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Coverdale Bible 1535



4:1And ye angel that talked with me, came agayne, & waked me vp (as a man that is raysed out of his slepe)
4:2& sayde vnto me: What seist thou? And I sayde: I haue loked, and beholde: a candelsticke all of golde, with a boll vpon it & his vij. lampes therin, & vpon euery lampe vij. stalkes:
4:3And ij. olyue trees therby, one vpon the right syde of the boll, & the other vpon the left syde.
4:4So I answered, & spake to the angel yt talked with me, sayenge: O my lorde what are these?
4:5The angel that talked with me, answered & sayde vnto me: knowest thou not what these be? And I sayde: No, my lorde.
4:6He answered, & sayde vnto me: This is the worde of the LORDE vnto Zorobabel, sayenge: Nether thorow an hoost of men, ner thorow stregth, but thorow my sprete, saieth ye LORDE of hoostes.
4:7What art thou (thou greate mountayne) before Zorobabel? thou must be made eauen. And he shal bringe vp the first stone, so that men shall crie vnto him: good lucke, good lucke.
4:8Morouer, the worde of the LORDE came vnto me, sayenge:
4:9The hondes of Zorobabel haue layed ye foundacion of this house, his hondes also shal fynishe it: that ye maye knowe, how that the LORDE of hoostes hath sent me vnto you.
4:10For he that hath bene despysed a litle season, shal reioyce, whe he seyth the tynne weight in Zorobabels honde. The vij. eyes are the LORDES, which go thorow the hole worlde.
4:11Then answered I, & sayde vnto him: What are these two olyue trees vpon the right and left syde of the candilsticke?
4:12I spake morouer, & sayde vnto him: what be these ij. olyue braunches which (thorow ye two golden pipes) emptie them selues into the golde?
4:13He answered me, & sayde: knowest thou not, what these be? And I sayde: No, my lorde.
4:14Then sayde he: These are the two olyue braunches, that stonde before the ruler of the whole earth.
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.