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The Matthew’s Bible was the first complete English translation from the original Hebrew and Greek. Scholars consider this version to be the first “true and legitimate” translation. The actual translation was the combined work of three men – William Tyndale, Miles Coverdale, and John Rogers. They used various sources, in at least five different languages. John Rogers used the pseudonym “Thomas Matthew”, a name used by William Tyndale on occasion, to avoid persecution and prosecution by the authorities who continued to forbid under penalty of death, the printing of the scriptures in the English language. The Matthew's Bible was printed in 1537 in Paris and Antwerp by Sir Jacobus van Metered the uncle of Roger’s wife, Adriana.
The King authorized the sale and the reading of this Bible in his realm within ten days. Thus, eleven years after William Tyndale’s New Testament was banned by royal decree, the Matthew’s Bible was published with the King’s consent. Thankfully the King was not a careful observer: otherwise, he may have noticed the embossed W.T. in the preface to the New Testament, as well as over thirty pages of marginal notes that were critical of the papacy and the church of England. This Bible was later used by those who translated the Great Bible and the Bishop’s Bible.
The complete Bible was put out under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew in 1537; it was printed in Paris and Antwerp by Adriana's uncle, Sir Jacobus van Meteren. Richard Grafton published the sheets and got leave to sell the edition (1500 copies) in England. At the insistence of Archbishop Cranmer, the "King's most gracious license" was granted to this translation. Previously in the same year, the 1537 reprint of the Myles Coverdale's translation had been granted such a licence.
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