Myles Coverdale

Myles Coverdale
Myles Coverdale
Bishop of Exeter
See Exeter
Enthroned 1551
Reign ended 1553
Predecessor John Vesey
Successor John Vesey
Personal details
Born c. 1488
Yorkshire, England
Died 20 January 1569
London, England
Denomination Church of England

Myles Coverdale (also spelled Miles Coverdale) (c. 1488 – 20 January 1569[1]) was a 16th-century Bible translator who produced the first complete printed translation of the Bible into English.



He was born probably in the district known as Coverdale, in that district of the North Riding of Yorkshire called Richmondshire, England, in or around 1488. He studied at Cambridge (bachelor of canon law 1531), became priest at Norwich in 1514 and entered the convent of Austin friars at Cambridge, where Robert Barnes was prior in 1523 and probably influenced him in favor of Reform. When Barnes was tried for heresy in 1526, Coverdale assisted in his defence and shortly afterward left the convent and gave himself entirely to preaching.

Bible translator

From 1528 to 1535, he appears to have spent most of his time on the Continent. In 1535 he published the first complete English Bible in print, the so-called Coverdale Bible. As Coverdale was not proficient in Hebrew or Greek, he used 'five soundry interpreters' in Latin, English and 'Douche' (German) as source text. He made use of Tyndale's translation of the New Testament (following Tyndale's November 1534 Antwerp edition) and of those books which were translated by Tyndale: the Pentateuch, and the book of Jonah. The publication appeared in Antwerp and was partly financed by Jacobus van Meteren. In 1537, his translations were included in the Matthew Bible. In 1538, he was in Paris, superintending the printing of the "Great Bible," and the same year were published, both in London and Paris, editions of a Latin and an English New Testament, the latter being by Coverdale. That 1538 Bible was a diglot (dual-language) Bible, in which he compared the Latin Vulgate with his own English translation. He also edited the Great Bible (1540). Henry VIII had a Coverdale Bible put into every English Church, chained to a bookstand, so that every citizen would have access to a Bible.[2]

Later years

He returned to England in 1539, living briefing in Newbury, but on the execution of Thomas Cromwell (who had been his friend and protector since 1527) in 1540, he was compelled again to go into exile and lived for a time at Tübingen, and, between 1543 and 1547, was a pastor and schoolmaster at Bergzabern (now Bad Bergzabern) in the Palatinate, and very poor.

The Bible in English
Old English (pre-1066)
Middle English (1066–1500)
Early Modern English (1500–1800)
Modern Christian (1800–)
Modern Jewish (1853–)
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In March, 1548, he went back to England, was well received at the court of the new monarch, Edward VI, and was made king's chaplain and almoner to the queen dowager, Catherine Parr. In 1551, he became Bishop of Exeter, but was deposed in 1553 after the succession of Queen Mary. He went to Denmark (where his brother-in-law was chaplain to the king), then to Wesel, and finally back to Bergzabern. In 1559, he was again in England, but was not reinstated in his bishopric, perhaps because of puritan scruples about vestments. From 1564 to 1566, he was rector of St. Magnus's, near London Bridge. On 20 January 1569, Coverdale died in London and was buried in St. Bartholomew's by the Exchange; when that church was demolished in 1840 to make way for the new Royal Exchange, his remains were moved to St. Magnus.


His translation of the Psalter is used in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and is the most familiar translation of the psalms for many Anglicans all over the world. As a consequence, many musical settings of the psalms make use of the Coverdale translation. His translation of the Roman Canon is still used in some Anglican and Anglican Use Roman Catholic churches.


Coverdale is honored together with William Tyndale with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on October 6.

See also

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  1. ^ Lawrence, Margot (1992). "Miles Lawrence". In Tom McArthur (ed.). The Oxford Companion to the English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 268. ISBN 0-19-214183-X. 
  2. ^ Rex, Richard, “the Crisis of Obedience: God’s Word and Henry’s Reformation,” The Historical Journal, V. 39, no. 4, Dec. 1996, p. 893-4.
  • Paul Arblaster, Gergely Juhasz, Guido Latré (eds) Tyndale's Testament hardback ISBN 2-503-51411-1 Brepols 2002
  • Guido Latre, "The 1535 Coverdale Bible an its Antwerp Origins", in The Bible as Book: The Reformation, ed. by O'Sullivan, Orlaith (The British Library & Oak Knoll Press in association with The Scriptorium: Center for Christian Antiquities London & New Castle, Delaware 2000), pp. 89–102. ISBN 9781584560258 ; 1584560258

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
John Vesey
Bishop of Exeter
Succeeded by
John Vesey

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Myles Coverdale — Portrait gravé d après un tableau de 1533, paru dans Letters of Martyrs, Londres 1837 Pour les articles homonymes, voir Coverdale. Myles Coverdale (ou Miles Coverdale) (vers 1488 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Myles (disambiguation) — Myles was the son of Lelex in Greek mythology. As a first name, Myles may also refer to: Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Myles Burnyeat, English classicist and philosopher Myles Coverdale, 16th century Bible …   Wikipedia

  • Coverdale — may refer to Coverdale (dale), one of the Yorkshire Dales. Coverdale Parish, New Brunswick Myles Coverdale, Bible translator and bishop. David Coverdale, English rock singer. This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title …   Wikipedia

  • Coverdale-Bibel — Titelseite der Coverdale Bibel (1535) Die Coverdale Bibel (engl. Coverdale Bible) ist eine englische Übersetzung der Bibel, die erstmals im Jahre 1535 herausgebracht wurde. Mit der von Myles Coverdale herausgebrachten Bibel wurde erstmals eine… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Coverdale, Miles — ( 1488 15 68 )    British reformer and Bible translator    Miles Coverdale was born in Coverham, Yorkshire, educated at Cambridge University, ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1514, and later joined the Augustinian monastic order. He… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • Coverdale Bible — The Bible in English Old English (pre 1066) Middle English (1066–1500) Early Modern English (1500–1800) Modern Christian (1800–) Modern Jewish (1853–) Miscellaneous This box …   Wikipedia

  • Coverdale — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Personnalités David Coverdale (1951 ), musicien britannique ; Myles Coverdale (1488 1569), traducteur de la bible. Toponymes Coverdale, une des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Coverdale — n. family name; Miles (Myles) Coverdale (1488 1568), English cleric and translator who translated and produced the first complete English translation of the Bible in 1535 …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Miles Coverdale — Myles Coverdale Portrait gravé d après un tableau de 1533, paru dans Letters of Martyrs, Londres 1837 Myles Coverdale (ou Miles Coverdale) (vers 1488 – 20 janvier 1568) est un érudit anglais, traducteur de la Bible qui a donné la première… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Miles Coverdale — (auch Myles Coverdale; * um 1488 in Coverham, Grafschaft York; † 20. Januar 1569 in London) war ein englischer Bibelübersetzer und Bischof von Exeter. Leben Coverdale studierte Philosophie und Theologie an der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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