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Coverdale Bible 1535



6:1The worde of the LORDE came vnto me, sayenge:
6:2Thou sonne off man, turne thy face to the mountaynes of Israel, that thou mayest prophecie vnto them,
6:3and saye: Heare the worde of the LORDE God, o ye mountaynes off Israel: Thus hath the LORDE God spoken to the moutaynes, hilles, valleys and dales: Beholde, I will brynge a swearde ouer you, and destroye youre hie places:
6:4I wil cast downe youre aulters, and breake downe youre temples. Youre slayne men will I laye before youre goddes,
6:5and the deed carcases off the children off Israel will I cast before their ymages, youre bones wil I strowe rounde aboute youre aulters,
6:6and dwellinge places. The cities shalbe desolate, ye hillchapels layed waist: youre aulters destroyed, & broken: youre goddes cast downe, and taken awaye, yor tepels layde eaue with the groude, youre owne workes clene roted out.
6:7Youre slayne men shall lie amonge you, that ye maye lerne to knowe, how yt I am the LORDE.
6:8Those yt amoge you haue escaped the swearde, will I leaue amonge the Gentiles, for I will scatre you amonge the nacions.
6:9And they that escape from you, shall thinke vpon me amonge the heithen, where they shalbe in captiuyte. As for that whorish and vnfaithfull herte of theirs, wherwith they runne awaye fro me, I will breake it: yee & put out those eyes off theirs, that committe fornicacion with their Idols. Then shall they be ashamed, and displeased with their selues, for the wickednesses ad abhominacions, which they haue done:
6:10and shal lerne to knowe, how that it is not in vayne, that I the LORDE spake, to bringe soch mysery vpon them.
6:11The LORDE sayde morouer vnto me: Smyte thine hondes together, and stampe with thy fete, and saye: Wo worth all the abhominacions and wickednesses of the house of Israel, for because of the, they shal perish with the swearde, with hoger and with pestilence.
6:12Who so is farre of, shall dye off the pestilence: he that is nye at hande, shall perish with the swearde: and ye other that are beseged, shall dye of honger. Thus wil I satisfie my wrothfull displeasure vpon them.
6:13And so shall ye lerne to knowe, that I am the LORDE, whe youre slayne men lye amoge youre goddes, and aboute youre aulters: vpon all hie hilles and toppes off mountaynes, amoge all grene trees, amonge all thicke okes: euen in the places, where they dyd sacrifice to all their Idols.
6:14I will stretch myne honde out vpon them, & will make the londe waist: So that it shall lye desolate and voyde, from the wildernesse off Deblat forth, thorow all their habitacions: to lerne them for to knowe, that I am 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.