Not Just the Tudors


The First Printed English Bible

England was the only European country that completely banned translating the Bible. The dissident Lollards had produced one after the death of their hero, the radical 14th-century theologian John Wycliffe, but owning a copy could be a capital offence. When idealistic humanist William Tyndale printed his English New Testament in Germany in 1526, it became the most influential text in the history of the English language.

In this episode of Not Just the Tudors, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb talks to Professor Alec Ryrie, about how making the Bible accessible to English readers triggered a momentous and permanent shift of religious power away from the Church and university elites.

This episode was edited by Annie Coloe and produced by Elena Guthrie.

More Episodes