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The Geneva Bible was translated from the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures and is textually 95% the same as the King James Version (ignoring the spelling). It was the first Bible to add numbered verses to the chapters, to facilitate the referencing of specific passages. Every chapter had extensive marginal notes and references so that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English ‘Study Bible’.
The translators recognised as ‘inspired’ just 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New. Several books and certain recognised additions to Esther and Daniel, collectively called the ‘Apocrypha’ (from the Greek - meaning ‘hidden away’), were not considered to be inspired by God. In this the translators followed the Jewish lead.
"The books that follow in order after the Prophets unto the New Testament, are called Apocrypha, that is, books which were not received by a common consent to be read and expounded publicly in the Church, neither yet served to prove any point of Christian religion save in so much as they had the consent of the other scriptures called canonical to confirm the same..." (Geneva Bible, 1560, Preface)
The Geneva Bible included the Apocrypha as a separate section between the Old and New Testaments, a practise followed by the King James Version in 1611. In 1880 the American Bible Society voted to remove the Apocrypha Books from the King James Version. In 1885 The Apocrypha was officially removed from the English printings of the King James Version by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Roman Catholic Bible
The Roman Catholic Bible began with the Vulgate, a Latin translation made by Jerome, sponsored by Pope Damasus, in 383 AD. The Old Testament was translated initially from the Septuagint Greek version, but the revised version of 405 AD used Hebrew MSS. The New Testament was compiled mainly from existing Latin versions.
Jerome (340-420 A.D.), under pressure from Pope Damasus, reluctantly inserted Judith, Tobit, the Additions to Esther, and the Additions to Daniel into his Latin Vulgate. The rest of the apocryphal books were added to the Vulgate after his demise.
In 1546 the Council of Trent decreed that the ‘apocryphal’ books were inspired and the Latin Vulgate was the exclusive authority for the Bible.
‘The sacred and holy, ecumenical, and general Synod of Trent... has thought it meet that a list of the sacred books be inserted in this decree, lest a doubt may arise in any one's mind, which are the books that are received by this Synod. They are as set down here below: of the Old Testament: the five books of Moses, to wit, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Josue, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings, two of Paralipomenon, the first book of Esdras, and the second which is entitled Nehemias; Tobias, Judith, Esther, Job, the Davidical Psalter, consisting of a hundred and fifty psalms; the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Jeremias, with Baruch; Ezechiel, Daniel; the twelve minor prophets, to wit, Osee, Joel, Amos, Abdias, Jonas, Micheas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; two books of the Machabees, the first and the second. Of the New Testament: the four Gospels, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles written by Luke the Evangelist; fourteen epistles of Paul the apostle, (one) to the Romans, two to the Corinthians, (one) to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to the Philippians, to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, two to Timothy, (one) to Titus, to Philemon, to the Hebrews; two of Peter the apostle, three of John the apostle, one of the apostle James, one of Jude the apostle, and the Apocalypse of John the apostle. But if any one receive not, as sacred and canonical, the said books entire with all their parts, as they have been used to be read in the Catholic Church, and as they are contained in the old Latin vulgate edition; and knowingly and deliberately contemn the traditions aforesaid; let him be anathema.’
The Roman Catholic Church speaks of the Apocrypha as ‘Deutero-canonical’ (which Catholics assure us does not mean second-class).
In 1582 Rome dropped its "Latin only" edict, and in 1609-10 the first Catholic English translation, called the Douay-Rheims Bible, was published. It was translated from the Vulgate (including the Apocrypha) and became the seed bible for nearly all Catholic Bibles.
The Douay-Rheims is so called because the New Testament was completed in Rheims France in 1582 followed by the Old Testament in Douay in 1609.
The Catechism (# 138) of the Catholic Church of 1994 stated, "The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New”
To my mind the difference between the Apocrypha and the inspired books of the Bible is marked and self-evident but because some of the false doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church has its support in the Apocrypha, one can see why the Church has to retain it. The Apocrypha supports such nonsense as: Prayers for the dead (Tobit 12:12; 2 Maccabees 12:39-45): Purgatory (Wisdom 3:1-7): Intercession of saints in heaven (2 Maccabees 15:14): Intercession of angels (Tobit 12:12-15).
Another difference between the Geneva bible and the Roman Catholic Bible is in the translation of the Greek word ‘metanoeo’ (which literally means ‘think again’) with the words ‘do penance’
Geneva - Matthew 3:2... repent
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Douay-Rheims Matthew 3:2... Do penance
: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
We can see at once the difference that this makes to doctrine.
In Genesis 3:15 the Douay-Rheims text supports the Roman Catholic supposed role of Mary; whilst the Geneva Bible ascribes the victory to the woman’s male offspring.
Douay-Rheims - Gen 3:15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
Geneva - Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he shall break thine head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
I have no doubt that there are other differences but time doesn’t permit further investigation.
If you want to check for other differences, a Geneva translation can be compared with a Douay-Rheims here: http://studybible.info/versions/
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,