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The Great Bible 1539



1:1For as moche as many haue taken in hande to set forth the declaracion of those thinges, which are most surely to be beleued amonge vs,
1:2euen as they delyuered them vnto vs, whych from the begyndyng sawe them them selues with their eyes, and were ministers of the thinges that they declared:
1:3I determyned also (as sone as I had searched out dyligently all thinges from the begynnyng) that then I wolde wryte vnto the, good Theophilus:
1:4that thou myghtest knowe the certente of those thinges wherof thou hast bene infourmed.
1:5There was in the dayes of Herode the Kynge of Iurie, a certayne Preste named Zacharias of the course of Abia. And his wyfe was of the daughters of Aaron: and her name was Elizabeth:
1:6they were, both ryghteous before God, and walked in all the lawes and ordynaunces of the Lorde, that no man coulde fynde fawte with them.
1:7And they had no chylde, because that Elizabeth was barren, and they booth were now well stricken in age.
1:8And it came to passe, that whan Zachary executed the Preastes offyce before God, as hys course came
1:9(accordyng to the custome of the prestes office) hys lot fell to burne incence.
1:10And he went into the temple of the Lorde, & the whoale multitude of the people were without in prayer, whill the incense was a burninge.
1:11And ther appeared vnto him an Angell of the Lorde, standynge on the ryght syde of the aultare of incense.
1:12And when Zacharias sawe him, he was abashed, & feare cam on him.
1:13But the Angell sayde vnto him: feare not Zachary, for thy prayer is hearde. And thy wyfe Elizabeth shall beare the a sonne, and thou shalt call his name Iohn,
1:14and thou shalt haue ioye and gladnes, and many shall reioyce at his byrth.
1:15For he shalbe greate in the syght of the Lorde, and shall nether drincke wyne ner stronge drincke. And he shalbe fylled with the holy goost, euen from his mothers wombe:
1:16and many of the chyldren of Israel shall tourne to their Lord God.
1:17And he shall go before him in the sprite & power of Helias to tourne the hertes of the fathers to the children, and the vnbeleuers to the wysdome of the iuste men, to make readye a perfecte people for the Lorde.
1:18And Zacharias sayde vnto the angell: by what token shall I knowe this? For I am olde, and my wyfe well strycken in yeres.
1:19And the angell answered, and sayd vnto him. I am Gabriel, that stande in the presens of God, and am sent to speake vnto the: and to shewe the these glad tydinges.
1:20And beholde it shall come to passe, that thou shalt be domme, and not be hable to speake, vntill the daye that these thinges be performed, because thou beleuedst not my wordes, which shalbe fulfylled in their season.
1:21And the people wayted for Zacharias, and merueyled that he taryed in the temple.
1:22And when he came out, he coulde not speke vnto them. And they perceaued, that he had sene a visyon in the temple. And he beckened vnto them, and remayned speachlesse.
1:23And it fortuned, that as sone as the dayes of his office were out, he departed into his awne house.
1:24And after those dayes, his wyfe Elizabeth conceaued, & hid her selfe fyue monethes, sayinge:
1:25Thys wyse hath God dealte with me, in the dayes wherin he hath loked on me, to take from me my rebuke amonge men.
1:26And in the syxt moneth the angell Gabriel was sent from God vnto a cytie of Galile, named Nazareth,
1:27to a virgin spoused to a man, whose name was Ioseph, of the house of Dauid, and the virgins name was Mary.
1:28And the angell went in vnto her, and sayde. Hayle full of grace, the Lorde is with the: blessed art thou amonge wemen.
1:29When she sawe him, she was abasshed at his sayinge: and cast in her mynde, what maner of salutacion that shulde be.
1:30And the angell sayde vnto her: feare not Mary: for thou hast founde grace with God.
1:31Behold, thou shalt conceaue in thy wombe, & beare a sonne, & shalt call his name Iesus.
1:32He shalbe greate, & shalbe called the sonne of the hyest. And the Lorde God shall geue vnto him the seate of his father Dauid
1:33and he shall raygne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kyngdome there shalbe none ende.
1:34Then sayde Mary vnto the angell: How shall this be, seynge I knowe not a man?
1:35And the angell answered, & sayde vnto her. The holy goost shall come vpon the, and the power of the hyest shall ouer shaddowe the. Therfore also that holy thynge which shalbe borne, shalbe called the sonne of God.
1:36And beholde, thy cosyn Elizabeth, she hath also conceaued a sonne in her age. And this is her syxt moneth, which was called barren:
1:37for with God shall nothinge be vnpossible.
1:38And Mary sayde: beholde the hande mayden of the Lorde, be it vnto me according to thy worde, And the angell departed from her.
1:39And Mary arose in those dayes, & went into the mountayns with haste into the cytie of Iewrie,
1:40and entred into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
1:41And it fortuned, that whan Elizabeth hearde the salutacyon of Mary, the babe sprange in her wombe. And Elizabeth was fylled with the holy ghost,
1:42& cried with a loude voyce, and sayde: Blessed art thou among wemen, and blessed is the frute of thy wombe.
1:43And whence happeneth this to me, that the mother of my Lorde shulde come to me?
1:44For lo, as sone as the voyce of thy salutacion sownded in myne eares, the babe sprange in my wombe for ioye.
1:45And blessed art thou that hast beleued: for those thinges shalbe performed, which were tolde the from the Lorde.
1:46And Mary sayde. My soule magnifieth the Lord.
1:47And my sprete hath reioysed in God my sauyour
1:48For he hath loked on the lowe degre of hys hande mayden: for lo: now from hence forth shall all generacions call me blessed.
1:49Because he that is myghty, hath done to me greate thinges, & holye is his name.
1:50And his mercy is on them that feare him, from generacion to generacion.
1:51He hath shewed strength with his arme, he hath scattered them that are proude in the ymaginacyon of their herte.
1:52He hath putte downe the myghty from theyr seates, and exalted them of lowe degre.
1:53He hath fylled the hongrye with good thynges: and sent awaye the ryche emptye.
1:54He hath helped hys seruaunt Israel, in remembraunce of hys mercye.
1:55Euen as he promysed to oure fathers, Abraham, and to his seede for euer.
1:56And Mary abode with her aboute a .iij. monethes, and retourned agayne to her awne house.
1:57Elizabeths tyme came that she shulde be delyuered, and she brought forth a sonne.
1:58And her neyghboures and her cosyns hearde howe the Lorde had shewed greate mercy vpon her, and they reioysed with her.
1:59And it fortuned that in the eyght daye, they came to circumcyse the chylde: and called his name Zacharias, after the name of hys father.
1:60And his mother answered and sayde: not so but he shalbe called Iohn.
1:61And they sayd vnto her: Ther is none in thy kynred, that is named with this name:
1:62And they made sygnes to his father, howe he wolde haue him called.
1:63And he asked for wrytinge tables, and wrote, saying: his name is Iohn. And they maruelled all.
1:64And hys mouth was opened immediatly, & his tonge also, & he spake, and praysed God.
1:65And feare came on all them that dwelt nye vnto them. And all these sayinges were noysed abroade throughout all the hyll countre of Iurie:
1:66and all they that herde them layde them vp in their hertes, saying: What maner of chylde shall this be? And the hande of the Lorde was with him:
1:67And his father Zacharias was filled with the holy goost, and prophisyed sayinge?
1:68Praysed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redemed his people:
1:69And hath raysed vp an horne of saluacion vnto vs, in the house of his seruaunt Dauid.
1:70Euen as he promysed by the mouth of his holy prophetes, which were sens the worlde began.
1:71That we shulde be saued from oure enemies, and from the hande of all that hate vs.
1:72That he wolde deale mercifully with oure fathers, and remember his holy couenaunt.
1:73And that he wolde performe the oothe, which he sware to oure father Abraham,
1:74for to geue vs. That we deliuered oute of the handes of oure enemies, might serue him with out feare,
1:75all the dayes of oure lyfe, in such holynes and rightewesnes as are accept before him
1:76And thou chylde shalt be called the Prophet of the hiest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lorde, to prepare his wayes:
1:77to geue knowlege of saluacyon vnto his people for the remission of synnes.
1:78Through the tender mercy of oure God, wherby the daye springe from an hye hath visited vs.
1:79To geue light to them that sate in darcknes & in the shadowe of deathe, to gyde oure fete into the waye of peace.
1:80And the child grewe and wexed strong in sprete, and was in wildernes, tyll the daye came, when he shulde shewe him selfe vnto the Israelites.
The Great Bible 1539

The Great Bible 1539

The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working under commission of Thomas, Lord Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII and Vicar General. In 1538, Cromwell directed the clergy to provide "one book of the bible of the largest volume in English, and the same set up in some convenient place within the said church that ye have care of, whereas your parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and read it."