Geneva Bible

1599 Geneva Bible original frontispiece

The Geneva Bible was the first full-length Bible to be published in the English language. Its original compilers and publishers produced 144 separate editions between 1560 and 1644 AD, beyond which time King Charles I and Archbishop William Laud forbade its printing in England. The Geneva Bible virtually disappeared until modern times. The Geneva Bible is now available in a hardcover edition published in 2006 by Tolle Lege Press.[1]

It was the Geneva Bible (rather than the King James Bible) that was preferred by the Puritans who colonized New England, and the Pilgrims probably brought the Geneva Bible with them on the Mayflower. One reason the Puritans preferred the Geneva Bible was due to its thorough annotations.


1 History
1.1 Tyndale’s New Testament
1.2 Bloody Mary
1.3 The First Edition
1.4 Later Editions
1.5 Modern Editions
2 Review
2.1 The Text
2.1.1 Distinction from the Authorized Version
2.2 The Marginal Notes
2.2.1 Literalism
2.2.2 Eschatology
2.2.3 Anti-Catholic sentiment
2.2.4 Royal authority and its limits
3 References
4 External Links
5 See Also


Tyndale’s New Testament

The Roman Catholic Church had spread throughout the territory that was once part of the Western Roman Empire. Yet the Church reserved for its own clergy the right to own the written text of the Bible–and no European monarch permitted any of his subjects actually to possess a copy of the Bible printed in any language other than Latin.[2]

In 1526, William Tyndale began his first efforts to translate the Bible into English. For this defiance of the royal edicts then in force, the authorities pursued him. He fled to Germany, where he met Martin Luther, and from there to Belgium. There he produced a mechanically printed edition of the New Testament, and his friends smuggled 6,000 copies of it into England. Authorities in Belgium hunted him, arrested him, and imprisoned him in Vilvoorde, and on March 6, 1536, he was executed.[2]

Tyndale’s New Testament did not reach the common man in England. It did, however, influence the English clergy and might have been an impetus behind the Reformation in England.[2] Significantly, Anne Boleyn was executed in the same year as was Tyndale–and subsequent to this, King Henry VIII began his sweeping purge of the monasteries in his realm.

Bloody Mary

In 1553, Queen Mary I acceded to the throne upon the death of her half-brother, Edward VI. This Catholic queen quickly earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” by her ruthless persecution of the English Reformers and her execution of 300 of them. Another 800 Reformers fled to the continent, where they gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, then known as John Calvin’s “Protestant Rome.”[3] There they set about creating an English-language version of the entire Bible, and one that would have no ties to any monarch, whether in England or elsewhere in Europe. Among the men involved in this project were William Whittingham, Miles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, John Knox, and Thomas Sampson.[2]

The First Edition

The Geneva translators avoided the Latin Bible version, or Vulgate, and sought access to the oldest and most authentic Hebrew and Greek manuscripts they could find. Their research benefited, ironically, from the Fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, an event that had forced many Christian clerics to flee the fallen city of Constantinople with their manuscripts in hand.

In 1557, Whittingham produced a revised edition of Tyndale’s original New Testament. Then in 1560 the reformers produced the first edition of the Geneva Bible. This they dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, who by then had succeeded to the throne after the death of her sister, “Bloody Mary.” Under Elizabeth’s patronage, the Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice not merely for clergy but also for laity.[2]

Later Editions

From the beginning, the Geneva Bible was a study Bible, richly annotated and illustrated. The 1599 edition had the most extensive annotations of any of the Geneva Bibles, and a table of interpretations of (mainly Old Testament) proper names.

The Geneva Bible was highly popular in England, and indeed the Jamestown expeditionaries carried it to America in 1607. Likewise, the Pilgrims carried it with them to the Netherlands, where they had fled, and then to what later became their Plymouth colony (in modern Massachusetts) in 1620.

In 1604, shortly after his own accession to the throne, King James I commissioned his own version of the Bible, that would later come to be known as “The Bishop’s Bible” or, more commonly, the Authorized Version. James’ motive for promulgating his own version was simple: he did not want the people to have in hand a Bible with all the marginal notes that the Geneva Bible had. The reason was equally simple: those marginal notes might encourage lay readers not to credit James’ overriding dogma of “the divine right of kings” that was central to his authority.[4]

This version was first published in 1611. A later king (Charles I) would take the first steps toward suppression of the Geneva Bible toward the end of his reign. In 1644, the Geneva Bible went out of print and would remain out of print for more than four hundred fifty years.

Modern Editions

In 2003, L. L. Brown and Company published an edition of the 1599 Geneva Bible.[5] This edition included the Apocrypha and a metrical rendition of the Book of Psalms originally intended to encourage their recitation in church.

In January of 2004 a group of concerned American individuals and organizations formed the 1599 Geneva Bible Restoration Project to restore and republish the richly annotated 1599 edition. Seventeen organizations and 270 individuals and families contributed funds for the project.[6] The Project acquired the rights to the L. L. Brown copy, but omitted the Apocrypha and metrical Psalms and sought as much as possible to authenticate the original text as printed in 1599. The Tolle Lege edition makes no attempt to “modernize” the text, other than to update some of the spelling. Instead of “translating” the many out-dated words, it includes a glossary intended more as a guide than as a hard-and-fast body of rules. The editors state in their front matter that they wished to deliver an edition as close in meaning to the original as practicable.


The Text

Foster[2] states that the Geneva translators relied heavily on manuscripts originally brought to Geneva by Christians fleeing the conquering Ottoman Turks in 1453. Random comparisons between the New Testament and the Nestlé-Aland Greek New Testament and its critical apparatus[7] support that claim. The Geneva text tends to follow the so-called Byzantine family of manuscripts at certain points at which the original Greek text is in dispute.

Likewise, the Old Testament Geneva text appears to follow the Masoretic Text prepared by the Hebrew “Masoretes” of the latter part of the second century AD, and pays no homage to the Septuagint of Ptolemy I Soter of Alexandria.

Distinction from the Authorized Version

The Geneva Bible is often called the “Breeches Bible” because of its rendition of Genesis 3:7 (KJV). The Geneva text[8] reads as follows: “ Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig tree leaves together, and made themselves breeches. ”

In fact, if any version of the Bible, printed or electronic, does not translate Genesis 3:7 in the words quoted above, then it is not a Geneva Bible.

The differences in the actual text between the Geneva and Authorized Versions are minor. Nevertheless they are critical to distinguishing the Geneva Bible from the Authorized Version or any other version.

The Marginal Notes

The copious marginal notes are the key feature of the Geneva Bible, and its key difference from the Authorized Version, which has no such notes. As Foster[2] stated, the Geneva Bible is the first true study Bible. Its translators sought to explain to the common man not only what the Bible said but also what it meant.

These notes are highly revealing of the mind-set of the Geneva editors. For that reason they are at least as valuable as a source of insight into Reformation thinking as they are as explanatory text of the Bible itself.


The Geneva editors regarded their Bible as literal history. This included the history of creation, the genealogy of the pre-Flood Patriarchs[9], and the full history and exact time-line of the ancient Jews. Some of their notes beg explanation–for example, their counting of the “four hundred years” of oppression of the Israelites[10] as beginning with the birth of Isaac and not with the entry of Jacob into Egypt. This, however, is a minor quibble.


Though they took their Bible history literally, they did not take prophecy nearly as literally. This is especially true as regards eschatology (literally, “the last words”). Like their friend and protector John Calvin, the Geneva editors held to the following doctrines:
Covenant theology. This holds that the covenant promises originally made to Abraham and his direct lineal descendants the Israelites no longer apply to them, but apply instead to the Church. By “Church” they did not mean any one denomination, but rather the whole body of Christian believers.
Postmillennialism. This holds that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will take place after the “thousand years” of imprisonment of Satan.[11]
Preterism. This holds that the prophecies mentioned in Revelation 4-19 , Daniel 7-12 , Zechariah 12 , and elsewhere, had already been fulfilled at the time of their writing.

Anti-Catholic sentiment

The Geneva editors infused their notes with many attacks against the Roman Catholic Church–hardly a surprise considering the persecution in which the RCC, and Queen Mary I, were then engaging. The most striking attack against Rome is the handling of the prophecy of the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem[12] The Bible says, of course, that two men prophesied for 1,260 days in the court of the Temple of Jerusalem. The Geneva notes say instead that the two witnesses stand for “ministers” of the Word of God that are outside of the RCC, and that the 1,260 days are actually 1,260 years that began with the Crucifixion (which they assumed had taken place in AD 33 or 34) and ended with the accession to the papacy of Pope Boniface VIII (r. 1294-1303). Boniface was famous for issuing a papal bull stating that, to be saved, every man had to be a member of the RCC–and the Geneva notes further accused Boniface of obtaining his office by fraud. The notes on other verses in Revelation go further: they identify the Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church with the Beast of Revelation 13 .[13]

Royal authority and its limits

The Geneva editors, in their notes, spoke of limits on royal authority, and this is probably why James I specifically ordered a translation of the Bible without annotation. He construed any limit on royal authority as a challenge to his own authority. For example, the note for Exodus 1:19 (KJV) says the following of the Hebrew midwives who disobeyed the Pharaoh in refusing to kill Hebrew boy-children at birth:[14] “ Their disobedience herein was lawful, but their dissembling evil. ”

The very notion that the disobedience of a royal command might be a lawful act would be anathema to a king who believed that he ruled by divine right and answered only to God and not to any of his subjects.[4] The footnote for Exodus 1:22 (KJV) would surely have been worse: “ When tyrants cannot prevail by craft, they burst forth into open rage. ”

The firm belief of the editors of the Tolle Lege edition is that these marginal notes were the catalyst not only for the furtherance (such as it was) of the reformation in England, but also, and more to the point, for the political revolutions in the English-speaking world[2]–presumably beginning with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and continuing with the American Revolution of 1776-83. They hold this belief even though the Geneva Bible ceased printing in 1644, long before William and Mary and more than a century before the American Revolution. Brown[4] points out that the Church of England retained all of the trappings and hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, the chief difference being that the Archbishop of Canterbury answered no longer to the Pope of Rome but directly to the British crown.


↑ Lillback, Peter A., DeMar, Gary D., Federer, William J., et al. 1599 Geneva Bible: The Holy Scriptures Contained in the Old and New Testaments. White Hall, WV, USA: Tolle Lege Press, 2006. 1400 pp., cloth. ISBN 0975484699. Also available in black (ISBN 0975484613) and calfskin (ISBN 0975484621) leather-bound editions.
↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Foster, Marshall. “The History and Impact of the Geneva Bible.” 1599 Geneva Bible, op. cit., pp. xxiii to xxvi.
↑ Authors unknown. “John Calvin (1509-1564)” Switzerland Is Yours, Micheloud and Cie, 2006. Retrieved November 2, 2007.
↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Brown, Michael H. “Introduction to the Geneva Bible for the historic Baptist faith.” The Reformed Reader, 1988. Retrieved November 2, 2007. Brown’s essay is a scathing indictment of Kings James and Charles and of the Church of England that they headed. It is also flawed on account of the almost vitriolic argumentum ad hominem that Brown employs against James and his successors and allies. At the time of his writing, the Geneva Bible remained out of print, and this might have informed his bitterness. Whether he would have written a more refined essay had he known that the Geneva Bible would one day be published once again, is perhaps impossible to determine.
↑ The 1599 Geneva Bible. Ozark, MO: L. L. Brown Publishing, 2003. Cited in Preface, 1599 Geneva Bible, Tolle Lege Press, op. cit., pp. xix-xx.
↑ “1599 Geneva Bible Restoration Project,” 1599 Geneva Bible, op. cit., pp. v to xvii.
↑ Aland, Barbara, Aland, Kurt, Karavidopoulos, Johannes, Martini, Carlo M., and Metzger, Bruce M., eds. The Greek New Testament. Stuttgart, Germany: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2001. With “A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament,” by Barclay M. Newman, Jr. 219 pages, leather. ISBN 3438051133
↑ 1599 Geneva Bible, Tolle Lege Press, op. cit., p. 6
↑ Genesis 5
↑ Genesis 15:13
↑ Revelation 20:1-3
↑ Revelation 11:1-14
↑ The original Greek word is therion, which means not merely a wild animal but a murdering and ravening one.
↑ 1599 Geneva Bible, Tolle Lege Press, op. cit., p. 60

External Links

Geneva Bible (Company site)

Tolle Lege Press (Company site)

1599 Geneva Bible (Official site)

Geneva Bible 1599 (Unofficial site)

See Also

King James Bible

Biblical chronology dispute


    Its time folks to burn those wicked parasitic King James Authorized Bibles and hold both a Geneva Bible 1560 and 1599 the true Bibles as highlighted in the above knowledge. Now can you see why this Bible has been downtrodden and claimed inferior to the King James Bible? Its all about parasitic rule but remember even Queen Elizabeth I followed the Geneva Bible and she too was a Monarch. This must have secretly annoyed the wicked Cecil family out to gradually destroy Protestant Britain especially when they suppressed Edward De-Vere the 17th Earl of Oxford in order to keep the secrecy going about his son with Queen Elizabeth I. A son named Henry Wriothesley the 3rd Earl of Southampton who they murdered under false pretenses whilst never explaining how this son wanted to overthrow the Cecil’s not the Queen during the Essex Rebellion of 1601. Edward De Vere was then kept on a leash and forced to marry into the wicked Cecil family with Anne Cecil. So what was King James so frightened of? Or did he really have Catholic strings all along in a slow Jesuit infiltration? As you can see William Laud was another Rowan Williams, a fraud of an Archbishop of Canterbury up the backside of the devil in Rome using deceptions.

    How could I even wonder about the Puritan Cecil family wanting to destroy Protestant Britain? Well who put King James I in place? What did he do to the Reformation Bible? The true Puritan Bible? Was this to appease the sovereign City of London since the failed Essex Rebellion? Something seems off to me unless the Cecil’s made a bad judgment with King James I but I just cannot see that being the case because these Cecil’s wouldn’t have been that stupid or would they? Remember the City of London has been always been sovereign going back to the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. Do not believe its only been a more recent thing that this sovereignty has happened, it is merely a veil to hoodwink the people. The Monarchy still to this very day cannot enter The City of London with any power or wearing any regalia. Interesting the King James Bible is also known as the Bishop’s Bible, is this a secret reference to George Abbot the Bishop of London I wonder? Who do you think benefited from all this? Was it Puritan Protestantism which has been killed off entirely or would it be the City of London merchants like the Pallavicini family? Who were funding Queen Elizabeth I through the Fondi and handling the Cecil family? The Pallavicini, City of London connected merchant family which has numerous scions with the Cromwell family! Study the connections of Henry Cromwell Esquire to the Pallavicini family and note that the title Esquire is a City of London title and a sign of Templarism. That is just one of many scions between these two families. The Pallavicini family of the Knights Templars as evidenced in the seal I’ve exposed numerous times.

    Who controlled the City of London after 1215? Was it not the Knights Templar under the Pope? Was it not the Knights of Malta who took over the Templar system from 1312 with the Papal Bull of Ad Providam? So would it suit the City of London to destroy the Geneva Bible and Puritanism first before destroying Protestantism as a whole? May I remind you that in 1988 Cardinal Sebastiano Baggio used Giancarlo Pallavicini to openly rule over the Order of Malta until Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie was put in place as Grandmaster. Puritanism being the strongest form of Protestantism there was? Why not water down Protestantism over time until you can remove it entirely as we see today all so clearly? Since 1534 the Jesuits being the masters of this counter-Reformation (Council of Trent) attack on Protestantism. The same Jesuits who since the 18th Century took complete control over the region and by 1814 also had complete control over the City of London stemming back from 1798.

    You decide but its clear as day to me. Its time to stop pushing this King James Bible and to go with the real Bible. Eric Jon Phelps claims to be a Puritan and yet worships King James and his vile version of the Bible. We shall follow thee truth and thee original most dangerous text of the Geneva Bible. May I remind you that Masonic Lodges all carry the King James Bible which is claimed to carry Masonic coding within. Regardless of which Freemasonry whether Scottish Templarism or Jacobin Jesuitism its irrelevant because all Freemasonry desired the destruction of the Bible and craved a scientific dictatorship. Where do you think Gresham College came from and all this scientific claptrap of today? Its all Templarism and tied to those pesky The Worshipful Company of Mercers. You do not see a Geneva Bible in the Masonic Lodges thats for sure. Sit and think about it hard for a minute.

    -= The Unhived Mind


  • Aaron

    Man… I bought 2 copies of AV1611 to follow you on your research, one for collection, one for reading. Now I gotta start over again with the Geneva. Anyway these are all learning process for us and sometimes have to admit the mistakes in the past or simply because not yet aware of. So it is no fault after all. I hope you are right at the end. There are now 2 times of open public quarrel between you and EJP. I hope you are the right one. I wanted to save up to buy EJP latest Vatican Assasin the paper version which is $400+ but I’m rethinking. I believe the only way to preserve critical information is the paper one as anything electronic can be wiped out with modern weaponary.

    I believe total control is coming soon and everything about to SHTF. We must preserve genuine information which are all the good paper book of important info. Print out and keep them if have to. When there is no more electricity in future due to whatevar gonna happen. Only reading with candle lights are the way to go. Also for bible reader make sure you buy a bible dictionery especially those who is not English speaking as native language like me. Reading the AV1611 is already difficult for me and now the old English of Geneva is gonna be another challenge. Which bible dictionary is the best to help understanding? Please recommend?

    • You have done nothing wrong by having the King James Bible its the second best Bible and almost identical except the anti-Rome knowledge knowledge of the Geneva Bible and the Puritans who detested these wicked festivals of Ishtar and Saturnalia. Make sure your Bibles are correct King James in passage because some are printed incorrect on purpose as exposed by Al Cuppett. There is nothing wrong with getting Eric’s book if you can afford it as it is packed with excellent information and most of it is way before his connection with liar Vivaldi. This new book is mostly new pictures and some additions and I think they were before Vivaldi came on the scene too. You are correct about the electricity and without solar panels and battery backup with those solar panels then most people will not be gathering any knowledge from anywhere. So these little Apple iPads will be of some use in those times when one can only use ultra low power devices. Its time to prepare for those events and get ready with your backup systems for power failures because once the invasion of Iran takes place you can kiss electric goodbye for a while. You will notice that most pens today have very low quality ink which will quickly blur out and destroy your writings within a few months or a couple of years at best. I wonder why that is?

      -= The Unhived Mind


    From: TS
    Subject: Re: so which geneva bible version should i get
    Date: 8 January 2012 23:04:24 GMT

    To the interested scholar & seeker of spiritual wisdom who asked the question above:

    I posted a reply (see below) to another correspondent recently who asked the same, with additional info on a couple of other lesser known translations (both published quite recently) that are well worth obtaining & using for comparative study.

    Note that neither use the so-called Alexandrian-type manuscripts, one (the E.O.B., which like the Geneva) uses the Byzantine-type manuscripts, the other (Magiera-translated “Peshitta”) the Aramaic. These latter two are both New Testament only. The King James Version mixes Byzantine & Alexandrian-type texts (more on this below).

    Based on my own research, for the Old Testament the following versions (the first based on the Masoretic texts, the second based on the Greek “Septuagint” – as quoted in the New Testament in at least the Byzantine & Alexandrian versions, but I’m not sure about the Aramaic, no version of which I have obtained yet) would be my recommendations for authoritative comparative study:

    The Jewish Study Bible: featuring The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH Translation[Hardcover]

    New English Translation of the Septuagint-OE [Hardcover]

    Also: While I do not endorse the Alexandrian-type texts, if one feels inclined to get one for direct comparison with the others mentioned, then the following (as essentially the source material that the NRSV, NIV, etc are based on, which also includes interlinear Alexandrian-type Koine Greek texts) would be the scholar’s choice:

    The New Greek-English Interlinear NT (Personal Size) [Hardcover]

    Please read below for my summarised comments on versions & editions which I would recommend. Note that there are other, earlier English translations of the Eastern Orthodox Bible but these have been unnecessarily coloured by being filtered through the Douay-Rheims & King James Versions (the latter being in turn essentially a composite of the Geneva with the Catholic Douay-Rheims). There have likewise been a number of questionable translations of the Aramaic Peshitta in recent years, which I briefly touch on below, the Magiera translation being the exception as a work of scholarship that is in its own league in that area of scriptural analysis.

    I will preface all of that with a recent piece of correspondence that I put together which I would humbly suggest is worth consideration & contemplation regarding translations & versions of scripture.

    Peace be with you –




    Dear friends & brothers in the Spirit

    All of the energy expended in debating whether or not these versions are acceptable or not would probably be better turned to learning more about the earliest manuscripts still extant. Such as:

    Where we learn that scripture written on papyri are generally the oldest of all such remnants of scripture, often no more than a few verses, often fragmentary (only one exists from the 2nd – or possibly 3rd – century: – which is the oldest parchment manuscript of any New Testament text, a portion of the Acts of the Apostles), the other types being miniscules which were mostly written on parchment (& mostly slightly more recent from the 9th century with the newest being much less ancient) & lectionaries which were written a variety of materials such as parchment, papyrus, vellum & paper (the oldest of these is from the 7th century & the newest are also much less ancient).

    Also: Devoting some time to being acquainted with some of the history & comparative merits of the codices (codexes) should be a focus (, these are also “uncials”. For example:

    Some study on the matters pertaining to the Byzantine & Alexandrian text types should also be given importance:

    Please also study my posting from last night (which is a copy of an email that I sent to a former correspondent around one year ago), as the relatively new E.O.B. New Testament is in my opinion the most accurate New Testament translation to date, being derived from the earliest of Byzantine texts (the basis of the Geneva, the KJV by contrast being a thoroughly mixed combination of Byzantine & corrupted Alexandrian (via the undeniable & significant Douay-Rheims influence).

    Especially worth reading is the piece at the bottom of my post, an article headed “Byzantine Text History”.

    Let’s deal in scholarly discussion & go to the source(s), or at least the earliest materials of the text-types & consider the evidence as it presents itself in the light of critical thinking & honest analysis.



    As I have been asked this on many an occasion I had prepared the following sometime back. Have a look around the Tolle Lege website, although I don’t recommend their “Patriot’s Bible” version which is full of all manner of extraneous material from the 19th century, etc. which was never part of the Geneva. Also the leatherbound (or “bonded” “leather”-bound more like) reportedly falls to bits too easily due to the sheer size of the editions, this is a problem also with the Hendrickson edition. I wouldn’t get too hung up on 1560 or 1599 as it’s only the notes that were expanded upon &/or modified. Hardback would be the way to go.

    My Hendrickson edition of the Geneva 1560 weighs a ton & is admittedly harder to read with the antiquated spelling (“f”‘s foe “s”‘s. etc.), this is a reprint of a good quality original & includes the woodcut illustrations & is very evocative of the spirit of the time & circumstances out of which it came. I keep meaning to get a hardback copy of the Tolle Lege edition of the Geneva1599 (unembellished with extraneous text, careful which you order if you get ones, see my links below), but will admit that the shipping cost from the US is very high as it weighs quite a bit as well & makes it very expensive. Being in modern typeset with no text changes apart from modern spellings, which makes for a more immediate/direct read obviously, is obviously the appeal here.

    Incredible isn’t it that those most highly esteemed of academic publishers Oxford & Cambridge (the latter being the most renown of KJAV publishers) do not have among their thousands of available works a single edition of the Geneva, published in these isles & more affordable for those on this side of the globe?

    No I guess not when we realise that till this very day the British Crown owns the copyright for the KJAV & thus earns all royalties at least for those copies printed here & that this (hodge-podge of the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims & the Protestant Geneva) Jacobean Bible is – as it has always been – still the “High Church” text for the Romish-esque Conformist Church of England (not to mention for the United Grand Lodge of England & aligned international grand lodges & for the 33° Supreme Councils of the Ancient & Accepted “Scottish” [Jesuit “Stuart” more like] Rite in their “Masonic” Bibles)

    Those who mither about them having some additional material like maps & other mundane appended material that does not disguise itself as scripture & thus “aren’t real King James Bible’s are splitting hairs – not to mention the fact that probably none of these critics own an original 1611 “King James Bible” which was so full of appalling typos that it needed the several revisions that led to the Cambridge edition – & its many copyright-free non-British “bootleg” editions – that most are familiar with.

    Also: I would not be surprised if the C of E’s High Commission Court-derived edicts for the supplanting of the Geneva still stand to this day!

    Hope that the above & the following is of some use:


    Which Geneva Bible to get?

    For a readability (with modern spelling, but with the original wording meticulously recreated & authentic) I would recommend this Tolle Lege hardback edition of the 1599:

    If you are in the U.S. then the 38.88 FRN’s + 5.94 FRN’s shipping is not bad. Free shipping if you order over 100 FRN’s worth. Shipping internationally is what will be the stumbler for most potential purchasers, due to the weight: at 2.6 pounds it is around two & a half times that of my Cambridge standard text black French Moroccan leather KJV edition 43 (which is 15.2 ounces):

    If you don’t like the embossed floral motif on the Tolle Lege Geneva hardback that I refer to above (which is at least subtle), you could (finances permitting) get it rebound at some stage, like this perhaps:

    It could be argued that it would make more aesthetic sense rebinding the Hendrickson 1560 (like the fellow in the article did) – & I think that this is something that I would like to have done myself at some stage, but that is a luxury that I am not likely to commission any time soon.

    I have posted the following elsewhere:
    The hardback Tolle Lege edition of the 1599 Geneva is better priced & less prone to come apart than the leather edition & this is incomparably easier to read with modern spelling, compared to the original antiquarian type. This would be the recommended one, especially if in the 4th (latest) edition (see errata corrections link above):

    Also available as mp3’s:

    For the original typeset/layout with woodcuts, it’s probably best to get the Hendrickson 1560 hardback version, as the leather seems to have issues (as does that of the Tolle Lege 1599):

    Here are PDF version of different books within the Geneva Bible with modern spelling, although not all of the footnotes have been added yet:

    If money is tight at the moment then just download the PDF’s at the link above for safekeeping & place the link in your bookmarks favourites or bookmarks toolbar for easily accessing, as it can be a pain digging into folders within folders.

    For example: for lack of being able to think of a better access system, if I was to access a PDF of 1 Corinthians with footnotes (although for online quoting of verses I would tend to leave the footnotes out to avoid potential confusion) I have named the file “Corinthians_1_F”, this is then in a folder called “Pauline Epistles”, within another called “New Testament”, which is within another marked “With Footnotes”, which is within “Proofread”, which is within “GENEVA BIBLE”.

    The site with the free PDF’s has proofread text of the New Testament & the Torah (Pentateuch). The rest of the PDF’s of the other Old Testament books have not been proofread. On these PDF’s, the versions with the footnotes are hard to read verse to verse, due to the layout/formatting – which also makes copying & pasting for quotes impractical, so I use the ones without footnotes for those – albeit taking them straight from the online pages, not from my copied/downloaded PDF’s.

    The above notes might seem a bit over-detailed, but hopefully they will be of help as research tools.

    Peace be unto you –




    The EOB link is to a PDF text-based book, not an audio-book:

    Note that I am not advocating the Eastern/Greek Orthodox church rituals & hierarchy as such, but giving this translation of the Byzantine text serious consideration, seeing as the Geneva (& thus the majority of the KJV – not including its Alexandrian-based Vulgate/Douay-Rheimsisms) is also Byzantine-based.

    The links that I just sent you (to the EOB NT, the Magiera Peshitta NT& the Tolle Lege Geneva 4th edition) are the fruits of much research. If I posted all the whys & wherefores of how I eliminated the other English translations of the Eastern Orthodox Byzantine Koine Greek NT texts or the Peshitta Aramaic NT then I wouldn’t have time to study them. Not having a go, just explaining that it is tough to cover all the bases that I wish to even for personal research.

    Note that while the Hendrickson is nice, it can be difficult for the modern eye to follow as it is an actual reprint of the original 1560 pages. Some prefer the notes in the 1560, while some prefer the notes in the 1599 (as available in the Tolle Lege editions). Legibility of the actual text is paramount though. Seeing as you love the audio of Romans from the Geneva the it would seem to makes sense that you go for the Tolle Lege Geneva hardback & MP3 audio CD’s set:

    US$79 seems reasonable. I just wish that Tolle Lege would get rid of the illustration on the cover, which seems a bit cheap/cheesy/tacky. I would be tempted to get it re-covered as it would bug me no end. Why they don’t just do a plain clothbound like my Hendrickson 1560 is beyond me. I would go for Tolle Lege’s bonded leather (which I wish was not “bonded” – another less than optimal choice) Geneva if I hadn’t read that it falls apart. Maybe they have improved this, but publishers usually don’t. Publishers will often fix typos & errata (as Tolle Lege have done to their credit up to the current 4th edition, which is excellent & most accurate according to some very eagle-eyed reviews I have read) & yet not do anything about less than fantastic bindings. Mind you Hendrickson are no better in this regard. Their bonded-leatherbound Geneva also reportedly falls apart. That’s why I chose the superior strength hardback & would do the same for the Tolle Lege. The Hendrickson is a big book. There is a bigger print 1560 Geneva facsimile available by Greatsite publishers with incomparably superior leather binding that is truly beautiful. Mind you it does cost US$495. They also do a less expensive – but still great quality – leather-bound edition for US$179. I will be sticking with my less expensive Hendrickson for the 1560 for some time though I imagine. Check these eye-watering (& very tasteful) marvels out:

    Godspeed –


    I have also just received delivery of the following very new Eastern/Greek Orthodox Church English translation of the New Testament, the first decent translation into English (there are at least three other English translations that I know of, none of which I was particularly enthused to get) taken from the Byzantine-type “Patriarchal Text”.

    The Textus Receptus was also derived from the Byzantine texts & is the basis of the Geneva Bible; the KJV being largely derived from both the Geneva & the Latin Vulgate-derived Douay Rheims Roman Catholic translations. The Patriarchal text & Textus Receptus (both being Byzantine-type texts) are both different to the Alexandrian-type texts [as used in the numerous & varied translations derived from the Nestle-Aland-UBS “Critical Text”].

    Have not had time to study/read the paper hard copy EOB, but did a fair bit of research before purchasing it.

    Here’s a PDF copy for you to download & peruse:

    The hardcopy is only available via the print-to-order outlet (×9-hardcover/5004567 ).

    Note that the colour artwork in the PDF version is printed as black & white in the hardcopy. Which for the price is surprising, but is probably explained by the fact that it is print-to-order from, who have a low overheads type operation.

    My copy has a small “ding” in the back cover’s edge, presumably from where postman tried to shove it through our front door mailbox (the shipping box had a big ding in it). I considered sending it back as it wasn’t cheap (£25 plus shipping), but it is a hassle & as it is neither clothbound nor leather bound I am thinking that it is not worth being fussed about it. After all my Hendrickson 1560 Geneva Bible has got some coffee stains on the edge of the pages at the bottom of the book that I don’t recall that happening, so things happen even on one’s own watch! I prefer reading scripture from hard copy paper books than PDF’s/

    I also wish to get the Janet Magiera translation of the Aramaic Peshitta New Testament ( ). This appears to be the most scholarly translation of the Aramiac Peshitta NT, although I would suggest that it is also worth having a copy of George Lamsa’s classic English translation of the Peshitta.

    The two other translations of the Peshitta of the full Aramaic NT that I am aware of.

    One by Andrew Gabriel Roth (whose own translation skills are highly debated & refuted), basically a compilation of the separate translations by Paul Younan (an alleged Jesuit infiltrator in the Church of the East – though this is mere allegation, his role as the actual translator behind the Jewish AG Roth, both of whom have a [possibly contrived] battle with another Aramaic NT translator Dave Bauscher), LL Sheets (an internet only published translator & likely pseudonym) & James Murdock (a 19th century translator), with added notes & one original translation by Roth.

    & another by Dave Bauscher (who has only been studying Aramaic for five years).

    I would advise caution with these two translations, as both sides are involved in an ongoing feud with each other that is too detailed to go into here & IMO serves to distract from the much more credible translation by Janet Magiera.

    I hope to find some time this year to compare the EOB NT, Magiera’s Peshitta NT with the Tolle Lege Geneva Bible. I still have to purchase the Tolle Lege edition of the Geneva. My Geneva hard copy is the Hendrickson hardback, which due to its weight & original 1560 spelling & layout gets used less than my computer PDF’s of the Geneva! So I would recommend the 4th (& latest) Tolle Lege edition of the Geneva:

    & perhaps also the audio versions:

    Anyway, here’s the EOB NT:


    EOB New Testament 6×9 Hardcover
    By Laurent Cleenewerck, Editor
    View this Author’s Spotlight
    Hardcover, 672 pages (2 Ratings)
    PreviewPrice: £24.43

    Ships in 5–7 business days
    The EOB (Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible) is an Orthodox edition of the Holy Scriptures based on the Septuagint (with variants to the Masoretic text) and on the Patriarchal Text for the New Testament. This is the New Testament volume.

    Product DetailsCopyright Standard Copyright License
    Published June 11, 2009
    Language English
    Pages 672

    Binding Hardcover (casewrap)
    Interior Ink Black & white
    Dimensions (cm) 15.2 wide × 22.9 tall

    God bless –


    P.S.: Some info on the text that the EOB is based on is below:

    The New Testament (completed and available) is based on the official ecclesiastical text published in 1904 by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (again documenting all significant variants to the Critical Text, Majority Text and Textus Receptus). It also provides extensive footnotes and Appendices dealing with significant verses such as Matthew 16:18; John 1:1,18; John 15:26. The Patriarchal text was selected on Mount Athos from among a large number of reliable ecclesiastical manuscripts and appears to be identical or similar to Minuscule 1495 (KR subgroup).

    Byzantine Text History
    Why The ‘Patriarchal’ Text of Greek New Testament ?
    By R.D. Dedman (April 2005) v1.1

    What is the ‘Patriarchal’ Text of the New Testament?

    It is the official text of the Greek speaking churches. This Greek New Testament, obtainable from is the 1904 ‘Patriarchal’ edition of the Greek Orthodox Church.

    “The Patriarchal text arose from the need for a uniform text throughout the Greek
    Orthodox Churches. During the Turkish occupation there were various editions of the NT with the result that in different places a different NT was read. To avoid this the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed a committee in 1902 to decide on a text that would be adopted as the official text. The committee retired in Mount Athos and studied about 20 Byzantine manuscripts from which they decided on one taking into consideration some parts of the other manuscripts. This text was published in 1904 and it has been since then adopted by all Greek Orthodox Churches.” by Petros Petallides (

    How was the New Testament Text Transmitted?

    The Hebrew scriptures (“Old Testament”), were written and compiled over a long period (approx. 1450 – 400 BC). These Scriptures were entrusted for their keeping to the Jews (Romans 3:2). But that part of Scripture called the “New Testament” has been preserved in a different manner. Written in the common Greek (Koine Greek) language of the 1st century AD it was completed in a relatively short period following Jesus’ death and resurrection, probably by 90 AD. It was anapostolic production fulfilling the promise Jesus made to them prior to His death (John 15:27, 17:20). The apostles wrote as well as preached the truth.

    Thus the Gospels, Acts, Letters, and later Revelation became copied and distributed, firstly, we may reasonably suppose, among the Christian communities themselves and later more broadly as non-Christians began to take notice. By the late-fourth century, however, knowledge of Greek was in sharp decline in the western half of the empire. A century later and knowledge of Greek had almost entirely vanished in the west. But the knowledge of Greek did not vanish in the eastern half of the empire. And it was within theByzantine empire that the work of preserving the sacred Greek texts – copying and proof-reading – continued unabated, as we shall now see.

    Why is the ‘Patriarchal’ Text Important?

    Monks – the scholars of their day – first came to Mount Athos as early as the fifth century, according to the official history of Mount Athos.1 Monastries later became established and the number of manuscripts, including those of the NT, rapidly accumulated. The work of copying and transcribing manuscripts continued unabated at Mount Athos over the centuries. From the midninth century this work included the transcribing of the very oldest manuscripts:

    “The Greek manuscripts up to the 9th century and sporadically in the 10th and early 11th centuries were written in majuscule writing, today’s capital letters, Few samples of manuscripts or fragments of manuscripts in majuscule writing are preserved to this day in the libraries of Mount Athos. The reason is that since the mid-9th century miniscule writing became predominant, and all the manuscripts of the previous centuries were transcribed in that writing and therefore became unused and little by little disappeared.” 2

    By the time of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, in 1453, the bulk of these same NT manuscripts still existed in the East. As some Greek-speaking scholars fled West they carried with them copies of some of these NT manuscripts.

    These few copies formed the basis of Erasmus’ first Greek New Testament.3 Tyndale’s New Testament, which still remains as a model of clarity4 is essentially based on Erasmus’ text. In 1550, an edition by Robert Stephanus was published, the third edition of which became one of the two ‘standard’ texts of the ‘Textus Receptus’ on which the King James Version is essentially based.

    However, the majority of the Greek manuscripts of the new Testament remained in Greece at Mount Athos. The Moslem Turks allowed the work of the copyists at Mount Athos to continue during their occupation.


    For those who hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, the Byzantine text form has long held an esteemed position over self-contradicting Western text forms such as the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus: these last two often disagree with one another and so their witness is

    By contrast, the Byzantine texts are in substantial agreement. They have a proven lineage. Indeed no other textual history stretching back centuries even exists elsewhere. Unambiguously from the 5th century onwards the focus for copyists and scholars was Mount Athos. And it is from this source that the ‘Patriarchal’ official text was taken.


    2 Libraries and manuscripts in Mount Athos: A survey; Efthimios Litsas, Senior Researcher, Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, Associate Professor of Paleography, Ionian Senior Cataloguer, Mount AthosManuscripts Digital Library, December 2001.

    3 First edition published in 1516, subsequent revised editions in 1519, 1522, 1527 and 1535.

    4 Witness his correct translation of ekklesia to ‘congregation’ rather than ‘church’, a word of very different etymology.

    (source: )

    How Catholicism Contributed to the King James Bible (4115)

    New Vatican exhibit explains the Church connection to the 400-year-old book of Scripture.

    by EWTN NEWS 02/28/2012 Comments (9)

    A new interfaith exhibition that opens this week at the Vatican reveals how the roots of the 1611 King James Bible are almost entirely Catholic, despite the fact that the translation was often viewed as a highpoint of Protestant European culture.

    “If it had not been for the Catholics of the 1500s, there would be no King James Bible,” exhibition organizer Cary Summers told EWTN News.

    “Many of the original Bibles that formed the basis of the King James Bible came from Catholic priests. Very few changes were made. The ancient writings that the King James writers actually mimicked and copied were by Catholic priests,” he explained.

    The “Verbum Domini” (Word of the Lord) exhibition runs from March 1 to April 15, coinciding with the seasons of Lent and Easter. The organizers describe it as a “highly contextual, interactive format” exhibit that aims to celebrate “the dramatic story of the Catholic contribution of the most-banned, most-debated, bestselling book of all time.”

    They have also collected rare Jewish, Protestant and Orthodox artifacts to manifest a “shared love of God’s word” that exists among those religions. For that reason, the first room visitors enter is a scaled reproduction of the mid-third-century Synagogue of Dura Europos in Syria. Another exhibition highlight is the earliest known fragment of the Book of Genesis, which comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Summers gave EWTN News a preview tour of the exhibition on Feb. 22. The exhibition takes visitors through eight galleries and concludes with a replica of the Jerusalem Chamber in London’s Westminster Abbey, the place where the King James Bible was completed 400 years ago. (The abbey was originally Catholic.)

    “Most people don’t understand the history of the King James Bible. There is a rich history, a very positive history of Catholic contribution to the creation of it,” Summers said.

    The King James Bible was commissioned by King James I in 1604, only a year after the Scottish monarch ascended to the throne of England. A copy of the book was gifted to Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month by the current U.K. prime minister, David Cameron.

    “The King James Bible has bequeathed a body of language that permeates every aspect of our culture and heritage, from everyday phrases to our greatest works of literature, music and art,” Cameron said in a speech to mark the 400th anniversary of the work in December 2011.

    A recent study suggested that there are more than 250 phrases and idioms in common English usage that have their origins in the language of the King James Bible. These include “how the mighty are fallen,” “the skin of my teeth,” “nothing new under the sun” and “the salt of the earth.”

    The Vatican exhibition hopes to show that all Christians can share the King James Bible in common.

    “Unfortunately we live in a world that locks in on all the negatives, and that’s how it’s spun,” Summers remarked.“But there’s … a rest of the story which is very positive, too. And that’s what we are here to celebrate.”

    • A new interfaith exhibition that opens this week at the Vatican reveals how the roots of the 1611 King James Bible are almost entirely Catholic, despite the fact that the translation was often viewed as a highpoint of Protestant European culture.

      “Most people don’t understand the history of the King James Bible. There is a rich history, a very positive history of Catholic contribution to the creation of it,” Summers said.

      The King James Bible was commissioned by King James I in 1604, only a year after the Scottish monarch ascended to the throne of England. A copy of the book was gifted to Pope Benedict XVI earlier this month by the current U.K. prime minister, David Cameron. …

      The Vatican exhibition hopes to show that all Christians can share the King James Bible in common.

      Yes, doesn’t seem to add weight to “Jesuits hate the King James Bible” fallacious rhetorical blatherings & distractions does it? What a shock!! 😀


    Well remember that King James Ist banned the Geneva Bible 1560/99 because it questioned the Divine Right of Kings. Why wouldn’t the Geneva question this Divine Right fraud? Who created and creates each Kingship? The Temporal Power of the Pope. Is Catholicism Christianity? No so how can a Pope make a King who then claims its his Divine Right under God? It cannot happen and thus the Geneva Bible becomes a real big threat to not only the Catholic Church but also Monarchy itself. So instead you were given a watered down King James Authorized Bible. Does not matter that the real Puritan Christians held a Geneva Bible.

    -= The Unhived Mind

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