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Coverdale Bible 1535



23:1Sara was an hundreth and seue and twentye yeare olde: so longe lyued she,
23:2and dyed in the head cite which is called Hebron, in the lande of Canaan. Then wente Abraham, to mourne and wepe for her.
23:3Afterwarde he stode vp from his coarse, and talked with the Hethites, & sayde:
23:4I am a strauger and an indweller amonge you, geue me a possession to bury in with you, that I maye bury my coarse by me.
23:5Then the Hethites answered Abraham, and sayde vnto him:
23:6O heare lorde, thou art a prynce of God amonge vs: bury thy dead in the best of oure sepulcres, there shall none of vs forbyd ye, that thou shuldest not bury thy deed in his sepulcre.
23:7Then Abraham stode vp, and thanked the people of ye londe: namely the Hethites.
23:8And he talked with them, and sayde: Yf it be youre wyll that I burye my coarse by me, heare me the, & speake for me to Ephron the sonne of Zoar,
23:9that he maye geue me the dubble caue, which he hath in ye ende of his felde. For a reasonable money let him geue it me, for a possession to burye in amoge you.
23:10For Ephron dwelt amonge the Hethites.Then answered Ephron the Hethite vnto Abraham, that the Hethites might heare, before all that wente out and in at the gates of his cite, and sayde:
23:11No my lorde, but heare me: As for the felde, and the caue also that is therin, I geue it the: and in the sight of my people I geue it the, to burye thy deed in.
23:12Then Abraham thanked the people of the londe,
23:13and talked with Ephron, that the people of the londe might heare, and sayde: Heare me then, Receaue of me the money that I geue the for the felde, and so wyll I burye my deed there.
23:14Ephron answered Abraham, and sayde vnto him:
23:15Heare me my lorde: The felde is worth foure hundreth Sycles of syluer: but what is that betwixte me and the? Burye thy deed.
23:16Abraham herkened vnto Ephron, and weyed him the money which he had sayde, that the Hethites might heare: namely foure hundreth syluer sycles of currant money amonge marchauntes.
23:17Thus Ephrons felde (where in the dubble caue is) which lyeth ouer before Mamre, euen the felde and the caue, was made sure
23:18for Abrahams owne good, with all the trees of the felde also rounde aboute, in the sight of the Hethites, and of all that go out and in at the gates of his cite.
23:19Then Abraham buried Sara his wife in the dubble caue of the felde, that lyeth ouer before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the londe of Canaan.
23:20So the felde and the caue therin was made sure of the Hethites vnto Abraham, for a possession to bury in.
Coverdale Bible 1535

Coverdale Bible 1535

The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, was the first complete English translation of the Bible to contain both the Old and New Testament and translated from the original Hebrew and Greek. The later editions (folio and quarto) published in 1539 were the first complete Bibles printed in England. The 1539 folio edition carried the royal license and was, therefore, the first officially approved Bible translation in English.

Tyndale never had the satisfaction of completing his English Bible; but during his imprisonment, he may have learned that a complete translation, based largely upon his own, had actually been produced. The credit for this achievement, the first complete printed English Bible, is due to Miles Coverdale (1488-1569), afterward bishop of Exeter (1551-1553).

The details of its production are obscure. Coverdale met Tyndale in Hamburg, Germany in 1529, and is said to have assisted him in the translation of the Pentateuch. His own work was done under the patronage of Oliver Cromwell, who was anxious for the publication of an English Bible; and it was no doubt forwarded by the action of Convocation, which, under Archbishop Cranmer's leading, had petitioned in 1534 for the undertaking of such a work.

Coverdale's Bible was probably printed by Froschover in Zurich, Switzerland and was published at the end of 1535, with a dedication to Henry VIII. By this time, the conditions were more favorable to a Protestant Bible than they had been in 1525. Henry had finally broken with the Pope and had committed himself to the principle of an English Bible. Coverdale's work was accordingly tolerated by authority, and when the second edition of it appeared in 1537 (printed by an English printer, Nycolson of Southwark), it bore on its title-page the words, "Set forth with the King's most gracious license." In licensing Coverdale's translation, King Henry probably did not know how far he was sanctioning the work of Tyndale, which he had previously condemned.

In the New Testament, in particular, Tyndale's version is the basis of Coverdale's, and to a somewhat less extent this is also the case in the Pentateuch and Jonah; but Coverdale revised the work of his predecessor with the help of the Zurich German Bible of Zwingli and others (1524-1529), a Latin version by Pagninus, the Vulgate, and Luther. In his preface, he explicitly disclaims originality as a translator, and there is no sign that he made any noticeable use of the Greek and Hebrew; but he used the available Latin, German, and English versions with judgment. In the parts of the Old Testament which Tyndale had not published he appears to have translated mainly from the Zurich Bible. [Coverdale's Bible of 1535 was reprinted by Bagster, 1838.]

In one respect Coverdale's Bible was groundbreaking, namely, in the arrangement of the books of the. It is to Tyndale's example, no doubt, that the action of Coverdale is due. His Bible is divided into six parts -- (1) Pentateuch; (2) Joshua -- Esther; (3) Job -- "Solomon's Balettes" (i.e. Canticles); (4) Prophets; (5) "Apocrypha, the books and treatises which among the fathers of old are not reckoned to be of like authority with the other books of the Bible, neither are they found in the canon of the Hebrew"; (6) the New Testament. This represents the view generally taken by the Reformers, both in Germany and in England, and so far as concerns the English Bible, Coverdale's example was decisive.