Scriptures fit for a king:
Translational doubling in the revised Wycliffite Bible text in Oxford University MS. Bodley 277
Keywords:Wycliffite Bible, Translation, Religion
This paper examines the use of translational doublets (multiple translations of a single expression presented together in a translated text) in the revised text of the Later Version of the Wycliffite Bible found in Oxford University MS. Bodley 277 (1420s or 1430s). The manuscript in question contains a large number of doublets found in no other copy of the Wycliffite Bible, and these appear to be the contributions of an independent revisor. The various functions that doublets have in this text are discussed, and it is argued that, in his use of doublets, the revisor focused primarily on clarifying or explaining details of the text’s literal, immediate meaning, especially in Old Testament historical books. It is suggested, moreover, that a large proportion of the revisor’s doublets reflect the interests of an aristocratic or royal audience, in line with the probable origin of MS. Bodley 277 (which was once owned by King Henry VI). Special attention is paid to the apocryphal 3 Ezra, for which Bodley 277 is the only copy of the Wycliffite Bible to include translational doublets and which appears in no other manuscript of the Later Version.
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