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Rare copy of the first English Bible may sell for £35,000

A rare copy of the first Bible printed in English is expected to fetch a whopping £35,000 at Sotheby's July auction in London.

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Rare copy of the first English Bible may sell for £35,000
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A rare copy of the first Bible printed in English is expected to fetch a whopping £35,000 at Sotheby's July auction in London.

The William Tyndale translation of the New Testament into English was first bought in Cambridge by its current owner for 25 shillings in the 1960s while looking around a secondhand bookshop. It was printed in 1537, from Tyndale's first complete Bible printed in English in 1526.

After being arrested in Antwerp in Belgium, Tyndale was executed as a heretic in 1536 and copies of the book which were discovered in Britain were burnt. Henry VIII eventually ordered four English translations of the Bible to be published in England, 'Belfast Telegraph' reported.

"It's a remarkable thing to see the common tongue being deployed in this way," Peter Selly, senior specialist in books and manuscripts at Sotheby's, said. "It opens the Bible up for the first time, and a lot of these phrases would become embedded in the English language. "It's not just the religious aspect, it's the contribution to the English language. A lot of people have said 'no Tyndale, no Shakespeare'," said Selly.

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