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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1For so moch as many haue taken in hande, to set forth ye wordes of the actes that are come to passe amonge vs,
1:2like as they delyuered the vnto vs, which from the begynnynge sawe them their selues, and were mynisters of the worde,
1:3I thought it good (after that I had diligently searched out all from the begynnynge) to wryte the same orderly vnto the (good Theophilus)
1:4that thou mightest knowe the certete of ye wordes, wherof thou art infourmed.
1:5In the tyme of Herode kynge of Iewry, there was a prest named Zachary of the course of Abia: and his wife of the doughters of Aaron, & hir name Elizabeth.
1:6They were both righteous before God, and walked in all the commaundementes and statutes of the LORDE vnreproueably.
1:7And they had no childe, for Elizabeth was baren, and they were both well stricken in age.
1:8And it came to passe as he executed the prestes office before God whan his course came
1:9(acordinge to the custome of the presthode) it fell to his lott to burne incense.
1:10And he wente in to the temple of the LORDE, and the whole multitude of the people was without in prayer, whyle the incense was aburnynge.
1:11And the angell of the LORDE appeared vnto him, and stode on the right syde of the altare of incese.
1:12And whan Zachary sawe him, he was abasshed, & there came a feare vpon him.
1:13But the angell sayde vnto him: Feare not Zachary, for thy prayer is herde. And yi wife Elizabeth shal beare the a sonne, whose name thou shalt call Ihon,
1:14& thou shalt haue ioye and gladnesse: and many shal reioyce at his byrth,
1:15for he shal be greate before the LORDE. Wyne and stronge drynke shal he not drynke. And he shalbe fylled wt the holy goost, euen in his mothers wombe.
1:16And many of the children of Israel shal he turne vnto the LORDE their God.
1:17And he shal go before him in the sprete and power of Elias, to turne the hertes of ye fathers vnto the children, and the vnfaithfull vnto the wyssdome of the righteous, to make the people ready for the LORDE.
1:18And Zachary sayde vnto the Angel: Wherby shal I knowe this? For I am olde, and my wife well stricken in age.
1:19The angell answered, and sayde vnto him: I am Gabriell that stonde before God, and am sent to speake vnto the, and to shewe the these glad tydinges.
1:20And beholde, thou shalt be domme, and not able to speake, vntyll the daye that this come to passe, because thou hast not beleued my wordes, which shalbe fulfylled in their season.
1:21And the people wayted for Zachary, and marueyled, that he taried so longe in the teple.
1:22And wha he wete out, he coude not speake vnto them. And they perceaued, that he had sene a vision in the teple. And he beckened vnto them, and remayned speachlesse.
1:23And it fortuned wha the tyme of his office was out, he wente home in to his house.
1:24And after those dayes Elizabeth his wife conceaued, and hyd hir self fyue monethes, & sayde:
1:25Thus hath ye LORDE done vnto me in ye dayes, wherin he hath loked vpo me, to take awaye fro me my rebuke amoge men.
1:26And in the sixte moneth was the angell Gabriel sent from God in to a cite of Galile, called Nazareth,
1:27vnto a virgin that was spoused vnto a man, whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid, and the virgins name was Mary.
1:28And the angell came in vnto her, and sayde: Hayle thou full of grace, the LORDE is with the: blessed art thou amonge wemen.
1:29Wha she sawe him, she was abasshed at his sayenge, and thought: What maner of salutacion is this?
1:30And the angell sayde vnto her: Feare not Mary, for thou hast foude grace with God.
1:31Beholde, thou shalt coceaue in thy wobe, & beare a sonne & shalt call his name Iesus:
1:32he shalbe greate, & shalbe called ye sonne of the Hyest. And the LORDE God shal geue him ye seate of Dauid his father,
1:33& he shal be kinge ouer ye house of Iacob for euer & there shalbe no ende of his kyngdome.
1:34Then sayde Mary vnto the angell: How shal this be, seinge I knowe not a ma?
1:35The angell answered, & sayde vnto her: The holy goost shal come vpon the, & the power of the Hyest shal ouershadowe the. Therfore that Holy also which shalbe borne (of the) shalbe called the sonne of God.
1:36And beholde, thy cosen Elizabeth she also hath coceaued a sonne in hir olde age, & this is the sixte moneth of her, which is reported to be baren:
1:37for wt God is nothinge vnpossyble.
1:38And Mary sayde: Beholde, here am I the handmayde of the LORDE: be it vnto me, as thou hast sayde. And the angell departed fro her.
1:39And Mary arose in those dayes,and wente in to the moutaynes with haist, into ye cite of Iewry,
1:40and came in to ye house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
1:41And it fortuned as Elizabeth herde the salutacion of Mary, the babe sprange in hir wombe. And Elizabeth was fylled with the holy goost,
1:42& cried loude, and sayde: Blessed art thou amoge wemen, and blessed is the frute of yi wombe.
1:43And how happeneth this to me, that ye mother of my LORDE commeth vnto me?
1:44Beholde, whan I herde the voyce of thy salutacion, the babe sprange in my wombe wt ioye,
1:45And blessed art thou that hast beleued, for ye thinges shalbe perfourmed, which were tolde ye fro ye LORDE.
1:46And Mary sayde:My soule magnifieth the LORDE.
1:47And my sprete reioyseth i God my Sauioure.
1:48For he hath loked vpo the lowe degre of his hande mayde. Beholde, fro hence forth shal all generacions call me blessed.
1:49For he that is Mightie, hath done greate thinges vnto me, and holy is his name.
1:50And his mercy endureth thorow out all generacions, vpon them that feare him.
1:51He sheweth strength with his arme, and scatreth them that are proude in the ymaginacion of their hert.
1:52He putteth downe the mightie from the seate, and exalteth them of lowe degre.
1:53He fylleth the hongrie with good thinges, and letteth the riche go emptye.
1:54He remebreth mercy, and helpeth vp his seruaunt Israel.
1:55Euen as he promysed vnto oure fathers, Abraham and to his sede foreuer.
1:56And Mary abode with her aboute thre monethes, and then returned home agayne.
1:57And Elizabethes tyme was come, that she shulde be delyuered, & she brought forth a sonne.
1:58And hir neghbours and kynsfolkes herde, yt the LORDE had shewed greate mercy vpo her,& they reioysed with her.
1:59And it fortuned vpon the eight daye, they came to circumcyse ye childe, and called him Zachary after his father:
1:60And his mother answered, and sayde: No, but he shalbe called Ihon.
1:61And they sayde vnto her: There is none in yi kynne, yt is so called.
1:62And they made signes vnto his father, how he wolde haue him called.
1:63And he axed for wrytinge tables, wrote & sayde: His name is Ihon. And they marueyled all.
1:64And immediatly was his mouth and his toge opened, and he spake, & praysed God.
1:65And there came a feare vpon all their neghbours. And all this acte was noysed abrode thorow out all the hill countre of Iewry:
1:66And all they yt herde therof, toke it to hert, and sayde: What maner of man wil this childe be? For the hande of the LORDE was with him.
1:67And Zachary his father was fylled with the holy goost, and prophecied, and sayde:
1:68Blessed be ye LORDE God of Israel, for he hath vysited and redemed his people.
1:69And hath set vp an horne of saluacion in the house of his seruaunt Dauid.
1:70Euen as he promysed afore tyme, by the mouth of his holy prophetes.
1:71hat he wolde delyuer vs fro oure enemies, & from ye hande of all soch as hate vs.
1:72And yt he wolde shewe mercy vnto oure fathers, & thynke vpo his holy couenaut.
1:73Euen the ooth yt he sware vnto oure father Abraham,
1:74for to geue vs.That we delyuered out of ye hade of or enemies, might serue him without feare
1:75all the dayes of oure life, in soch holynes and righteousnes as is accepte before him.
1:76And thou childe shalt be called a prophet of the Hyest: for thou shalt go before ye LORDE, to prepare his wayes.
1:77And to geue knowlege of saluacion vnto his people, for the remyssion of their synnes.
1:78Thorow the tender mercy of oure God, wherby the daye sprynge from an hye hath vysited vs.
1:79That he might geue light vnto them yt syt in darcknesse and shadowe of death, and to gyde oure fete in to the waye of peace.
1:80And the childe grew, and waxed stronge in sprete, and was in the wyldernes, tyll the tyme that he shulde shewe him self vnto the people 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.