Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant
translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King
James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th
century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William
Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John Milton, John Knox, John Donne, and
John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress. It was one of the
Bibles taken to America on the Mayflower, it was used by many
English Dissenters, and it was still respected by Oliver Cromwell's
soldiers at the time of the English Civil War.
makes this version of the Holy Bible significant is that, for the very
first time, a mechanically printed, mass-produced Bible was made
available directly to the general public which came with a variety of
scriptural study guides and aids (collectively called an apparatus),
which included verse citations which allow the reader to cross-reference
one verse with numerous relevant verses in the rest of the Bible,
introductions to each book of the Bible which acted to summarize all of
the material that each book would cover, maps, tables, woodcut
illustrations, indexes, as well as other included features — all of
which would eventually lead to the reputation of the Geneva Bible as
history's very first study bible.
the language of the Geneva Bible was more forceful and vigorous, most
readers preferred this version strongly over the Bishops' Bible, the
translation authorized by the Church of England under Elizabeth I.