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Coverdale Bible 1535



20:1As for Abraham, he departed thence, into the south countre, and dwelt betwixte Cades and Sur, and was a straunger at Gerar,
20:2and sayde of Sara his wife: She is my sister. Then Abimelech the kinge of Gerar sent for her, and caused her be fett awaye.
20:3But God came to Abimelech by night in a dreame, & sayde vnto him: Beholde, thou art but a deed man, for the womans sake which thou hast taken, for she is a mans wife.
20:4Neuertheles Abimelech had not yet touched her, and sayde: LORDE, wilt thou sley a righteous people?
20:5Sayde not he vnto me: she is my sister? Yee and sayde not she her self also: he is my brother? With a pure hert & with innocent handes haue I done this.
20:6And God sayde vnto him in a dreame: I knowe that thou dyddest it wt a pure hert, and therfore I kepte the, that thou shuldest not synne agaynst me, nether haue I suffred the to touch her.
20:7Now therfore delyuer the man his wife ageyne, for he is a prophet: and let him pray for ye, and thou shalt lyue. But and yf thou delyuer her not ageyne, be sure, that thou shalt dye the death, and all that is thine.
20:8Then Abimelech rose vp by tymes in the mornynge, and called all his seruauntes, and tolde all these thinges in their eares, and the men were sore afrayed,
20:9and Abimelech called Abraham, and sayde vnto him: Wherfore hast thou done this vnto vs? And what haue I offended ye, that thou shuldest brynge on me and on my kyngdome so greate a synne? Thou hast not dealt with vs, as a man shulde deale.
20:10And Abimelech saide morouer vnto Abraham: What sawest thou, yt thou hast done this thinge?
20:11Abraham sayde: I thought: Peraduenture there is no feare of God in this place, & they shall sleye me for my wifes sake,
20:12And of a trueth she is my sister, for she is my fathers doughter, but not my mothers doughter, and is become my wife.
20:13So whan God charged me to wadre out of my fathers house, I sayde vnto her: Shew this kyndnes vpon me, that, where so euer we come, thou saye of me, that I am thy brother.
20:14Then toke Abimelech shepe and oxen, seruauntes and maydens, and gaue them vnto Abraham, and delyuered him Sara his wife agayne,
20:15and sayde: Beholde, my londe stondeth open before the, dwell where it liketh the.
20:16And vnto Sara he sayde: Beholde, I haue geuen thy brother a thousande syluer pens: lo, he shalbe vnto the a couerynge of the eyes, for all that are with the, and euery where, and a sure excuse.
20:17As for Abraham, he prayed vnto God: Then God healed Abimelech, and his wyfe, and his maydens, so that they bare childre.
20:18For a fore the LORDE had closed all the matrices of Abimelechs house, because of Sara Abrahams wife.
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.