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Coverdale Bible 1535



10:1And I sawe another mightye angell come doune fro heauen, clothed with a cloude, and the rayne bowe vpon his heed. And his face as it were ye Sonne, and his fete as it were pyllars of fyre:
10:2and he had in his honde a lytell boke opyn: and he put his right fote vpon ye see, and his lifte fote on ye earth.
10:3And cryed with a lowde voyce, as when a lyon roreth. And when he had cryed, seue thondres spake their voyces.
10:4And when the seue thodres had spoke their voyces, I was aboute to wryte. And I herde a voyce from heauen sayenge vnto me: seale vp those thinges which the seuen thondres spake, and wryte them not.
10:5And the angel which I sawe stonde vpo the see, and vpon the earth, lifte vppe his honde to heauen,
10:6and swore by him that liueth for euermore, which created heauen, and the thinges that there in are, and ye see, and the thinges which are therin: that there shalbe nomore tyme:
10:7but in the dayes of the voyce of the seueth angel, when he shal begynne to blowe, the mistery of God shalbe fynisshed, as he preached by his seruauntes the prophetes.
10:8And the voyce which I herde from heaue, spake vnto me agayne, and sayde: go and take the lytle boke which is open in the honde of the angel, which stondeth vpo the see, and vpon the earth.
10:9And I went vnto the angel, and sayde vnto him: geue me the lytle boke. And he sayde vnto me: Take it, and eate it vp, and it shal make thy belly bytter, but it shalbe in thy mouth as swete as hony.
10:10And I toke the lytle boke out of his honde, and ate it vp, and it was in my mouth as swete as hony, and as sone as I had eaten it, my belly was bytter.
10:11And he sayde vnto me: thou muste prophesy agayne vnto the people, and to the Heythen, and tonges, and to many kynges.
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.