By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

William Tyndale and Erasmus on How to Read the Bible: A Newly Discovered Manuscript of the English Enchiridion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

DateSubmitted - 1 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Apr 2018
DatePublished (current) - 30 May 2018
Issue number1
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)29-52
Original languageEnglish


British Library MS Additional 89149, newly discovered in 2015 at Alnwick Castle, is a previously unknown translation of Erasmus’ Enchiridion militis Christiani into English. Dated 1523, it now represents the earliest surviving English translation of any work by Erasmus. This article presents detailed verbal evidence that associates the vocabulary of imitatio in the translation with William Tyndale’s hermeneutic work on scripture, including his New Testament of 1525–1526. It thus offers the strongest evidence to date of Tyndale's hand in the English Enchiridion, long the subject of scholarly enquiry. It also provides a fresh interpretation of Tyndale’s engagement with Erasmian humanism, and his position on disputes over literal and figurative senses in early Protestantism. At the heart of this is the distinctive English word ‘counterfeit’, the meanings of which are traced through a range of medieval and Renaissance sources, from Chaucer onwards.

Bibliographical note

© 2018 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Bible, Erasmus, allegory, hermeneutics, imitation, literal sense


Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations