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Coverdale Bible 1535



11:1And the LORDE sayde vnto Moses: I wil yet brynge a plage vpon Pharao and Egipte: after yt shal he let you go from hence, & shal not onely let all go, but also dryue you hence.
11:2Therfore saye now vnto the people, yt euery man borowe of his neghboure, & euery woman of his neghbouresse, Iewels of syluer & golde:
11:3for the LORDE shal geue the people fauor in the sight of ye Egipcias. And Moses was a very greate man in the lande of Egipte, in ye sight of Pharaos seruauntes, & in the sight of the people.
11:4And Moses sayde: Thus sayeth the LORDE: At mydnight wil I go out in the lande of Egipte,
11:5& all ye first borne in the lande of Egipte shall dye: from Pharaos first sonne (yt sytteth vpon his seate) vnto the first sonne of the mayde seruaunte which is behynde ye myll: & all the first borne amonge the catell:
11:6& there shalbe a greate crie in all the lande of Egipte, soch as neuer was, ner shalbe.
11:7But amonge all the childre of Israel there shall not a dogg quatch wt his tonge, fro men vnto catell, yt ye maye knowe, how yt the LORDE hath put a differece betwixte Egipte & Israel.
11:8The shal all these thy seruauntes come downe vnto me, & fal at my fote, & saye: Get the out, thou & all the people that are vnder the. After that wyl I departe. And he wete fro Pharao wt a wroth full displeasure.
11:9The LORDE saide vnto Moses: Pharao herkeneth not vnto you, yt many woders maye be done in ye lade of Egipte.
11:10And Moses & Aaron dyd all these woders before Pharao: but ye LORDE hardened his hert, yt he wolde not let ye childre of Israel go out of his londe.
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.