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The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant
translations Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. The English language draws a terminological distinction (which does not exist in every language) between ''transla ...
of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
into English, preceding the
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of 16th-century English
Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. Protestants originating in the Ref ...
and was used by
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's and the " of A ...

William Shakespeare
,
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led of the against King during the , subsequently ruling the as from 1653 until his death i ...

Oliver Cromwell
,
John Knox John Knox ( – 24 November 1572) was a Scottish minister Minister may refer to: * Minister (Christianity)Image:LutheranClergy.JPG, upA Lutheran minister wearing a Geneva gown and Bands (neckwear), bands. In many churches, ministers wear dis ...

John Knox
,
John Donne John Donne ( ; 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631) was an English poet, scholar, soldier and secretary born into a recusant Recusancy, from the Latin ''recusare'' (to refuse or make an objection), was the state of those who refused to attend ...

John Donne
, and
John Bunyan John Bunyan (; baptised 30 November 162831 August 1688) was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early me ...

John Bunyan
, author of ''
The Pilgrim's Progress ''The Pilgrim's Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come'' is a 1678 Christianity, Christian allegory written by John Bunyan. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious, theological fiction in English literature ...
'' (1678). It was one of the Bibles taken to America on the ''
Mayflower ''Mayflower'' was an English ship that transported a group of English families known today as the Pilgrims from England to the New World in 1620. After a grueling 10 weeks at sea, ''Mayflower'', with 102 passengers and a crew of about 30, rea ...

Mayflower
''. (
Pilgrim Hall Museum The Pilgrim Hall Museum at 75 Court Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts Plymouth (; historically known as Plimouth and Plimoth) is a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts. The town holds a place of great prominence in American history, folklore, an ...
has collected several Bibles of ''Mayflower'' passengers.) The Geneva Bible was used by many
English Dissenters English Dissenters or English Separatists were Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and ...
, and it was still respected by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led of the against King during the , subsequently ruling the as from 1653 until his death i ...

Oliver Cromwell
's soldiers at the time of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, ...
, in the booklet '' The Souldiers Pocket Bible''. This version of the Bible is significant because, for the first time, a mechanically printed, mass-produced Bible was made available directly to the general public which came with a variety of scriptural study guides and aids (collectively called an apparatus), which included verse citations that allow the reader to cross-reference one verse with numerous relevant verses in the rest of the Bible, introductions to each book of the Bible that acted to summarize all of the material that each book would cover, maps, tables, woodcut illustrations and indices. Because the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most readers strongly preferred this version to the
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible in English, authorised by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working un ...
. In the words of
Cleland Boyd McAfee Cleland Boyd McAfee (September 25, 1866 – February 4, 1944) was an American theologian Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline An academic ...
, "it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence".


History

The Geneva Bible followed the
Great Bible The Great Bible of 1539 was the first authorised edition of the Bible in English, authorised by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England. The Great Bible was prepared by Myles Coverdale, working un ...
of 1539, the first authorised Bible in English, which was the authorized Bible of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
. During the reign of Queen
Mary I of England Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents, was List of English monarchs, Queen of England and List of Irish monarchs, Ireland from July 1553 until her death ...

Mary I of England
(1553–58), a number of Protestant scholars fled from England to
Geneva , neighboring_municipalities= Carouge Carouge () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland. History Carouge is first mentioned in the Early Middle Ages as ''Quadruvium'' and ''Quatruvio''. In 1248 ...

Geneva
,
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = under an , leader_title1 = , leader_name1 = , leader_title2 = , leader_name2 = , legislatur ...

Switzerland
, which was then ruled as a
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
in which
John Calvin John Calvin (; Middle French Middle French (french: moyen français) is a historical division of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family The Indo-European languages are a language fami ...

John Calvin
and, later,
Theodore Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French people, French Calvinist Protestant theologian, Protestant reformer, reformer and scholar who played an important ...
, provided the primary spiritual and theological leadership. Among these scholars was
William Whittingham William Whittingham (c. 1524–1579) was an English Puritan, a Marian exile, and a translator of the Geneva Bible. He was well connected to the circles around John Knox, Bullinger, and Calvin, and firmly resisted the continuance of the English li ...
, who supervised the translation now known as the Geneva Bible, in collaboration with
Myles Coverdale Myles Coverdale, first name also spelt Miles (1488 – 20 January 1569), was an English ecclesiastical reformer chiefly known as a Bible translator, preacher and, briefly, Bishop of Exeter (1551–1553). In 1535, Coverdale produced the first co ...

Myles Coverdale
,
Christopher Goodman Christopher Goodman BD (1520–1603) was an English reforming clergyman and writer. He was a Marian exile, who left England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders wit ...
,
Anthony Gilby Anthony Gilby (c.1510–1585) was an English clergyman, known as a radical Puritan and translator of the Geneva Bible, the first English Bible available to the general public. He was born in Lincolnshire, and was educated at Christ's College, Camb ...
,
Thomas Sampson Thomas Sampson (c. 1517–1589) was an English Puritan theologian. A Marian exile, he was one of the Geneva Bible translators. On his return to England, he had trouble with conformity to the Anglican practices. With Laurence Humphrey, he played ...
, and William Cole; several of this group later became prominent figures in the
Vestments controversy The vestments controversy or vestarian controversy arose in the English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England when the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. ...
. Whittingham was directly responsible for the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
, which was complete and published in 1557,. while Gilby oversaw the Old Testament. The first full edition of this Bible, with a further revised New Testament, appeared in 1560, but it was not printed in England until 1575 (New Testament) and 1576 (complete Bible). Over 150 editions were issued; the last probably in 1644. The first Bible printed in Scotland was a Geneva Bible, which was first issued in 1579. In fact, the involvement of Knox (1514-1572) and Calvin (1509-1564) in the creation of the Geneva Bible made it especially appealing in Scotland, where a law was passed in 1579 requiring every household of sufficient means to buy a copy. Some editions from 1576 onwards included Laurence Tomson's revisions of the New Testament. Some editions from 1599 onwards used a new "Junius" version of the Book of Revelation, in which the notes were translated from a new Latin commentary by Franciscus Junius. The annotations which are an important part of the Geneva Bible were
Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the a ...
and
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...

Puritan
in character, and as such they were disliked by the ruling pro-government Anglicans of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
, as well as King
James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and King of Ireland, Ireland as James I from the Union of the Crowns, union of the Scottish and En ...

James I
, who commissioned the "Authorized Version", or
King James Bible The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translations of the Bible, English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and publ ...

King James Bible
, in order to replace it. The Geneva Bible had also motivated the earlier production of the
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English Bible translations, translation of the Bible which was produced under the authority of the established Church of England in 1568. It was substantially revised in 1572, and the 1602 edition was prescribed as the base ...
under
Elizabeth I Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to i ...

Elizabeth I
, for the same reason, and the later Rheims–Douai edition by the Catholic community. The Geneva Bible remained popular among
Puritans The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of J ...
and remained in widespread use until after the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country A country is a distinct territory, ...
. The Geneva notes were surprisingly included in a few editions of the King James version, even as late as 1715.


Translation

Like most English translations of the time, the Geneva Bible was translated from scholarly editions of the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
New Testament and the
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
Scriptures that comprise the Old Testament. The English rendering was substantially based on the earlier translations by
William Tyndale William Tyndale (; sometimes spelled ''Tynsdale'', ''Tindall'', ''Tindill'', ''Tyndall''; – ) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in the Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th- ...

William Tyndale
and
Myles Coverdale Myles Coverdale, first name also spelt Miles (1488 – 20 January 1569), was an English ecclesiastical reformer chiefly known as a Bible translator, preacher and, briefly, Bishop of Exeter (1551–1553). In 1535, Coverdale produced the first co ...

Myles Coverdale
(the Genevan Bible relies significantly upon Tyndale). However, the Geneva Bible was the first English version in which ''all'' of the Old Testament was translated directly from the Hebrew (cf.
Coverdale Bible The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, was the first complete Modern English translation of the Bible (not just the Old Testament or New Testament), and the first complete printed translation into English (cf. Wyclif ...
,
Matthew Bible ''The Matthew Bible'', also known as ''Matthew's Version'', was first published in 1537 by John Rogers, under the pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assume ...
).


Format

The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to use verse numbers based on the work of Stephanus (
Robert Estienne Robert I Estienne (; 15037 September 1559), known as ''Robertus Stephanus'' in Latin and sometimes referred to as ''Robert Stephens'', was a 16th-century printer and classical scholar in Paris. He was the proprietor of the Estienne print shop afte ...

Robert Estienne
of Paris, by this point living in Geneva). It also had an elaborate system of commentary in marginal
glosses A gloss is a brief notation, especially a marginalia, marginal one or an interlinear gloss, interlinear one, of the meaning of a word or wording in a text. It may be in the language of the text or in the reader's language if that is different. A ...
. This annotation was done by Laurence Tomson, who translated (for the 1560 Geneva Bible) L'Oiseleur's notes on the Gospels, which themselves came from
Camerarius Camerarius may have the following meanings: Synonymous to titles: * Chamberlain (office), Chamberlain * (one of) Papal Gentlemen * Camerlengo * Kammerer As a surname; previously as a Latinization of Chamberlain (surname) or Kammerer: * Elias Rudol ...

Camerarius
. In 1576 Tomson added L'Oiseleur's notes for the Epistles, which came from
Beza Theodore Beza ( la, Theodorus Beza; french: Théodore de Bèze or ''de Besze''; June 24, 1519 – October 13, 1605) was a French Calvinist Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, ...

Beza
's Greek and Latin edition of the Bible (1565 and later). Beginning in 1599 Franciscus Junius' notes on Revelation were added, replacing the original notes deriving from
John Bale John Bale (21 November 1495 – November 1563) was an English churchman, historian and controversialist, and Bishop of Ossory. He wrote the oldest known historical verse drama in English (on the subject of King John of England, King John), and de ...
and
Heinrich Bullinger Heinrich Bullinger (18 July 1504 – 17 September 1575) was a Switzerland, Swiss Protestant reformers, reformer, the successor of Huldrych Zwingli as head of the Zürich church and pastor at Grossmünster. As one of the most important reformers i ...

Heinrich Bullinger
. Bale's ''The Image of both churches'' had a great effect on these notes as well as
Foxe's Book of Martyrs The ''Actes and Monuments'', popularly known as ''Foxe's Book of Martyrs'', is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by Protestant English historian John Foxe, first published in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the ...
. Both the Junius and Bullinger-Bale annotations are explicitly anti-Roman Catholic and representative of much popular Protestant apocalypticism during the Reformation. The 1560 Geneva Bible was printed in Roman type—the style of type regularly used today—but many editions used the older
black-letter Blackletter (sometimes black letter), also known as Gothic script, Gothic minuscule, or Textura, was a script used throughout Western Europe from approximately 1150 until the 17th century. It continued to be commonly used for the Danish language ...

black-letter
("Gothic") type. Of the various later English Bible translations, the next to use Roman type was the
Douay–Rheims Bible The Douay–Rheims Bible (, ), also known as the Douay–Rheims Version, Rheims–Douai Bible or Douai Bible, and abbreviated as D–R, DRB, and DRV, is a translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Gr ...
of 1582 (New Testament) and 1609–1610 (Old Testament). The Geneva Bible was also issued in more convenient and affordable sizes than earlier versions. The 1560 Bible was in
quarto Quarto (abbreviated Qto, 4to or 4º) is the format of a book or pamphlet produced from full sheets printed with eight pages of text, four to a side, then folded twice to produce four leaves. The leaves are then trimmed along the folds to produc ...
format (218 × 139 mm type area), but pocketable
octavo Octavo, a Latin word meaning "in eighth" or "for the eighth time", (abbreviated 8vo, 8º, or In-8) is a technical term describing the format of a book, which refers to the size of leaves produced from folding a full sheet of paper on which multip ...
editions were also issued, and a few large folio editions. The New Testament was issued at various times in sizes from quarto down to 32º (the smallest, 70×39 mm type area). In the late 16th century it is likely that the Geneva New Testament cost less than a week's wages even for the lowest-paid labourers. The 1560 Geneva Bible contained a number of study aids, including
woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing Image:Principle of Relief Printing.svg, The basic concept of relief printing. ''A'' is the block or matrix; ''B'' is the paper; the thick black lines are the inked areas. (The thickness of the ink is greatly exagg ...
illustrations, maps and explanatory 'tables', i.e. indexes of names and topics, in addition to the famous marginal notes. Each book was preceded by an 'argument' or introduction, and each chapter by a list of contents giving verse numbers. Smaller-format editions might be unillustrated and lack the marginal notes, but some large folio editions had additional illustrations, such as one showing Adam and Eve, where Adam wears a typical Elizabethan beard and moustache.


Breeches Bible

One interesting variation of the Geneva Bible is the so-called "Breeches Bible", the first of which appeared in 1579. In the Breeches Bible, Genesis Chapter III Verse 7 reads: "Then the eies of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed figge tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches." In the King James Version of 1611, "breeches" was changed to "aprons". Geneva Bibles with the "breeches" passage continued to be printed well into the time of the King James Bible of 1611.


Modern spelling version of the 1599 Geneva Bible

In 2006, Tolle Lege Press released a version of the 1599 Geneva Bible with modernised spelling, as part of their 1599 Geneva Bible restoration project.. The original cross references were retained as well as the study notes by the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in Vatican City Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Cit ...

Reformation
leaders. In addition, the
Early Modern English Early Modern English or Early New English (sometimes abbreviated EModE, EMnE, or EME) is the stage of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient th ...
glossary was included in the updated version. The advisory board of the restoration project included several
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
leaders and scholars.


Geneva Bible v. King James Version sample comparisons

To compare the Geneva Bible with the King James, here is in both versions (with spelling modernized). The differences have been italicized (in both extracts): Geneva Bible : And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun ''was as'' black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon ''was like'' blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her ''green'' figs, when ''it'' is shaken of a mighty wind. And heaven ''departed away'', as a scroll, when it is rolled, and every mountain and ''isle were'' moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in dens, and ''among'' the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the ''presence'' of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come, and who ''can'' stand? King James Bible : And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun ''became'' black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon ''became as'' blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, ''even'' as a fig tree casteth her ''untimely'' figs, when ''she'' is shaken of a mighty wind. And ''the'' heaven ''departed'' as a scroll when it is rolled ''together''; and every mountain and ''island was'' moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in ''the'' dens and ''in'' the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the ''face'' of him that sitteth on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is come; and who ''shall be able to'' stand? Here are both the Geneva and the King James versions of with spellings as in their originals (not modernized): Geneva Bible : Then the ''eies'' of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed figge tree leaves together, and made themselves ''breeches''. King James Bible : Then the ''eyes'' of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed figge tree leaves together, and made themselves ''aprons''. The two versions are very similar. Examination of the differences shows that the earlier Geneva version is often more direct and modern in style than the later King James, e.g. "and the moon was like blood" (Geneva) versus "and the moon became as blood" (King James) "as a fig tree casteth her green figs" (Geneva) versus "even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs" (King James) By and large, the difference is that the KJV lacked footnotes that the Geneva Bible contained. The KJV does use the
serial comma In English-language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading language of international dis ...
. As can be seen by the text below, Daniel chapter 4 in the Geneva Bible appears to have removed two verses. In reality, the Geneva Bible places those two verses at the end of chapter 3, as the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin versions all did. It was not until the King James Version that those verses were placed with chapter 4 as opposed to chapter 3:


King James I and the Geneva Bible

In 1604, the year after he claimed the throne of England in 1603,
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
hosted and presided over a conference pertaining to matters religious, the
Hampton Court ConferenceThe Hampton Court Conference was a meeting in January 1604, convened at Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace is a Grade I listed royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, south west and upstream of central London Ce ...
. While the Geneva Bible was the preferred Bible of Anglican and Puritan Protestants during the Elizabethan Age,
King James I James VI and I (James Charles Stuart; 19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy, constitutional form of gover ...

King James I
disliked the Geneva Bible and made his views clearly known at the conference: "I think that of all nglish Bibles that of Geneva is the worst." Apparently, his distaste for the Geneva Bible was not necessarily caused just by the translation of the text into English, but mostly the annotations in the margins. He felt strongly many of the annotations were "very partial, untrue, seditious, and savoring too much of dangerous and traitorous conceits..." In all likelihood, he saw the Geneva's interpretations of biblical passages as anti-clerical "republicanism", which could imply church hierarchy was unnecessary. Other passages appeared particularly seditious: notably references to monarchs as "tyrants". It followed that the need for a king as head of church and state could be questioned also. James had been dealing with similar issues with the Presbyterian-Calvinist religious leaders back in Scotland, and he wanted none of the same controversies in England. Also, if annotations were in print, readers might believe these interpretations correct and fixed, making it more difficult to change his subjects' minds about the meanings of particular passages. So when towards the end of the conference two Puritans suggested that a new translation of the Bible be produced to unify better the Anglican Church in England and Scotland, James embraced the idea. He could not only be rid of those inconvenient annotations, but he could have greater influence on the translation of the Bible as a whole. He commissioned and chartered a new translation of the Bible which would eventually become the most famous version of the Bible in the history of the English language. Officially known as the ''Authorized Version'' to be read in churches, the new Bible would come to bear his name as the so-called
King James Bible The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an English translations of the Bible, English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England, which was commissioned in 1604 and publ ...
or King James Version (KJV) elsewhere or casually. The first and early editions of the King James Bible from 1611 and the first few decades thereafter lack annotations, unlike nearly all editions of the Geneva Bible up until that time. Initially, the King James Version did not sell well and competed with the Geneva Bible. Shortly after the first edition of the KJV, King James
banned A ban is a formal or informal prohibition Prohibition is the act or practice of forbidding something by law; more particularly the term refers to the banning of the manufacture Manufacturing is the production of goods In economics ...
the printing of new editions of the Geneva Bible to further entrench his version. However, Robert Barker continued to print Geneva Bibles even after the ban, placing the spurious date of 1599 on new copies of Genevas which were actually printed circa 1616 to 1625. Despite popular misconception, the Puritan Separatists or
Pilgrim Fathers The Pilgrims were the English settlers who came to North America on the ''Mayflower ''Mayflower'' was an English ship that transported a group of English families known today as the Pilgrims from England to the New World in 1620. After a g ...
aboard the ''Mayflower'' in 1620 brought to North America copies of the Geneva Bible.


See also

*''
Bishops' Bible The Bishops' Bible is an English Bible translations, translation of the Bible which was produced under the authority of the established Church of England in 1568. It was substantially revised in 1572, and the 1602 edition was prescribed as the base ...
'' *
Editio Regia Editio Regia (''Royal edition'') is the third and the most important edition of the Greek New Testament of Robert Estienne (1503-1559). It is one of the most important printed editions of the Greek New Testament in history, the Textus Receptus. It ...
*''
King James Version The King James Version (KJV), also the King James Bible (KJB) and the Authorized Version, is an of the Christian for the , which was commissioned in 1604 and published in 1611, by sponsorship of King . The include the 39 books of the , a ...

King James Version
'' *''
Matthew Bible ''The Matthew Bible'', also known as ''Matthew's Version'', was first published in 1537 by John Rogers, under the pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assume ...
'' *''
Tyndale Bible The Tyndale Bible generally refers to the body of Bible translations, biblical translations by William Tyndale (). Tyndale's Bible is credited with being the first English translation to work directly from Hebrew Bible, Hebrew and Greek language, G ...
'' * ''
Young's Literal Translation Young's Literal Translation (YLT) is a translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafar ...
''


References


External links

;Text
Geneva Bible
(1599)
Geneva Bible online
(1599)

* ;Articles

article by
Bruce Metzger Bruce Manning Metzger (February 9, 1914 – February 13, 2007) was an American biblical scholar, Bible translator and textual critic who was a long time professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and Bible editor who served on the board of th ...
originally printed in ''Theology Today''
Online version of Sir Frederic G. Kenyon's article
in ''
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible ''Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible'' was a five-volume Biblical encyclopaedia published 1898–1904. First edition The full title was ''A Dictionary of the Bible, dealing with the Language, Literature and Contents, including the Biblical Theology' ...
'', 1909 ;Editions Currently in Print
''1560 First Edition''
Facsimile Reproduction

Reduced size Facsimile Reproduction by Hendrickson
''1599 Edition''
Modern Spelling and Typesetting from ''The 1599 Geneva Bible Restoration Project'' (no illustrations) {{English Bible translation navbox 1557 books 1560 books Early printed Bibles English Reformation History of Christianity in the United Kingdom History of the Church of England 16th-century Christian texts Bible translations into English Reformation in Switzerland Scottish Reformation Study Bibles Church of Scotland