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Coverdale Bible 1535



6:1In the same yeare yt kynge Osias dyed, I sawe the LORDE sittinge vpon an high and glorious seate, and his trayne fylled ye palace.
6:2From aboue flakred the Seraphins, wherof euery one had sex wynges. With twayne ech couered his face, wt twayne his fete, and with twayne dyd he flye.
6:3They cried also ech one to other on this maner: holy, holy, holy is the LORDE of hoostes. The whole worlde is ful of his glory.
6:4Yee the geastes and dorechekes moued at their crienge, and the house was ful of smoke.
6:5Then I sayde: O wo is me. For I was astonished: that I (which am a man of vnclene lippes, and dwell amonge people yt hath vnclene lippes also:) Shulde se ye Kynge and LORDE of hoostes with myne eyes.
6:6Then flewe one of the Seraphins vnto me, hauinge a hote cole in his honde, which he had taken from the aulter with the tonges,
6:7and touched my mouth, and sayde: lo, this hath touched thy mouth, & thy vnrightouousnes is taken a waye, and thy synne forgeuen.
6:8After this I herde the voyce of the LORDE takinge advysement on this maner: Whom shall I sende, and who wilbe oure messaunger? The I sayde: here am I, sende me.
6:9And so he sayde: go, and tel this people: ye shall heare in dede, but ye shal not vnderstonde, ye shal planely se, and not perceaue.
6:10Harden the harte of this people, stoppe their eares, and shut their eyes, that they se not wt their eyes, heare not with their eares, and vnderstonde not with their hartes, and conuerte and be healed.
6:11Then spake I: LORDE, how longe? he answered: vntil the cities be vtterly without inhabitours, and ye houses without men, till the lode be also desolate, and lye vnbuylded.
6:12For the LORDE shal take the men farre awaye, so that the londe shall lye waist
6:13Neuertheles, the tenth parte shal remayne therin, for it shal conuerte and be fruteful. And likewise as the Terebyntes and Oketrees bringe forth their frutes, so shal the holy sede haue frute.
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.