censorship and commendation
Takamiya MS 28 is a partial copy of the Wycliffite Bible that includes the Gospel of Matthew and the Acts of the Apostles. The Wycliffite Bible was a Middle English translation of the Latin Vulgate that was produced by the followers of John Wycliffe, a fourteenth-century English theologian who attacked clerical corruption and promoted the reading of the Bible in English by laypeople — a controversial notion at the time. The translation survives in two versions, the Earlier and the Later. Takamiya MS 28 is a part of the Earlier Version, which is the more literal translation.
In 1409 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel condemned this translation and tried to censor it, but even so, the Wycliffite Bible was one of the most widely disseminated medieval texts in Middle English. The two hundred-fifty or so surviving full and partial copies attest to both lay and clerical ownership.
Unlike the Wycliffite Bible, the content of Takamiya MS 63 received approval from ecclesiastical authorities, including Arundel. In The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, Nicholas Love sought to counter the scriptural focus of Wycliffe and his followers by offering an approved and mediated account of the narrative events of Christ’s life.
Love guides the reader through the life and Passion of Christ, asking participants to imagine themselves as being present at biblical scenes.