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Coverdale Bible 1535



16:1Sarai Abrams wife bare him no children: but she had an handmayde an Egipcian, whose name was Agar,
16:2and sayde vnto Abram: Beholde, the LORDE hath closed me, that I can not beare. Go in (I praye the) vnto my mayde: peraduenture I shalbe multiplied by her, more then by myself. And Abram herkened vnto the voyce of Sarai. Than Sarai
16:3Abrams wife toke Agar hir mayde ye Egipcian (after they had dwelt ten yeare in the londe of Canaan) and gaue her vnto hir husbande Abra, to be his wife.
16:4And he wente in vnto Agar, and she conceaued. Now whan she sawe yt she had conceyued, she despysed hir mastresse.
16:5Then sayde Sarai vnto Abram: I must suffre wronge for thy sake. I layde my mayde by the: but now because she seyth, that she hath conceaued, I must be despysed in hir sight: the LORDE be iudge betwene me and the.
16:6And Abram sayde vnto Sarai: Beholde, thy mayde is vnder thine auctorite, do with her, as it pleaseth the.Now whan Sarai dealt hardly wt her, she fled from her.
16:7But the angell of the LORDE founde her besyde a well of water in the wildernesse (euen by the well in the waye to Sur)
16:8and sayde vnto her: Agar Sarais maide, whence commest thou? & whyther wylt thou go? She sayde: I fle fro my mastresse Sarai.
16:9And the angel of the LORDE sayde vnto her: Returne to thy mastresse agayne, and submitte thyself vnder hir hande.
16:10And the angel of the LORDE sayde vnto her: Beholde, I wil so encreace yi sede, that it shall not be nombred for multitude.
16:11And the angel of the LORDE sayde further vnto her: Beholde, thou art with childe, & shalt bringe forth a sonne, and shalt call his name Ismael, because the LORDE hath herde yi trouble.
16:12He shal be a wylde man. His hande agaynst euery man, and euery mans hande agaynst him: and he shal dwel ouer agaynst all his brethren.
16:13And she called the name of the LORDE yt spake vnto her: Thou art the God that seist me. For she sayde: Of a suertye I haue sene the back partes of him that sawe me.
16:14Therfore called she the well: The well of the liuinge that sawe me. Which (well) is betwene Cades and Bared.
16:15And Agar bare Abram a sonne, and Abram called his sonnes name which Agar bare him, Ismael.
16:16And Abram was foure score yeare olde and sixe, whan Agar bare him Ismael.
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.