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Coverdale Bible 1535



12:1And Miriam & Aaron spake agaynst Moses because of his wife the Morian which he had taken, because he had take a Morian to wife,
12:2and they sayde: Doth the LORDE speake onely thorow Moses? Speaketh he not also by vs? And the LORDE herde it.
12:3But Moses was a very meke man, aboue all men vpon earth.
12:4And haistely spake the LORDE vnto Moses, and to Aaron, and to Miriam: Go out ye thre vnto ye Tabernacle of wytnesse. And they wente out all thre.
12:5Then came the LORDE downe in the cloudy piler, & stode in the dore of the Tabernacle, & called Aaron & Miriam, & they both wete out.
12:6And he sayde: Heare my wordes: Yf eny man be a prophet of the LORDE, vnto him wil I shewe my self in a vision, or wil speake vnto him in a dreame.
12:7But not so wt my seruaunt Moses, which is faithfull in all my house.
12:8Mouth to mouth speake I vnto him, & he seyth the LORDE in his fashion, not thorow darke wordes or licknesses: Wherfore were ye not afrayed then to speake agaynst my seruaunt Moses?
12:9And ye wrath of the LORDE waxed whote ouer them, & he turned him awaye,
12:10and ye cloude also departed from the Tabernacle. And beholde, then was Miriam become leporus, as it were snowe. And Aaron turned him vnto Miriam, and sawe that she was leporous,
12:11and sayde vnto Moses: Oh my lorde, put not the synne vpon vs, which we haue foolishly committed and synned,
12:12that she be not as one that commeth deed out of his mothers wombe: It hath eaten vp half hir flesh allready.
12:13But Moses cried vnto the LORDE, & sayde: Oh God, heale her.
12:14The LORDE sayde vnto Moses: Yf hir father had spytte in hir face, shulde she not be ashamed seuen dayes? Let her be shut out of ye hoost seue dayes, after yt let her be receaued agayne.
12:15So Miriam was shut out of the hoost seue dayes, & the people wente no farther, tyll Miriam was receaued againe.
12:16Afterwarde departed the people from Hazeroth, and pitched in ye wildernesse of Paran.
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.