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Coverdale Bible 1535



12:1And there appeared a greate token in heauen. A woman clothed with the Sonne, and the mone vnder her fete, and vpon her heed a crowne of twolue starres.
12:2And she was with childe, and cryed trauaillinge in byrth, and payned redy to be delyuered.
12:3And there appeared another token in heauen, and beholde a greate reed dragon, hauinge seuen heades, and ten hornes and seue crownes vpo his heades:
12:4and his tayle drue the thyrde parte of the starres, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stode before the woma, which was ready to be delyuered: for to devoure her childe as sone as it were borne.
12:5And she brought forth a man childe, which shulde rule all nacions with a rod of yron. And her sonne was taken vp vnto God, and to his seate.
12:6And the woman fled in to wyldernes, where she had a place prepared off God, that they shulde fede her there a M.ij.C. and lx. dayes.
12:7And there was a greate batayll in heaue Michael and his angels foughte with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels,
12:8and preuayled not, nether was their place founde eny more in heauen.
12:9And the greate dragon that olde serpent (called the deuell and Sathanas) was cast out. Which disceaued all the worlde. And he was cast in to the earth, and his angelles were cast out with him also.
12:10And I harde a lowde voyce, which sayde in heauen: Now is saluacion, and strength and the kyngdome become oure Gods, and ye power his Christes: For he is cast downe, which accused them before God daye and night.
12:11And they ouercame him by the bloude of the lambe, and by the worde of their testimony, and they loued not their lyues vnto the deeth.
12:12Therfore reioyce ye heauens, and ye that dwell in them. Wo to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the see: for the deuell is come downe vnto you, which hath greate wrath, because he knoweth, that he hath but a short tyme.
12:13And when the dragon sawe, that he was cast vnto the earth, he persecuted the woman, which brought forth the man childe.
12:14And to the woman were geue two wynges of a greate egle that she might flye in to the wyldernes, in to her place, where she is norysshed for a tyme, two tymes, and halffe a tyme, from the presence of the serpet.
12:15And the dragon cast out of his mouth water after the woma, as it had bene a ryuer, that he might cause her to be caught of ye floud.
12:16And the earth holpe the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swalowed vp the ryuer which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
12:17And the dragon was wroth with the woma: and went and made warre with the remnaunt of hyr sede, which kepe the comaundementes of God, and haue the testimony of Iesus Christ. And I stode on the see sonde.
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.