The Hope of the Faithful

First published c. 1550, Hope of the Faithful is Myles Coverdale’s translation of a German treatise. It sets forth the traditional doctrine of heaven and hell. Coverdale published it to, as he said, refute the scholars who deny that there is an eternal life and an eternal damnation. Our edition is a facsimile of the 1846 Parker Society reprint, which was in modern spelling and contained helpful notes.

Also included is an appendix by Ruth Magnusson Davis showing how, since the Reformation, new Bible translations weaken or deny the traditional doctrine. Especially, the scholars of the 1894 Revised Version (RV) used the transliterations “Sheol” and “Hades” to change both meaning and teaching. For example, contrary to traditional doctrine, the RV notes say that Isaac, David, and the patriarchs are in Hades, and not in heaven with God. A comparison of Bible translations and notes demonstrates how the Matthew Bible upheld the traditional doctrine, but later Bibles did not.

Coverdale would be pleased to see his work brought to light again for the very purpose he first gave it to us: to refute those who would alter doctrine, and also to clearly teach the mystery of the eternal life that Christ won for us by his death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.