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Coverdale Bible 1535



2:1Iosua the sonne of Nun sent out two spyes preuely from Setim, and sayde vnto them: Go youre waye, loke vpon the londe and Iericho. They wente forth, and came in to ye house of an harlot, called Rahab, and laye there.
2:2Then was it tolde the kynge of Iericho: Lo, there are men come in this nighte from the childre of Israel, to spye the londe.
2:3Then sent the kynge of Iericho vnto Rahab, saynge: Delyuer the men forth that are come vnto the in to thy house, for they are come to spye out the whole londe.
2:4Now as for the two men, the woman had hyd them, and sayde: There came men in vnto me in dede, but I knewe not whence they were.
2:5And at the shuttinge in of the gate whan it was darcke, they wente out, so yt I can not tell whither they be gone: folowe soone after them, for ye shal ouertake them.
2:6But she had caused them to clymme vp vnto the house toppe, and hyd them vnder the stalkes of flaxe, that she had prepared her vpo the toppe of the house.
2:7How beit the men folowed after them in ye waye towarde Iordane, euen vnto the ferye: and whan they that folowed vpon them were gone forth, the gate was shut.
2:8And or euer the men layed them downe to slepe, she wente vp to them vnto the house toppe,
2:9and sayde vnto the: I knowe that the LORDE shal delyuer you the londe, for the feare of you is fallen vpon vs, and all the inhabiters of the londe are discoraged at youre commynge.
2:10For we haue herde, how the LORDE dryed vp the water in the reed see before you, wha ye departed out of Egipte: and what ye dyd vnto the two kynges of the Amorites, Sihon and Og beyonde Iordane, how ye roted them out, and destroyed them.
2:11And sence we herde therof, oure hert hath failed vs, nether is there a good stomacke more in eny man, by the reason of youre commynge. For the LORDE yor God is both the God aboue in heaue and beneth vpon earth.
2:12Sweare now then vnto me euen by the LORDE (for so moch as I haue dealte mercifully with you) that ye wyl also shewe mercy vpon my fathers house: and geue me a true token,
2:13that ye wyl let my father lyue, and my mother, my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they haue, and delyuer oure soules from death.
2:14The men sayde vnto her: Yf we shewe not mercy and faithfulnesse vpon the, whan the LORDE geueth vs the londe, then let oure soule dye for you, so farre as thou betrayest not oure deuyce.
2:15Then let she them downe thorow the wyndowe by a coarde: for hir house was in the wall of the cite, and in the wall was hir dwellynge.
2:16And she sayde vnto them: Go youre waye vp to the mountaynes, lest they mete you that folowe vpon you: and hyde youre selues there thre dayes, tyll they be come againe yt folowe after you: and then get you youre waye.
2:17But the men sayde vnto her: As for this ooth that thou hast taken of vs, we wyll be discharged of it
2:18whan we come in to ye londe, excepte thou knyttest in the wyndowe ye lyne of this rosecoloured rope (yt thou hast lette vs downe with all) & gatherest vnto ye in to the house, thy father, thy mother, yi brethren & all thy fathers house.
2:19And loke who so euer goeth out at the dore of thy house, his bloude be vpon his owne heade, and we giltlesse. But of all those yt are in yi house, yf a hande be layed vpon the, their bloude shalbe vpo or heade.
2:20And yf thou bewrayest eny of this deuyce of ours, the wil we be discharged of the ooth yt thou hast take of vs.
2:21She sayde: Let it be so as ye saye, and she let the go. And they wente their waye. And she knyt the rose coloured lyne in the wyndowe.
2:22They wente on their waye, and came to the mountaynes, and remayned there this dayes, tyll they that folowed vpon them were come agayne: for they soughte them thorow euery strete, & yet they founde them not.
2:23So the two men turned agayne, and departed from the mountaynes, and passed ouer (Iordane) and came to Iosua the sonne of Nun, and tolde him euery thinge, as they had founde it,
2:24& they sayde vnto Iosua: The LORDE hath geue vs all the londe in to oure handes, and all they that dwell in the londe, are sore afrayed of vs.
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.