Building the Bible

The 1500s: The Protestant Reformation

Why did King Henry VIII allow, albeit unofficially, the publication of Coverdale’s translation when prior to this he had been against the Bible being printed in English?

Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536), so he could marry his mistress, Anne Boleyn (1501–1536). The papacy refused to grant King Henry VIII a divorce. So in a shocking move the king separated the centuries-old Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church. The Church of England had existed since the time when Christianity first entered England.


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