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Coverdale Bible 1535



2:1I lift vp myne eyes agayne, & loked: and beholde, a man with a measure lyne in his honde.
2:2Then saide I: whether goest thou? And he sayde vnto me: To measure Ierusalem, that I maye se how longe and how brode it is.
2:3And beholde, the angel that talked wt me, wente his waye forth. Then wete there out another angel to mete him,
2:4& sayde vnto him: Runne, speake to this yonge man, & saye: Ierusalem shal be inhabited without eny wal, for ye very multitude of people & catell, yt shal be therin.
2:5Yee I myself (saieth the LORDE) wil be vnto her a wall of fyre rounde aboute, & wilbe honoured in her.
2:6O get you forth, O fle from the londe of ye north (saieth the LORDE) ye, whom I haue scatred in to the foure wyndes vnder heaue, saieth the LORDE.
2:7Saue thy self, o Sion: thou that dwellest with ye doughter of Babilon,
2:8for thus saieth the LORDE of hoostes: With a glorious power hath he sent me out to the Heithe, which spoyled you: for who so toucheth you, shal touche the aple of his owne eye.
2:9Beholde, I will lift vp myne honde ouer them: so that they shal be spoyled of those, which afore serued them: & ye shal knowe, that the LORDE of hoostes hath sent me.
2:10Be glad, & reioyce, o doughter of Sion: for lo, I am come to dwell in the myddest of the, saieth the LORDE.
2:11At the same tyme there shal many Heithen cleue to the LORDE, & shal be my people. Thus wil I dwel in the myddest of the, & thou shalt knowe, that the LORDE of hoostes hath sent me vnto the.
2:12The LORDE shall haue Iuda in possession for his parte in the holy grounde, & shal chose Ierusalem yet agayne.
2:13Let all flesh be still before the LORDE, for he is rysen out of his holy place.
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.