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Coverdale Bible 1535



35:1Bvt the deserte & wildernesse shal reioyse, ye waist grounde shal be glad, and florish as the lilly.
35:2She shal florish pleasauntly, and be ioyful, and euer be geuynge of thankes more and more. For ye glory of libanus, the bewty of Charmel & Saro shalbe geuen her. These shal knowe the honoure of the LORDE, and the magesty of oure God.
35:3And therfore strength ye weake hodes, and conforte the feble knees.
35:4Saye vnto them that are of a fearful hert: Be of good chere, and feare not. Beholde: youre God cometh, to take vengeaunce & to rewarde, God cometh his owne self, and wil delyuer you.
35:5Then shal the eyes of the blinde be lightned, and the eares of the deaff opened.
35:6Then shal the lame man leape as an herte, & the domme mas tuge shal geue thankes. In the wildernesse also there shal welles springe, and floudes of water in the deserte.
35:7The drie grounde shal turne to ryuers, and the thurstie to springes of water. Where as dragons dwelt afore, there shal growe swete floures and grene russhes.
35:8There shalbe footpathes & comon stretes, this shalbe called the holywaye. No vnclene person shal go thorow it, for the LORDE himself shal go with the that waye, and the ignoraut shal not erre.
35:9There shalbe no lyon, and no rauyshinge beast shall come therin nor be there, but men shal go there fre and safe.
35:10And the redemed of the LORDE shal conuerte, and come to Sion with thankesgeuinge. Euerlastinge ioye shal they haue, pleasure & gladnesse shalbe amoge them, And as for all sorow and heuynes, it shal vanish awaye.
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.