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Coverdale Bible 1535



21:1This is the heuy burthe of the waist see: A greuous visio was shewed vnto me, like as when a storme of wynde and rayne russheth in from the wyldernesse, that terrible londe.
21:2Who so maye disceaue (sayde the voyce) let him disceaue: Who so maye distroye, let him distroye. Vp Elam, besege it o Madai, for I will still all their gronynges.
21:3With this, the raynes of my backe were ful of payne: Panges came vpon me, as vpon a woman in hir trauayle. When I herde it, I was abasshed: and whe I loked vp, I was afrayde.
21:4Myne herte paunted, I trembled for feare. The darcknesse made me fearfull in my mynde.
21:5Yee soone make redy the table (sayde this voyce) kepe the watch, eate and drynke: Vp ye captaynes, take you to youre shylde,
21:6for thus the LORDE hath charged me: go thy waye, and set a watchma, that he maye tell what he seyth.
21:7And whe he had wayted diligetly, he sawe two horsmen: the one rydinge vpon an Asse, the other vpon a camel.
21:8And the lyon cried: LORDE, I haue stonde waytinge all the whole daye, and haue kepte my watch all the night.
21:9With yt came there one rydinge vpon a charet, which answered, and sayde Babilon is fallen, she is turned vpsyde downe, and all ye ymages of hir goddes are smytten to ye grounde.
21:10This (o my felowe throsshers and fanners) haue I herde of the LORDE of hoostes the God of Israel, to shewe it vnto you.
21:11The heuy burthen of Duma. One of Seir cried vnto me: watchman, what hast thou espied by night? Watchman, what hast thou espied by night?
21:12The watchman answered: The daye breaketh on, and the night is comynge: Yf youre request be earnest, then axe, and come agayne.
21:13The heuy burthen vpon Arabia. At euen ye shal abyde in the wod, in the waye toward Dedanim.
21:14Mete the thurstie with water, (o ye citisens of Hema) mete those with bred that are fled.
21:15For thei shal runne awaye from the weapen, from the drawe swerde, from the bet bowe, and from the greate batell.
21:16For thus hath the LORDE spoken vnto me: ouer a yeare shal all the power of Cedar be gone, like as when the office of an hyred seruaunte goeth out:
21:17And the remnaunt of the good Archers of Cedar, shalbe very few: For the LORDE God of Israel hath spoken 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.