 1538. Coverdale in Paris editing Great Bible. • English bishops instructed to display largest English Bible in parish churches.
  • 1539. Coverdale returns to England. • Great Bible (dedicated to Henry VIII) published and authorized in England. • Taverner’s Bible (a revision of Matthew’s Bible) published. • English parliament adopts the Act of Six Articles, reaffirming various Roman Catholic teachings. “Lutherans” subjected to persecution.
  • 1540. 2nd edition of Great Bible with preface of Cranmer, called Cranmer’s Bible. • Coverdale, under pressure as a “Lutheran,” leaves England again.
  • 1543. English Parliament bans Tyndale’s version and all public reading of Bible by laymen.
  • 1545. Council of Trent convened.
  • 1546. Death of Luther. • Council of Trent decrees that the Latin Vulgate (with Apocryphal books) is authoritative version of Scripture. • Henry VIII bans Coverdale version. • Stephens publishes his first Greek New Testament
  • 1547. Death of Henry VIII. • Edward VI becomes king of England. • Parliament repeals the anti-Protestant Act of Six Articles, and removes restrictions on printing and reading of English versions. Cranmer begins Protestant reformation of the Church of England. • Coverdale, Rogers return to England. • John Knox preaches Reformation in Scotland.
  • 1549. English Book of Common Prayer compiled by Cranmer. • Stephens’ 2nd Greek New Testament
  • 1550. Stephens’ 3rd Greek New Testament
  • 1551. Last edition of Matthew’s Bible. • Coverdale appointed bishop of Exeter. • Stephens’ 4th Greek New Testament
  • 1552. John Knox refuses offer to become an English bishop.
  • 1553. “Bloody” Mary Tudor becomes queen of England. • Last edition of Coverdale Bible.
  • 1554. Mary reverses the reforms of Edward and enforces Romanism in England. • Knox leaves England for Geneva.
  • 1555. John Rogers burned at the stake. • Cranmer burned at the stake. • Coverdale and other leading Protestants flee England for Geneva. • Peace of Augsburg ends wars between Lutherans and Romanists in Germany, legitimizes Lutheranism.
  • 1556. Beza’s Latin New Testament
  • 1557. William Whittingham’s English New Testament published in Geneva. English exiles there begin work on English Old Testament
  • 1558. Elizabeth becomes queen of England.
  • 1559. Elizabeth repudiates Romanism. Act of Supremacy makes her head of Church of England. Romanist bishops expelled. Coverdale and other leading Protestants return to England. Matthew Parker made Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • 1560. Geneva Bible with revised New Testament published by Whittingham in Geneva. • Whittingham returns to England. • Knox’s Scots Confession ratified by the Scottish parliament.
  • 1563. Whittingham made Dean of Durham. • Archbishop Parker and eight of his bishops begin work on the “Bishops’ Bible.” • Thirty-nine Articles of Religion adopted as doctrinal standard for Church of England. • Heidelberg Catechism published. • Apostolic Constitutions (ancient book of church order and dogma, purporting to be from the apostles) published by the Jesuit Turrianus.
  • 1564. Death of John Calvin. • Birth of Shakespeare.
  • 1565. Beza’s Greek-Latin New Testament
  • 1566. Last edition of Tyndale’s New Testament
  • 1567. Mary Stuart abdicates throne of Scotland, is succeeded by her son James under Protestant regency.
  • 1568. Bishops’ Bible (dedicated to Elizabeth) published by Archbishop Parker, and authorized for church use.
  • 1569. Last edition of Cranmer’s Great Bible. • Death of Coverdale.
  • 1571. Every bishop and cathedral in England ordered to have Bishops’ Bible.
  • 1572. Bishops’ Bible revised and published with the old Great Bible Psalter. • Antwerp Polyglot published. • Death of John Knox.
  • 1575. Death of Taverner and Parker. Parker succeeded as Archbishop of Canterbury by the strongly Calvinistic Edmund Grindal, who actively promotes the Geneva Bible during the next eight years.
  • 1578. Martin begins Rheims version of the New Testament (authorized Roman Catholic version, translated from the Vulgate).
  • 1579. Geneva Bible reprinted and authorized in Scotland. Every Scotch household of sufficient means is required by law to buy a copy. • Death of Whittingham.
  • 1580. Lutheran Formula of Concord.
  • 1582. Rheims New Testament (translated from the Latin) published by English Roman Catholics living in France. • Beza’s 2nd Greek New Testament
  • 1583. Grindal succeeded by John Whitgift as Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • 1587. Death of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
  • 1588. Destruction of Spanish Armada.
  • 1589. Beza’s 3rd Greek New Testament
  • 1592. Sixtine-Clementine Latin Bible.
  • 1598. Beza’s 4th Greek New Testament
  • 1602. Last edition of Bishops’ Bible.
  • 1603. James I made king of England.
  • 1604. English bishops and Puritan leaders meet with King James in the Hampton Court Conference. Revision of Bishops’ Bible proposed. King James nominates revision committee of 54 scholars. • First English dictionary published by Robert Cawdry.
  • 1605. English Romanists attempt to blow up Parliament in the “Gunpowder plot,” arousing great and lasting public indignation against Rome. • Death of Theodore Beza.
  • 1607. Work on King James Bible begun.
  • 1608. Pilgrim Fathers leave England for Holland.
  • 1609. Douay Old Testament (translated from the Latin) published by English Roman Catholics living in France.
  • 1611. King James Bible (dedicated to James) published and authorized in England.
  • 1615. Archbishop Abbot forbids printing of the Bible without Apocrypha.
  • 1616. Birth of John Owen. • Death of Shakespeare.
  • 1618. Beginning of Thirty Years War on Continent.
  • 1619. Synod of Dort condemns Arminianism as heresy, propounds five points of orthodox Calvinism.
  • 1620. Pilgrims land at Plymouth.
  • 1624. Elzevir’s first Greek New Testament • Louis Cappel publishes his opinion that the vowel points of the Hebrew text were added by rabbis in the fifth century.
  • 1625. Charles I (Romanist) made king of England.
  • 1627. William Ames’ Marrow of Theology spreads knowledge of Dutch Covenant Theology in England.
  • 1633. Elzevir’s 2nd Greek New Testament • William Laud (Romanist) is made Archbishop of Canterbury, begins to persecute Puritans. Forbids importation of the Geneva Bible.
  • 1643. Puritan Solemn League and Covenant for Reformation and Defense of Religion sworn throughout Scotland and England.
  • 1642. Parliament raises an army and makes war against the despotic king Charles and his Romanizing bishops. • Brian Walton (Romanist) deprived of office. • Parliament closes theaters of England.
  • 1643. Westminster Assembly convened.
  • 1645. Archbishop Laud put to death.
  • 1647. Westminster Confession published.
  • 1648. Parliament adopts the Westminster Confession of Faith, establishing Calvinistic doctrine and presbyterianism in England. • Buxtorf assails Cappel’s view of the Hebrew vowel points. • Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years War on the continent, legitimizes Calvinism.
  • 1649. King Charles I put to death. Cromwell rules as “Protector of the Commonwealth.” • John Owen (Puritan) preferred to offices. • George Fox disrupts church service in Nottingham, begins preaching Quakerism.
  • 1650. Louis Cappel’s book advocating critical reconstruction of the Hebrew text is published in Paris by his son Jean, after turning Roman Catholic. Publication of the work had been prevented by Cappel’s opponents in Protestant lands.
  • 1651. Thomas Hobbes’ The Leviathon.
  • 1657. Brian Walton publishes the London Polyglot with revision of Hebrew vowel points, several ancient versions, and appendix of various readings of the Greek manuscripts.
  • 1658. Death of Cromwell. • John Owen deprived of office.
  • 1659. Walton’s Polyglot assailed by John Owen.
  • 1660. Monarchy restored with king Charles II. • Walton made a bishop.
  • 1662. New England churches begin to admit unconverted members under the “Half-Way Covenant.”
  • 1665. Great Plague of London kills over 68,000.
  • 1666. Great Fire of London.
  • 1667. Milton writes Paradise Lost.
  • 1675. John Fell’s Greek New Testament with critical annotations. • Helvetic Consensus Formula maintains verbal inerrancy of Scripture, extending to vowel points in the traditional Hebrew text (against Cappel and Walton).
  • 1678. Bunyan writes Pilgrim’s Progress.
  • 1679. Publication of the first volume of Francis Turretin’s Institutio Theologiae Elencticae.
  • 1683. Death of John Owen.
  • 1685. Death of Charles II. He is succeeded by a Roman Catholic king, James II.
  • 1688. James II deposed by Parliament, and replaced by William of Orange, with regulation for Protestant succession and greatly enlarged powers of Parliament. Threat of Romanism forever ended in England.
  • 1689. Toleration Act of parliament grants freedom of worship to all Protestants except Unitarians. • Richard Simon (French Roman Catholic) publishes first treatise on textual criticism in Paris.
  • 1690. John Locke publishes his Essay concerning Human Understanding.
  • 1695. Abolition of censorship in England. • John Locke publishes The Reasonableness of Christianity as Delivered by the Scriptures.
  • 1697. Blasphemy Act of Parliament bars Unitarians, Deists and atheists from public office.
  • 1702. Publication in London of the first regular daily newspaper in English.
  • 1704. Publication of Sir Isaac Newton’s Optics marks the point at which significant scholarly work begins to appear in English instead of Latin.
  • 1705. Humphrey Hody’s De Bibliorum textis originalibus (“On the Original Text of the Bible”) thoroughly examines the text of the ancient versions and the ancient canon of Scripture.
  • 1707. John Mill’s annotated Greek New Testament displays 30,000 various readings of the Greek manuscripts. • England and Scotland are united under the name of United Kingdom of Great Britain.
  • 1711. William Whiston’s Primitive Christianity Revived.
  • 1714. Death of Matthew Henry.
  • 1720. Richard Bentley publishes his Proposals for critical revision of the Greek New Testament
  • 1725. Johann Albrecht Bengel publishes his prospectus for a critical revision of the Greek New Testament
  • 1726. Jeremiah Jones publishes first English translation of several “apocryphal New Testament” books in his New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament.
  • 1729. American Presbyterians constitute first Synod in Philadelphia, requiring subscription of ministers to “essential and necessary” doctrines of the Westminster Standards.
  • 1730. Wettstein’s treatise on textual criticism.
  • 1734. Bengel’s revised Greek New Testament with notes. • Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man.
  • 1739. John Wesley organizes the first Methodist Society, begins widespread preaching.
  • 1740. Frederick the Great becomes king of Prussia. German culture flourishes under his patronage. • George Whitefield draws large crowds in revivalistic preaching tour of American colonies.
  • 1741. Jonathan Edwards preaches Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. • George Frideric Handel composes The Messiah.
  • 1742. Bengel’s Greek textual commentary. • Height of “Great Awakening” revivalism in America.
  • 1743. First Bible printed in America at Germantown, Penn. (Luther Bible). • Revivalist James Davenport instigates public bonfire of Puritan books. End of “Great Awakening.”
  • 1745. William Whiston’s Primitive New Testament
  • 1750. Jonathan Edwards forced from his pastoral office for withholding Communion from the unsaved. • Death of Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • 1755. John Wesley’s New Testament revises the KJV with use of Bengel’s Greek New Testament • Samuel Johnson publishes his comprehensive Dictionary of the English Language.
  • 1769. “Oxford Standard Edition” of King James version published.
  • 1771. Francis Asbury arrives in America.
  • 1774. Griesbach’s critically revised Greek Testament.
  • 1775. J.S. Semler (the German “father of rationalism”) advocates re-examination of the Biblical canon in his Treatise on the Free Investigation of the Canon. • American Revolutionary War begins.
  • 1776. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.
  • 1783. American Revolutionary War ends. • First daily newspaper in America begins in Philadelphia.
  • 1784. Ethan Allen’s Reason the Only Oracle of Man rejects the authority of the Bible. • John Wesley organizes Methodists as a separate denomination in the American colonies, prepares his Twenty-Five Articles of Religion for their constitution. Francis Asbury appointed as general superintendent.
  • 1785. New York’s first daily newspaper begins.
  • 1786. Woide publishes facsimile of Codex Alexandrinus.
  • 1788. Birch’s collation of Codex Vaticanus in the Gospels published.
  • 1789. Federal Constitution ratified by American states. • French Revolution begins.
  • 1790. America has eight daily newspapers.
  • 1791. Death of John Wesley.
  • 1793. Reign of Terror in France. • Eli Whitney invents the Cotton Gin.
  • 1795. Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason bitterly attacks the Bible and Christianity.
  • 1796. Griesbach’s 2nd Greek New Testament
  • 1797. First Sunday newspaper in America begins in Baltimore.
  • 1798. Birch publishes collation of Codex Vaticanus for entire New Testament • Napoleon wages war in Egypt and Palestine.
  • 1800. Birth of John Nelson Darby, first theologian of modern Dispensationalism.
  • 1801. “Plan of Union” adopted by American Presbyterians and Congregationalists for cooperative ministry in frontier districts. • Barton Stone directs giant camp meeting revival at Cane Ridge in Kentucky, sparking “Second Great Awakening” in America.
  • 1802. Marsh publishes English translation of Michaelis’ Introduction (basic source of text-critical information for English scholars).
  • 1803. U.S. purchases Louisiana territory (Great Plains) from France, doubles in size.
  • 1804. Napoleon declared Emperor in France.
  • 1805. Griesbach’s last Greek New Testament • Unitarian control of Harvard College becomes evident with the appointment of Henry Ware to Chair of Divinity.
  • 1807. Slave trade abolished in England.
  • 1808. “Improved” Version of the New Testament published by Unitarians in England.
  • 1812. London has 18 Sunday newspapers.
  • 1813. English Parliament extends Toleration Act (cf. 1689) to cover Unitarians.
  • 1814. Richard Laurence (English Archbishop) publishes defense of the traditional Greek text against Griesbach.
  • 1815. Nolan publishes defense of traditional Greek text against Griesbach. • Napoleon defeated by British and German armies at Waterloo.
  • 1816. Death of Francis Asbury.
  • 1819. Political agitation leads to labor riots in Manchester, put down by troops. • Revivalist movement known as the Second Great Awakening underway in America. • William Channing publicly espouses Unitarianism in his “Baltimore Sermon.” • U.S. purchases Florida from Spain.
  • 1820. William Hone publishes in popular and inexpensive form a collection of early Christian writings under the title Apocryphal New Testament. • America has forty-two daily newspapers.
  • 1821. Richard Lawrence publishes English translation of The Book of Enoch. • Death of Thomas Scott.
  • 1824. Premiere of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony in Vienna. • First steam-powered cylinder newpaper press in America.
  • 1825. American Unitarian Association formed at Boston.
  • 1826. Alexander Campbell publishes his edition of the New Testament. • British and Foreign Bible Society stops printing Apocrypha.
  • 1827. Charles Finney emerges as leading American revivalist.
  • 1828. Noah Webster publishes his American Dictionary of the English Language. • Liberal English journalists called “a fourth estate of the realm” by essayist Thomas Macaulay.
  • 1829. Catholic Emancipation Act removes legal disabilities of Romanists.
  • 1830. Scholz’s Greek New Testament published. • Revivalist movement known as the Second Great Awakening reaches its high point in America. • John Nelson Darby leads the Plymouth Brethren movement in Dublin. • Alexander Campbell breaks with American Baptists to found the independent “Restoration Movement” in America. • Joseph Smith publishes The Book of Mormon in New York.
  • 1831. Karl Lachmann publishes first thoroughly revised critical Greek New Testament
  • 1832. English Parliament adopts Reform Bill, extending voting rights to the middle class.
  • 1833. Abolition of slavery in the British Empire. • Revivalist Charles Finney conducts abolitionist rallies in America • American Antislavery Society formed by Christian abolitionists. • First “penney” newspaper begins in New York.
  • 1835. David Strauss, Leben Jesu (Atheistic critical treatment of the life of Jesus) published in Germany. • Charles Finney becomes professor of theology at newly-formed Oberlin College in Ohio. Oberlin becomes center of perfectionist teaching, feminism, and abolitionist movement.
  • 1836. Union Theological Seminary founded by liberal-Arminian “New School” Presbyterians.
  • 1837. Calvinist majority in General Assembly of PCUSA abrogates 1801 Plan of Union; New School Presbyteries organize separate church. • Victoria made Queen of England.
  • 1838. Romish “Oxford Movement” party in the Church of England is at its peak of influence about now. • Ralph Waldo Emerson espouses mystical transcendentalism in an address at Harvard Divinity School.
  • 1840. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit.
  • 1841. Tischendorf’s first Greek New Testament • Bagster’s English Hexapla. • Emerson’s Essays.
  • 1842. Lachmann’s 2nd Greek New Testament
  • 1843. Greek text of Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus published by Tischendorf. • Phoebe Palmer’s The Way of Holiness.
  • 1844. Year of Christ’s return as predicted by William Miller, founder of the Adventist movement. • Methodists split over the slavery controversy in America.
  • 1845. Baptists split over the slavery controversy in America. Sothern Baptist Convention is formed. • Texas annexed by the U.S.
  • 1846. Potato famine in Ireland leads to emigration of nearly a million Irish Catholics to American cities. • Strauss’ atheistic Life of Jesus translated into English. • U.S. claim to Oregon country recognized by Great Britain.
  • 1848. Karl Marx publishes his Communist Manifesto in England. Revolutions break out in several nations of Europe. • Perfectionistic Oneida commune established by John Noyes. • Kate and Margaret Fox of New York cause public sensation with claims of ability to communicate with the dead: beginning of Spiritualist séance craze in America. • Southwestern territory ceded to the U.S. by Mexico.
  • 1849. Tischendorf’s 2nd Greek New Testament • Alford’s annotated Greek New Testament • Cholera epidemic kills 14,000 in London.
  • 1850. Antoinette Brown becomes first woman to complete theological course at Oberlin. • Ellen White begins to publicize “visions” fundamental to Seventh-Day Adventism.
  • 1851. Great Exhibition of science and industry held in London.
  • 1852. Greek text of Codex Claromontanus published by Tischendorf. • Publication of Roget’s Thesaurus.
  • 1853. Antoinette Brown becomes first woman formally ordained as a minister in the U.S. (in an independent Congregational church in New York).
  • 1854. Tregelles’ Account of the Printed Text. • Dogma of Immaculate Conception promulgated by the Roman Pope. • Cholera epidemic kills 11,000 in London.
  • 1855. Charles Spurgeon preaches to thousands in public halls of London. • Abolition of Stamp Tax in England removes financial burden from newspaper publishers; cheap and vulgar daily newspapers begin to flourish.
  • 1856. Tregelles’ Introduction to Textual Criticism. • Tischendorf’s 3rd Greek New Testament • Wordsworth’s Greek New Testament • Western Union Telegraph Co. formed • Slavery controversy rages in America. Southern scholar Albert Taylor Bledsoe’s Essay on Liberty and Slavery presents a Scriptural defense of slavery.
  • 1857. Tregelles’ Greek text of Gospels.
  • 1858. Brief “Prayer Meeting Revival” sweeps America. • Act for the admission of the Jews to the Parliament adopted in England.
  • 1859. Vercellone’s edition of Codex Vaticanus. • John Nelson Darby’s New Translation of New Testament with critical notes. • Darwin’s Origin of Species. • John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty.
  • 1860. Liberal scholars in the Church of England “come out of the closet” in Essays and Reviews.
  • 1861. Scrivener’s Plain Introduction to Textual Criticism. • American Civil War begins. • President Lincoln attends Spiritualist séances in Georgetown, receives advice from the famous medium Nettie Colburn Maynard in the White House.
  • 1862. Greek text of Codex Sinaiticus published by Tischendorf. • Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible.
  • 1863. President Lincoln proclaims Thanksgiving Day holiday.
  • 1864. John Nelson Darby visits America for the first time, promotes fully developed Dispensationalism among Presbyterians in lecture tour. • “In God We Trust” first put on U.S. coins.
  • 1865. American Civil War ends. • President Lincoln assassinated.
  • 1866. Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable connects England and America. • Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution greatly increases Federal power.
  • 1867. Tischendorf’s edition of Codex Vaticanus. • Parliament adopts Second Reform Act, giving vote to the working class.
  • 1868. Vercellone’s facsimile edition of Codex Vaticanus.
  • 1869. Tischendorf’s 4th Greek New Testament • New and Old School American Presbyterians reunite. • American transcontinental railroad line completed • Susan Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton organize the National Woman Suffrage Association.
  • 1870. English parliament asks bishops of the Church of England to form a committee for the revision of the King James version. Revision committee is formed, and work begins on the English Revised Version. • Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church sets forth dogma of Infallibility of the Pope. • German principalities unified under imperial crown of Prussia by Bismarck. • Manufacture of new wood-pulp paper greatly reduces cost of newspaper publishing.
  • 1871. J.N. Darby’s 2nd edition of the New Testament • Darwin’s Descent of Man.
  • 1872. Last portion of Tregelles’ Greek New Testament published. • Alford’s New Testament for English Readers.
  • 1875. Premillennialist evangelist Dwight Moody begins sensational preaching tour of American cities. • Foundation of annual Niagara Bible Conference. • Mary Baker’s Science and Health publicizes principles of Christian Science.
  • 1876. Charles Taze Russell begins publication of Zion’s Watchtower.
  • 1878. Rotherham’s English translation of Tregelles’ text. • Julius Wellhausen, History of Israel. • William Blackstone’s Jesus is Coming. • Ninth edition of theEncyclopaedia Britannica makes critical arguments and essays on the Bible generally available in English. • First commercial telephone exchange set up in Boston.
  • 1879. Robert Ingersoll attacks the Bible in popular lecture tours, publishes his Some Mistakes of Moses.
  • 1881. English Revised Version of the New Testament is published, immediately followed by the innovative Greek New Testament of Westcott and Hort.
  • 1882. Death of John Nelson Darby. • Charles Darwin buried in Westminster Abbey with full Christian rites.
  • 1883. Dean Burgon leads strong conservative attack on the English Revised Version and against all critical Greek texts. The new version is eventually refused by the British churches.
  • 1884. Parliament adopts Third Reform Act, granting vote to agricultural laborers. • Telephone service between New York and Boston.
  • 1885. English Revised Version of the Old Testament
  • 1886. Benjamin Warfield appointed Professor of Theology at Princeton.
  • 1888. British Baptist Union censures Charles Spurgeon for his campaign against liberal Baptists.
  • 1890. J.N. Darby’s English Old Testament • Great labor strikes throughout England. • National American Woman Suffrage Association formed.
  • 1893. Ecumenical and inter-faith “World’s Parliament of Religions” held in Chicago. • Dwight Moody preaches to huge crowds at Chicago World’s Fair.
  • 1895. American Anti-Saloon League founded in Washington, D.C. • Elizabeth Stanton’s Woman’s Bible repudiates Biblical teaching on woman’s place.
  • 1898. Eberhard Nestle’s Greek New Testament • Spanish-American War.
  • 1899. Death of Dwight Moody, foundation of Moody Bible Institute.
  • 1900. Final meeting of the Niagara Bible Conference.
  • 1901. American Standard Version.
  • 1903. First edition of Weymouth’s New Testament (modern English version).
  • 1904. Twentieth Century New Testament (modern English version). • Sigmund Freud, Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
  • 1906. Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles inaugurates modern Pentecostal movement.
  • 1907. The foundation of Hollywood as a film-making center. • Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianity and the Social Crisis articulates the “Social Gospel.”
  • 1908. Delegates from 33 denominations meeting in Philadelphia establish the Federal Council of Churches to promote Social Gospel. • Ford Motor Company introduces the “Model T.”
  • 1909. First edition of Scofield Reference Bible.
  • 1910. First volume of The Fundamentals is published to counter liberal theology in America. • General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. adopts “Five Point” doctrinal test (Biblical inerrancy, virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, and reality of miracles).
  • 1913. Von Soden’s Greek New Testament • Moffat New Testament (popular paraphrase).
  • 1914. British declare war on Germany. • Ford Motor Co. installs chain-driven assembly lines.
  • 1915. Telephone service between New York and San Francisco.
  • 1917. Improved edition of Scofield Reference Bible. • U.S. declares war on Germany. • Communist revolutionaries gain control of Russian Empire.
  • 1918. English Parliament adopts the “Representation of the People Act,” giving women the right to vote. • Treaty of Versailles humiliates Germany, ends First World War. League of Nations established.
  • 1919. Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits manufacture and sale of alcohol.
  • 1920. Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires all states to give voting rights to women. • First commercial radio station in U.S. (KDKA Pittsburgh) begins broadcasting.
  • 1922. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. approves ordination of women as deacons. • Harry Emerson Fosdick preaches against Second Coming of Christ, Biblical inerrancy, Virgin Birth. • Lincoln Memorial dedicated in Washington, D.C.
  • 1923. J. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism. • Time magazine founded. • Radio becomes popular craze in America.
  • 1924. Methodist Episcopal Church approves ordination of women as local preachers.
  • 1925. Major newspapers ridicule conservative opposition to theory of evolution in coverage of Scopes “Monkey” Trial in Dayton, Tennessee. • Liberals of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. overturn the “Five Point” test adopted in 1910. • Canadian Mehodists, Presbyterians and Congregationalists merge to form the United Church of Canada.
  • 1928. Moffat Bible published with Old Testament
  • 1929. Exodus of conservatives from Princeton; Westminster Theological Seminary founded in Philadelphia.
  • 1930. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. approves ordination of women as elders • First television program with sound broadcast by the BBC.
  • 1932. General Association of Regular Baptist Churches formed by fundamentalists leaving the Northern Baptist Convention.
  • 1933. Eighteenth Amendment (prohibiting alcohol) repealed.
  • 1935. Moffat Bible revised.
  • 1936. Orthodox Presbyterian Church founded by conservatives leaving the PCUSA. • United Church of Canada (uniting Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists) approves ordination of women.
  • 1937. Charles Fuller begins weekly nation-wide radio broadcasts of “Old Fashioned Gospel Hour.”
  • 1939. Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism. • Britain declares war on Germany.
  • 1940. Lamsa translation of Peshitta New Testament
  • 1941. U.S. declares war on Japan after attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • 1942. National Association of Evangelicals formed by anti-fundamentalist “neo-evangelicals” in St. Louis, to promote conservative Christian involvement in public affairs.
  • 1943. Pope Pius XII issues encyclical letter Divino Afflante Spiritu, giving Roman Catholic Bible translators permission to base their translations on the Greek and Hebrew texts instead of the Latin Vulgate.
  • 1944. U.S. Army lands at Normandy. • Youth for Christ founded by neo-evangelicals in Chicago.
  • 1945. U.S. Air Force destroys 2 Japanese cities with atomic bombs. End of 2nd World War.
  • 1946. Revised Standard version of the New Testament published with great fanfare.
  • 1947. Dead Sea Scrolls (dated c. 150 B.C. to A.D. 75) discovered in Qumran. • Conservative Baptist Association founded by conservatives leaving the Northern Baptist Convention. • Fuller Theological Seminary founded by neo-evangelicals in Pasadena.
  • 1948. Communist agents discovered in U.S. State Department. “Red Scare” begins. • World Council of Churches constituted in Amsterdam.
  • 1949. Billy Graham’s evangelistic campaign in Los Angeles attracts national attention.
  • 1950. National Council of Churches constituted in Cleveland. • Billy Graham begins television broadcasts.
  • 1952. Revised Standard version of the Old Testament published by National Council of Churches. The version is severely denounced by conservatives. • One third of all American homes have television. • Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking.
  • 1954. Methodist Episcopal Church approves full denominational ordination of women. • U.S. Supreme Court mandates racial integration of public schools. Beginning of “Civil Rights Movement.”
  • 1955. United Bible Societies constituted by union of Bible societies of England, Scotland, America, Germany and the Netherlands. Committee appointed to produce a Greek New Testament • Robert Schuller opens drive-in theater church in Orange County, California.
  • 1956. Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. approves ordination of women as ministers. • Christianity Today founded by neo-evangelical writers.
  • 1957. Bertrand Russel’s Why I am not a Christian. • United Church of Christ formed by association of various Reformed churches.
  • 1958. Phillips New Testament (paraphrase) • Bultmann, Jesus Christ and Mythology.
  • 1959. Revised Standard version New Testament slightly revised.
  • 1960. Revised Standard Version adopted by most “mainline” congregations. • 80% of American homes have television.
  • 1961. New English Bible New Testament (British)
  • 1962. New American Standard Bible New Testament
  • 1963. Blacks riot in Birmingham, Alabama. • President Kennedy assassinated.
  • 1964. Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (southern) approves ordination of women as ministers. • Fuller Thelogical Seminary opens its Graduate School of Psychology. • Civil Rights Act passed by U.S. Congress.
  • 1965. Catholic edition of Revised Standard Version.
  • 1966. United Bible Societies’ first Greek New Testament • Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic). • “Good News for Modern Man” New Testament published by the American Bible Society.
  • 1967. New American Standard Bible Old Testament • Living Bible New Testament (paraphrase). • Blacks riot in Detroit.
  • 1968. United Bible Societies’ 2nd Greek New Testament • Blacks and college students riot in several U.S. cities. • Martin Luther King assassinated.
  • 1969. Homosexuals in New York City riot against enforcement of sodomy laws. • American astronauts land on the Moon.
  • 1970. New American Bible (Roman Catholic). • New English Bible Old Testament (British) • Lutheran Church in America approves ordination of women. • Robert Schuller begins weekly “Hour of Power” television broadcast.
  • 1971. 2nd ed. of Revised Standard Version.
  • 1972. Neo-evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary officially renounces doctrine of Biblical inerrancy. • U.S. Supreme Court rules that all existing death penalty statutes are unconstitutional.
  • 1973. Neo-evangelical scholars publish the New International Version New Testament • Chicago Declaration of Social Concern expresses neo-evangelical support for liberal political agenda. • U.S. Supreme Court legalizes abortion nationwide. • Presbyterian Church in America founded by conservatives leaving the PCUS. • Executive Council of the United Church of Christ recommends ordination of homosexuals.
  • 1975. United Bible Societies’ 3rd Greek New Testament • Bill Hybels organizes Willow Creek Community Church in a suburban movie theater near Chicago.
  • 1976. Good News Bible (Today’s English Version) published by the American Bible Society. • Episcopal Church approves ordination of women as priests. • Harold Lindsell’s The Battle for the Bible exposes widespead liberalism among neo-evangelicals. • Jimmy Carter elected U.S. President.
  • 1978. Neo-evangelical scholars publish the New International Version Old Testament. • Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
  • 1979. New King James Version New Testament • American Lutheran Church approves ordination of women. • Jerry Falwell founds “Moral Majority” political lobby to promote Reagan election campaign.
  • 1980. Ronald Reagan elected U.S. President.
  • 1982. Hodges and Farstad “Majority Text” Greek New Testament • New King James Version Old Testament • Robert Schuller’s Self-Esteem: The New Reformation.
  • 1983. General Synod of the United Church of Christ recommends ordination of homosexuals. • AIDS epidemic begins.
  • 1985. New Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic).
  • 1987. Pentecostal television preacher Oral Roberts says that God had threatened to kill him if supporters did not send him 8 million dollars immediately. • Pentecostal television preacher Jim Bakker disgraced in revelations of vice and fraud. • Pentecostal television preacher Pat Robertson enters race for U.S. Presidency.
  • 1988. Pentecostal television preacher Jimmy Swaggart disgraced in revelations of vice.
  • 1989. Revised English Bible (British).
  • 1990. New Revised Standard Version.
  • 1992. Bill Clinton elected U.S. President.
  • 1993. “Re-Imagining” conference of female mainline ministers in Minneapolis features worship of pagan fertility goddess. • Federal agents attack Adventist sect in Waco.
  • 1995. Holy laughter breaks out at Pentecostal Vineyard Christian Fellowship church in Toronto. • Contemporary English Version.
  • 1996. NIV Inclusive Language Edition published in Great Britain. • New Living Translation.
  • 2000. George W. Bush elected U.S. President.
  • 2001. Holman Christian Standard Bible New Testament. • English Standard Version • World Trade Center towers in New York destroyed by fanatical Mohammedans.
  • 2002. Today’s New International Version New Testament.
  • 2008. Barack H. Obama becomes first non-white man to be elected President of the United States.

1 Comment

Filed under Catholic Church, Church History, Protestantism, Translation

One response to “A Chronology of the English Bible

  1. Michael Marlowe’s is one of my favorite Bible sites ever. He has really fantastic reviews of all of the translations.

    Coincidentally, My most recent post centered on the history of Bible translation, too. Tyndale is pretty amazing.

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