The History of The English Bible
The Beginnings of the English Bible
From the earliest days of Christianity in England, the gospel stories were told in the language of ordinary people.
By the seventh century, Bible stories were depicted in carvings and wall paintings in churches. Later, stained glass windows related significant Bible stories.
Early in the eighth century Bede, a monk from Jarrow, tells of Caedmon, a farm laborer who composed a series of songs of Bible stories. The musical metre would help people remember the details of each story.
About the year 700, Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherbourne is said to have translated the Psalms into Old English.
When Bede died in 735, he was working on a translation of the Gospel of John.
About the year 900, King Alfred had the Ten Commandments and part of Exodus translated into Old English. He also had parts of the New Testament and Psalms translated.
In the 9th and 10th Centuries, interlinear translations \'\'glosses\'\' were made on the Latin handwritten manuscripts in monasteries.
At the end of the 10th Century the "Wessex Gospels\'\' were translated and Abbot Aelfric translated parts of the Old Testament.
Poetic versions of the Gospels and parts of the Old Testament appeared in the 12th and 13th Centuries and English versions of much of the New Testament towards the end of the 14th Century.
Source: F.F. Bruce. The English Bible, A History of Translations, Oxford University Press 1961, 234 pp