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Coverdale Bible 1535



29:1Then Iacob gat him vp vpon his fete, and wente in to the east countre,
29:2& loked aboute him, and beholde, there was a well in the felde, and ye flockes of shepe therby, for the flockes dranke of the well. And there laye a greate stone at the welles mouth,
29:3and thyther they vsed to brynge the flockes, and to roule the stone from ye mouth of the well, and to geue the shepe drynke, & so they put the stone agayne vpon the welles mouth in to his place.
29:4And Iacob sayde vnto them: Brethren, whece be ye? They answered: we are of Haran.
29:5He sayde vnto them: Knowe ye Laban the sonne of Nahor? They answered: We knowe him well.
29:6He sayde: Is he in good health? They answered: he is in good health. And lo, there commeth his doughter Rachel with the shepe.
29:7He sayde: It is yet hye daye, & is not yet tyme to dryue in the catell: geue the shepe to drynke, & go youre waye, & fede them.
29:8They answered: We can not, tyll all the flockes be brought together, and tyll we roule the stone from the welles mouth, & so geue the shepe drynke.
29:9Whyle he yet talked with them, Rachel came with hir fathers shepe, for she kepte ye shepe.
29:10Whan Iacob sawe Rachel ye doughter of Laban his mothers brother, and the shepe of Laban his mothers brother, he wete, & rouled the stone from the welles mouth, and gaue his mothers brother shepe to drynke,
29:11and kyssed Rachel, lift vp his voyce, and wepte,
29:12and tolde her, yt he was hir fathers brother, and ye sonne of Rebecca. Then ranne she, and tolde her father.
29:13Wha Laban herde of Iacob his sisters sonne, he ranne to mete him, and enbraced him, and kyssed him, and brought him in to his house. And so he tolde him all this matter.
29:14The sayde Laban vnto him: Wel, thou art my bone and my flesh. Abyde with me a moneth longe.
29:15But after that saide he vnto Iacob: Because thou art my brother, shalt thou therfore serue me for nought? Tell me, what shall thy wages be.
29:16Laban had two doughters, the eldest was called Lea, & the yongest Rachel.
29:17And Lea was tender eyed, but Rachel was beutyfull & well fauoured of face,
29:18and Iacob loued her well, and sayde: I will serue the seuen yeare, for Rachel thy yongest doughter.
29:19Laban answered: It is better that I geue her the, then vnto another: tary thou with me.
29:20So Iacob serued seuen yeare for Rachel, and they semed vnto him but few dayes, he loued her so well.
29:21And Iacob saide vnto Laban: geue me my wyfe, for the tyme is come that I shulde lye with her.
29:22The Laban bad all the people of that place, and made a mariage.
29:23But at eue he toke his doughter Lea, and brought her in vnto him, and he laye wt her.
29:24And Laban gaue Zilpa his mayde vnto his doughter Lea to be hir mayde.
29:25But on the morow, beholde, it was Lea. And he sayde vnto Laban: Why hast thou done this vnto me? Haue not I serued ye for Rachel? Why hast thou then begyled me?
29:26Laban answered: It is not the maner in oure countre, to mary the yongest before the eldest.
29:27Holde out this weke, & I will geue the this also, for the seruyce yt thou shalt do me yet seuen yeares more.
29:28Iacob dyd so, & helde out yt weke. Then gaue he him Rachel his doughter to wyfe.
29:29And Laban gaue Bilha his mayden vnto Rachel his doughter to be hir mayden.
29:30So he laye with Rachel also, & loued Rachel more the Lea, and serued him yet seuen yeares more.
29:31But when the LORDE sawe, that Lea was nothinge regarded, he made her frutefull, and Rachel baren.
29:32And Lea coceaued, and bare a sonne, whom she called Ruben, and sayde: The LORDE hath loked vpon my aduersite. Now wyll my husbande loue me.
29:33And she conceaued agayne, and bare a sonne, and sayde: The LORDE hath herde that I am despysed, and hath geue me this also, and she called him Symeon.
29:34She coceaued yet agayne, and bare a sonne, and sayde: Now wyll my husbande kepe me company agayne, for I haue borne him thre sonnes, therfore called she his name Leui.
29:35She conceaued ye fourth tyme, and bare a sonne, and sayde: Now wyll I geue thankes vnto the LORDE, therfore called she him Iuda, and left bearynge.
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.