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The 1560 Geneva Bible with Apocrypha PDF - eBook Download (Read Electronically and Print)

The 1560 Geneva Bible with Apocrypha PDF - eBook Download (Read Electronically and Print)

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The 1560 Geneva Bible with Apocrypha PDF - eBook Download

A full high quality scan of the original Geneva Bible, plus bonus guide on how to study the Bible.

You can read this book electronically and print it out.

Pages - 1,200

 Step back in time to the 16th century with the remarkable 1560 Geneva Bible, Vintage Breeches Bible Study edition, complete with the Apocrypha, now available in a convenient downloadable PDF format. This meticulously crafted digital reproduction allows you to explore one of the most influential and historically significant English Bibles in a format that's easily accessible on your digital devices.


The Geneva Bible, initially printed in Geneva, Switzerland, was the creation of refugees from England who sought sanctuary from the persecution of Protestants under the reign of Roman Catholic Queen "Bloody" Mary. These brave souls, at great personal risk, smuggled numerous copies of the Geneva Bible back into England. Later, when the Protestant-friendly Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne, the printing of the Geneva Bible returned to England. Notable Reformers such as John Calvin, John Knox, Myles Coverdale, John Foxe, and others played key roles in its production. It stands as the version from which William Shakespeare drew inspiration for hundreds of quotes in his plays and was the first English Bible to feature plain Roman-style type in its early printings.

 The Geneva Bible holds the distinction of being the first Bible transported to America, arriving on the Mayflower, and serving as the foundation for early America and its government (distinct from the King's English Bible). It introduced the novel concept of dividing scripture into numbered verses, a pioneering feat. Additionally, it was the inaugural "Study Bible," offering extensive commentary notes in the margins. Such was its accuracy and popularity that more than 90% of its wording was retained in the King James Bible, which emerged half a century later.

 The Geneva Bible is a profoundly significant translation in the history of the English Bible, preceding the King James version by 51 years. It reigned as the principal Bible of 16th-century English Protestantism and was cherished by luminaries like William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Knox, John Donne, and John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress (1678). Several copies of the Geneva Bible accompanied Mayflower passengers to America, now housed in the Pilgrim Hall Museum and Dr. Jiang's collection. Even during the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell's soldiers still held the Geneva Bible in high regard, as evidenced in the booklet "Cromwell's Soldiers' Pocket Bible."

 This Bible's significance lies in the fact that it marked the first instance of a mechanically printed, mass-produced Bible made directly accessible to the general public. It featured a variety of scriptural study guides and aids collectively known as an "apparatus." This included verse citations facilitating cross-referencing, introductions summarizing each book, maps, tables, woodcut illustrations, indices, and other features, earning the Geneva Bible the distinction of history's first study Bible.

 The Geneva Bible's forceful and vigorous language made it a preferred choice for most readers over the Great Bible. In the words of Cleland Boyd McAfee, "it drove the Great Bible off the field by sheer power of excellence."

 Preceding the Geneva Bible was the Great Bible of 1539, the first authorized English Bible, endorsed by the Church of England.

 During the reign of Queen Mary I of England (1553–58), a group of Protestant scholars sought refuge in Geneva, Switzerland. This republic, under the spiritual and theological leadership of John Calvin and later Theodore Beza, provided sanctuary. Among these scholars was William Whittingham, who oversaw the translation now known as the Geneva Bible. He collaborated with Myles Coverdale, Christopher Goodman, Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and William Cole. Several of these scholars later played pivotal roles in the Vestments controversy. Whittingham managed the New Testament, which was complete and published in 1557, while Gilby supervised the Old Testament.

 The first complete edition of this Bible, featuring a revised New Testament, emerged in 1560. However, it wasn't printed in England until 1575 (New Testament) and 1576 (complete Bible). Over 150 editions were released, with the last likely in 1644. Scotland's very first printed Bible was a Geneva Bible, initially issued in 1579. Notably, the involvement of Knox and Calvin in its creation made it especially appealing in Scotland, where a law in 1579 mandated households of sufficient means to procure a copy.

 Starting from 1576, certain editions incorporated Laurence Tomson's revisions of the New Testament, while editions from 1599 onward featured a new "Junius" version of the Book of Revelation, with notes translated from Franciscus Junius' new Latin commentary.

 The Calvinist and Puritan character of the annotations, a crucial element of the Geneva Bible, made them unpopular among the pro-government Anglicans of the Church of England. Even King James I, who commissioned the "Authorized Version" or King James Bible, sought to replace it. The Geneva Bible had also prompted the earlier production of the Bishops' Bible under Elizabeth I for similar reasons. Despite this, the Geneva Bible remained beloved among Puritans and continued to see widespread use until after the English Civil War. Some editions of the King James version even included the Geneva notes, with the practice persisting as late as 1715.

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