Bible Origins

An alphabetical list of persons and places associated wth the origins of the English Bible plus 'student notes' on texts, versions and manuscripts and terminology covering the origins of the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, New Testament and many recent translations of the Bible into English. Factual rather than evaluative, reflective of contemporary biblical scholarship and a useful reference tool for everyone interested in the Bible. 

A revised edition with additional material on interpretation and contemporary hermeneutics was published by T & T Clark (Continuum) in 2006.


To track down some of the people who gave us the English Bible, from Tyndale to today, in so many different translations. Who were they? Where did they live and work?

To help readers to discover the facts about the translations, from the Authorised Version to the Revised English Bible. Why are they so different and how do I know which to use?

To stimulate interest in Bible study by introducing readers to the variety of texts and versions which lie behind the familar translations.

To removing some of the mystique and prejudices associated with the production and transmission of the Bible. 

To provide a range of resources so as to encourage a more positive appreciation and assessment of English translations.


To list texts, versions, manuscripts, persons, places and terminology, covering text and canon of Hebrew Bible and New Testament and connected with the origins of the English Bible, including recent translations.

To present a limited amount of factual information on each in alphabetical format, suitable for undergraduates and lay people who need a cross between a beginners' guide to Bible origins and a useful resource when terms and references come up in other places.

To include an overall bibliography covering the topics in more detail but not to include a detailed set of references under each item, partly because it would be inappropriate for the readers for whom this book is intended and partly because it would require a lot of specialist scholars to assist in compilation.

To avoid theories and opinions more appropriately found in other places as far as possible.

About 1,000 entries, from the highly technical to the mildly interesting, in alphabetical order so that you can always find what you want.


Biblical and theological students coming to the subject for the first time.

Church and student study groups whose knowledge of Bible origins and modern translations is not only limited but often obstructed by outworn or misguided concepts.

Professional scholars in other disciplines (including allied theological fields) looking for a simple frame of reference.

Students and others in the developing world who often are compelled to rely on an English version of the Bible but have little awareness of its history or alternative versions and less understanding of text and canon issues.

Some Typical Entries

Ancient Texts and Versions

Chester Beatty Papyri

Codex Alexandrinus

Complutensian Polyglot

Dead Sea Scrolls

Lindisfarne Gospels

Samaritan Pentateuch



Washington Codex

Ancient and Recent English Translations

Coverdale's Bible

Cranmer's Bible

Douay-Rheims Bible

Geneva Bible

Jerusalem Bible

Living Bible

New International Version

Penguin Translations

Revised English Bible

Revised Standard Version

Vinegar Bible

Technical Terms




Critical Apparatus


Hebrew Language

Mari Tablets


Radio Carbon Dating


Verse Division


Alfred the Great





Henry VIII

Moffatt, James





Lutterworth, Leicestershire



Aboutr 1,000 entries, from the highly technical to the mildly interesting, in alphabetical order so that you can always find what you want.

© Alec Gilmore 2021