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Coverdale Bible 1535



64:1O that thou woldest cleue the heauen in sonder, & come downe: that the mountaynes might melt awaye at thy presence,
64:2like as at an hote fyre: and that the malicious might boyle, as the water doth vpon the fyre: Wherby thy name might be knowne amoge thine enemies, & yt the Getiles might treble before ye.
64:3That thou mightest come downe with thy wonderous straunge workes, then shulde the hilles melt at thy presence.
64:4For sence the begynnynge of the worlde there was none (excepte thou o God) that herde or perceaued, nether hath eny eye sene what thou dost for the, that put their trust in the.
64:5Thou helpest him that doth right with cherefulnesse, and them that thynke vpon thy wayes. But lo, thou art angrie, for we offende, and haue bene euer in synne, and there is not one whole.
64:6We are all as an vnclene thinge, & all oure rightuousnesses are as the clothes stayned with the floures of a woman: we fall euerychone as the leaf, for oure synnes carie vs awaye like the wynde.
64:7There is no man that calleth vpon thy name, that stondeth vp to take holde by the. Therfore hydest thou thy face from vs, and consumest vs, because of oure synnes.
64:8But now o LORDE, thou father of ours: we are the claye, and thou art oure potter, and we all are the worke of thy hondes.
64:9Be not to sore displeased (o LORDE) and kepe not oure offences to loge in thy remembraunce, but considre that we all are thy people.
64:10The cities of thy Sanctuary lye waist, Sion is a wildernesse, and Ierusalem a deserte.
64:11Oure holy house which is oure bewty, where oure fathers praysed the, is brent vp, yee all oure comodities and pleasures are waysted awaye.
64:12Wilt thou not be intreated (LORDE) for all this? Wilt thou holde thy peace, and scourge vs so sore?
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.