Great Bible was the first authorized edition of the Bible in
English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in
the church services of the Church of England.
Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working under commission of
Sir Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to Henry VIII and Vicar General. In 1538,
Cromwell directed the clergy to provide "one book of the bible of
the largest volume in English, and the same set up in some convenient
place within the said church that ye have care of, whereas your
parishioners may most commodiously resort to the same and read it."
Great Bible includes much from the Tyndale Bible, with the
objectionable features revised. As the Tyndale Bible was
incomplete, Coverdale translated the remaining books of the Old
Testament from the Latin Vulgate and German translations, rather than
working from the original Greek and Hebrew texts.
called the Great Bible because of its large size, it is known by several
other names as well: the Cromwell Bible, since Thomas Cromwell directed
its publication; Whitchurch's Bible after its first English printer; the
Chained Bible, since it was chained to prevent removal from the church.
It has also been termed less accurately Cranmer's Bible, since Thomas
Cranmer's preface appeared only in the second edition.