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Coverdale Bible 1535



11:1Open thy dores (o Libanus) that the fyre maye consume thy Cedre trees.
11:2Howle ye Fyrre trees, for the Cedre is falle, yee all ye proude are waisted awaye Howle (o ye oke trees of Baasan) for ye mightie stronge wod is cut downe.
11:3Men maye heare the shepherdes mourne, for their glory is destroyed. Me maye heare the lyons whelpes roare, for the pryde off Iordane is waisted awaye.
11:4Thus sayeth the LORDE my God: Fede the shepe of ye slaughter,
11:5which shalbe slayne of those that possesse them: yet they take it for no synne, but they yt sell the, saye: The LORDE be thanked, I am rich: Yee their owne shepherdes spare them not.
11:6Therfore wil I nomore spare those that dwell in the londe (sayeth the LORDE) but lo, I will delyuer the people, euery man in to his neghbours honde, and in to the hode of his kynge: that they maye smyte the londe, and out off their hondes wil not I delyuer them.
11:7I myself fedde ye slaughter shepe (a poore flocke verely) ad toke vnto me two staues: the one I called louynge mekenesse, the other I called wo, and so I kepte the shepe.
11:8Thre shepherdes destroyed I in one moneth, for I might not awaye wt them, nether had they eny delyte in me.
11:9Then sayde I: I will fede you nomore, the thinge that dyeth, let it dye: and that wil perishe, let it perish, & let the renaunt eate, euery one the flesh of his neghboure.
11:10I toke also my louynge meke staff, ad brake it, that I might disanull the conuenaunt, which I made with all people,
11:11And so it was broken in that daye. Then the poore symple shepe that had a respecte vnto me, knewe therby, that it was the worde of the LORDE.
11:12And I sayde vnto them: yff ye thynke it good, brynge hither my pryce: yf no, then leaue. So they wayed downe xxx. syluer pens, ye value that I was prysed at.
11:13And the LORDE sayde vnto me: cast it vnto the potter (a goodly pryce for me to be valued at of them) and I toke the xxx. syluers pens, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORDE.
11:14Then brake I my other staff also (namely wo) that I might lowse the brotherheade betwixte Iuda and Israel.
11:15And the LORDE sayde vnto me: Take to the also the staff off a foolish shepherde:
11:16for lo, I will rayse vp a shepherde in the londe, which shall not seke after the thinges that be lost, ner care for soch as go astraye: he shall not heale the wounded, he shal not norish the thinge that is whole: but he shall eate the flesh off soch as be fat, and teare their clawes in peces.
11:17O Idols shepherde, that leaueth the flocke. The swerde shal come vpon his arme and vpon his right eye. His arme shalbe clene dried vp, and his right eye shalbe sore blynded.
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.