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Coverdale Bible 1535



33:1Iacob lift vp his eyes, & sawe his brother Esau comynge with foure hundreth men: and he deuyded his children vnto Lea vnto Rachel, and to both the maydes,
33:2and set the maydens with their children before, and Lea with hir childre after, and Rachel with Ioseph hynder most.
33:3And he wente before them, and bowed him self to the grounde seuen tymes, tyll he came to his brother.
33:4But Esau ranne to mete him, and enbraced him, and fell aboute his neck, & kyssed him, and wepte,
33:5and lift vp his eyes, and sawe the wyues with the children, and sayde: What are these with the? He answered: They are the children, which God hath geuen vnto thy seruaunt.
33:6And the maydens came forth with their children, and dyd their obeysaunce vnto him.
33:7Lea came forth also with hir childre, and kneled vnto him. Afterwarde came Ioseph and Rachel forth, and kneled vnto him likewyse.
33:8And he sayde: What meanest thou wt all the droue that I met? He answered: that I might fynde grace in the sight of my lorde,
33:9Esau sayde: I haue ynough my brother, kepe that thou hast.
33:10Iacob answered: Oh nay, but yf I haue founde grace in yi sight, receaue my present of my hande (for I sawe thy face, as though I had sene the face of God) and be at one with me.
33:11Take this present in good worth, that I haue brought ye, for God hath geuen it me, & I haue ynough of all thinges. So he compelled him to take it.
33:12And he sayde: Let vs go on and take oure iourney, I wyll go in thy company.
33:13But he sayde vnto him: My lorde, thou knowest that I haue tender children by me, and small and greate catell also, which are yet but yonge: yf they shulde be dryue ouer in one daye, the whole flocke wolde dye.
33:14Let my lorde go on before his seruaut. I wyll dryue after fayre and softly, (there after as the catell & the children can go,) tyll I come to my lorde in Seir.
33:15Esau sayde: Yet wil I leaue some of my people with the. He answered: What nede is it? Let me but onely fynde grace in the sight of my lorde.
33:16So Esau departed againe the same daye towarde Seir,
33:17and Iacob toke his iourney towarde Sucoth, and buylded him an house, and made tetes for his catell. Therfore is the place called Sucoth.
33:18Afterwarde came Iacob peaceably vnto the cite of Sichem, which lyeth in ye lande of Canaan, after that he was come agayne out of Mesopotamia, and pitched before the cite,
33:19and bought a pece of londe of the children of Hemor ye father of Sichem for an hundreth pens. There pitched he his tent,
33:20and there he set vp an altare, and called vpon the name of the mightie God of Israel.
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.