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Coverdale Bible 1535



6:1And I sawe when the labe opened one of the seales, & I herde one of the foure beestes saye, as it wer the noyse off thonder: come and se.
6:2And I sawe, and beholde there was a whyte horsse, and he yt sat on him had a bowe, and a crowne was geuen vnto him, and he went forth conquerynge and for to ouercome.
6:3And whe he opened the seconde seale, I herde the seconde beeste saye: come and se.
6:4And there went out another horsse that was reed, & power was geuen to him that sat there on, to take peace from the earth, and that they shulde kyll one another. And there was geue vnto him a gret swearde.
6:5And when he opened the thyrde seale, I herde the thyrde beeste saye: come & se. And I behelde, and lo, a blacke horsse: and he that sate on him, had a payre of balances in his honde.
6:6And I herde a voyce in the myddes of the foure beastes saye: a measure of whete for a peny, and thre measures of barly for a peny: and oyle and wyne se thou hurte not.
6:7And when he opened the fourth seale, I herde the voyce of the fourthe beaste saye: come and se.
6:8And I loked, and beholde a pale horsse, and his name that sat on him was deeth, and hell folowed after him, & power was geue vnto them ouer the fourthe parte of the earth, to kyll with swearde, and wt honger, and with deeth, of the vermen of the earth.
6:9And when he opened the fyfte seale, I sawe vnder the aultre, the soules of them yt were kylled for the worde of God, and for ye testimony which they had,
6:10and they cryed with a lowde voyce sayege: How loge tariest thou LORDE holy and true, to iudge & to auenge oure bloude on them that dwell on the earth?
6:11And longe whyte garmentes were geuen vnto euery one of them. And it was sayde vnto them, that they shulde reste for a lyttle season, vntyll the nomber of their felowes, and brethre, and of them that shulde be killed as they were, were fulfilled.
6:12And I behelde when he opened the sixte seale, and loo, there was a grett earthquake, and ye sonne was as blacke as sacke cloth made of heare. And the mone wexed eue as bloude:
6:13and the starres of heauen fell vnto the earth, euen as a fygge tree castith from her her fygges, when she is shaken off a mighty wynde.
6:14And heauen vanysshed awaye, as a scroll when it is rolled togedder. And all mountayns and yles, were moued out of their places.
6:15And the kynges of ye earth, and the grete men, and the riche men, and the chefe captaynes, and the myghte men, and euery free man, hyd them selues in dennes, and in rockes of ye hylles,
6:16and sayde to the hylles, and rockes: fall on vs, and hyde vs from the presence of him that sytteth on the seate, and from the wrath of the lambe,
6:17for the grete daye of his wrath is come. And who can endure it?
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.