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Coverdale Bible 1535



31:1Wo vnto them that go downe in to Egipte for helpe, and trust in horses, and conforte them selues in Charettes, because they be many, and in horse me because they be lustie and stronge. But they regarde not the holy one of Israel, and they aske no question at the LORDE.
31:2Where as he neuertheles plageth ye wicked, and yet goeth not from his worde, wha he steppeth forth and taketh the victory agaynst the housholde of the frauwerde, and against the helpe of euel doers.
31:3Now the Egiptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh and not sprete. And as soone as the LORDE stretcheth out his honde, then shal the helper fall, and he that shulde haue bene helped, and shal altogether be destroyed.
31:4For thus hath the LORDE spoke vnto me: Like as the Lyon or lyos whelpe roareth vpon the pray that he hath gotten, and is not afrayde, though ye multitude of shepardes crie out vpon him, nether abashed for all the heape of them: So shal the LORDE of hoostes come downe from the mount Sion, and defende his hill.
31:5Like as byrdes flotre aboute their nestes, so shal the LORDE of hoostes kepe, saue, defende and deliuer Ierusalem.
31:6Therfore (o ye childre of Israel turne agayne, like as ye hahaue exceaded in youre goinge back.
31:7For in yt daye euery man shal cast out his Idols of syluer and golde, which ye haue made with youre synful hondes.
31:8Assur also shalbe slayne with the swerde, not wt a mans swerde. A swerde shal deuoure him, but not a mans swerde. And he shal fle from the slaughter, and his seruauntes shalbe taken prisoners.
31:9He shal go for feare to his stronge holdes, and his prynces shal fle from his badge. This hath ye LORDE spoke, whose light burneth in Sion, and his fyre in Ierusalem.
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.