Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study BibleGeneva Study Bible


Old Testament

New Testament

The Geneva Study Bible stands as a monumental achievement in the history of Christian literature, marking a significant milestone in the development of biblical annotation and commentary. First published in 1560 by Protestant scholars in Geneva, Switzerland, this work was notable for being one of the first English translations of the Bible that included extensive study notes directly alongside the text. The scholars, many of whom were exiles fleeing from the persecution of Queen Mary I of England, sought to create a Bible that not only translated the scriptures into English but also illuminated them with critical insights, making it accessible and understandable to lay readers.

The Geneva Bible, as it is also known, was groundbreaking in several ways. It was the first English Bible to use verse numbers, greatly facilitating the study and citation of scripture. Its annotations, compiled from the work of Reformation leaders including John Calvin, John Knox, and others, offered interpretations from a Reformed theological perspective. These notes were comprehensive, covering theological, historical, and practical aspects of the scriptures, thereby serving not just as a translation but as a complete study tool for individuals and groups.

Its impact on English-speaking Christianity cannot be overstated. For the first time, ordinary people had access to a version of the Bible that was both readable and rich in doctrinal teaching. The Geneva Study Bible became the household Bible of English Protestants and was the version brought to America by the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, deeply influencing the religious landscape of the New World.

Despite its eventual supersession by the King James Version in the early 17th century, the Geneva Study Bible's legacy persists. Its annotations laid the groundwork for modern study Bibles, and its commitment to making the scriptures understandable and relevant to everyday life continues to inspire Bible scholars and readers alike. The Geneva Study Bible remains a testament to the transformative power of scripture when coupled with the desire to educate and empower believers in their faith journey.

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