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By the time the writing of the New Testament was completed, say one hundred years after Christ, while Greek was still current speech, the Roman Empire was so dominant that the common people were talking Latin almost as much as Greek, and gradually, because political power was behind it, the Latin gained on the Greek, and became virtually the speech of the common people. ...One of his contemporaries, Knighton, may speak for all in his saying of Wiclif, that he had, to be sure, translated the Gospel into the Anglic tongue, but that it had thereby been made vulgar by him, and more open to the reading of laymen and women than it usually is to the knowledge of lettered and intelligent clergy, and 'thus the pearl is cast abroad and trodden under the feet of swine'; and, that we may not be in doubt who are the swine, he adds: 'The jewel of the Church is turned into the common sport of the people.' ...Paul's by the Bishop of London; ten years later, 1536, Tindale himself was burned with the knowledge and connivance of the English government; and yet, one year later, 1537, two versions of the Bible in English, three-quarters of which were the work of Tindale, were licensed for public use by the King of England, and were required to be made available for the people!
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