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Coverdale Bible 1535



15:1It fortuned after certaine daies aboute the wheate haruest tyme, yt Samson visited his wife wt a kydd. And wha he thoughte, I wyl go to my wife in to the chamber, hir father wolde not let him in,
15:2and sayde: I thoughte thou wast displeased at her, and I gaue her vnto thy frende. But she hath a yonger sister which is more beutyfull then she, let ye same be thine for her.
15:3The sayde Samson vnto the: I haue once gotte a righte occasion agaynst the Philistynes, I wyl do you displeasure.
15:4And Samson wete and catched thre hundreth foxes, and toke fyre brandes, and festened one tayle to another, and put euer a fyre brande betwene two tayles,
15:5and kynled the same with fyre, and let them go amonge the Philistynes corne, and thus he brent ye stoukes and the stondinge corne, and ye vynyardes, and the olyue trees.
15:6Then sayde the Philistynes: Who hath done this? And they sayde: Samson the husbande of the Thimnites doughter, because he toke awaye his wife from him, and gaue hir vnto his frende. Then wente the Philistynes vp, and brent her and hir father also with fyre.
15:7But Samson sayde vnto them: I can suffre you to do this, neuertheles I wyl be aueged vpon you my selfe, and then wyl I leaue of.
15:8And he smote them sore both vpo the shulders & loynes: and wete downe, & dwelt in the stone clyffe at Eram.
15:9Then wente the Philistynes vp, and layed sege vnto Iuda, & pitched at Lechi.
15:10But they of Iuda sayde: Wherfore are ye come vp against vs? They answered: we are come vp to bynde Samson, yt we maye do vnto him, as he hath done vnto vs.
15:11Then wete there thre M. men of Iuda downe to the stone clyffe of Etam, & sayde vnto Samson: Knowest thou not that the Philistynes raigne ouer vs? Wherfore hast thou done this then vnto vs? He sayde: As they dyd vnto me, so haue I done vnto the agayne.
15:12They sayde vnto him: We are come downe to bynde the, & to delyuer ye into the hade of the Philistynes. Samson sayde vnto the: Then sweare & promyse me, yt ye wyll not slaye me.
15:13They answered him: We wyll not kyll the, we wil but bynde the, & delyuer the in to their hande, & wyl not slaye ye. And they bounde him with two new coardes & caried him from the stone.
15:14And whan he came vnto Lechi, the Philistynes shouted, and rane vnto him. But ye sprete of ye LORDE came vpon him, & the coardes aboute his armes were like thredes burnt in the fyre, so yt the bondes were lowsed from his hondes.
15:15And he founde the cheke bone of a deed asse: then put he forth his hande, and toke it, & slewe a thousande men therwith:
15:16And Samson sayde: With an olde asses cheke bone, yee eue with the cheke bone of an asse haue I slayne a thousande men.
15:17And whan he had sayde yt, he cast ye cheke bone out of his hande, & called the place Ramath Lechi.
15:18But wha he was sore a thyrst, he called vpo the LORDE, & saide: Soch greate health hast thou geue by the hade of thy seruaunt, but now must I dye a thyrst, & fall in to ye hande of ye vncircucised.
15:19The God opened a gometothe in ye chekebone, so yt water wete out: & whan he dranke, his sprete came agayne, & he was refresshed. Therfore vnto this daye it is yet called ye well of ye cheke bone of him yt made intercession.
15:20And he iudged Israel in the tyme of the Philistynes twetye yeare.
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.