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Coverdale Bible 1535



6:1In those dayes whan the nombre of the disciples increased, there arose a grudge amoge the Grekes agaynst the Hebrues, because their wyddowes were not loked vpon in the daylie handreachinge.
6:2Then the twolue called the multitude of the disciples together, and sayde: It is not mete that we shulde leaue the worde of God, and to serue at the tables.
6:3Wherfore brethren, loke out amonge you seue men, that are of honeste reporte, and full of the holy goost and wyssdome, whom we maye appoynte to this nedefull busynes.
6:4But we wil geue oure selues vnto prayer, and to the mynistracion of the worde of God.
6:5And the sayenge pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Steuen, a man full of fayth and of the holy goost, and Philippe, and Procorus, and Nicanor, and Thimon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas the Proselite of Antioche.
6:6These they set before ye Apostles, and they prayed, and layed their handes vpon them.
6:7And the worde of God increased, and the nombre of the disciples multiplied greatly at Ierusalem. And there were many prestes also obedient vnto the fayth.
6:8Steuen full of faith and power, dyd wonders and greate tokens amonge the people.
6:9Then arose there certayne of the synagoge, which is called (the synagoge) of ye Libertynes, & of the Cyrenites, and of the Alexadrines, and of the yt were of Celicia and Asia, & disputed with Steue,
6:10and they coulde not resiste the wyssdome and the sprete, out of the which he spake.
6:11Then sent they in certayne men, that sayde: We haue herde him speake blasphemous wordes agaynst Moses, and agaynst God.
6:12And they moued the people, and the Elders and the scrybes, and came vpon him, & caught him,
6:13and brought him before the councell, and set false witnesses there, which sayde: This man ceasseth not to speake blasphemous wordes agaynst this holy place and the lawe.
6:14For we herde him saye: Iesus of Nazareth shall destroye this place, and chaunge the ordinaunces which Moses gaue vs.
6:15And all they that sat in the councell, loked vpo him and sawe his face as the face of an angell.
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.