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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1Paul an Apostle of Iesus Christ, by the wyll of God, to preach the promes of ye life which is in Christ Iesu.
1:2To my deare sonne Timotheus. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the father and from Christ Iesu oure LORDE.
1:3I thanke God, whome I serue fro my fore elders in a pure conscience, that without ceassynge I make mencion of the in my prayers night and daye:
1:4and longe to se the (whan I remembre thy teares) so that I am fylled with ioye,
1:5whan I call to remembraunce the vnfayned faith that is in the, which dwelt first in thy graundemother Lois, and in thy mother Eunica: And am assured, that it dwelleth in ye also.
1:6Wherfore I warne the, that thou stere vp ye gifte of God which is in the by puttynge on of my handes.
1:7For God hath not geuen vs the sprete of feare, but of power, and of loue, and of right vnderstondynge.
1:8Be not thou asshamed therfore of ye testimony of or LORDE, nether of me, which am his presoner: but suffre thou aduersite also wt the Gospell, acordinge to the power of God
1:9which hath saued vs, and called vs with an holy callynge: not acordinge to oure dedes, but acordinge to his owne purpose and grace, which was geuen vs in Christ Iesu before the tyme of the worlde,
1:10but is now declared openly by the appearynge of oure Sauioure Iesu Christ. Which hath taken awaye ye power of death, and hath brought life and immortalite vnto lighte, thorow the Gospell:
1:11whervnto I am appoynted a preacher and an Apostell, and a teacher of the Heythen:
1:12for the which cause I also suffre these thinges, neuertheles I am not ashamed. For I knowe whom I haue beleued, and am sure that he is able to kepe that which I haue commytted vnto his kepynge agaynst that daye.
1:13Holde the after ye ensample of the wholsome wordes, which thou heardest of me, concernynge faith and loue in Christ Iesu.
1:14This hye charge kepe thou thorow the holy goost, which dwelleth in vs.
1:15This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia, be turned fro me, of which sorte are Phigelus and Hermogenes.
1:16The LORDE geue mercy vnto the house of Onesiphorus: for he oft refresshed me, and was not asshamed of my cheyne:
1:17but whan he was at Rome he soughte me out very diligently, and founde me.
1:18The LORDE graunte vnto him, that he maye fynde mercy with the LORDE in that daye. And how moch he mynistred vnto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
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.