William Tindale's translation of the New Testament : style and sources




Ware, Lois

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My primary purpose in this thesis is to make a firsthand study of the Style of William Tindale as exemplified in his translation of the Gospels. With this end in view, I have paid especial attention to Tindale's use of the Participle, the Infinitive, and the Subjunctive, comparing his use with that of Erasmus's Greek and Latin versions of the New Testament and with that of the Vulgate. Moreover, I have compared Tindale's use of these verbal forms with that in Middle English as represented in Wycliffe's translation of the Gospel of Matthew. I have, also, made a study of Other Stylistic Differences between Tindale and Wycliffe as manifested by the Order of Words and the Choice of Connectives (Conjunctions, Prepositions, and Relative Pronouns) in their respective versions of the Gospels. The secondary purpose of this dissertation was a natural outgrowth of the syntactical study just described. That study, involving, as it did, a comparison of Tindale's use of the Participle, the Infinitive, and the Subjunctive with that of Erasmus's Greek and Latin versions and the Vulgate, has heightened my interest in the much-discussed question of Tindale's Sources: whether he is translating directly from the Greek or indirectly from the Greek through the Latin. Accordingly, I have, under each category, made a note as to which of these three possible sources (the Greek, the Vulgate, or Erasmus's Latin) he seems to be following in the given case, and then have attempted, by bringing all of my results together, to arrive at a general conclusion. This phase of my investigation has, in turn, led to a study of previous Discussions of Tindale's Sources and to an effort to evaluate the arguments advanced. Inasmuch as all of the statistically reenforced studies of this problem are made solely on a lexical basis, and inasmuch as practically all of these studies assign some indebtedness to Luther, especially for the format of the Cologne Fragment, I have made a careful comparison both of the format and of the diction of the Cologne Fragment, of Erasmus's Greek and Latin versions, of the Vulgate, and of Luther's First Edition of the New Testament with the variant readings for the Second and the Third Editions