- Coverdale, Miles
- ( 1488-15 68 )British reformer and Bible translatorMiles 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 absorbed a Protestant perspective in the 1520s and in 1528 left his order and moved to the Continent, where he began his long career as a Bible translator. He initially worked with William Tyn-dale, who had already published an English New Testament, on a translation of the Pentateuch. Following his mentor's arrest and execution in 1535, he continued the effort, and in 1538 brought out a new English translation of the entire Bible, based on both the Latin and Martin Luther's German version.He later worked with Thomas Cromwell on a revised translation, known as the Great Bible or (after additional editing) Cranmer's Bible (1540), and then pastored a Lutheran church near Strasbourg. He remained in France until Henry VIII died, then returned in 1548 amid great fanfare. Edward VI named him his chaplain, and in 1551 he became bishop of Exeter.Coverdale was targeted by Queen Mary I as part of her program to return England to the Roman Catholic fold. He was arrested but saved from the fate of many of his colleagues probably through the intervention of the Lutheran king of Denmark. Mary allowed him to accept exile, eventually in Geneva. Surviving Mary, he returned to England, but Elizabeth I did not restore his episcopal position. Her new Anglican way did not have room for those perceived to be too Reformed or too much tied to Roman Catholicism.In 1564, he received a parish, St. Magnus, in London, but was forced out two years later for being too attached to the beliefs and practices he absorbed in Geneva. He died two years later at the age of 81. His body was eventually (1840) interned at St. Magnus.See also Bible translations.Further reading:■ Miles Coverdale, Memorials of the Right Reverend Father in God Myles Coverdale (London: S. Bagster, 1838)■ William Dallmann, Miles Coverdale (St. Louis, Mo.: Concordia Publishing House, 1925)■ Francis Fry, The Bible of Coverdale (London: Willis & Sotheran, 1867)■ James FF Mozley, Coverdale and his Bibles (London: Lutterworth, 1953)■ George Pearson, ed., Remains of Myles Coverdale, Bishop of Exeter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1846).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.