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Coverdale Bible 1535



24:1Now whan Balaam sawe yt it pleased the LORDE, that he shulde blesse Israel, he wente not (as he dyd before) to seke witches, but set his face straight towarde the wyldernesse,
24:2lifte vp his eyes, and sawe Israel, how they laye acordinge to their trybes, and the sprete of God came vpon him,
24:3and he toke vp his parable, and sayde: Thus sayeth Balaam the sonne of Beor:
24:4Thus sayeth the man whose eyes are opened: Thus sayeth he which heareth the wordes of God, which sawe the vision of ye Allmightie: which fell downe, and his eyes were opened.
24:5How goodly are thy tetes O Iacob, and thy habitacions O Israel?
24:6Euen as the brode valleys, as the gardens by the waters syde, as ye tentes which the LORDE hath plated, & as the Ceder trees vpon ye water.
24:7The water shal flowe out of his boket, and his sede shalbe a greate water. His kynge shalbe hyer then Agag, & his kyngdome shalbe exalted.
24:8God hath broughte hi out of Egipte, his strength is as of an vnicorne. He shal eate vp the Heithen his enemies, and grynde their bones to poulder, and shute thorow them with his arowes.
24:9He hath layed him downe as a Lyon and as a Lyonesse. Who wyll rayse him vp? Blessed be he, yt blesseth the: and cursed, that curseth the.
24:10The was Balac furious i wrath against Balaam, & smote his hades together, & sayde vnto him: I haue called the, yt thou shuldest curse myne enemies, and beholde, thou hast blessed the now thre tymes:
24:11& now get the hece to yi place. I thoughte yt I wolde promote the vnto honoure, but the LORDE hath kepte the backe from that worshipe.
24:12Balaam answered him: Tolde not I thy messaungers (whom thou sendedst vnto me) & sayde:
24:13Yf Balac wolde geue me his house full of syluer and golde, yet coulde I not go beyonde the worde of the LORDE, to do either euell or good after myne awne hert: but what ye LORDE speaketh, that must I speake also.
24:14And now beholde, for so moch as I go to my people, come therfore, I wyll shewe the what this people shal do vnto yi people after this tyme.
24:15And he toke vp his parable, and sayde: Thus sayeth Balaam the sonne of Beor: Thus sayeth ye man, whose eyes are opened:
24:16Thus sayeth he which heareth the wordes of God, & yt hath the knowlege of ye hyest, eue he yt sawe ye visio of ye Allmightie, & fell downe, & his eyes were opened:
24:17I shal se him, but not now: I shal beholde him, but not nie at hade. There shal a starre come out of Iacob, & a cepter shall come vp out of Israel, and shal smyte ye rulers of the Moabites, and ouercome all the children of Seth.
24:18Edom shalbe his possession, and Seir shalbe his enemies possessio, but Israel shal do manfully.
24:19Out of Iacob shal come he yt hath dominion, and shall destroye the remnaunt of the cities.
24:20And wha he sawe ye Amalechites, he toke vp his parable, & sayde: Amalec the first amoge the Heithe, but at ye last thou shalt perishe vtterly.
24:21And whan he sawe the Kenites, he toke vp his parable, & sayde: Stroge is yi dwellinge, and on a rocke hast thou put thy nest,
24:22neuertheles thou shalt be a burninge vnto Kain, tyll Assur take ye presoner.
24:23And he toke vp his parable agayne, & sayde: Alas, who shal lyue, wha God doth this?
24:24And shippes out of Citim shall subdue Assur and Eber. He himself also shal perishe vtterly.
24:25And Balaam gat him vp, and departed, and came againe vnto his place, and Balac wente his waye also.
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.