Fundamental Baptist Institute

Facts From History About Our

King James Bible.

Written and Published by

by Rev. Ronald D. Lesley, Th. M., D. D.


Chapter VIII

Miles Coverdale


1488 - 1569

Miles Coverdale, b. 1488, d. Jan. 20, 1569, was an English Augustinian friar who is best remembered as a translator of the Bible. After embracing Biblical teachings, he abandoned (1528) the Auguatinian order and preached against Roman church practices such as confession.

Forced to leave England, he went to the Continent, where he produced, 1533 - 1535, the first complete English Bible. With Richard Grafton he issued the "Great Bible" in 1539 under the patronage of Thomas Cromwell. In 1551 he became bishop of Exeter, but he was exiled again by the succession (1553) of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary. He returned in 1559, continuing as a leader of the Puritan Party.

The Coverdale Bible was probably printed in Zurich, Switzerland. It was the first printed edition of the entire scriptures in the English language. This was dedicated to King Henry VIII. It seems to have been substantially Tyndale’s translation. Coverdale, a friend and laborer with Tyndale, managed to complete an entire Bible using the work of Tyndale. It was called, however, a special translation, and did not agree altogether with Tyndale’s. The Coverdale Bible omitted Tyndale’s preface and notes, which had been offensive to many in the English and Roman church.

1547 AD. God soon answered Mr. Tyndale’s prayer. Edward VI is made King of England. His Eyes Were Open.

In 1547, the English Reformation assumed an entirely different direction. King Henry VIII was dead and Edward VI was acknowledged king of England, January 28, 1547. Edward VI was only nine years old when he began his reign as king of England.

Jane Seymour, (born about 1509 died Oct. 24, 1537), was the third wife of HENRY VIII of England and the mother of Edward VI. Henry became attracted to Jane when she was lady-in-waiting to Anne Boleyn, his second wife. He married Jane in 1536, 11 days after Anne’s execution. Jane gave Henry the male heir, Edward Oct. 12, 1537, he so eagerly desired. She lived only 12 days after his birth.

In his will Henry had designated a council of 16 to rule the country during Edward’s minority, but this arrangement did not last, and the young king’s uncle, Edward Seymour, duke of SOMERSET, assumed control as protector. In 1549, Somerset fell from power and John Dudley, duke of Northumberland, became regent.

Edward was educated by Protestant tutors and favored Protestant reforms in the Church of England. Edward VI succeeded to the throne on Jan. 28, 1547. When the procession was about to move from the abbey of Westminster to the palace, three swords were brought to be carried before the newly crowned king, symbolic of his three kingdoms. The young king observed, "There lacks yet one sword." Those in charge inquiring what it was, Edward answered, "The Bible is missing. That book is the sword of the Spirit, and is to be preferred before those. It ought in all right to govern us." The Bible was brought, and carried reverently in the procession.

The natural gifts of Edward were such as to raise him far above an ordinary childhood. His father had wisely provided him with pious teachers. These teachers in the providence of God were also friends of the Gospel.

Edward VI was given a pious education by Catherine Parr the sixth wife of Henry. She very carefully saw to his training. The young prince was learned in Latin and French before he was ten. He often communicated in letters using these languages.

During the brief reign of Edward, every encouragement was given to the expansion of the English Bible. His reign of little more than seven years produced no fewer than eleven editions of the Bible. There were also six of the New Testament that were published.

Edward’s rule changed much in the church. Images were ordered to be removed from the church. The removal of images was not a part of the German reform under Luther. Prayers were no longer to be offered for the dead. Confession and transubstantiation were declared to be unscriptural. The clergy were allowed to marry. The church now heard its messages in English and not in Latin.

Edward fell ill in 1552 and died on July 6, 1553.

His last prayer was, "O my Lord God, bless my people, and save Thine inheritance; O Lord God, save Thy chosen people of England; O Lord God, defend this realm from popery, and maintain Thy true religion, that I and my people may praise Thy holy name, for Jesus Christ His sake." During this short reign, we may say, the Reformation was established, and Protestantism had assumed, in all essential points, the form in which we find it today.

We see the providence of God in the reign of King Edward VI. The training, and education he received was certainly a direct work of God leading toward revival, and the salvation of many souls in the young kings time. This great move to Jesus Christ led to the religious settlements of America, and missions of 18th and 19th century. The look back reveals how God expelled the Roman Catholic Church out of England for the greatest period of evangelism and truth the world has ever experienced. The next monarch Mary I with her cruel popish loyalty set the heart of England against Roman Catholicism. for the next centuries.

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Mary I.


Next Chapter


Second Edition  Copyright 1997  All Rights Reserved.

Ronald D. Lesley

832 South Post Road

Shelby, NC 28152