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Coverdale Bible 1535



18:1And whan Iethro ye prest in Madian Moses father in lawe herde of all yt God had done wt Moses & his people of Israel, how yt the LORDE had brought Israel out of Egipte,
18:2he toke Zipora Moses wife, whom he had sent backe,
18:3with her two sonnes. The one was called Gerson, for he saide: I am become a straunger in a straunge londe.
18:4And the other was called Eliaser, for he sayde: The God of my fathers hath bene my helpe, and hath delyuered me from Pharaos swerde.
18:5Now wha Iethro Moses father in lawe, and his sonnes and his wife came vnto him in the wyldernes by the mount of God where he had pitched his tent,
18:6he sent worde vnto Moses: I Iethro thy father in lawe am come vnto the, and yi wife and both hir children with her.
18:7Then wente Moses forth to mete him, and dyd obeysauce vnto him, and kyssed him. And whan they had saluted ech other, they wente in to the tente.
18:8Then Moses tolde his father in lawe all that the LORDE had done vnto Pharao and the Egipcians for Israels sake, and all the trauayle that had happened them by ye waye, and how the LORDE had delyuered them.
18:9Iethro reioysed ouer all ye good that the LORDE had done for Israel, yt he had delyuered them from the hade of the Egipcians.
18:10And Iethro sayde: Praysed be the LORDE, which hath delyuered you from the hande of the Egipcians and of Pharao, (and) that knoweth how to delyuer his people from the Egipcians hande.
18:11Now I knowe, that the LORDE is greater the all goddes, because they dealt proudly wt them.
18:12And Iethro toke brentofferynges, and offered vnto God. Then came Aaron and all ye elders of Israel to eate bred with Moses father in lawe before God.
18:13On the next morow sat Moses to iudge the people, and the people stode roude aboute Moses from the mornynge vntyll ye euen.
18:14But whan his father in lawe sawe all that he dyd with the people, he sayde: What is this, that thou doest with the people? Wherfore syttest thou alone, and all ye people stonde rounde aboute from the morninge vntyll the euen?
18:15Moses answered him: The people come to me, & axe councell at God:
18:16for whan they haue eny thinge to do, they come vnto me, that I maye iudge betwixte euery one & his neghboure, and shewe them the statutes of God, and his lawes.
18:17His father in lawe sayde vnto him: It is not well that thou doest.
18:18Thou weeriest thy self, and the people that is with the. This busynesse is to sore for the, thou canst not perfourme it alone.
18:19But herken vnto my voyce, I will geue the councell, and God shall be with the. Be thou vnto the people to God warde, and brynge the causes before God,
18:20and prouide them with statutes and lawes, that thou mayest shewe the the waie wherin they shulde walke, and the workes that they shulde do.
18:21But loke out amonge all the people, for honest men, that feare God, soch as are true, & hate couetousnes: make these rulers ouer them, some ouer thousandes, ouer hundredes, ouer fiftie, and ouer ten,
18:22that they maye allwaye iudge the people. But where there is eny greate matter, that they brynge the same vnto the, and iudge the small causes them selues: so shall it be lighter for the, yf they beare the burthen with the.
18:23Yf thou shalt do this, then mayest thou endure the thinge that God chargeth the withall, and all this people maie go peaceably vnto their place.
18:24Moses herkened vnto the voyce of his father in lawe, and dyd all that he sayde.
18:25And he chose honest men out of all Israel, and made them heades ouer the people, some ouer thousandes, ouer hundredes, ouer fiftie, and ouer ten,
18:26that they might allwaye iudge the people. As for soch causes as were herde, they brought them vnto Moses, and iudged the small matters them selues.
18:27So Moses let his father in lawe departe in to his owne londe.
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.