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Coverdale Bible 1535



28:1Then called Isaac his sonne Iacob and blessed him, and charged him, & sayde vnto him: Take not a wife of the doughters of Canaan,
28:2but get the vp, and go in to Mesopotamia vnto the house of Bethuel thy mothers father, and take ye there a wife of ye doughters of Laban yi mothers brother.
28:3And the Allmightie God blesse the, and make the frutefull, and multiplye the, (that thou mayest be a multitude of people)
28:4and geue the the blessynge of Abraham vnto ye & thy sede with the, that thou mayest possesse the lande, wherin thou art a straunger, which God gaue vnto Abraham.
28:5So Isaac let Iacob departe, that he might go in to Mesopotamia vnto Laban the sonne of Bethuel of Siria, ye brother of Rebecca, his and Esaus mother.
28:6Now when Esau sawe that Isaac had blessed Iacob, and let him departe in to Mesopotamia, that he might take a wife there: and yt, as he blessed him, he charged him, & sayde: Thou shalt not take a wife of the doughters of Canaan,
28:7and that Iacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone vnto Mesopotamia:
28:8seynge also that Isaac his father loked not gladly vpon the doughters of Canaan,
28:9he wente his waye vnto Ismael, and besyde the wyues that he had afore, he toke Mahaloth the doughter of Ismael (Abrahas sonne) the sister of Nebaioth, to wife.
28:10As for Iacob, he departed from Bersaba, and wente vnto Haran
28:11and came to a place, where he taried all night: for the Sonne was downe. And he toke a stone of ye place, & put it vnder his heade, and layed him downe in ye same place to slepe.
28:12And he dreamed, and beholde, there stode vpon ye earth, a ladder, whose toppe reached vnto the heauen. And beholde, the angels of God wente vp and downe vpon it,
28:13and the LORDE stode vpon it, and sayde: I am the LORDE God of thy father Abraham, and the God of Isaac: The londe yt thou lyest vpon, wyl I geue vnto the, and to thy sede:
28:14and thy sede shal be as ye dust of ye earth. And thou shalt sprede forth towarde the west, east, north, and south: and thorow the and thy sede shall all the kynreds vpon earth be blessed.
28:15And beholde, I am with ye, and wyll kepe the where so euer thou goest, & wyl brynge the hither agayne in to this lande: for I wil not leaue the, tyll I haue made good, all that I haue promysed the.
28:16Now whan Iacob awaked from his slepe, he saide: Surely the LORDE is in this place, and I knew not.
28:17And he was afraied, and sayde: How fearfull is this place? here is nothinge els but an house of God, & a gate vnto heaue.
28:18And Iacob arose early in the mornynge, and toke the stone that he had layed vnder his heade, and set it vp, and poured oyle vpon it.
28:19And he called the place Bethel, but afore the cite was called Lus.
28:20And Iacob made a vowe, and sayde: Yf God wyll be with me, and kepe me in this iourney yt I go & geue me bred to eate, and clothinge to put on,
28:21and brynge me peaceably home agayne vnto my father: The shall the LORDE be my God,
28:22and this stone that I haue set vp, shalbe an house of God: and all that thou geuest me, I wyl geue the the tenth therof.
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.