Translate

Monday, January 31, 2022

In other words: ament, ement, iment, & ment

  • abatement, noun. The act or state of abating or the state of being abated; reduction; decrease; alleviation; mitigation; suppression or termination.
  • abetment, noun. Help, aid, or assistance.
  • abutment, noun. A structure built to support the lateral pressure of an arch or span, e.g. at the ends of a bridge.
  • ailment, noun. An illness, typically a minor one.
  • aliment, noun. That which provides nourishment; food, comestibles.
  • contumacious, adjective. Stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.
  • deontology, noun. (Philosophy) The study of the nature of duty and obligation.
  • devilment, noun. Reckless mischief; devilish action or conduct; deviltry.
  • endemic, adjective. (Of a disease or condition) Regularly found among particular people or in a certain area.
  • extrapolation, noun. The action of estimating or concluding something by assuming that existing trends will continue or a current method will remain applicable.
  • groak, verb. To look or stare at longingly, especially at someone who is eating.
  • lineament, noun. Feature; form; make; the outline or exterior of a body or figure, particularly of the face.
  • liniment, noun. A liquid or lotion, especially one made with oil, for rubbing on the body to relieve pain.
  • marginalia, noun. Notes written in the margin of a text; marginal notes.
  • meticulous preservation, noun. Preservation (keeping, care) by extreme or excessive care in the consideration or treatment of details (e.g., of the Bible).
  • milieu, noun. Surroundings, especially of a social or cultural nature.
  • one-off, adjective. Done, made, or happening only once and not repeated. noun. Something done, made, or happening only once, not as part of a regular sequence.
  • plethora, noun. A large or excessive amount of (something).
  • sensus divinitatis, noun. The natural capacity of human beings to perceive God (Latin for sense of divinity).
  • testament, noun. A person’s will, especially the part relating to personal property; something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality.
  • treatment, noun. The manner in which someone behaves toward or deals with someone or something; Medical care given to a patient for an illness or injury.
  • worriment, noun. An archaic or humorous term for worry; a source or cause of trouble or annoyance.

A bit of sad hilarity

There is a bit of sad hilarity here in that our Protestant song services are more standardized than the Bible we read. Whether it be a screen, a song page, or a hymn book we all read the same words, but not with the Bible. What song leader would hand out multiple hymn books with different words and different numbering? What song leader would put one set of words on one screen and then a slightly different set of words on screen two and then on screen three put a dynamic equivalence translation of screen one? Thus we conclude, don’t touch my songs or my song service, but you may play with the Bible at will so long as you are trained and have a Ph.D.
Peter Van Kleeck Jr. in It’s Time for New Christmas Songs

Sunday, January 30, 2022

This is the day

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24.

Leslie “Les” Norman Garrett, arranged the song This is the Day, which first appeared as No. 40 in Scripture in Song, Volume 1 (Brisbane, 1967). The words are simply a verse from Psalm 118, and the tune is an arrangement of a Fiji folk tune.

Leslie Garrett was born July 15, 1943, in Matamata, New Zealand, the son of Rainsford Henry James Garrett and Marian Walters. Les graduated from Faith Bible School in Tuaranga. He moved to Australia in 1967. He was a traveling evangelist, then served as a minister at the Christian Family Centre in Maddington, Australia. In addition to pastoring in Australia, he has preached in North America, Ireland, India, South Africa, and southeast Asia. Garrett died December 25 (or 26), 2017 in Western Australia, Australia, and is buried at the Fremantle Cemetery in Palmyra, Melville City, Western Australia, Australia.

In The Complete Book of Hymns, William J. and Ardythe Petersen say there are several reasons Garrett does not take much credit for the song.

“…the words are taken mostly from Psalm 118:24; as for the tune, it is derived from a folk melody of the Fiji Islands. Then there’s a third reason: In Les’s words, ‘I have very little musical ability and do not play an instrument; therefore, I can only believe that it was a gift of God.’” (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2006, p. 85)

Some has advised that “Part of the charm of the song is the possibility of singing it antiphonally or with two groups singing in alternation.” In singing, many additions have been made to the text, such as “This is the day when the Spirit came” and “This is the day that he rose again.”

Garrett also compiled the book Which Bible Can We Trust? (Gosnells: Christian Centre Press, 1982).

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Absurdity of Anti-KJV Rhetoric, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

A Review of Fundamentals of New Testament Textual Criticism, and other reviews

The posting of book or film reviews does not constitute endorsement of the products, reviews, or sites that are linked.

Friday, January 28, 2022

In other words, athetize to tyrant

  • athetize, verb. (rare) To reject or mark a passage of text as spurious.
  • befilth, verb. (archaic) To cover with filth; make filthy.
  • conservatwat, noun. (US, considered offensive) A pejorative term for a person with right-wing political views; (portmanteau of conservative and twat).
  • ghoulishness, noun. The quality or condition of being ghoulish; morbid or macabre character.
  • grimalkin, noun. (archaic) A cat (used especially in reference to its characteristically feline qualities); a spiteful old woman.
  • libtard, noun. (US, considered offensive) A pejorative term for a person with left-wing political views; (portmanteau of liberal and retard).
  • mnemonic, noun. A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something.
  • neologian, noun. A person holding or proposing novel views; a rationalist, a neologist; adjective. Holding or tending to adopt novel views.
  • panpanic, noun. A strong feeling of fear experienced by many people during the covid-19 pandemic, leading to a lack of reasonable thought and action (portmanteau of pandemic and panic).
  • patina, noun. A green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period; a gloss or sheen on a surface resulting from age or polishing; the impression or appearance of something.
  • plimsoll, noun. (British) A canvas shoe with a rubber sole; gym shoe; sneaker.
  • rapscallion, noun. A mischievous and disreputable ne’er-do-well; rascal or rogue; unprincipled person.
  • scariant, noun. Any new variant of covid-19 that people are very worried about because of the way it is reported in the media, despite the lack of scientific evidence to suggest it is any more dangerous than the original virus (portmanteau of scary and variant).
  • simony, noun. The buying or selling of ecclesiastical privileges; for example, pardons or benefices (from Simon Magus, Acts 8:18).
  • sitooterie, noun. (rare) A secluded area within a building where people can sit apart from others; an alcove, recess.
  • summum bonum, noun. (from the Latin) The highest good, especially as the ultimate goal according to which values and priorities are established in an ethical system. Cf. summum malum.
  • summum malum, noun. (from the Latin) The greatest or supreme evil; that which is most reprehensible, harmful, or undesirable. Cf. summum bonum.
  • supine, adjective. Lying flat on your back; horizontal, recumbent.
  • tyrant, noun. A cruel and oppressive ruler.

He who dares not offend, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify if possible.)

“Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel.” -- Myles Smith

“Beyond the theological incompatibilities already discussed, the modern textual criticism model simply contravenes the clear and straightforward meaning of a number of other biblical passages that emphasize God’s direct and immediate role in preservation as well as truth-affirmations about the context, timing, and goal of the preservation of scripture.” -- Kent Brandenburg

“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” -- attributed to Thomas Paine

“If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.” -- Louis Brandeis

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” -- Louis Brandeis

“Transparency is the best antiseptic.” -- Probably derived from Brandeis’s comment, above

“In the pain our God draws near, to fire a faith worth more than gold—and there his faithfulness is told.” -- Keith and Kristyn Getty

“The [Bible Version] pluralists are sailing in a burning boat, shouting at a boat that is not on fire.” -- Taylor DeSoto

“The church is not enslaved to scholarship.” -- One of the Peter Van Kleecks (I failed to note which one)

“I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end. I was angry with my foe: I told it not , my wrath did grow.” -- William Blake

“If the Scriptures are inspired, the true and potential author is God, and not the individual writers, whether known or anonymous.” -- Adapted from a statement by Samuel Tregelles, in An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, p. 260

“You can go crazy trying to explain sunlight to people looking at shadows.” -- Heard

“Passion often overrules conscience and forces it to give a false judgment.” -- Matthew Henry

“Elders serve by leading and deacons lead by serving.” -- Matt Smethurst

“If a man cannot mourn at hearing about the wrath of God, he must burn at feeling it.” -- Stephen Marshall, Puritan minister (1594–1655)

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Bibles at the Pilgrim Hall Museum at Plymouth

Absolutist authors arbitrarily affirm that the Pilgrims only brought the Geneva Bible to America on the Mayflower, that it is the only Bible they would have brought, and that they would not have brought or used a King James Bible. One consideration calls this into question.

Having posted several times re the Geneva Bible,[i] I found the following quite intriguing. The Pilgrim’s Society was founded in 1820, incorporated by the State Legislature of Massachusetts. Then resolutions were passed to build a Pilgrim Hall, which was completed in 1824.[ii] The Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts maintains four very early Bibles – three Geneva Bibles and one King James Bible. There is general agreement that two of these were brought to America on the Mayflower in 1620.

The following information comes from “Four Early Bibles in Pilgrim Hall” by Charles C. Forman (Pilgrim Society Note, Series One, Number Nine, April 1959).

“Among the books in Pilgrim Hall are four Bibles of unusual interest. One belonged to Governor William Bradford, the Pilgrim Governor, and one to John Alden.[iii] These are among the very few objects existing today which we feel reasonably sure ‘came over in the Mayflower.’ Of the history of the other two we know little, but they are Geneva Bible, the version most commonly used by the Pilgrims.”

William Bradford’s Bible

“Governor Bradford’s Bible is a Geneva Bible...The Table of Contents lists the Apocrypha, but the actual books are no longer present, and may never have been included...The early pages of this Bible, up to Genesis XII, are gone, but the title page of the New Testament gives the name of the printer and the date: Christopher Barker … London … 1592.’”

John Alden’s Bible

“No. 90 in the Pilgrim Hall catalogue designates the Bible which once belonged to John Alden. Some of the leaves are missing, but the colophon at the end of Revelation shows that the New Testament was printed in London by Robert Barker, ‘Printer to the Kings most excellent Majestie,’ in 1620. The Concordance was printed by Bonham Norton and John Bill in 1619. This is not a Geneva Bible, but the ‘King James’ or ‘Authorized’ version.”

The Bibles at Pilgrim Hall supply a few other interesting facts about the Geneva Bible:

“Bradford’s Bible is printed in black letter, or ‘Old English,’ type, except for the marginal notes, conclusive evidence that the familiar statement that the Geneva Bible was always printed in Roman type is inaccurate.”

“The Bibles in Pilgrim Hall show that different editions of the Geneva Bible varied considerably in detail; that the material bound together also varied, either by the owner’s choice or the caprice of the bookseller; and that the firm of Barker in London printed both King James and Geneva Bibles, sometimes using the same decorative material for both.”

It cannot be proven beyond a shadow of doubt that Alden brought his Bible with him on the Mayflower. (Neither can it be proven regarding Bradford’s Bible, for that matter.) The careful position of the Pilgrim Hall Museum is that they do not have absolute proof that there were any Bibles on the Mayflower. However, it is reasonable to believe that a deeply religious people would bring Bibles with them, and almost inconceivable that they would not.

A cautious approach to history would be that some Geneva Bibles probably came over on the Mayflower, and that probably at least one King James Bible did so as well. Absolute proof cannot currently be provided.


[i] HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
[ii] “The mission of the Pilgrim Society and Pilgrim Hall Museum is to achieve worldwide awareness of the Pilgrims’ significance, and the story of early Plymouth, as an enduring narrative of America’s founding.”
[iii] John Alden was a cooper and carpenter, and may not have been a Separatist or Puritan at the time he came to America. On the other hand, he signed the Mayflower Compact.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Jesus and the Scriptures

Some people make a big show of Jesus being “the criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted.” Doubtless, some or even many who say that are sincere. For others it is obfuscation. Notice for example the Lutheran Dawn Hutchings who in her talk implies she does not really care whether Jesus said the words of Matthew 28:16-20. Below is an excerpt from back in 2007 that I feel is worth posting again, relevant to present discussions. Making Jesus the true criterion, John Kohler wrote, “Jesus never involved Himself in higher or lower criticism, or attempted to recover the original autographs during his earthly ministry.”  He simply taught the Scriptures. Kohler points to three possible solutions to explain Jesus’s statements about Scripture:

  • Jesus knew that the Scriptures are God’s word and correctly said they are.
  • Jesus did not know whether the Scriptures are God’s word, but said they are.
  • Jesus knew the Scriptures are not God’s word, but nevertheless said they are.

Kohler points to these facts about Jesus’s use of the Scriptures:

  1. He believed in the Genesis account of creation - Mark 10:6.
  2. He believed in the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch - John 5:46-47.
  3. He believed in the historicity and universality of the Noahic Flood - Matthew 24:37-39.
  4. He believed in the historicity of Abraham - John 8:56.
  5. He believed in the historicity of Sodom and Gomorrah - Matthew 11:23-24.
  6. He believed God gave manna from heaven to Israel - John 6:31.
  7. He believed in the Davidic authorship of the Psalms - Matthew 22:43-45.
  8. He believed in the historicity of Jonah and the whale - Matthew 12:39-41.
  9. He believed the Jews had a history of rejecting God’s word - Luke 11:47-51.
  10. He scolded the Sadducees for their ignorance of Scripture - Matthew 22:29.
  11. He taught that every word of Scripture proceeded from God - Matthew 4:4.
  12. He taught the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture - Matthew 5:17-18.
  13. He taught that man will be judged by God’s word - John 12:47-48.
  14. He taught the absolute authority of Scripture (it cannot be broken) - John 10:34-36.
  15. He pre-authenticated the New Testament writings as Scripture - John 16:12-13.
  16. He never corrected or criticized Scripture, even though he did not possess the original autographs - John 17:13-17.
Jesus never involved himself in criticism of the Scriptures. He never attempted to recover the original autographs, neither suggested any need to do so.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A Brief Introduction to the Geneva Bible

Last Friday, I reviewed what I called “A (really bad) Introduction to the Geneva Bible.” On reflection, I thought I should try to give something positive, a (hopefully) more accurate and restrained introduction (rather than just complain about the negative, inaccurate, and unrestrained).

Introduction

The history of the Geneva Bible, in a very real sense, begins with the first translations of the Bible into English. Before it came the Anglo-Saxon Gospels (7th or 8th century), Wycliffe’s translation from the Vulgate (1382), Tyndale New Testament (1526), Coverdale (1535), Matthew (1537), Taverner (1539), and the Great Bible (1539). The work of Tyndale is a direct predecessor more than that of Wycliffe. (Wycliffe’s and earlier translations were made from the Latin, rather than Hebrew and Greek.)

Marian exiles

In a more immediate way, the Geneva Bible was born out of the persecution waged by Mary I of England (1516–1558), aka Mary Tudor or Bloody Mary. Catholic Mary came to throne in 1553. Catholicism was briefly reinthroned in England in her battle to reverse the church reformation instituted under her father, Henry VIII. Religious dissenters were severely persecuted. Over 300 dissenters were burned at the stake during her reign, including Bible translator John Rogers.[i] Translator Miles Coverdale fled to the European continent. So did future translator William Whittingham.

The New Testament

In 1557 Whittingham published a translation of the New Testament in a small octavo volume, which Kenyon calls “the handiest form in which the English Scriptures had yet been given to the world.” What Tyndale began with making the Scriptures available to the ploughboy, Whittingham continued in making the Scriptures more accessible and affordable to the ploughboy.

Whittingham’s Genevan New Testament became the precursor of the 1560 Geneva Bible. Of it, John Eadie writes:

“The Genevan New Testament of 1557 is a revision of Tyndale’s version collated with the Great Bible. The work is carefully done, but without due leisure. The influence of Beza is perceptible…It usually follows Tyndale in the basis of the version or in form and phrase, and Tyndale is also the foundation of the New Testament of the Great Bible.”[ii]

William Whittingham (sometimes spelled Wittingham) was born circa 1524 at Chester. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1554 he was a leader of Marian exiles who settled at Frankfurt and organized a church there. Later that year, due to the controversy in the church (of which John Knox was a minister), a group removed to Geneva. In 1559 Whittingham succeeded John Knox as minister of the English congregation in Geneva. After Mary’s death and the restoration of the church, Whittingham did not return to England, but remained in Geneva until after the new Bible was printed in 1560. He had returned by 1563, when he was made Dean of Durham. An effort was later made for his removal – ostensibly based on his ordination not according to the ceremonies of the Church of England – but he died before this was resolved, June 10, 1579. He was buried at Durham Cathedral.

Circa 1555 (but possibly when he was in France 1550-1552), Whittingham married Catherine, a daughter of Lewis (or Louis) Jaqueman/Jaquemayne of Orleans. It is often stated that he married the sister of John Calvin, or the sister of the wife of John Calvin – neither of which are correct.

The Whole Bible

Translation and Translators

The Geneva Bible builds especially upon the earlier translations of Tyndale and Coverdale.[iii] Coverdale was in Geneva 1558-1559, possibly contributing directly to the work. The preface of the Bible does not name its translators, but certain others are generally believed to have contributed to the translation in one way or another. In addition to Whittingham and Coverdale, there are Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, William Cole, Thomas Greshop, and John Knox. John Calvin composed an “Epistle” endorsing the 1557 New Testament, contributed to the marginal notes of the 1560 Geneva Bible, and Theodore Beza was supposedly consulted during the work.

Conrad Badius printed the New Testament in 1557, and the whole Bible was printed by Rouland Hall in 1560 – both at Geneva. They dedicated the 1560 translation “To the Moste Vertuous and Noble Quene Elisabet, Quene of England, France, and Ireland…”[iv]

According to Frederic Kenyon:

“The Genevan revisers took the Great Bible as their basis in the Old Testament, and Matthew’s Bible (i.e. Tyndale) in the New Testament. For the former they had the assistance of the Latin Bible of Leo Juda (1544), in addition to Pagninus (1527), and they were in consultation with the scholars (including Calvin and Beza) who were then engaged at Geneva in a similar work of revision of the French Bible. In the New Testament their principal guide was Beza, whose reputation stood highest among all the Biblical scholars of the age. The result was a version which completely distanced its predecessors in scholarship, while in style and vocabulary it worthily carried on the great tradition established by Tyndale.”[v]

Though dependent on earlier English Bibles, the work from Geneva offered several innovations. It was the first English Bible to translate completely the Old Testament from the Hebrew, and the first English Bible divided into verse numbers. Whittingham has done this previously with the New Testament, writing in his address “To the Reader”:

“…that the Reader might be by all meanes proffited, I have divided the text into verses and sections, according to the best editions in other languages...”

The verse divisions were based on the work of Robertus Stephanus in his 1551 Greek-Latin New Testament, also printed at Geneva.

Concerning the text of the New Testament, Whittingham said that he had “diligently revised” it “by the moste approved Greke examples, and conference of translations in other tonges...”[vi] The 1557 New Testament and 1560 Bible became the first English translations to introduce italics for words added by the translators.[vii] Whittingham explains it this way in 1557:

“I…sometyme have put to that worde, which lacking made the sentence obscure, but have set it in such letters as may easely be discerned from the commun text.”[viii]

The introduction to the Geneva Bible (dated April 10, 1560) suggests that it was two and one half years in the making. (Probably that does not include the initial work on the New Testament.)

…for God knoweth with what feare and trembling we have bene now, for the space of two yeres and more, day and night occupied herein…[ix]

“Learned they were, and their translation reflects their scholarship.”[x]

Use, Success, Opposition, and Legacy

The Geneva Bible quickly outpaced the Great Bible. The Genevan edition was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. However, neither the Crown nor the Church of England ever authorized it. Nevertheless, it won the hearts of the people. It was not without its detractors. Despite its popularity, opposition existed.

Rather than the translation itself, the annotations primarily created the animosity against the Geneva Bible. For example, the church government that the commentary promoted was distinct to the Church of England’s church government. Archbishop of Canterbury Matthew Parker (1504-1757) instituted an alternative project. According to the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, “Parker tried to steer a diplomatic course, improving on the accuracy of the official Great Bible (1539) while avoiding the controversial annotations which were a feature of the reformers’ Geneva Bible (1560).”[xi] Parker served as archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 to 1575, and through a monopoly for printing Bibles awarded to Richard Jugge, kept the Geneva Bible from being printed in England. As a translation, the Bishops’ Bible did not measure up to the Geneva Bible, and did not succeed in replacing it. After Parker’s death, editions of the Geneva were printed in England.[xii]

The Geneva Bible angered the Roman Catholic Church – most especially by identifying the Pope as the antichrist in the annotations. Romanist Gregory Martin charged the Geneva Bible as “corrupt” with “foule dealings,” including many deliberately false translations made to support the Protestant teachings of heretics, sectaries, and schismatics.[xiii]

Whatever opposition it incurred in high society, most of the common people liked it.

“If we inquire into the causes which made the Genevan Bible so long a favourite one…the mere shape and size…as compared to the ponderous folios of the Great, or the Bishops’ Bible. It was printed throughout in Roman and italic, not Gothic letter. It adopted the division into verses…It retained the marginal notes…It indicated by marks of accent the pronunciation of proper names. It had woodcuts, and convenient maps and tables.”[xiv]

John Eadie points to another factor in the general success of the Geneva Bible – that books published outside of England had better paper and print, better binding, and were less expensive.[xv]

Eventually the Geneva Bible would be superseded by the Bible translation made in 1611 during the reign of King James I. It is generally conceded that King James did not like the annotations in the Geneva Bible, which proffered church government that conflicted with that of the Church of England (Presbyterian vs. Episcopal), and questioned “the Divine right of Kings.” The idea for a new translation developed in a conference convened at Hampton Court Palace in January 1604. Puritan John Reynolds / Rainolds requested a new translation of the Bible. The king accepted the request. Myles Smith, in “The Translators to the Reader” introduction to the 1611 translation, described the translators’ goal “to make a good one, better” (apparently referring to the Geneva Bible), and quoted Scripture mostly from a Geneva Bible.

As might be expected, the new translation faced early and weighty competition with the Geneva Bible. The use of the Geneva continued, though probably in decline, through the first half of the 17th century. Likely many were loathe to give up their “study Bible” more so than actually disliking the new translation – which was considerably like its predecessor. John Eadie writes:

“...the people relished them [the Geneva Bible notes, rlv] greatly, and, according to Fuller, when the version was disappearing, they complained that ‘they could not see into the sense of Scripture for lack of the spectacles of those Genevan annotators.’ The Genevan Bible having done its work at length passed away, making room for another version in so many respects its superior.”[xvi]

The Geneva Bible commended itself to the people because it was “made by earnest and scholarly men, driven by persecution out of England…”[xvii] The English people – rather than the Monarchy or the state church – confirmed the work of the translators by taking this Bible into their homes and their hearts. The Geneva translation greatly influenced the King James translators and their resulting translation. The English people once again – with the KJV – confirmed the work of the translators by taking it into their homes and their hearts. The Geneva Bible is now primarily a wonderful historical artifact.[xviii]

Quick points

  • The Geneva Bible marginal annotations were strongly Puritan and Calvinistic.
  • The Geneva Bible may rightly be considered the first “Study Bible.” The 1560 Bible, in addition to marginal commentary, contains tables of the names in the Old Testament, principle things (subjects) in the Bible, a supputation (calculation, reckoning) of the years from Adam to Christ, and a timeline of Paul’s ministry.
  • The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to italicize words added by the translators.
  • Calvin’s Catechism was printed in the Geneva Bible of 1568-1570.[xix]
  • A Geneva Bible was not printed in England until 1576.
  • In 1579, the Scottish edition of the Geneva Bible became the first Bible printed in Scotland.
  • The Geneva Bibles printed after 1587 often (if not always) contain the New Testament revised and annotated in 1576 by Laurence Tomson.[xx]
  • The commentary of Franciscus Junius on the book of Revelation from 1599 on replaced the original notes on Revelation in the Geneva Bible.[xxi]
  • The first Bible in English printed without the Apocrypha was the 1599 Geneva Bible.[xxii]
  • King James’s Bibles were printed with Geneva notes in 1649, 1679, 1708, and 1715.[xxiii]
  • Some Geneva Bibles were printed bound with the Sternhold and Hopkins metrical psalms.
  • Some Geneva Bibles were printed bound with the Church of England Book of Common Prayer.
  • Most sources state that the Geneva Bible went through some 140 to 160 editions.[xxiv]
  • The last known printing of the Geneva Bible occurred in Amsterdam in 1644.[xxv]

Some Geneva Bibles available online

Some Geneva Bibles available in print


[i] This number is based on “Foxe’s Box of Martyrs.” See Literary Aspects of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments, et al.
[ii] The English Bible: An External and Critical History of the Various English Translations of Scripture, with Remarks on the Need of Revising the English New Testament, Volume 2, John Eadie, London: Macmillan and Company, 1876, p. 16.
[iii] The Bible in English: History and Influence, David Daniell, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press 2003, p. 300. It is fair to note that at times the “Protestant” Monarchy and Church of England persecuted Catholics. And, of course, they also persecuted dissenters, Separatists, Baptists, etc.
[iv] In addition to the annotations, the extensive notes and commentary in the “margents,” the 1560 contains a dedication “To the Moste Vertuous and Noble Quene Elisabet, Quene of England, France, and Ireland,” a note “To Our Beloved in the Lord, Brethren of England, Scotland, Ireland, &tc...,” tables of the names in the Old Testament, the principle subjects in the Bible, a supputation (calculation, reckoning) of the years from Adam to Christ, and a timeline of Paul’s ministry. There are five “mappes of Cosmographie” as well. For number of maps, see “The Geneva Bible,” Carl S. Meyer, Concordia Theological Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 3 (March 1961), p. 142.
[v]The Geneva Bible (1557-1560),” by Frederic George Kenyon.
[vi] He does not mention Tyndale. However, that is generally understood to be his meaning. See “The Geneva Bible,” Carl S. Meyer, Concordia Theological Monthly, (March 1961), p. 161.
[vii] The Great Bible uses a different font for some readings, but in that case for the purpose of additions from the Vulgate.
[viii] Whittingham probably got the idea directly from Theodore Beza’s Latin New Testament, which in turn built on the ideas of Sebastian Münster’s Latin Old Testament and Pierre Robert Olivétan’s French Bible. See The Use of Italics in English Versions of the New Testament, by Walter F. Specht, 1968, pp. 89-92. The 1611 translation continued in this tradition. At the seventh session on November 20, 1618, the English delegates to the Synod of Dort gave a report on the new Bible translation of 1611. Samuel Ward, a King James translator in the Second Cambridge Company, probably wrote or made the report. Re putting text “with another kind of letter” the English reported, “...that words which it was anywhere necessary to insert into the text to complete the meaning were to be distinguished by another type, small roman.” This says “small roman” rather than “italics” because that was the original distinguishing font. The 1611 Bible was printed in fancy Black Letter type, and the small roman was distinct from that. When later editions were set in Roman type, italics became the distinguishing font, as they are still today. See Report on the 1611 Translation to the Synod of Dort.
[ix] “…we thoght that we colde bestowe our labours & studie in nothing which colde be more acceptable to God and comfortable to his Churches then in the translating of the holy Scriptures into our native tongue: the which thing, albeit that divers heretofore have indevored to atchieve: yet considering the infancie of those tymes and imperfect knollage of the tongues, in respect of this ripe age and cleare light which God hath now reveiled, the translations required greatly to be perused and reformed. Not that we vendicat any thing to our selves above the least of our brethren (for God knoweth with what feare and trembling we have bene now, for the space of two yeres and more, day and night occupied herein) but being earnestly desired, and by divers, whose learning and godlynes we reverence, exhorted, and also incouraged by the read willes of suche...we undertoke this great and wonderful worke (with all reverence, as in the presence of God, as intreating the worde of God, whereunto we think ourselves unsufficient) which now God according to his divine providence and mercie hath directed to a moste prosperous end...From Geneva 10. April. 1560.”
[x] See “The Geneva Bible,” Carl S. Meyer, p. 145.
[xi] Matthew Parker and ‘an authorised’ version of the Bible.
[xii] In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture, Alister McGrath. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2002, pp. 124, 127.
[xiii]The Geneva Bible,” Carl S. Meyer, pp. 144-145.
[xiv] A Dictionary of the Bible, Extra Volume, James Hastings, Editor. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912, p. 249.
[xv] The English Bible: An External and Critical History of the Various English Translations of Scripture, with Remarks on the Need of Revising the English New Testament, Volume 2, John Eadie, 1876, p. 52.
[xvi] Ibid., p. 52.
[xvii] Ibid., p. 51.
[xviii] There seems to be a small but vocal group of Christians who wish to the return to the use of the Geneva Bible. Some few may use it as their primary or exclusive Bible, but there seems to be little likelihood that it will regain even the least level of its former glory.
[xix] “Introduction to the Facsimile Edition,” Lloyd E. Berry, 1560 Geneva Bible, printed by John Crispin, 1969 facsimile reprint, Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969, p. 15.
[xx] A Dictionary of the Bible, Extra Volume, James Hastings, Editor. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1912, p. 250.
[xxi]Introduction to the Facsimile Edition,” Lloyd E. Berry, p. 15.
[xxii] At least some of them, if not all. I have read that some of the Geneva Bibles sold in England by Robert Barker with the 1599 imprint were printed later, possibly in the 1610s-1630s. See God’s Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible, Adam Nicolson, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2003, p. 228, for example. In addition, Governor William Bradford’s 1592 Geneva Bible at the Pilgrim Hall Museum raises questions about the accuracy of this information. The “Table of Contents” of his Bible lists the Apocrypha. However, those books are not in it. It is not known for sure whether they were lost, removed, or never included in the printing. (The first pages of this Bible up to Genesis chapter 12 are missing, which obviously were initially in it.)
[xxiii] A Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version, Philip Schaff. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers, 1883, p. 329. See also The English Bible, Volume 2, Eadie, p. 37.
[xxiv] For example, see The Geneva English Bible: The Shocking Truth, by David Daniell and A Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version, Schaff p. 328.
[xxv] The English Bible: An External and Critical History of the Various English Translations of Scripture, with Remarks on the Need of Revising the English New Testament, Volume 2, John Eadie, London: Macmillan and Company, 1876, p. 37.