Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book








Printed on Paper


12 × 8.7 × 3.3 in. (30.5 × 22.2 × 8.3 cm)

Exhibit Location

On View in The History of the Bible, Revolutionary Words

The Coverdale Bible was the first complete English translation of the Old Testament, Apocrypha, and New Testament. Miles Coverdale was an English priest and religious reformer. He published this Bible in Belgium in 1535, building, in part, upon the earlier translation work of William Tyndale. While the Coverdale Bible was not widely used, it helped pave the way for later English translations. After establishing the Church of England in 1534, King Henry VIII eventually approved the use of English Bibles in his kingdom. Coverdale would go on to supervise the publication of a new “authorized” translation in 1539. The “Great Bible,” as it would become known, would draw from many sources, including Coverdale’s previous work.

Printed in 1535 by Merten de Keyser, Antwerp, Belgium. Acquired by the early 1900s by Alexander Peckover, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridge, England;[1] Purchased at auction in 1951 by Frederick Fermor-Hesketh, 2nd Lord Hesketh, England; Purchased at auction in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;[2] Donated in 2010 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.[3]

Notes: [1] See Sotheby’s, Catalogue of Valuable Printed Books, Important Literary Letters and Manuscripts (London), Lot 515. Peckover’s bookplate remains on the front pastedown. A member of the Society of Friends, Peckover was eventually elevated to the peerage in recognition of his services, making him the first Quaker to become ennobled. [2] See Sotheby’s, Magnificent Books, Manuscripts and Drawings from the Collection of Frederick 2nd Lord Hesketh (London), December 7, 2010, Lot 10. [3] A search submitted to Art Loss Register did not match any objects currently in their database (November 13, 2017; Ref: S00129682).

Select References :

Paul Arblaster, “‘Totius Mundi Emporium’: Antwerp as a Centre for Vernacular Bible Translations, 1523-1545,” in The Low Countries As a Crossroads of Religious Beliefs, eds. Arie Jan Gelderblom, Jan L. De Jong, and Marc Van Vaeck (Boston: Brill, 2004): 9–32.

David Norton, The King James Bible: A Short History from Tyndale to Today (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Questions about our Collections?

Visit Contact Us Page

(866) 430-MOTB

To acquire permission to use this image, please visit our Rights and Reproduction page .

More From The Collections

Carey Bible, First Edition

Bible - Printed Book
United States

Great Bible Portion with Carved Wooden Cover

Bible - Printed Book
Likely 1569
London, (England)

Captured Civil War New Testament

Bible - Printed Book
Oxford, (England)
© Museum of the Bible 2024
Designed by PlainJoe