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Coverdale Bible 1535



17:1This is the heuy burthe vpo Damascus: Beholde, Damascus shal be nomore a cite, but an heape of broken stones.
17:2The cities of Aroer shalbe waist, The catel shal lie there, & noma shal fraye the awaye.
17:3Ephraim shal no more be stroge, & Damascus shal nomore be a kyngdome. And as for ye glory of ye remnaunt of ye Sirians, it shalbe as the glory of the childre of Israel, saieth ye LORDE of hoostes.
17:4At that tyme also shal ye glory of Iacob be very poore, & his fatnes leane.
17:5It shal happe to the, as when one sheareth in haruest, which cutteth his handful wt the sickle, & when one gathreth ye sheaues together in the valley, of Rephaim,
17:6there remayneth yet some ears ouer. Or as whe one shaketh an olyue tre, which fyndeth but two or thre olyue beries aboue in the toppe, and foure or fyue in the braunches. Thus the LORDE God of Israel hath spoken.
17:7Then shal man couerte agayne vnto his maker, & turne his eyes to the holy one of Israel
17:8And shal not turne to the aulters that are ye worke of his owne hodes, nether shal he loke vpon groaues & ymages, which his fyngers haue wrought.
17:9At the same tyme shal their stronge cities be desolate, like as were once ye forsake plowes & corne, which they forsoke, for feare of ye children of Israel.
17:10So shalt thou (o Damascus) be desolate, because thou hast forgotte God yi Sauioure, & hast not called to remebraunce ye rock of thi stregth, Wherfore thou hast also set a fayre plate, & grafted a straunge braunch.
17:11In the daye when thou diddest plante it, it was greate, and gaue soone the frute of thi sede: But in the daye of haruest, thou shalt reape an heape of sorowes & miseries.
17:12Wo be to the multitude of moch people, that russh in like the see, and to the heape of folke, that renne ouer all like greate waters.
17:13For though so many people increase as the flowinge waters, and though they be armed, yet they fle farre of, and vanish awaye like the dust with the wynde vpon an hill, and as the whyrle wynde thorow a storme.
17:14Though they be fearful at night, yet in the morninge it is gone with the, This is their porcion, that do vs harme, and heretage of them, that robbe vs.
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.