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Coverdale Bible 1535



19:1Whan ye LORDE thy God shall haue roted out ye nacios, whose londe ye LORDE thy God shal geue the, so yt thou hast conquered them, and dwellest in their cities and houses,
19:2thou shalt appoynte the out thre cities in the myddes of the lode, yt the LORDE thy God shal geue ye to possesse.
19:3Thou shalt prepare the waye, and parte the coastes of yi londe (which ye LORDE thy God shal deuyde out vnto the) in to thre partes, that whosoeuer hath commytted a slaughter, maye flie thither.
19:4And this shalbe the cause, that whosoeuer hath committed a slaughter, maye flye thyther, and lyue.
19:5Yf eny man smyte his neghboure vnawarres, and hath not hated him in tyme passed (as whan a man goeth vnto the wod with his neghboure to hew downe tymber, and he turneth his hande wt the axe to hewe downe the wod, and the yron slyppeth from the helue, and hytteth his neghboure, that he dyeth) the same shal flye in to one of these cities, that he maye lyue,
19:6lest the auenger of bloude folowe after the deedsleyer, whyle his hert is whote, and ouertake him, whyle the waye is so farre, and slaye him, where as yet no cause of death is in hi, for so moch as he hated him not in tyme passed.
19:7Therfore commaunde I the, that thou appoynte out thre cities.
19:8And whan the LORDE yi God enlargeth thy borders, as he hath sworne vnto thy fathers, & geueth the all the lode which he promysed thy fathers to geue
19:9(so that thou kepe all these comaundementes, and do yt I commaunde the this daye, yt thou loue the LORDE thy God, and walke in his wayes all yi life longe) the shalt thou adde yet thre cities vnto these thre,
19:10that innocent bloude be not shed in thy londe (which the LORDE yi God geueth the to enheritaunce) and so bloude come vpon the.
19:11But yf eny man beare hate agaynst his neghboure, and layeth waite for him, and ryseth agaynst him, and smyteth him that he dye, and flyeth in to one of these cities,
19:12then shall the Elders of the same cite sende thither, and cause him to be fetched from thence, and delyuer him in to the handes of the auenger of bloude, that he maye dye:
19:13thine eye shal not pitie him, and the giltye bloude shalt thou put awaye fro Israel, that thou mayest prospere.
19:14Thou shalt not remoue thy neghbours marck, which they of olde tyme haue set in thine enheritaunce, that thou enheretest in the londe, which the LORDE thy God hath geuen the to possesse it.
19:15One witnesse shal not stonde vp alone agaynst a man, ouer eny trespace or synne, what maner of synne so euer it be, yt a man can do, but in the mouth of two or thre witnesses shal euery matter be stablished.
19:16But yf an vnrighteous wytnesse stonde vp agaynst eny man, to testifye eny trespace vpon him,
19:17then shall both the men that stryue together, stonde before the LORDE, before the prestes and Iudges, which shall be at the same tyme.
19:18And the iudges shall make diligent inquisicion: & yf the witnesse be founde false, and hath geue false witnesse agaynst his brother,
19:19then shall ye do vnto him, euen as he thoughte to do vnto his brother: that thou mayest put awaye the euell from the that
19:20other maye heare and feare, and take nomore vpon them to do soch wicked poyntes amonge you.
19:21Thine eye shall not pitie him. Soule for soule, eye for eye, tothe for tothe, hande for hande, fote for fote.
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.