KEY Commentary Side Textual Bibliographic Scriptural
v. Editorial Procedures

This edition of the 1531 edition of Answer to More is based on the copy in the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC in consultation with the other surviving copies: London, Cambridge, and Dublin. Signature marks enclosed in square brackets have been inserted into the text of this edition to indicate the beginning of a new page in the original printed text. Abbreviations have been expanded except for the ampersand (&). Characteristic Tyndalian spellings are preserved, and the emendations of 1573 noted: "bedged" (36/32 etc.) for "begged," "mischeue" (44/3 etc.) for "mischief," and "wordlie" (7/25 etc.) for "worldly."

A marked feature of 1531 is its habit of joining the modifier to a modified word: noun plus noun, e.g., "imageseruice" (63/26 etc.); noun plus gerund, e.g., "trucebreakynge" (104/5); auxiliary plus verb, e.g., "becalled" (31/17). Because this practise of joining related words seems deliberate, other compounds are left unchanged: adjective plus noun, e.g., "preciousstones" (61/12); article plus noun, e.g., "awaight" (35/1); copulative plus adjective, e.g., "bewise" (17/31); verb plus adverb: "vnseneto" (78/4); article plus adjective: "agreate" (68/24 etc.); adjective plus pronoun: "etherother" (171/23); even verb plus preposition: "bewith out" (165/21 etc.). Following the preference of 1531 for joining compounds, this edition silently links parts which run on to the next line as if a hyphen were given. In a few cases, compound words are separated to remove a stumblingblock , e.g.: "goodwin sandes" (78/10), "popysh eyes" (197/5), "put to" (45/15), "Teynterden steple" (77/S1 etc.), "We be" (117/32). These latter emendations are recorded.

Because 1531 frequently treats the space at the end of the line as a marker, this edition supplies the missing punctuation, especially a virgule in a series (11/17 etc.), and records the emendations. It regularizes final periods by keeping or adding them after a complete sentence to headings, sidenotes, and entries in the "The table of the boke." It adds a period after numbers in the sidenotes and silently removes the occasional period before an abbreviation, e.g.:".M." for "Master", ".S." for "Saint". Twice, it changes the exclamation point to the anachronistic question mark to alert readers to the different modality; the emendations are recorded (17/13, 140/29). "Vv" is changed to "W" throughout 1531 (except in the bibliographical description of the title-page), and the first letter of the sidenotes is capitalized . Roman numbers are regularized: "j" is given for "i" as the only or the last letter in a series, and a final period is added to the number.

The 1531 edition of Answer to More frequently signals the end of a major section by arranging the conclusion of a paragraph in a pendant : title-page (A1), end of preface (A4v), end of section (B8, C1v, C2v, D6v, E1v), end of division (F8, I3v, L2), but no apparent reason (B3v, E2, G2, O5v, O6, P1v, P3, R2v). This edition keeps the pendant only on the title-page but indicates the beginning of the Foundational Essay, the Answers to the First through the Fourth Books, and "The table of the boke" by starting a new page. Less handily, 1531 places a section-head at the end of the page instead of with new material on the next page (C2v, F1v, H4, I7, K5v, M3v, M4, N7v, P4). Even a division-head is separated from its proper material (L2v). Here the format is improved by uniting heads to bodies.

Since this edition is intended for theologians as well as literary historians, it corrects biblical citations and notes the emendations (23/S4, 67/S2, 87/S4). For the sidenotes line references are given where they actually occur in 1531, not where they ought to occur. In a few cases the sidenote is placed on the page where the topic occurs , but the line numbers (73/31, 120/33–121/1, 124/1, 124/33–125/1, 136/33–137/6) refer to the preceding or following page. Thus, modern readers can still use the marginalia to find topics in the text.

The edition of Answer to More in Whole Works (1573) commands respect. John Foxe reproduces Tyndale's subject matter faithfully, but he makes a few changes relevant to the doctrine and discipline of the Elizabethan church: "Masse" to "Christes Supper & not Masse" (95/S2), and "altare" to "body & bloud of Christ" (164/S2) to remove the idea of sacrifice from the Eucharist; "Faith" to "Faith is the gift of God & commeth not by free wil." (192/S1) to emphasize justification by faith; he removes "oure" from "prelates" (94/3) to distinguish Anglican from Roman bishops; he omits "Prestes maye haue wives." (152/S1) probably because the queen disapproved of a married clergy.

In the spirit of Tyndale, Foxe also makes a number of polemical emendations in the sidenotes: "Place" to "M. More teacheth false doctrine." (87/S1); "[Hand]" to "The Pope selleth sinne and paine & all that can be solde." (101/S1); "Purgatory" to "Purgatory profitable to the Pope" (I43/S5); "[Hand]" to "Money dispatcheth Purgatory." (144/S1); "Pope" to "Pope forbiddeth matrimony & the eatyng of meates." (171/S9); "Sectes," i.e., "religious orders," to "The sectes in the popishe church are almost innumerable." (127/S3).

Because the Henrician and Elizabethan editions of Answer to More are separated by forty-odd years of human speech, Foxe "modernizes " Tyndale's language: verb forms, e.g., "beleuen" to "beleued" (36/28); diction, e.g., "endoted" to "endowed" (16/30–31); syntax, e.g., "maner workes" to "maner of workes" (100/23–24). Foxe also misreads Tyndale's coinage of names. He changes "litle flocke" to "the little flocke" (107/29 etc.), "quod youre frend" to "quoth your frend" (18/28), "quod he" to "quoth he" (194/14–15). All these changes are recorded in the variants.

In 1850 the Parker Society published a modern-spelling version of Answer to More, conscientiously edited by Henry Walter. He used the Cambridge University copy of 1531 collated with a copy of 1573 (PS 3.3). His worst fault is to bowdlerize the text, cf. 60/6–7n and 165/30n. He frequently, though not always, identifies sidenotes from 1531 with "W.T." He adds some scriptural references, especially those identified in the text of 1531. His documentation of other sources is also limited but helpful, cf. his annotation on Augustine and prayers to the saints (126/2–4n). When weary from rowing through Tudor spelling, the reader can steam ahead by consulting Answer in its Victorian form.

Since the editions of 1531, 1573, and 1850 offer few problems in regard to text, this critical edition is noteworthy for providing the context. The introduction presents the history of the composition and the principles of theology in Answer to More. The text reproduces the Early Modern spelling of 1531 with the variants of 1573.

In an appendix, sidenotes from the Whole Works of 1573 show how Answer was received in Elizabethan England after the queen was excommunicated by Pius V (pope, 1566–72) in 1570. The glossary alerts the reader to the subtle differences between Renaissance and Modern English. The indices to Scripture, Jerome, Augustine, Aquinas, Erasmus, More, and Luther provide access to the rich theological background. Most helpful of all, the commentary spans fifteen hundred years of church history from the New Testament to Tyndale's works of polemic and exegesis.