The paragraph below was excerpted from the article "Bible, English" by Anna C. Paues in the 11th edition of the Ecyclopædia Britannica (1911).

Taverner's Bible (1539)

The successful sale of Matthew's Bible, the private venture of the two printers Grafton and Whitchurch, was threatened by a rival edition published in 1539 in folio and quarto by "John Byddell for Thomas Barthlet" with Richard Taverner as editor. This was, in fact, what would now be called "piracy," being Grafton's Matthew Bible revised by Taverner, a learned member of the Inner Temple and famous Greek scholar. He made many alterations in the Matthew Bible, characterized by critical acumen and a happy choice of strong and idiomatic expressions. He is, perhaps, the first purist among the Biblical translators, endeavouring, whenever possible, to substitute a word of native origin for the foreign expression of his predecessors. (1) His revision seems, however, to have had little or no influence on subsequent translators, and was only once, in 1549, reprinted in its entirety. Quarto and octavo editions of the New Testament alone were published in the same year, 1539, as the original edition, and in the following year, 1540, the New Testament in duodecimo. The Old Testament was reprinted as part of a Bible in 1551, but no other editions are known than those named.

1. See examples in Westcott, History of the English Bible (3rd ed.), revised by W. Aldis Wright (London, 1905), pp. 208 f.