Geneva Bible

A couple of chapters back, I talked about a ‘Book of Common Prayer’  which I found in the book recycle bin at my local tip.  In a way this chapter is a follow on from that.  I purchased a Bible this past week. Actually more than just a Bible.  It is an amalgam of three books.

Book of Common Prayer @ 1600

Book of Common Prayer
@ 1600

At the front of this trio is a ‘Booke of Common Prayer’ which was printed in London by #RobertBarker.  It is dated 1600.  It contains the services and rites which would be required by any vicar, a calender of dates beginning in 1597, the collects, and the Psalms set for morning and evening prayer.  Barker held a royal monopoly on the printing of English Bibles from 1600 to 1623.

Geneva 'Breeches' Bible @ 1600

Geneva ‘Breeches’ Bible
@ 1600

Next follows the Bible. A Geneva Bible.  In this case an edition colloquially called the #BreechesBible for in Genesis 3:7 Adam and Eve sew fig leaves together to make breeches.  A complete Bible including Apocrypha.  The Geneva Bible is the only Bible to outsell and surpass the popularity of the King James Bible until is ceased printing in 1644.  In fact the King James is not a Protestant Bible at all but an Anglican/Church of England Bible.  Most Protestants have never read the Bible produced by Calvin, Knox, Coverdale, Foxe and others.  The true Protestant Bible.  The Geneva Bible offered a number of changes for readers.  It numbered verses in each chapter and used a new easier-to-read typeface.

Geneva Bible New Testament title page @ 1600

Geneva Bible New Testament title page @ 1600

The New Testament follows the Apocrypha  and it is the followed by two concordances.

Geneva Bible Concordances @ 1600

Geneva Bible Concordances
@ 1600

These two concordances are followed by the most exciting section (to me) of this amalgam.  There follows ‘The Whole Booke of Psalms’ collected into English meetre by Thomas Sternhold, John Hopkins and others. This remarkable section was published by #JohnWindet for #RichardDaye in 1595.  A setting of the psalms so that they may be sung. The notes appear on the stave with their solfege name beside them so that one can read both note and interval.  Here is my only regret – for at some time somebody has misplaced the last page of psalms so that the ones I have finish at 145.  Otherwise totally complete.

The Whole Book of Psalms @ 1595

The Whole Book of Psalms @ 1595

Still an amazing piece of history. A history which spans Europe and hundreds of years.  Now just to familiarise myself with the language so that I may read it more easily.

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1 Response to Geneva Bible

  1. David Lewis says:

    Nice article and good purchase.

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