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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Geneva Bible

I know that the Word of God is the Word of God...but some versions are more accurate than others. If you happen to use the KJV, I do not hold that against you. What I have written is merely some observations about the Geneva Bible and the King James Version. Before last year I had used the Old King James Bible. That was all I knew until I started hearing men like Pastor Morecraft speaking very highly of the Geneva Bible.

The Geneva Bible came into existence in Geneva, Switzerland, during the reign of "Bloody Mary" in England. Many of the great reformers, including John Knox, had fled to Switzerland to avoid persecution. The primary advocates of this version
were Theodore Beza, John Calvin, and John Knox. The translators included many members of the church in Geneva, pastored, at the time, by Knox. I think the Geneva is perhaps the most accurate translation because it is an edition of the translations of William Tyndale and the Great Bible, which was a state sanctioned translation, based on the original languages. The Geneva Bible is probably best known for the Calvinistic footnotes it contains. They add so much to my understanding of the passage. It was these same footnotes that would cause this version to fall out of favor with King James I.
The Geneva was very popular in Presbyterian Scotland. It was actually the very first Bible to be printed in Scotland and a law was passed in 1579 requiring every family of sufficient means to own one.

The KJV, on the other hand, is taken almost word for word from the translation of Tyndale. It came along much later than the Geneva, and lacked the all important footnotes. This later became known as the "authorized" version because the Stuart tyrant authorized it's use. James I had been looking for a version to appease the people but he hated the Calvinistic footnotes because the additional clarification of the Bible seemed to stir the people up against tyranny. The Anglicans brought the KJV to him and said, "Oh King, this version does not contain the word tyrant once in it's pages", and he accepted it on that basis.

When I heard that, I got really mad.

So King James had thrown a bible out because it contained the word tyrant? This means that the KJV was basically a piece of political propaganda. Also, by throwing out the Geneva, James was erasing an ancient landmark.

Another reason I like the Geneva so much is it's heritage. This was the Bible of the Reformers. This was the Bible of the founders of our country. America was founded on the Geneva Bible. It was the Bible of the Pilgrims and the men of Jamestown.
Men read this Bible and were inspired to take dominion.Today, there are soooo many different versions of the Bible and I think that the fact there are so many versions tends to dilute the power of the Word.

The Geneva was the sole foundation of colonial America and I think that is one reason why our ancestors were so conservative toward government.

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Blogger crazylotrfan said...

Don't ya hate bad kings!

Woah! You were up past 1:00 AM? Because that's when it says you posted this???


August 19, 2008 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Very interesting! Our family has always used the KJV and I had never even heard of a Geneva bible till we moved here.

Oh, to add the message in the comments... go to settings, select comments, and it's about half-way down.

August 19, 2008 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

"Don't ya hate bad kings!"

Well, you know I hate tyranny!

As to posting at 1:00 AM, that was merely the time I scheduled it to be posted.

Thanks for the comment.

August 19, 2008 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks for the comment.

I think the KJV is still a really good version. If I didn't use the Geneva, I would use the KJV.

Thanks for the info! I'll check it out.

August 19, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Son3 said...

I'll have to grab me a Geneva, sometime. Thanks for the background on it!

August 19, 2008 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger crazylotrfan said...

I used a Geneva Bible for Bible study this morning. The "thee's" and "thou's" and "cometh's" and "goeth's"
make it kinda hard to read though.


August 19, 2008 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...


I guess I never noticed that because I was used to the KJV.

August 19, 2008 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Excellent post! I love my Geneva Bible!

I do have a quick question regarding the following statement from your post: "I think the Geneva is perhaps the most accurate translation because it is an edition of the translations of William Tyndale and the Great Bible, which was a state sanctioned translation..."

To which edition do you refer by the term "Great Bible", and which state sanctioned it? I seem to remember Tyndale couldn't get much of his work sanctioned by any state!


August 19, 2008 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thank you, sir!

I guess I should have done a better job of clarifying the term "Great Bible". I will link the text in the post to the wiki article I got the info from.

Quoting from that article: "The Great Bible was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England."

According to Pastor Morecraft, the KJV is a plagiarism of Tyndale's original translation.

Thanks for the comment!

August 19, 2008 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Soneide Cardoso Luz said...

I used a Geneva Bible for Bible study this morning.It's fabulous!

July 22, 2009 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...


Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it!

July 22, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

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