The entire Geneva Bible was released in 1560. It was innovative in both text and format, and quickly became the household Bible of English speaking people. It was the first English Bible to have modern verse divisions as well as modern chapter divisions. It was the first Bible to use italics to indicate words not in the original language and the first Bible to change the values of ancient coins into English pound sterling equivalents. It was also the first to use plain Roman type, which was more readable than the old Gothic type, and it was in a handy quarto size for easy use. With prologues before each book, extensive marginal notes, and a brief concordance, the Geneva Bible was in fact the first English “study Bible.”
Between the Geneva Bible’s first edition of 1560 and its last edition in 1644, 160 editions, totaling around a half million Bibles, were produced. And for the first time common people could not only understand the words in the Bible, they could actually own one. Its widespread use first solidified the English language among the common people, not the 1611 King James Bible as many assume. Actually, the King James Bible required decades to surpass the popularity of the Geneva and supplant it from the hearts of the English speaking world. In fact, the Geneva Bible was the principal English Bible initially brought to American soil, making it the Bible that shaped early American life and impacted Colonial culture more than any other.
In this edition we have chosen not to include any commentary and simply allow the strength of the translation to come through to the reader. Yet because 450 plus years have elapsed since the original Geneva Bible, we have modernized the spelling of words. We have also bracketed and defined words and terms which are no longer commonly used or are so altered in their meaning as to be unfamiliar today.
Further, this work is not intended to replace the King James Bible, but to show how close the Geneva translation is to the King James Bible. These two Bibles are translated from the same Traditional Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek Texts. So, why was the King James Bible needed? It was because the marginal notes were “very partial,” King James said. And they were. They were completely Calvinistic and many considered the notes as a part of divine revelation, which they are not. On January 17, 1604, the motion was made and carried “…that a translation be made of the whole Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek; and this to be set out and printed without any marginal notes.” Only cross references, and word definitions and occasional variant reading were allowed.
After 85 years of and six English Bible translations (Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthews, Great, Bishops, Geneva) virtually all English Bible translation efforts cease for 274 years with the publication of the King James Bible. The King James Bible is the most popular book of all times. It has been in constant publication since 1611 with an estimated 6 billion copies being published.
The Geneva Bible, which is virtually unknown today, played an important part in American History. It was our desire to modernize the spelling and define the archaic words so the reader easily read and see why it holds such an important place in American History.
About the Author
David attended a Michigan University then transferred to a Christian University and Seminary where he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Social Science and Theology. He holds a Master's Degree in Theology, and Ph.D. in History, specializing in the history of the English Bible.
He has been married for 47 years to Linda, a young lady he met in his Baptist youth group in 1968. They have 13 grandchildren
For the past 37 years he has been the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wisconsin (an independent, fundamental, Baptist Church using the King James Bible & conservative music). Previous to that, he pastored an independent Baptist Church in Michigan for five years, was an assistant pastor for 4 years and he and his wife served as short term missionaries in Haiti.
Dr. Brown is the president of the King James Bible Research Council, an organization dedicated to promoting the King James Bible and its underlying texts and other traditional text translations around the world in a solid and sensible way.
He is also the president of Logos Communication Consortium, Inc., a research organization that produces a large variety of materials warning Christians of present dangers in our culture.
He serves on the board of the Conversion Center, a ministry that seeks to reach Catholics for Christ.
He serves on the executive board of the Alpha Women's Center of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to sharing Christ with women in crisis pregnancy situations and encouraging them not to have an abortion.
Dr. Brown serves on the board of directors an historical organization, The Center for Study and Preservation of the Majority Text which is an organization dedicated to the scholarly study, research and preservation of Byzantine Greek New Testament Manuscripts.
Dr. Brown is the Curator of the Biblical Heritage Archive Collection and regularly takes his rare Bibles, manuscript and artifact collection to Bible Believing Churches, colleges and seminaries and teaches on the history of our English Bible, showing how God has preserved His Word(s).
He also serves as a consultant for individuals, museums, colleges, universities, and seminaries that desire to acquire or have collections of biblical manuscripts and Bibles. He is an antiquarian book dealer with contacts around the world.
Dr. Brown has authored three books, the most recent, The Indestructible Book: Examining the History of Our English Bible as well as numerous booklets and pamphlets supporting the inspiration, preservation and translation of the Traditional texts of the Bible.
Dr. Brown has had the opportunity to preach in Baptist churches, colleges, seminaries and conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Germany, Israel, and the Caribbean.
Why have we undertaken this project? The Geneva Bible is virtually unknown today, and yet it played a very important part in American History. It was our desire to modernize the spelling and define the archaic words so the reader could easily read and study it as our Puritan and Pilgrim Fathers did. If you compare it to the King James Bible, you will see it parallels very closely. That is because the same Hebrew/Aramaic and Greeks texts underlie both Bibles.
Old Spelling - "Thy worde is a lanterne vnto my feete, and a light vnto my path." Psalm 119:105
Modern Spelling - "Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
I have served the Lord in my local church over the years in various teaching capacities from time release classes for public high school students to youth through adults Sunday school and Bible study classes. I enjoyed being a part of an evangelist outreach team to Puerto Rico. I have as a deacon, financial secretary, and various other areas of service.
I have been a member of my present church for about 14 years. At the time I was getting near retirement age and my desire was to be able to do something to help my pastor after I retired. I did not want to paint the church or shampoo the carpeting. My desire was to do some personal research that might help my pastor. Shortly after joining the church my pastor announced he was in need of some proof readers to work a modern spelling Geneva New Testament. That is what I wanted to hear. After finishing that project I asked my pastor what else I could do for him. It was at that time he asked if I would be willing to take the Geneva 1560 Old Testament and bring it up to date with current spelling of all English words. Up until that time the Geneva 1560 was only available in Old English which made it very difficult to read. I was eager to begin the work and finished it several years later. My next question, what else can I do for you, Pastor? He then suggested completing a defined edition of the Geneva 1560 Bible. By "defined" I mean words that are no longer used or have changed meanings are defined in [ ] after the word. That is what is contained in the pages of this book.
Updating the Geneva 1560 Bible was a very rewarding experience for me. Not one word was added or taken away. Only the spelling of the words was changed to reflect current spelling of our English words. The project required reading through the Bible numerous time from the first word to the last and there was no skimming across the passages. In doing this work John chapter 17 became very special to me. It is Jesus prayer to His father for protection of His children, His followers, after He, Jesus, would depart this earth and return to heaven.
My you be blessed by the reading and studying of the Krueger-Brown 1560 Defined Geneva Bible. I have been.
Table of Contents
Books of the Bible in Order and Alphabetically
All the books of the English New Testament
About the Editors
Where Will You Spend Eternity