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Coverdale Bible 1535



34:1Come ye Heithen & heare, take hede ye people. Herke thou earth & all that is therin: thou rounde copasse & al that groweth thervpon:
34:2for the LORDE is angrie with al people, & his displeasure is kindled agaynst all the multitude of them, to curse them, & to slaye them.
34:3So that their slayne shalbe cast out, & their bodies stincke: that eue the very hilles shalbe wet with the bloude of them.
34:4All the starres of heauen shalbe consumed, & the heauen shal folde together like a roll, & all the starres therof shall fall, like as the leaues fall from the vynes and fygetrees.
34:5For my swearde (saieth he) shalbe bathed in heauen, & shal immediatly come downe vpon Idumea, and vpon the people which I haue cursed for my vengeaunce.
34:6And the LORDES swearde shalbe full of bloude, & be rustie with the fatnesse & bloude of lambes and gootes, with the fatnesse of neeres of the wethers. For the LORDE shal kyl a great offringe in Bosra, and in the londe of Idumea.
34:7There shal the Vnicornes fall with the Bulles, (that is with the giauntes) and their londe shalbe washed with bloude, & their grounde corrupte with fatnesse.
34:8Vnto the also (o Sion) shal come the daye of the vengeaunce of God, and the yeare when as thyne owne iugdmentes shalbe recompensed.
34:9Thy floudes shalbe turned to pytch, and thine earth to brymstone, & therwith shal the londe be kyndled,
34:10so that it shal not be quenched daye ner night: But smoke euermore, & so forth to lie waist. And no man shal go thorow thy londe for euer:
34:11But Pellicanes, Storkes, great Oules, and Rauens shall haue it in possession, & dwell therein. For God shal sprede out the lyne of desolacion vpon it, & weye it with the stones of emptynes.
34:12When kinges are called vpo, there shalbe none, and all princes shalbe awaye.
34:13Thornes shal growe in their palaces, nettels & thistles in their stronge holdes, yt the dragons maye haue their pleasure therin, & that they maye be a courte for Estriches.
34:14There shal straunge visures and monstruous beastes mete one another, & the wylde kepe company together. There shal the lamia lye, & haue hir lodginge.
34:15There shall the hedghogge buylde, digge, be there at home, and bringe forth his yongeones. There shal the kytes come together, ech one to his like.
34:16Seke thorow the scripture of the LORDE & rede it. There shal none of these thinges be left out, there shal not one (ner soch like) fayle. For what his mouth commaundeth, that same doth his sprete gather together (or fulfilleth).
34:17Vpon whom so euer ye lot fallet, or to whom he dealeth it with the line: those shal possesse the enheritaunce from generacion to generacion, and dwel therin.
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.