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1560 Geneva Bible: First Edition
This revolutionary English Bible stands 11 inches tall, is 9 inches wide and over 3 inches thick. Remember this was the very first English Bible with verses!
The Geneva Bible was the “Bible of the Protestant Reformation”, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It was the first Bible taken to America, brought over on the Mayflower. The Geneva Bible is the Bible upon which America was founded. You can imagine, most early American colonists, who were fleeing the religious oppression of the Anglican Church (Church of England), wanted nothing to do with the King James Bible of the Anglican Church!
Textually, the Geneva Bible offered a number of radical never-before-seen changes: It was the first Bible in English to add numbered verses to each chapter of scripture. Also, the Geneva was the first Bible to introduce easier-to-read “Roman Style Typeface” rather than the “Gothic Blackletter Style Typeface” which had been used exclusively in earlier Bibles. Another curious innovation; the Geneva was the first “Study Bible” with extensive commentary notes in the margins.
The Geneva Bible is the version quoted from hundreds of times by William Shakespeare in his plays. Also called the “Breeches Bible”, the Geneva Bible is the only Bible ever able to outsell and exceed the popularity of the King James Bible, as it did in the early 1600’s until its printing ceased in 1644. In fact, one of the greatest ironies of history, is that Protestants of all denominations today embrace the King James Version of the Bible (which reads 90% the same as the Geneva), even though the King James Version is not a Protestant Bible (it’s Anglican / Church of England). Most Protestants have never even heard of the Bible of their own heritage: the Geneva Bible. It was produced by John Calvin, John Knox, Myles Coverdale, John Foxe, & other English refugees in ever-neutral Geneva, Switzerland… fleeing the persecution of Roman Catholic Queen “Bloody” Mary in England. Mary would not tolerate the Protestant Geneva Bible, which proclaimed the Pope an “antichrist” in its commentary notes.
This high-quality 1560 First Edition Geneva Bible facsimile should not be confused with another facsimile published many years ago, of the much later “1599” Geneva version which is not a First Edition, does not contain all the books of the Bible (no Apocrypha like the 1560 and all other printings have), does not contain the original unaltered commentary notes, and is printed in type so very small as the make the notes almost illegible! This is a MUCH nicer and more complete production.
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A leaf from one of the earliest printings of the famous Geneva Bible: printed between the 1560’s and 1644 … these leaves are 362 to 446 years old. They come with a beautiful Historical Brochure & Certificate of Authenticity. The Geneva Bible (also known as the “Breeches” Bible) was the Bible of the Protestant Reformation. It was produced more than 50 years before the King James Bible, and it remained the most popular English language Bible among the people until decades after the introduction of the King James Bible. Whether framed and displayed in your home, or given as a wonderfully unique gift: it is sure to draw attention.
The Geneva Bible was first printed in Geneva, Switzerland, by refugees from England, fleeing the persecution of Protestants by Roman Catholic Queen “Bloody” Mary. Many copies were smuggled back into England at great personal risk. In later years, when Protestant-friendly Queen Elizabeth took the throne, printing of the Geneva Bible moved back to England. The Geneva Bible was produced by John Calvin, John Knox, Myles Coverdale, John Foxe, and other Reformers. It is the version that William Shakespeare quotes from hundreds of times in his plays, and the first English Bible to offer plain roman-style type in some of its early printings.
The Geneva Bible was the first Bible taken to America, brought over on the Mayflower… it is the Bible upon which early America and its government was founded (certainly not the King’s of England’s Bible!) The Geneva Bible was also the first English Bible to break the chapters of scripture into numbered verses, and it was the first true “Study Bible” offering extensive commentary notes in the margins. It was so accurate and popular, that a half-century later, when the King James Bible came out… it retained more than 90% of the exact wording of the Geneva Bible.
These leaves measure approximately 8 to 9 inches tall by 6 to 7 inches wide. They were printed on 100% rag cotton linen sheet, not wood-pulp paper like books today, so they remain in excellent condition… even after over 400 years. Each leaf is a unique piece of ancient artwork, carefully produced one-at-a-time using a movable-type press, and later bound together into whole Bibles. These genuine original antiquities are very rare and precious pieces of our history and our Christian heritage.