Purvey, John

Purvey, John the friend and fellow-laborer of Wycliffe, with whom he lived in his latter years. His denunciations of the errors of the Romish Church, as well as his endeavors to make the Bible accessible to the people at large by translating it into English, drew upon him the severest penalties which it was in the power of the hierarchy to inflict. He was forbidden,by a mandate of the bishop of Bristol, dated August, 1387, to preach in thie diocese where he officiated after the death of Wycliffe; his books were declared to be erroneous and heretical, and were among those which the bish. ops of Worcester, Salisbury, and Hereford were authorized to seize (May 29, 1388; Jan. 18, Dec. 16, 1389). Some years after, however, he made a recantation at St. Paul's Cross (Sunday, March 6, 1401), and was admitted (Aug. 11, 1401), on the presentation of the archdeacon of Canterbury, to the vicarage of West Hythe, in Kent. which he resigned Oct. 8,1403. Ile then returned to the simple teaching of the Bible, denouncing the erroneous doctrines of the Church, for which he was again imprisoned, and in 1421 recanted a second time, at Saltwood, before archbishop Arundel. He is supposed to have died about 1427. Purvey immortalized his name through his translation of the Scriptures into English. As the Bible of late translated

by Wycliffe required correction, he tells Is, in the general introduction that he undertook to make the version more faithful, intelligible, and popular. The plan which he adopted to effect this, according to his own description, was as follows: With the assistance of several fellow-laborers he

(1) corrected the Latin text by comparison of Bibles, doctors, and glosses;

(2) studied the text thus corrected with the gloss and other authorities, particularly De Lyra on the Old Test.;

(3) made special reference to the works of grammarians and theologians for the meaning of difficult words and passages; and

(4) did not translate literally, but according to the sense and meaning as clearly as he could, taking care to have many persons of ability present at the correction of the translation. He inserted numerous textual glosses in the Old 'est., and only occasionally omitted those of Wycliffe's version, but made no such insertions in the New Test., and carefully excluded all the glosses which were introduiced into the former version. That he improved upon Wycliffe's translation is beyond doubt, as may be seen from a comparison of the following passages in the respective versions: Ge 9:13; Ex 29:2; Deuteronomy 323:2; 33:7; Jos 5:15; Jos 6:25; Job 10:1; Job 11:12; Job 14:12; Mt 12:5; Mt 13:52; 1Co 3:13-15; which are pointed out by the erudite editors, the Rev. Josiah Forshall and Sir Frederic Madden, who for the first time published this early English version, together with Wycliffe's translation, in an entire form, in parallel columns, 4 vols. 4to, Oxford University Press, 1850. Purvey's translation of the New Test. was first published by Lewis (Lond. 1731, fol.) as Wycliffe's translation; it was then erroneously reprinted as Wycliffe's by Baber (Lond. 1810, 4to), and by Bagster in the English Hexcapla. Comp. Foxe, The Acts and Monuments, Townsend's ed. (Lond. 1844), 3, 285, 292, 822, 826; and the elaborate preface by Forshall and Madden to their edition of Wycliffe's and Purvey's translation of the Bible.

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