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Bibles > Reformation

Bible and Holy Scriptures conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. Title page

Geneva Bible

Geneva: Ronald Hauld, 1560
Columbia RBML Plimpton 220.52 1560 B47

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1560 Geneva Bible. This is a copy of the first edition of the Geneva Bible, the earliest English Bible printed in Roman type with verse divisions. When Mary I took the throne in 1553, England returned to Catholicism and many British Protestants fled to Geneva, which was a center for Biblical scholarship and vernacular Bible production. This Bible revised the earlier English “Great Bible” (1539), the first English-language Bible authorized by the Church of England, in light of a comparison with the original texts in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. This Bible includes features to facilitate its approach by an interested reader, including woodblock illustrations and marginal annotations.

There were 140 editions of the Geneva Bible, the last done 1644. Because it was printed in a smaller format and sold for a lower price, it remained widely used even after the English translation of the Bible known as the “Bishop’s Bible” was published with the endorsement of the Church of England in 1568.

Bible. Translated according to the Ebrew and Greeke, and conferred with the best translations in diuers languages. Title page

Barker Bible

London: Christopher Barker, 1588

Columbia RBML Johnson K220 B473

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1588 Barker Bible. Christopher Barker printed this Bible (using the Geneva Bible text) as part of his duties as printer to the King.  His son, Robert, who inherited both his shop and responsibilities to the King, printed the Bible now known as the King James Authorized version in 1611.  Pages from a Book of Common Prayer intended to help a private reader use the Bible to develop ethically have been bound into the beginning of this volume.

1611 Barker Bible

King James Bible

London:  Robert Barker 1611

Columbia RBML STC 2228

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1611 King James Bible. Robert Barker was publisher for the King and brought out this Bible in 1611 C.E.  2011 marks the 500th anniversary of the Authorized or King James Bible. Stories surrounding the translation of the King James resemble those of the Septuagint in their legendary quality. According to the legend, 47 independent translators produced identical translations of the text. In fact, teams of clergymen worked in teams to translated from Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Each team then compared their translation to those done by other teams. The translators consulted other English-language translations as they worked and also worked with a framework from King James that outlined the points of doctrine that the translations needed to support.

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