John Rogers printed the second complete English Bible in 1537 under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthews. It became known as the “Matthews Bible.” In the early sixteenth century it was illegal to own an English Bible. Tyndale had earlier translated much of the Bible into English, and was ultimately put to death. Rogers took on Tyndale’s task, and he was later executed by Queen Mary of England—burned at the stake in 1555. For the Matthews Bible, Rogers used the translation work of Tyndale and Myles Coverdale, who had published the first complete English Bible in 1535.
When the Bible was published, the attribution read: “translated by Thomas Matthews.” Historians conclude that it was likely a pseudonym for William Tyndale—his name still too dangerous to use!
To learn more about the Protestant Reformation visit www.museumofthebible.org/reformation.