Miles Coverdale (1488-1568) and his famous English Bible

Miles Coverdale (1488-1568) was an English ecclesiastical reformer and preacher. He is mainly remembered for producing the first complete printed translation of the Bible into English. Though not a scholar of the height of William Tyndale, he was an inspired translator. He had been an Augustinian friar at Cambridge and influenced by his prior, Robert Barnes, he absorbed Lutheran opinions and later busied himself in biblical studies. Then he had been a close associate of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell. Perhaps he met Tyndale in Germany and was engaged in assisting William Tyndale with his English translation of various parts of the Holy Scriptures. Then urged by his friend Thomas Cromwell, started writing a translation of the Bible of his own. His translation, published in Zurich in 1535 was the first complete English Bible. He banked very much on German and Latin texts. It included sixty-seven woodcut illustrations. The title page of the first printing included a picture of King Henry VIII distributing bibles

In 1538, he published a new edition of the Bible known as The Great Bible which was ordained for use in Churches. The second edition of it prefaced by Thomas Cranmer is known usually as Cranmer’s Bible, which was set up in Churches (1540) and was used both publicly and privately.

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