Bible Questions and Answers

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Is the 1599 Geneva Bible a new version in the English Language?

Here is information taken from an article in the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia:

"The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible in the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th Century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Milton, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress. It was one of the Bibles taken to America on the Mayflower, it was used by many English Dissenters, and it was still respected by Oliver Cromwell's soldiers at the time of the English Civil War.

What makes this version of the Holy Bible singularly unique in world history is that, for the very 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 which 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 which acted to summarize all of the material that each book would cover, maps, tables, woodcut illustrations, indexes, as well as other included features — all of which would eventually lead to the reputation of the Geneva Bible as history's very first study bible.

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"."

Note that the Geneva Bible was published in 1560 [New Testament in 1557] and not 1599, as you state in your question, and was indeed a new version in English and the first to be published by printing press and widely distributed.

Here are links to information on the website you will find of interest:

The Miracle of the Bible (please click on the title)

The Divine Origin of the Bible (please click on the title)

I hope you have found this helpful.

God bless,