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Coverdale Bible 1535



1:1In ye tyme whan the Iudges ruled, there was a derth in the londe. And there wente a ma from Bethlee Iuda to take his iourney into the londe of the Moabites wt his wife and two sonnes,
1:2which man was called EliMelech, and his wife Naemi, & his two sonnes, the one Mahelon, and the other Chilion: these were Ephrates of Bethleem Iuda. And whan they came in to the londe of ye Moabites, they dwelt there.
1:3And Eli Melech Naemis husbande dyed, & she was left behinde wt hir two sonnes,
1:4which toke Moabitish wyues: the one was called Arpa, the other Ruth. And whan they had dwelt there ten yeare,
1:5they dyed both, Mahelon and Chilion, so that the woman remayned desolate of both hir sonnes and hir husbande.
1:6Then gat she her vp wt both hir sonnes wyues, & wente agayne out of the lode of ye Moabites (for she had herde in the londe of the Moabites, yt the LORDE had visited his people & geuen them bred)
1:7& so she departed from ye place where she was, & both hir sonnes wyues wt her. And as they wete by the waye to come agayne into the londe of Iuda,
1:8she sayde vnto both hir sonnes wyues: Go yor waye, & turne backe ether of you to hir mothers house: the LORDE shewe mercy vpon you, as ye haue done on the yt are deed & on me.
1:9The LORDE graunte you, yt ye maie fynde rest ether of you in hir husbades house (whom ye shal get) and she kyssed them. Then lift they vp their voyce, and wepte,
1:10& sayde vnto her: We wil go with the vnto yi people.
1:11But Naemi sayde: Turne agayne my doughters, why wolde ye go with me? How can I haue children eny more in my body, to be youre husbandes?
1:12Turne agayne my doughters, and go youre waye, for I am now to olde to take an husbande. And though I shulde saye: I hope this night to take an husbande & to brynge forth children,
1:13yet coulde ye not tary tlll they were growne vp: for ye shulde be to olde, so that ye coulde haue no husbandes. No my doughters, therfore am I sory for you, for ye hade of the LORDE is gone forth ouer me.
1:14Then lifte they vp their voyce, and wepte yet more, and Arpa kyssed hir mother in lawe (and turned backe againe) but Ruth abode styll by her.
1:15Neuertheles she sayde: Beholde, thy syster in lawe is turned backe vnto hir people and to hir god, turne thou againe also after thy sister in lawe.
1:16Ruth answered: Speake not to me therof, that I shulde forsake the, and turne backe from the: whithersoeuer thou goest, thither wil I go also: and loke where thou abydest, there wil I abide also: Thy people is my people, & thy God is my God.
1:17Loke where thou diest, there wil dye, and euen there wil I also be buried. The LORDE do this and that vnto me, death onely shal departe vs.
1:18Now whan she sawe, that she was stedfastly mynded to go with her, she spake nomore to her therof.
1:19So they wente on both together, till they came vnto Bethleem. And whan they were come in to Bethleem, the whole cite was moued ouer them, and sayde Is not this Naemi?
1:20Neuerthelesse she sayde vnto them: call me not Naemi, but Mara: for the Allmightie hath made me very sory.
1:21I departed full, but the LORDE hath brought me home agayne emptye. Why call ye me then Naemi? wha the LORDE hath broughte me lowe, and the Allmightie hath made me sory?
1:22It was aboute the tyme of the begynninge of the barlye haruest, whan Naemi and his sonnes wife Ruth ye Moabitysse, came agayne from the londe of the Moabites vnto Bethleem.
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.