Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rev. John Rogers, martyr

John Rogers (c. 1505 – 4 February 1555) was a clergyman, Bible translator and commentator, and the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.  He has that title, martyr.  But I wish he were known more for what he did, rather than how he died.  But that's the price of martyrdom, I guess.

My cousin reminded me that 460 years ago this last week he was put to death.    And she posted the link to his history on Wikipedia.  I hadn't known it was there, so I will cut and paste a bit from that article.  The actual references are given at the end.

John Rogers was born in Deritend, an area of Birmingham then within the parish of Aston. His father was also called John Rogers and was a lorimer – a maker of bits and spurs – whose family came from Aston; his mother was Margaret Wyatt, the daughter of a tanner with family in Erdington and Sutton Coldfield.[3]
Rogers was educated at the Guild School of St John the Baptist in Deritend,[4] and at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge University, where he graduated B.A. in 1526.[5] Between 1532 and 1534 he was rector of Holy Trinity the Less in the City of London.[6]
 In 1534, Rogers went to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants of the Company of the Merchant Adventurers.
Here he met William Tyndale, under whose influence he abandoned the Roman Catholic faith, and married Antwerp native Adriana de Weyden (b. 1522, anglicised to Adrana Pratt in 1552) in 1537. After Tyndale's death, Rogers pushed on with his predecessor's English version of the Old Testament, which he used as far as 2 Chronicles, employing Myles Coverdale's translation (1535) for the remainder and for the Apocrypha. Although it is claimed that Rogers was the first person to ever print a complete English Bible that was translated directly from the original Greek & Hebrew, there was also a reliance upon a Latin translation of the Hebrew Bible by Sebastian M√ľnster and published in 1534/5.
Tyndale's New Testament had been published in 1526. The complete Bible was put out under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew in 1537; it was printed in Paris and Antwerp by Adriana's uncle, Sir Jacobus van Meteren. Richard Grafton published the sheets and got leave to sell the edition (1500 copies) in England. At the insistence of Archbishop Cranmer, the "King's most gracious license" was granted to this translation. Previously in the same year, the 1537 reprint of the Myles Coverdale's translation had been granted such a license.
The pseudonym "Matthew" is associated with Rogers, but it seems more probable that Matthew stands for Tyndale's own name, which, back then, was dangerous to employ. Rogers had little to do with the translation; his own share in that work was probably confined to translating the prayer of Manasses (inserted here for the first time in a printed English Bible), the general task of editing the materials at his disposal, and preparing the marginal notes collected from various sources. These are often cited as the first original English language commentary on the Bible
Tomorrow, more on John Rogers, his martyrdom, and a bit of background on the Enlglish Reformation.

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