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Coverdale Bible 1535



31:1And the LORDE spake vnto Moses, & saide:
31:2I haue called by name Bezaleel the sonne of Vri ye sonne of Hur, of ye trybe of Iuda,
31:3and haue fylled him with ye sprete of God, with wysdome and vnderstodynge and knowlege, and to worke
31:4with all maner of connynge worke, in golde, syluer, brasse,
31:5to graue stones connyngly, and to set them, to carue well in tymbre, and to make all maner worke.
31:6And beholde, I haue geuen him Ahaliab the sonne of Ahisamach of the trybe of Dan, to be his companyon, and haue geuen wysdome in to the hertes of all that are wyse, that they shall make all that I haue commaunded the:
31:7the Tabernacle of wytnesse, the Arke of wytnesse, the Mercyseate theron, and all the ornamentes of ye Tabernacle:
31:8the table and his apparell, the candilsticke and all his apparell, the altare of incense,
31:9the altare of burntofferynges wt all his apparell, the lauer with his fote,
31:10the mynistrynge vestimentes of Aaron ye prest, and the garmentes of his sonnes to serue like prestes,
31:11the anoyntinge oyle, and the incese of spyces for ye Sactuary. All that I haue commaunded the, shal they make.
31:12And the LORDE talked vnto Moses, and sayde:
31:13Speake vnto the children of Israel, and saye: Kepe my Sabbath, for it is a token betwene me and you, and youre posterities, that ye maye knowe, how that I am the LORDE which haloweth you:
31:14therfore kepe my Sabbath, for it shalbe holy vnto you. Who so vnhaloweth it, shall dye the death: For who so doth eny worke therin, shalbe roted out from amonge his people.
31:15Sixe dayes shall men worke, but vpon the seuenth daye is the Sabbath the holy rest of the LORDE. Who so doth eny worke vpon the Sabbath daye, shall dye the death.
31:16Therfore shal the children of Israel kepe the Sabbath, that they maye kepe it also amonge their posterities for an euerlastynge couenaunt.
31:17An euerlastynge token is it betwixte me and the children of Israel. For in sixe dayes made the LORDE heaue & earth, but vpon ye seuenth daye he rested, and was refreshed.
31:18And whan the LORDE had made an ende of talkinge with Moses vpon the mount Sinai, he gaue him two tables of witnesse, which were of stone, and wrytten with the fynger of God.
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.