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Coverdale Bible 1535



7:1It happened also in the fourth yeare of kynge Darius, that the worde of the LORDE came vnto Zachary in the fourth daye of the ix. moneth, which is calleth Casleu:
7:2what tyme as Sarasar and Rogomelech and the men that were with them, sent vnto Bethel for to praye before ye LORDE:
7:3and that they shulde saye vnto the prestes, which were in the house of the LORDE of hoostes, and to the prophetes: Shulde I wepe in the fyfte moneth, and absteyne, as I haue done now certayne yeares?
7:4Then came the worde of the LORDE of hoostes vnto me, sayenge:
7:5Speake vnto all the people of the londe, and to the prestes, and saye: when ye fasted and mourned in the v & vij. moneth (now this lxx. yeares) dyd ye fast vnto me?
7:6When ye ate also and dronke, dyd ye not eate and drinke for youre owne selues?
7:7Are not these the wordes, which the LORDE spake by his prophetes afore tyme, when Ierusalem was yet inhabited and welthy, she and the cities rounde aboute her: when there dwelt me, both towarde the south and in the playne countrees?
7:8And the worde of the LORDE came vnto Zachary, sayenge:
7:9Thus saieth ye LORDE of hoostes: Execute true iudgment: shewe mercy and louynge kyndnesse, euery man to his brother:
7:10Do the wyddowe, the fatherlesse, the straunger, and poore no wronge: and let no man ymagen euell agaynst his brother in his hert.
7:11Neuertheles they wolde not take hede, but turned their backes, and stopped their eares, that they shulde not heare.
7:12yee they made their hertes as an Adamant stone, lest they shulde heare the lawe & wordes, which the LORDE of hoostes sent in his holy sprete by the prophetes afore tyme. Wherfore the LORDE of hoostes was very wroth at them.
7:13And thus is it come to passe, that like as he spake and they wolde not heare: euen so they cried, and I wolde not heare (saieth the LORDE of hoostes)
7:14but scatered them amonge all Gentiles, whom they knewe not. Thus the londe was made so desolate, yt there traualed no man in it nether to ner fro, for that pleasaunt londe was vtterly layed waist.
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.