The 1599 Version of The Geneva Bible

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The Bible, That Is The Holy Scriptures Contained in the Olde and Newe Testament Translated According to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages.


Item Number: 80027

London: Deputies of Christopher Barker, 1599.

Geneva version of the Bible, translated by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson. Quarto, bound in 18th century tree calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers, rebacked. An excellent example with the first woodcut title page slightly abraded at upper right, text is generally clean.

Upon Queen Mary’s accession in 1553, “publication of the English Bible ceased in England. Many Protestants who fled to the Continent were attracted to Calvin’s Geneva. Among these exiles were eminent English Bible scholars who began work on a new translation” (The Bible: 100 Landmarks 62). First published in 1560, the Geneva Bible—often called the “Breeches Bible” for its unique rendering of Genesis 3:7—was “more scholarly than any previous translation… [It] achieved immediate popularity and exerted an extremely powerful influence… The Geneva Version included prefaces, maps and tables; and for the first time in an English Bible the verses were divided and numbered… It has been more properly called the Elizabethan family Bible, since it was this version which was the first to enter the English home” (PMM 83). “It became the textus receptus for the Puritan element in England. It was read by Shakespeare, Bunyan and the soldiers of the Civil War, and is thus of cardinal importance for its influence on the English language, literature and thought” (Great Books and Book Collectors, 105-8).

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