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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1In the eight moneth of the secode yeare of kinge Darius, came the worde of the LORDE vnto Zachary the sonne of Barachias, the sonne of Addo, the prophet, sayenge:
1:2The LORDE hath bene sore displeased at youre forefathers.
1:3And saye thou vnto them: thus saieth the LORDE of hoostes. Turne you vnto me (saieth the LORDE of hoostes) and I wil turne me vnto you, saieth the LORDE of hoostes.
1:4Be not ye like youre forefathers, vnto whom the prophetes cried a fore tyme, sayege: Thus saieth the LORDE God of hoostes: Turne you from youre euell wayes, & from youre wicked ymaginacions. But they wolde not heare, ner regarde me, saieth the LORDE.
1:5What is now become of youre forefathers and the prophetes? are they yet still alyue?
1:6But dyd not my wordes & statutes (which I comaunded by my seruauntes ye prophetes) touch yor forefathers? Vpo this, they gaue answere & sayde: like as ye LORDE of hoostes deuysed to do vnto vs, acordinge to or owne wayes & ymaginacions, euen so hath he dealte with vs.
1:7Vpon the xxiiij. daye of the xj. moneth (which is the moneth Sebat) in the seconde yeare of Darius, came the worde of the LORDE vnto Zachary the sonne of Barachias, the sonne of Addo the prophete, sayenge:
1:8I sawe by night, and lo, there sat one vpon a reade horse, and stode still amonge the Myrte trees, that were beneth vpon the grounde: and behynde him were there reade, spreckled and whyte horses.
1:9Then sayde I: O my LORDE, what are these? And the angel that talked with me, sayed vnto me: I will shewe the what these be.
1:10And the man that stode amoge the Myrte trees, answered & sayde: These are they, whom the LORDE hath sent to go thorow the worlde.
1:11And they answered the angel of the LORDE, that stode amonge the Myrte trees, and sayde: We haue gone thorow the worlde: and beholde, all the worlde dwell at ease, and are carelesse.
1:12Then the LORDES angel gaue answere and sayde: O LORDE of hoostes, how longe wilt thou be vnmercifull to Ierusale and to the cities of Iuda, with whom thou hast bene displeased now these lxx. yeares?
1:13So the LORDE gaue a louynge and a confortable answere, vnto the angel that talked with me.
1:14And the angel that commoned with me, sayde vnto me: Crie thou, and speake, thus saieth the LORDE of hoostes: I am exceadynge gelous ouer Ierusalem and Sion,
1:15and sore displeased at the carelesse Heithen: for where as I was but a litle angrie, they dyd their best that I might destroye them
1:16Therfore thus saieth the LORDE: I wil turne me agayne in mercy towarde Ierusalem, so that my house shalbe buylded in it, saieth the LORDE of hoostes: yee and the plommet shal be layed abrode in Ierusalem, saieth the LORDE of hoostes.
1:17Crie also, and speake: thus saieth the LORDE of hoostes: My cities shall be in good prosperite agayne, the LORDE shall yet conforte Sion, and chose Ierusalem.
1:18Then lift I vp myne eyes and sawe, and beholde, foure hornes.
1:19And I sayde vnto the angel, that talked with me: what be these? he answered me: These are ye hornes, which haue scatred Iuda, Israel and Ierusalem abrode.
1:20And ye LORDE shewed me iiij. carpenters.
1:21Then sayde I: what wil these do? He answered, & sayde: Those are the hornes, which haue so strowed Iuda abrode, that no man durst lift vp his heade: But these are come to fraye them awaye, and to cast out ye hornes of the Gentiles, which lift vp their horne ouer the londe of Iuda, to scatre it abrode.
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.