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Peter McCullough

John Donne's Bibles

Peter McCullough, Lincoln College, Oxford


Take-up of the KJB was exceptionally slow in the period when most people seem to assume that it was hugely influential, which it wasn't.  Donne, though, (in his sermons) is one of the first "canonical" authors to reflect very openly and frankly about the pros and cons of the new translation. I will chart his gradually increasing use of the KJB and reflect on when and why he opts instead for Geneva, Vulgate, or Tremellius, and his amateur interest in Hebraic philology and commentary - all part of the wide and diverse biblical culture which produced the KJB, but which the historical fluke of the KJB's longevity so effectively killed-off, at least in popular religion.

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