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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1Paul an Apostle (not of men, nor by ma, but by Iesus Christ & by God the father, which raysed him vp fro ye deed)
1:2& all the brethre which are wt me. Vnto the cogregacios in Galacia.
1:3Grace be with you, and peace fro God the father, and oure LORDE Iesus Christ,
1:4which gaue him selfe for oure synnes, that he mighte delyuer vs from this present euel worlde, acordinge to the wyll of God oure father,
1:5to whom be prayse for euer and euer. Amen.
1:6I maruell yt ye are so soone turned (from him that called you in the grace of Christ) vnto another Gospell:
1:7which is nothinge els, but that there be some, which trouble you, and intende to peruerte the Gospell of Christ.
1:8Neuertheles though we oure selues, or an angell from heaue preach vnto you eny other Gospel, the yt which we haue preached vnto you, the same be acursed.
1:9As we haue sayde afore, so saye we now agayne: Yf eny ma preach vnto you eny other thinge, the yt ye haue receaued, ye same be acursed.
1:10Preach I men now or God? Or go I aboute to please men? Yf I shulde yet please men, I were not the seruaunt of Christ.
1:11But I certifye you brethren, yt the Gospell which is preached of me, is not of men.
1:12For I nether receaued it ner lerned it of ma, but by the reuelacion of Iesus Christ.
1:13For ye haue herde of my conuersacion afore tyme in the Ieweshippe, how that beyode measure I persecuted the cogregacion of God, and spoyled it,
1:14and preuayled in the Ieweshippe aboue many of my companyons in my nacion, & was a moch more feruent manteyner of the tradicions of the fathers.
1:15But whan it pleased God which separated me fro my mothers wombe, and called me by his grace,
1:16for to declare his sonne in me, that I shulde preach him thorow the Gospell amonge the Heythen, immediatly I commened not of the matter with flesh and bloude:
1:17nether came I to Ierusalem vnto them which were Apostles before me: but wente my wayes in to Arabia, and came agayne to Damascon.
1:18Then after thre yeare I came to Ierusale to se Peter, and abode with him fyftene dayes.
1:19As for the other Apostles, I sawe none of them, saue Iames the LORDES brother.
1:20The thinges that I wryte vnto you, beholde, God knoweth, I lye not.
1:21After that wente I in to the coastes of Syria and Celicia:
1:22but of face I was vnknowne to ye Christen congregacions in Iewrye.
1:23Neuertheles they had herde onely, that: He that persecuted vs in tyme passed, preacheth now ye faith which some tyme he destroyed:
1:24and they praysed God in me.
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.