This chapter analyzes manuscript records which show how the bible was used and what the General Prologue to the Wycliffite Bible itself explains and demonstrates about its purposes. Conventional wisdom dictates that lollards translated the entire text of the bible into English because they wanted laypersons to be able to read all of its very own words for themselves, rather than having to rely on adulterated versions, interlarded with glosses and exempla that distort its message. While there is some truth to this assumption, the chapter opts for a more expansive view of the Wycliffite Bible by examining parabiblical materials that take the forms of summary, interpretation, paraphrase, or other renderings of biblical material other than in the bible’s own words in a way that might more readily provide a substitute for reading those words.
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