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In 1539, another translation, called the Great Bible, made its appearance. Edited by Coverdale, it was the first of the English Bibles authorized to be read in the churches. This authorization was given by King Henry VIII, who wanted to have this version of the Bible spread among the people. Tyndale’s dying plea to “open the King of England’s eyes” was now granted.

Soon every church building in England was furnished with a copy of the Great Bible. This early engraving shows how people flocked eagerly to the churches to see the Bibles. At times, the preachers complained because the people chose rather to read the Bible than hear their sermons.