Geneva Bible

Bible translation infobox | translation_title= Geneva Bible
full_name= Geneva Bible


other_names=
abbreviation=
NT_published=1557
OT_published=
complete_bible_published=1560
author_info=
textual_basis = Textus Receptus
translation_type =
version_revised=
publisher=
copyright=
copies_printed=
religious_affiliation= Protestant
online_address=
genesis_1:1-3=In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without forme and voyde, and darkeness was upon the depe, and the Spirit of God moved upon the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light" and there was light.
john_3:16=For God so loved the world, that he hath given his only be gotten Son, that whosoever beleveth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.|

The Geneva Bible was a Protestant translation of the Bible into English.

This was the Bible read by William Shakespeare, by John Knox, by John Donne, and by John Bunyan, author of "Pilgrim's Progress". It was one of the Bibles taken to America on the "Mayflower", and it was used by many English Dissenters, and by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers at the time of the English Civil War.

Because the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most readers preferred this version strongly over the Bishops' Bible, the translation authorised by the Church of England under Elizabeth I. In the words of Cleland Boyd McAfee, "it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence". [ [http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=39625&pageno=24 Study of the King James Bible by Cleland Boyd McAfee] ]

History

During the time when England was ruled by Queen Mary I, who persecuted Protestants, a number of Protestant scholars fled to Geneva in Switzerland, which was then ruled as a republic in which John Calvin and Theodore Beza provided the primary spiritual and theological leadership. Among these scholars was William Whittingham, who supervised the translation in collaboration with Myles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole—several of whom became prominent figures in the proto-Puritan nonconformist faction of the Vestments controversy. Whittingham was directly responsible for the New Testament, which was complete and published in 1557A. S. Herbert, "Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible 1525–1961", London: British and Foreign Bible Society; New York: American Bible Society, 1968. SBN 564-00130-9] , while Gilby oversaw the Old.

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 (Bible). Over 150 editions were issued; the last probably in 1644. The first Bible printed in Scotland was a Geneva Bible in 1579. In fact, the involvement of Knox and Calvin 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 [ [http://www.bible-researcher.com/history2.html A Chronology of the English Bible] ] .

Some editions from 1576 onwards included Tomson's revisions of the New Testament. Some editions from 1599 onwards used a new "Junius" version of the Revelation, in which the notes were translated from a new Latin commentary by Junius on Revelation.

Like most English translations of the time, the Geneva Bible was translated from scholarly editions of the Greek New Testament and Hebrew scriptures that comprise the Christian Old Testament. The English rendering was substantially based on the earlier translations by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. (80-90% of the language in the Genevan New Testament is from 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, Matthew's Bible).

The annotations which are an important part of the Geneva Bible were Calvinistic and Puritan in character, and as such they were disliked by the ruling conservative Protestants of the Church of England, as well as King James I, who commissioned the "Authorized Version" or King James Bible to replace it. The Geneva Bible had also motivated the production of the Bishops' Bible under Elizabeth I, for the same reason, and later the Douay-Rheims edition by the recusant Catholic community. The Geneva Bible remained popular among Puritans and remained in widespread use until after the English Civil War. The Geneva notes were surprisingly included in a few editions of the King James version, even as late as 1715.

It has been stated by some that the Geneva Bible was the Bible present at the signing of the U. S. Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution, because it was the Bible that the Puritans brought with them to America. However, the U. S. Library of Congress and the Independence National Historical Park both state that they do not know what version/translation of the Bible was present at these signings (Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania being the location of both of the signings).

In 2006, the first completely new publication of the Geneva Bible available in modern times was published by [http://www.tollelegepress.com/ Tolle Lege Press] as part of the "1599 Geneva Bible Restoration Project." This edition uses the Tomson and Junius revisions described above. It also has a table of interpretations of proper names, which are chiefly found in the Old Testament, and a table of principal subjects contained in the Bible. Like many sixteenth- and seventeenth-century copies of the Bible, it is bound with the metrical Psalms by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others, and the prayers used by the English congregations every morning and evening.

Format

The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to use verse numbers based on the work of Stephanus (Robert Estienne of Paris). It also had an elaborate system of commentary in marginal glosses. 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. In 1576 Tomson added L'Oiseleur's notes for the Epistles, which came from 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 and Heinrich Bullinger. Bale's "The Image of both churches" had a great impact on these notes as well as Foxe's Book of Martyrs. 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 ("Gothic") type. Of the various later English Bible translations, the next to use Roman type was the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1582 (New Testament) and 1609–10 (Old Testament).

The Geneva Bible was also issued in more convenient and affordable sizes than earlier versions. The 1560 Bible was in quarto format (218 × 139 mm type area), but pocketable octavo 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 sixteenth 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 illustrations, maps and explanatory 'tables', i.e. indexes of names and topics, in addition to the (in)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.

ample

To compare the Geneva Bible with the King James, here is Revelation 6:12-17 in both versions (with spelling modernized). The differences have been italicized in the King James extract:

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?

It is striking how close the two versions are to each other. Examination of their differences reveals that the earlier Geneva version frequently sounds more direct and modern 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)

The Geneva Bible has sometimes been called the "Breeches Bible," after its rendering of [http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Bible_%28King_James%29/Genesis#3:7 Genesis 3:7] : (using modern spelling) "Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches." The older Wycliffe Bible also used "breeches" (spelled "brechis") in this verse. Other translations use "aprons", "coverings", "loincloths", "loin coverings", or "girdles" instead of "breeches".

See also

* Editio Regia

References

External links

Facsimiles
* [http://www.thedcl.org/bible/gb/index.html A Digital Facsimile of the 1560 Geneva Bible] at The DCL.
* [http://reactor-core.org/geneva/ A Digital Facsimile by Reactor-Core]

Text
* [http://www.reformedreader.org/gbn/en.htm Geneva Bible Footnotes]
* [http://www.studylight.org/desk/?=1en&query=Genesis+1&translation=gen Geneva Bible online]
* [http://www.bibles.org.uk/pdf/bibles/ Geneva Bible Text] (links to a commercial site)
* [http://www.genevabible.org/Geneva.html Modern Spelling Geneva Bible with Footnotes for the Gospels]

Articles
* [http://theologytoday.ptsem.edu/oct1960/v17-3-article6.htm "The Geneva Bible of 1560"] : article by Bruce Metzger originally printed in "Theology Today"
* [http://www.bible-researcher.com/geneva6.html Online version of Sir Frederic G. Kenyon’s article] in "Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible", 1909

Editions Currently in Print
* [http://www.tollelegepress.com/gb/geneva.php "1599 Edition"] : Modern Spelling, Typesetting from The 1599 Geneva Bible Restoration Project
* [http://www.greatsite.com/facsimile-reproductions/geneva-1560.html "1560 First Edition"] : Facsimile Reproduction


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geneva Bible — Geneva Ge*ne va, prop. n. The chief city of Switzerland. [1913 Webster] {Geneva Bible}, a translation of the Bible into English, made and published by English refugees in Geneva (Geneva, 1560; London, 1576). It was the first English Bible printed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Geneva Bible — Bible Bi ble (b[imac] b l), n. [F. bible, L. biblia, pl., fr. Gr. bibli a, pl. of bibli on, dim. of bi blos, by blos, book, prop. Egyptian papyrus.] 1. A book. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. {The Book} by way of eminence, that is, the book… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Geneva Bible — noun A version of the Bible, long popular, produced by English Protestant exiles in Geneva in 1560 • • • Main Entry: ↑Genevan …   Useful english dictionary

  • Geneva Bible — ▪ religion also called  Breeches Bible        new translation of the Bible published in Geneva (New Testament, 1557; Old Testament, 1560) by a colony of Protestant scholars in exile from England who worked under the general direction of Miles… …   Universalium

  • GENEVA BIBLE —    the first English translation of the BIBLE to use CHAPTER AND VERSE. It was favored by the English PURITANS and used by SHAKESPEARE. It is also known as the Breeches Bible because of its translation of Genesis which normally reads garments (or …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Geneva Bible —  Женевская Библия …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Geneva — Ge*ne va, prop. n. The chief city of Switzerland. [1913 Webster] {Geneva Bible}, a translation of the Bible into English, made and published by English refugees in Geneva (Geneva, 1560; London, 1576). It was the first English Bible printed in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Geneva convention — Geneva Ge*ne va, prop. n. The chief city of Switzerland. [1913 Webster] {Geneva Bible}, a translation of the Bible into English, made and published by English refugees in Geneva (Geneva, 1560; London, 1576). It was the first English Bible printed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Geneva cross — Geneva Ge*ne va, prop. n. The chief city of Switzerland. [1913 Webster] {Geneva Bible}, a translation of the Bible into English, made and published by English refugees in Geneva (Geneva, 1560; London, 1576). It was the first English Bible printed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bible — Bi ble (b[imac] b l), n. [F. bible, L. biblia, pl., fr. Gr. bibli a, pl. of bibli on, dim. of bi blos, by blos, book, prop. Egyptian papyrus.] 1. A book. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] 2. {The Book} by way of eminence, that is, the book which is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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