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Coverdale Bible 1535



23:1. And Balaam sayde vnto Balac: Buylde me here seuen altares, and prouyde me here seuen bullockes, and seue rammes.
23:2Balac dyd as Balaam sayde. And both Balac and Balaam offred, on euery altare a bullocke & a ramme.
23:3And Balaam sayde vnto Balac: Stonde thou by yi burntofferynge, I wil go, yf happly the LORDE wil mete me, & call me, yt I maye tell the, what so euer he sheweth me. And he wente his waye, as he sayde.
23:4And ye LORDE mett Balaam. And Balaam saide vnto him: Seuen altares haue I prepared, and offred on euery altare a bullocke and a ramme.
23:5The LORDE put ye worde in Balaams mouth, and sayde: Go agayne vnto Balac, and saye on this wise.
23:6And whan he came agayne vnto him, beholde, he stode by his burntofferynge, with all ye prynces of the Moabites.
23:7Then toke he vp his parable, & sayde: Balac the kynge of the Moabites hath caused to fet me out of Syria from the moutaynes towarde the East, (& sayde:) Come, curse me Iacob: come, defye me Israel.
23:8How shall I curse, whom God curseth not? How shal I defye, whom ye LORDE defyeth not?
23:9For fro ye toppe of ye stonye rockes I se him, & from the hilles I beholde him. Beholde, ye people shal dwell by theselues, & shal not be rekened amoge the Heithe.
23:10Who can tell the dust of Iacob, & the nombre of the fourth parte of Israel? My soule die ye death of ye righteous, and my ende be as the ende of these.
23:11The saide Balac vnto Balaam: What doest thou vnto me? I caused to set ye for to curse myne enemies, & beholde, thou blessest the.
23:12He answered & saide: Must I not kepe & speake yt, which the LORDE putteth in to me mouth?
23:13Balac saide vnto him: Come wt me yet vnto another place, fro whence thou mayest se ye vttemost parte of them, & not se them all, and curse me them there.
23:14And he toke him vp to a fre place, eue vnto the toppe of Pisga, & buylded seuen altares, and offered on euery altare a bullocke & a ramme.
23:15And he sayde vnto Balac: Stonde so by thy burntoffrynge, whyle I go yonder.
23:16And the LORDE mett Balaam, & put the worde in his mouth, & sayde: Go agayne vnto Balac, & saye on this wyse.
23:17And whan he came to him agayne, beholde, he stode by his burntofferynge with the prynces of the Moabites. And Balac sayde vnto him: What hath the LORDE sayde?
23:18And he toke vp his parable, & sayde: Ryse vp Balac & heare, marke my testimony wt thine eares thou sonne of Ziphor.
23:19God is not a man yt he shulde lye, ner a mans childe yt eny thinge shulde repente him. Shulde he saye and not do? Shulde he speake & not make it good?
23:20Beholde, I am brought hither to blesse, I blesse, & can not go backe there fro.
23:21There is no weerynesse sene in Iacob, nether eny laboure in Israel. The LORDE his God is wt him, & the kynges trompet is amoge the.
23:22God hath brought the out of Egipte, his stregth is as of an Vnicorne.
23:23For there is no Sorcerye in Iacob, & no Soyth sayer in Israel. Whan the tyme cometh, it shalbe saide vnto Iacob, & to Israel, what God doth.
23:24Beholde, the people shall ryse vp as a Lyonesse, & heue vp him self as a Lyon. He shal not lye downe, tyll he eate of the pray, and drynke the bloude of the slayne.
23:25Then sayde Balac vnto Balaam: Thou shalt nether curse him ner blesse him.
23:26Balaam answered, & sayde vnto Balac: Haue I not tolde the: All yt the LORDE speaketh, yt must I do?
23:27Balac saide vnto him: Oh come, I wil brynge ye to another place, yf it maye happly please God, yt thou mayest curse the there.
23:28And he brought him vp to the toppe of mount Peor, yt boweth towarde the wyldernesse.
23:29And Balaam sayde vnto Balac: Buylde me here seuen altares, and prouyde me seuen bullockes and seuen rammes.
23:30Balac dyd as Balaam sayde, and offered on euery altare a bullocke vnd a ramme.
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.