We are delighted to offer this extraordinary representation of the first English New Testament in manuscript. In translating the Bible into English, John Wycliffe emerged as a powerful influence for revival and reform. As a result of his work, historians have termed Wycliffe the "Morning Star of the Reformation."
Possession of a Wycliffe Bible in the 14th century could lead to accusations of heresy, imprisonment and death. Few copies have survived. The last copy to sell at auction brought an astonishing 1.7 million dollars at the Charles Ryrie Sale in December of 2016.
Until this year, no true, quality facsimile of a Wycliffe New Testament has ever been produced. The cost was too great, the project too vast and the process too difficult. Yet as nations around the world prepare to commemorate this significant anniversary, it seems appropriate that this exceptional edition has finally been released to the general public.
For the first time since the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries the Wycliffe New Testament, the first Bible in English, has been made readily available in its original form.
For an accessible account of the Wycliffe Bible and its importance, see C. de Hamel, The Book: A History of the Bible, 2001, chapter 7 ("Even now, Wycliffe Bibles enjoy an extraordinary status. Over hundreds of years they have acquired a charisma and aura of sanctity, bordering on relic-veneration, which is unique among Bible manuscripts of the Middle Ages.")
The most recent comprehensive list of manuscripts and fragments (updating C. Lindberg, "The Manuscripts and Versions of the Wycliffe Bible: A Preliminary Survey," Studia Neophilologica, XLII 1970, pp.333-47) is M. Dove, The First English Bible, 2007, pp. 281–306, the present manuscript on p. 285. Of the manuscripts recorded there as being in privately owned, many have since passed into institutional collections (e.g. two Scheide MSS, now owned by Princeton; three Takamiya MSS, now owned by Yale; two British & Foreign Bible Society MSS, now owned by Cambridge University); a few are in old English collections and would require report licences if they were ever to leave the country.