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Coverdale Bible 1535



36:1And ye chefe fathers of the kynred of the childre of Gilead ye sonne of Machir (which was the sonne of Manasse of the kynred of the children of Ioseph) came forth, and spake before Moses, and before the captaynes amonge the chefe fathers of the children of Israel,
36:2and saide: Syr, the LORDE hath commaunded, that ye shulde geue the londe by lott vnto the childre of Israel to inheret. And thou my lorde hast commaunded thorow the LORDE, that the enheritaunce of or brother Zelaphead shulde be geue vnto his doughters.
36:3Now yf eny men out of the trybes of Israel take them to wyues, then shal oure fathers enheritaunce be lesse: and as moch as they haue, shal come to ye enheritaunce of the trybe that they come vnto. Thus shal the lott of oure inheritaunce be mynished.
36:4So whan the yeare of Iubilye commeth vnto the childre of Israel, then shal their enheritaunce come to ye enheritaunce of the trybe, where they are. Thus shal oure fathers enheritaunce be mynished, as moch as they haue.
36:5Moses charged the childre of Israel (acordinge to the commaundement of the LORDE) and sayde: The trybe of the children of Ioseph hath sayde righte.
36:6This is it that ye LORDE commaundeth the doughters of Zelaphead, and sayeth: Let them mary as they like best, onely that they mary in ye kynred of the trybe of their father,
36:7that the enheritaunce of the children of Israel fall not fro one trybe to another. For euery one amonge the children of Israel shall cleue to the enheritaunce of the trybe of his father:
36:8& euery doughter that possesseth eny enheritaunce amonge the trybes of the children of Israel, shal be maryed vnto one of the kynred of the trybe of hir father: yt euery one amonge the children of Israel maye enioye his fathers enheritaunce,
36:9and that the enheritaunce fall not from one trybe to another: but that euery one maye cleue to his awne enheritaunce amonge the trybes of the children of Israel.
36:10As the LORDE comaunded Moses, eue so dyd ye doughters of ye Zelaphead,
36:11Mahela, Thirza, Hagla, Milca & Noa & were maried vnto their fathers brothers sonnes,
36:12of ye kynred of the children of Manasse the sonne of Ioseph. So their enheritauce remayned in the trybe of the kynred of their father.
36:13These are the commaundemetes & lawes, which ye LORDE commaunded by Moses vnto the childre of Israel, in the felde of the Moabites by Iordane ouer agaynst Iericho.
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.