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Coverdale Bible 1535



38:1Not longe afore this, was Ezechias deadsick: And the prophet Esay the sonne of Amos came vnto him, and sayde: Thus commaundeth the LORDE: Set thyne house in ordre, for thou must dye, and shalt not escape.
38:2Then Ezechias turned his face towarde the wall, & prayed vnto the LORDE,
38:3and sayde: Remembre (o LORDE) that I haue walked before the in treuth and a stedfast hert, and haue done the thinge that is pleasaunt to the. And Ezechias wepte sore.
38:4The sayde God vnto Esay:
38:5Go and speake vnto Ezechias: The LORDE God of Dauid thy father sendeth ye this worde: I haue herde thy prayer, and considred thy teares: beholde, I will put xv yeares mo vnto thy life,
38:6and delyuer the and the citie also, from the honde of the kinge of Assiria, for I will defende the cite.
38:7And take the this token of the LORDE, yt he will do it, as he hath spoken:
38:8Beholde, I will returne the shadowe of Achas Diall, yt now is layed out with the Sonne, and bringe it ten degrees bacward. So the Sonne turned ten degrees bacward, the which he was descended afore.
38:9A thankesgeuynge, which Ezechias kinge of Iuda wrote, when he had bene sicke, & was recouered.
38:10I thought I shulde haue gone to the gates of hell in my best age, and haue wanted the residue of my yeares.
38:11I spake within my self: I shal neuer viset the LORDE God in this life: I shal neuer se man, amonge the dwellers of the worlde
38:12Myne age is folden vp together and taken awaye fro me, like a sheperdes cotage: my lyfe is hewen of, like as a weeuer cutteth of his webb. Whyl I was yet takinge my rest, he hewed me of, & made an ende of me in one daie.
38:13I thought I wolde haue lyued vnto the morow, but he brussed my bones like a lyon, and made an ende of me in one daye.
38:14Then chatred I like a swalowe, and like a Crane, and mourned as a doue. I lift vp myne eyes in to ye hight: O LORDE, (sayde I) violence is done vnto me, be thou suertie for me.
38:15What shal I speake or say, ethat he maye this doo? yt I maye lyue out all my yeares, yee in the bytternesse of my life?
38:16Verely (LORDE,) men must lyue in bytternesse, & all my life must I passe ouer therin: For thou raysest me vp, and wakest me. But lo, I wilbe wel content with this bytternes.
38:17Neuertheles my couersacion hath so pleased ye, that thou woldest not make an ende of my life, so that thou hast cast all my synnes behynde thy backe.
38:18For hell prayseth not the, death doth not magnifie the. They that go downe into the graue, prayse not thy treuth:
38:19but the lyuynge, yee the lyuynge acknowlege the, like as I do this daye. The father telleth his children of thy faithfulnesse.
38:20Delyuer vs (o LORDE) and we wil synge prayses in thy house, all the dayes of oure life.
38:21And Esay sayde: take a playster offyges, and laye it vpon the sore, so shal it be whole.
38:22Then saide Ezechias: O what a greate thinge is this, that I shal go vp in to the house of the LORDE.
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.