“This is the untold story of the Matthew Bible, which formed the basis of the King James Version, though unacknowledged,” — Author Ruth Magnusson Davis.
The Matthew Bible was the work of three men. William Tyndale translated the New Testament and the first half of the Old before he was killed. His friend Myles Coverdale gave us the rest of the scriptures. Then a third man, John Rogers, compiled their work, added Reformation commentaries, and published it all as the Matthew Bible. But then he was burned at the stake by Bloody Queen Mary.
But the Matthew Bible lived on. It formed the basis of King Henry’s Great Bible, and from there went into the King James Version. Computer studies have shown that the KJV New Testament is 83% from the Matthew Bible.
“It has been said that new histories are only justified if the subject matter has been neglected or if it has been misrepresented. Both these things are true of the story of the Matthew Bible,” Ruth said. And she ought to know. She is a retired lawyer, and a scholar of Reformation history and early modern English language and grammar. She founded the New Matthew Bible Project, and worked for seven years to update the New Testament, which was published in early 2016 as The October Testament. It has been well received and the hardcover has already gone to a second printing.
The Story of the Matthew Bible will be in two editions. One will be a short, popular edition. The other will be longer and more scholarly. The scholarly edition will include in-depth comparisons of the Matthew Bible with later versions. At last, a book about this important bible version!
Ruth answers such questions as:
- What is the Matthew Bible?
- Who translated the Matthew Bible?
- Why should we care? Why is this important?
- You have finished the New Testament and published it under the name The October Testament. Can you tell us about it?