Thursday, September 20, 2007

Geneva Bible Restoration Project

The Geneva Bible Restoration Project and Tolle Lege Press are offering the the 1599 Geneva Bible with updated spelling an typeset. I have been reading through this version since I purchased a hardback copy about two months ago, and I have really enjoyed it.

It is so much easier to read it with the updated spelling, but especially with the updated typeset. For example, many of the s's no longer look like f's and the u's like v's. It also contains all the original notes and cross-references, which have been enjoyable, enlightening, and sometimes intriguing, reading in my daily devotional study.

There is also a helpful glossary of antiquated words included in the back. For example, if you are like me, you would find it helpful to know that bounches refer to "camel's humps," a gaoler is a "jailer," or a habergeon refers to "a short medieval jacket of mail."

For other lovers of Bible study and translations, as well as Reformed theology and history, this is a welcome publication. Here is a brief description of the significance of the Geneva Bible from the website of the Geneva Bible Restoration Project:

When the Pilgrims arrived in the New World in 1620, they brought along supplies, a consuming passion to advance the Kingdom of Christ, and the Word of God. Clearly, their most precious cargo was the Bible—specifically, the 1599 Geneva Bible. All but forgotten in our day, this version of the Bible was the most widely read and influential English Bible of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. A superb translation, it was the product of the best Protestant scholars of the day and became the Bible of choice for many of the greatest writers and thinkers of that time. Men such as William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, and John Milton used the Geneva Bible in their writings. William Bradford also cited the Geneva Bible in his famous book Of Plymouth Plantation.

The Geneva Bible is unique among all other Bibles. It was the first Bible to use chapters and numbered verses and became the most popular version of its time because of the extensive marginal notes. These notes, written by Reformation leaders such as John Calvin, John Knox, Miles Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, and others, were included to explain and interpret the scriptures for the common people.

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