Thursday, January 23, 2014

Miles Coverdale, presbyter, translator (tranferred from 19 January)

Miles Coverdale (c1488-20 Jan.  1569) was a Bible translator during the time of the reformation.  He was born in Yorkshire, studied at Cambridge and was a priest at Norwich.  Later he joined the Austin Fryers and left after defending Robert Barnes in a heresy trial. From 1525 through 1538 he stayed on the continent working on his translation.  Part of this time was spent working with William Tyndale, whose translation of the New Testament was used in Coverdale’s translation.  This Bible was smuggled into England and was very popular.  After Cramer convinced Henry VIII that an English Bible would be a good thing, he put Coverdale to work on editing.   Coverdale’s first work was weak, in part because it was translated from Latin, not from the original languages.  Coverdale’s work on the Psalms in the Great Bible was very good, and these became the Psalms used in the Anglican Book of Common prayer, making these versions very well known even to today.  After Cromwell was executed, Coverdale went back into exile, and did not return until 1548.  He was made Chaplain to King Edward, and made Bishop of Exeter, which role he fulfilled well.  After the succession of Queen Mary, he was deposed and again went into exile.  After Queen Mary’s death, he returned to England in 1559, and server as rector of St. Magnus’s, but was not returned to his Bishopric, probably because of conflicts with Puritans regarding vestments.  He was a popular preacher and introduced German theological ideas to England.  He died in London and is buried there.

His chief contribution was the translation of the Psalter used in the Book of Common Prayer.

Dear Lord, you raised up Miles Coverdale to work on presenting the Bible to the people of England in a language which they could understand.  As he suffered much in this work, yet was faithful to you and your word, raise up in this and every generation men who are good and holy  with a mission to help Christians understand your word.  This we ask in the name of Yeshuah who revealed the Tanakh to the Jews.  Amen.  . 

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