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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1And the LORDE called Moses, and spake vnto him out of ye Tabernacle of wytnesse, and sayde:
1:2Speake vnto ye childre of Israel, & saie vnto them: Who so euer amoge you wyl brynge an offerynge vnto the LORDE, let him brynge it of ye catell, euen of the oxen, & of the shepe.
1:3Yf he wyl brynge a burntofferynge of ye oxen (or greate catell) the let him offre a male without blemysh, before ye dore of the Tabernacle of wytnesse, to reconcyle himself before the LORDE,
1:4let him laye his hande vpon the heade of the burntofferynge, then shal he be reconcyled, so yt God shalbe mercifull vnto him.
1:5And he shall kyll the yonge oxe before ye LORDE: and ye prestes Aarons sonnes shal brynge the bloude, and sprenkle it rounde aboute vpon the altare, that is before the dore of the Tabernacle of wytnesse.
1:6And the skynne shalbe flayne from of the burntofferynge, and it shalbe hewen in peces.
1:7And the sonnes of Aaron the prest shal make a fyre vpon the altare,
1:8and laye wod aboue theron: and ye peces, the heade, and the fatt shal they laye vpon the wodd that lyeth vpon ye fyre on the altare.
1:9But ye bowels & legges shal be wasshen with water, and the prest shal burne alltogether vpon the altare for a burntsacrifice: this is an offerynge of a swete sauoure vnto the LORDE.
1:10Yf he wyl offre a burntsacrifice of the small catell, that is, of the lambes or goates, then let him offre a male without a blemysh.
1:11And he shall kyll it before the LORDE, euen at the corner of the altare on the north syde before ye LORDE. And (the prestes) Aarons sonnes shal sprenkle his bloude rounde aboute vpon ye altare,
1:12and it shal be hewen in peces. And the prest shall laye them with the heade and the fatt, vpon the wodd that lyeth vpon the fyre on the altare.
1:13But the bowels and ye legges shal be wasshen with water. And ye prest shal offre it alltogether, and burne it vpon ye altare for a burntsacrifice. This is an offerynge of a swete sauoure vnto the LORDE.
1:14But yf he wil offre a burntsacrifice of ye foules vnto the LORDE, then let him offre it of the turtill doues or of ye yonge pigeons.
1:15And the prest shal brynge it vnto the altare, and wrynge the neck of it a sunder, that it maye be burnt vpon the altare, and let the bloude of it runne out vpon the sydes of the altare,
1:16and the croppe of it with the fethers shalbe cast vpon the heape of asshes besyde the altare towarde the east,
1:17and he shall deuyde the wynges of it, but not breake the cleane of. And thus shall the prest burne it vpon the altare, euen vpon the wodd that lyeth vpo the fyre, for a burntsacrifice. This is an offerynge of a swete sauoure vnto 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.