Battle for the Bible

Presented by Rod Liddle explores the life and times of the visionaries who fought a powerful and violent church establishment to publish the Bible in English. Their vocation, tenacity and sacrifice left a lasting impression on the language and literature in the centuries that followed. Am I my brothers keeper? In the beginning was the word. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. A law unto himself. The inflections, cadences and familiar phrases of the first English Bible set the foundations for the way English has been spoken and written in the five centuries that followed its first publication. The struggle to translate the Bible into a language that everyone could understand was part of a challenge to the medieval Catholic Church, which conducted its rituals in Latin and invested huge authority in the Pope. Those who wanted to reform the church believed that each individual could relate directly to God, without the mediation of priests, but to do so they needed access to the scriptures. Perhaps its most important legacy, though, is the Protestant notion put by Jefferson God hath created the mind free. This underpinned the separation of church and state, the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression and the right to fight for freedom of choice, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech.