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Coverdale Bible 1535



2:1And there wente forth a man of the house of Leui, and toke a doughter of Leui.
2:2And the wife conceaued and bare a sonne. And whan she sawe yt it was a proper childe, she hyd him thre monethes.
2:3And whan she coude hyde him no longer, she toke an Arke of redes, and dawbed it ouer with slyme and pitch, and layed the childe therin, and set it amonge the redes by the waters brynke.
2:4But his sister stode a farre of, to wete what wolde come of him.
2:5And Pharaos doughter came downe, to wash herself in the water: And hir maydens walked by the water syde: and whan she sawe the Arke amonge the redes, she sent one of hir maydens, and caused it to be fett.
2:6And whan she opened it, she sawe ye childe: and beholde the babe wepte. Then had she pytie vpon it, and sayde: It is one of the Hebrues children.
2:7Then sayde his syster vnto Pharaos doughter: Shal I go, and call the a nurse of the Hebrues wemen, to nurse ye the childe?
2:8Pharaos doughter sayde vnto her: Go thy waye. The mayde wente, and called the childes mother.
2:9Then sayde Pharaos doughter vnto her: Take this childe, and nurse it for me, I wyll geue ye thy rewarde. The woman toke the childe, and nursed it.
2:10And whan the childe was growne, she brought it vnto Pharaos doughter, and it became hir sonne, and she called him Moses. For she sayde: I toke him out of the water.
2:11Vpon a tyme whan Moses was greate, he wente forth vnto his brethren, and loked vpon their burthens, and sawe, that an Egipcia smote one of his brethren ye Hebrues.
2:12And he loked rounde aboute him: and whan he sawe that there was no man, he slew the Egipcian, and buried him in the sonde.
2:13The next daye he wente forth also, and sawe two men of the Hebrues stryuynge together, and sayde to the vngodly: Wherfore smytest thou thy neghboure?
2:14But he sayde: Who made the a ruler or iudge ouer vs? Wilt thou slaye me also, as thou slewest the Egipcian? The was Moses afrayed, and sayde: How is this knowne?
2:15And Pharao herde of it, and sought for Moses, to slaye him. But Moses fled from Pharao, and kepte him in the lande of Madian, and sat him downe by a wells syde.
2:16The prest Madian had seuen doughters, which came to drawe water, and fylled the troughes, to geue their fathers shepe to drinke.
2:17Then came the shepherdes, and droue the awaye. But Moses gat him vp, and helped them, and gaue their shepe to drynke.
2:18And whan they came to Reguel their father, he saide: How came ye so soone to daie?
2:19They sayde: A man of Egipte delyuered vs from ye shepherdes, and drew vnto vs, and gaue the shepe to drynke.
2:20He sayde vnto his doughters. Where is he? Wherfore let ye the man go, that ye called him not to eate with vs?
2:21And Moses was content to dwell with the man. And he gaue Moses his doughter Zipora,
2:22which bare him a sonne, and he called him Gerson, for he sayde: I am become a straunger in a straunge lande.
2:23And she bare him yet a sonne, whom he called Elieser, and sayde: The God of my father is my helper, and hath delyuered me from Pharaos hade.But after this in processe of tyme, the kynge of Egipte dyed. And the childre of Israel sighed ouer their laboure, and cried.
2:24And their crye ouer their labor, came before God. And God herde their coplaynte, & remebred his couenaunt with Abraham Isaac and Iacob.
2:25And God loked vpon the childre of Israel, and God knew it.
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.