At about the same time that William Tyndale was working
on his English translation of the Bible, another figure was working on a similar
translation. Miles Coverdale was busily translating his version
of the Bible even before he knew
of Tyndale. Coverdale and Tyndale eventually met in Hamburg, Germany, and became close friends.
It is even possible that Coverdale helped Tyndale with his translation of the Pentateuch.
Tyndale and Coverdale remained close friends right up until the time of Tyndale's imprisonment
Miles Coverdale had a completely different attitude than Tyndale toward making an English Translation.
Speaking of this great work, he said that he "sought it not, neither desired it," but accepted it
as a task assigned to him. Tyndale had worked tirelessly translating from the original Greek and Hebrew languages
to make a scholarly Bible. Coverdale, on the other hand, was neither a Hebrew or Greek scholar, but he
had great skill in the use of the English Language. So he was quite satisfied to translate from Martin Luther's German version and
the Latin Vulgate. His interest was more that the finished product should be easy to read, accurate and
inoffensive. Coverdale completed his Bible in 1534. And the first edition of the
Coverdale Bible — the first complete Bible in English — was released in 1535.
This Bible was more a compilation and translation of other people's work, than it was a book actually
translated by Coverdale. The Coverdale Bible was basically an English translation of Latin
and German texts. And, although it never did recieve public support from England's King Henry
VIII, it did enjoy several printings, and circulated freely throughout England until the
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to view actual pages from a Coverdale Bible.