History brief – The Geneva Bible


The Geneva Bible

“Their next publication was The Geneva Bible translated by William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, Lawrence Humphrey, Miles Coverdale (former Bishop of Exeter), Christopher Goodman and Thomas Sampson. It is based on the Great Bible for the Old Testament and on Whittingham’s revision of William Tyndale’s (1534) edition of the New Testament.  The scholars who produced the Geneva Bible had access to the best Hebrew and Greek manuscripts including Theodore Beza’s Codex.  The Geneva Bible was the first English Bible to be illustrated, annotated and divided into verses. Italics denoted which words were added to clarify the text. There were more than 140 editions of the Geneva Bible between 1560 and 1644. It was the Geneva Bible that those on the Mayflower took to America in 1620. Its printing in Geneva was overseen and financed by wealthy merchant, from Exeter, John Bodley, who was the father of Thomas Bodley who set up the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The printer was Rowland Hall. Bodley named his printing works back in London ‘The Halfe Eagle and Keye’ after the arms of Geneva and borrowed its motto ‘Post tenebras lux’ (“After darkness, I hope for Light” from Job 17.12).”

Old Waldensian Paths


13 thoughts on “History brief – The Geneva Bible

  1. Thanks, Maria. I enjoy this historical stuff very much. On one of our trips to Germany, my wife and I visited Alsace and stayed in Wissembourg. I didn’t know it at the time, but influential Reformer, Martin Bucer, spent some time in Wissembourg until he was expelled. He moved to Strasbourg and hosted Calvin when Calvin was expelled from Geneva. I also see that Bucer pastored a church in Landstuhl, the town next to where my grandson lives.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Maria! My wife is not a history geek by any stretch so I must often temper my enthusiasm. BTW, I think I’ve told that first communion story about fifteen times by now!

        • It’s amazing personal history! And it seems like an answer to prayer for his protection. It sounds like your wife was there to be with her children. When my step-Mother-in-law and Dad-in-law visited Europe to play with the Flag City Band on tour, she asked if I’d like anything from there and I said postcards of Switzerland. She brought me a postcard of “Stubaier Alpen (Tirol)” and of Berne Cathedral with a majestic backdrop of Alps. I understand geekness, and also wanting to see your kids!

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