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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1These are the wordes that Moses spake vnto all Israel on the other syde Iordane in the wildernesse, in the playne felde towarde the reed see, betwene Paran, Thophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Disahab,
1:2eleuen daies iourney from Horeb, by the waye of mount Seir vnto Cades Bernea.
1:3And it fortuned the first daye of the eleuenth moneth in the fortieth yeare, that Moses spake vnto ye children of Israel acordinge vnto all as ye LORDE commaunded him,
1:4after he had smytten Sihon ye kynge of the Amorites which dwelt at Hesbon: and Og the kynge of Basan, that dwelt at Astaroth, and at Edrei.
1:5On the other syde Iordane in ye lande of the Moabites, beganne Moses to declare this lawe, and sayde:
1:6The LORDE or God spake vnto vs vpon mount Horeb, & sayde: Ye haue bene loge ynough vpon this mountayne,
1:7turne you, & departe hence, that ye maye come to the mountaynes of the Amorites, and to all their neghbours in ye feldes, vpon mountaynes, and in the valleys towarde the South and towarde the see syde, of the lande of Canaan: and to mount Libanus, euen vnto the greate water Euphrates.
1:8Beholde, I haue delyuered you the londe, go in, and take it in possession, which the LORDE sware vnto yor fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, that he wolde geue it vnto the, and their sede after them.
1:9Then saide I vnto you at the same tyme: I am not able to beare you my self alone,
1:10for the LORDE youre God hath increased you, so that this daye ye are as ye starres of heauen in multitude.
1:11(The LORDE God of yor fathers make you yet many thousande tymes mo, & blesse you, as he hath promysed you.)
1:12How can I alone beare soche cobraunce, & charge, & stryfe amoge you?
1:13Prouyde here men of wysdome & vnderstondinge, soch as are knowne amonge youre trybes, the wil I set to be heades vnto you.
1:14Then answered ye me, and sayde: It is a good thinge, that thou sayest thou wilt do.
1:15Then toke I ye heades of youre trybes, wyse and famous me, and set them ouer you to be heades, ouer thousandes, ouer hundreds, ouer fiftye and ouer ten: and officers amonge youre trybes.
1:16And I charged your iudges at ye same tyme, & sayde: Heare youre brethre, & iudge righteously betwene euery man and his brother, and the straunger.
1:17Ye shall knowe no personne in iudgment, but shall heare the small as well as the greate, and be afrayed of no man: for the Iudgment is Gods. But yf eny cause be to harde for you, let it be broughte vnto me, yt I maye heare it.
1:18Thus commaunded I you at the same tyme, all yt ye shulde doo.
1:19Then departed we from Horeb, and walked thorow the whole wyldernesse (which is greate and terryble as ye haue sene) by the waye to ye mountaynes of the Amorites, as the LORDE oure God commauded vs, and came vnto Cades Bernea.
1:20Then sayde I vnto you: Ye are come to ye mountaynes of ye Amorites, which the LORDE or God shal geue vs.
1:21Beholde, there the londe before the, which the LORDE thy God hath geue vnto the: Go vp, & conquere it, as ye LORDE God of thy fathers hath sayde vnto the: feare not, and be not discoraged.
1:22Then came ye all vnto me, and sayde: Let vs sende men before vs, to spye vs out the londe, and to brynge vs worde agayne, by what waye we shal go vp, and to what cities we shal come.
1:23That pleased me well, and I toke twolue men from amonge you, of euery trybe one.
1:24Which whan they were departed, and wente vp to hye countre, and came to the ryuer Escol, they spyed it out,
1:25and toke of the frute of ye londe with the, and broughte it downe vnto vs, and broughte vs worde agayne, and sayde: It is a good londe, that the LORDE oure God hath geuen vs.
1:26But ye wolde not go vp, and were dishobedient vnto the mouth of the LORDE youre God,
1:27and murmured in youre tentes, and sayde: Because the LORDE hateth vs, therfore hath be broughte vs out of the londe of Egipte, to delyuer vs in to the handes of the Amorites, to destroye vs.
1:28Whither shal we go vp? Oure brethren haue discoraged oure hertes, & saide: The people is greater & of hyer stature the we, ye cities are greate, & walled euen vp to heauen. Morouer we haue sene there the children of Enakim.
1:29But I sayde vnto you: Feare not, and be not afrayed of them:
1:30for the LORDE youre God goeth before you, and shall fighte for you, like as he dealte with you in Egipte before youre eyes,
1:31and in the wyldernesse: where thou sawest, that the LORDE thy God bare the (euen as a man beareth his sonne) thorow out all the waye that ye haue walked, tyll ye came to this place.
1:32And yet for all this ye haue not beleued on the LORDE youre God,
1:33which wente before you, to searche you out a place, where ye shulde pitch youre tentes: by night in the fyre (to shewe you the waye, wherin ye shulde go) & on the daye tyme in the cloude.
1:34Whan the LORDE herde ye voyce of yor wordes, he was wroth, and swore, and saide:
1:35There shall none of this euell generacion se that good londe, which I sware to geue vnto youre fathers,
1:36excepte Caleb the sonne of Iephune, he shal se it. And vnto him wyl I geue the londe that he hath trodde vpon, & to his children, because he hath perfectly folowed the LORDE.
1:37The LORDE was angrye wt me also for youre sakes, and sayde: Thou also shalt not go in thither.
1:38But Iosua ye sonne of Nun, which stondeth before the, he shal go in thither: Corage him, for he shal deuyde the enheritaunce out vnto Israel.
1:39And youre childre, of who ye sayde they shulde be a praye, and youre sonnes which this daie vnderstonde nether good ner bad, they shal go in thither, vnto them wil I geue it, and they shall enioye it.
1:40But as for you, turne you, and take youre iourney to the wyldernesse, euen the waye to the reed see.
1:41Then answered ye, & sayde vnto me: We haue synned agaynst ye LORDE, we wil go vp, and fighte, acordinge to all that the LORDE hath commaunded vs. Now whan ye had prepared yor selues, euery one in his harnesse, & were at the poynte to go vp to the mountaynes,
1:42ye LORDE sayde vnto me: Speake vnto them, yt they go not vp, & that they fighte not (for I am not amoge you) that ye be not smytten before youre enemies.
1:43Whan I tolde you this, ye wolde not heare, & were dishobedient vnto the worde of the LORDE, and were presumptuous, and wente vp to ye mountaines.
1:44Then the Amorites that dwelt vpon the moutaynes, came out against you, and chaced you, as Bees do, and smote you at Seir, euen vnto Horma.
1:45Now whan ye came againe, and wepte before the LORDE, he wolde not heare youre voyce, and enclyned not his eares vnto you.
1:46So ye abode in Cades a longe season.
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.