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Coverdale Bible 1535



35:1And the LORDE spake vnto Moses in the felde of the Moabites by Iordane ouer agaynst Iericho, & sayde:
35:2Commaunde the childre of Israel, that they geue vnto ye Leuites of the inheritauce of their possession, cities to dwell in. The suburbes also aboute the cities shal ye geue vnto the Leuites,
35:3that they maye dwell in the cities, and in the suburbes to haue their catell, and substaunce, and all their beestes.
35:4The suburbes which ye geue vnto ye Leuites, shal reache fro the wall of ye cite outwarde, a M. cubites rounde aboute.
35:5Thus ye shal measure without the cite on ye East syde, two thousande cubites: & on ye South syde, two thousande cubites: & on ye West syde, two thousande cubites: & on ye North syde, two thousande cubites, so yt the cite be in the myddes. This shal be their suburbes.
35:6And amoge the cities which ye shal geue vnto the Leuites, ye shall geue the sixe fre cities, that he which comitteth a slaughter, maie flye thither. Besydes the same ye shal geue the yet two & fourtie cities:
35:7so yt all ye cities which ye geue vnto ye Leuites, be eight & fourtye wt their suburbes.
35:8And of ye same ye shal geue the more, from the yt haue moch in possession amonge the children of Israel: & the lesse from them, that haue litle in possession. Euery one (acordinge to his enheritaunce that is deuyded vnto him) shall geue of his cities vnto the Leuites.
35:9And the LORDE talked wt Moses & saide:
35:10Speake to the childre of Israel, & saye vnto the: Whan ye come ouer Iordane into ye londe of Canaan,
35:11ye shall chose out cities to be fre cities, yt who so comytteth slaughter vnawarres, maye flye thither.
35:12And soch fre cities shalbe amonge you because of the auenger of bloude, that he which hath commytted slaughter, dye not, tyll he stonde in iudgment before the congregacion.
35:13And of these cities which ye shall geue, there shalbe sixe fre cities.
35:14Thre shal ye geue on this side Iordane, and thre in the londe of Canaan.
35:15These are the sixe fre cities, both for ye childre of Israel & for the straungers, & for soch as dwell amoge you, yt who so euer hath slaine eny soule vnawarres, maye flye thither.
35:16He yt smyteth eny man wt an yron weapo, yt he dye, the same is a murthurer, & shal dye the death.
35:17Yf he cast at him wt a stone (wherwith enyman maye be slayne) yt he dye therof, then is he a murthurer, and shal dye the death.
35:18Yf he smyte him wt an handweapon of wodd (wherwith eny man maie be slayne) that he dye, then is he a murthurer, and shal dye the death.
35:19The auenger of bloude shal bringe ye murthurer to death. Whan he fyndeth him, he shal slaye him.
35:20Yf he thrust at him of hate, or cast ought at him with laienge of wayte, or smyte him of envye wt his hande, that he dye,
35:21then shal he that hath slayne him, dye the death: for he is a murthurer. The auenger of bloude shal brynge him to death, as soone as he fyndeth him.
35:22But yf he thrust him by chaunce, & not of envye, or hurle ought at him without eny layenge of wayte,
35:23or cast at him with a stone (wherof a man maye dye, & sawe it not) so yt he dye, & is not his enemie, nether thought him eny euell,
35:24the shal the cogregacion iudge betwene him yt hath comytted ye slaughter, and the auenger of bloude, in soch cases.
35:25And the cogregacion shal delyuer the deedslayer from the hande of ye auenger of bloude, & shal let him come agayne to the fre cite, whither he was fled: & there shall he abyde vnto ye death of the hye prest, which was anoynted with ye holy oyle.
35:26But yf the deedsleyer go out of the borders of his fre cite, that he was fled vnto,
35:27and the auenger of bloude fynde him without ye borders of his fre cite, and kyll him, he shal not be gyltye of bloude.
35:28For he shulde haue bydden in his fre cite vntyll ye death of the hye prest, & after ye hye prestes death to come agayne vnto the londe of his enheritaunce.
35:29This shalbe a statute of the lawe vnto you amoge youre posterities in all youre dwellinges.
35:30The deed slayer shal be slayne at ye mouth of witnesses. One witnesse shal not answere ouer a soule to death.
35:31And ye shal receaue none attonement ouer the soule of the deedslayer (for he is giltye of death) but he shal dye the death.
35:32And ye shal receaue none attonement of him, which is fled to the fre cite, yt he shulde come agayne to dwell in the londe, tyll the hye prest dye.
35:33And defyle not ye ye londe wherin ye dwell. For who so is giltye of bloude, defyleth the londe: and the londe can not be reconcyled from the bloude that is shed therin, but onely thorow the bloude of him that shed it.
35:34Defyle not ye the londe that ye dwell in, wherin I dwell also. For I am the LORDE, which dwell amoge ye children of Israel.
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.