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Why is there the 1611 Authorized King James Version?

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  • Why is there the 1611 Authorized King James Version?

    After the invention of the printing press in 1440 there followed no less than 15 English version of the Bible between 1525 and 1611.

    Church of England Authorized English Versions

    The 1535 Miles Coverdale Bible published as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible of 1537 is also the revision the Matthew-Tyndale Bible of 1537 to be published as the Great Bible of 1539 which was the first authorized edition of the Bible in English, authorized by King Henry VIII of England. It was to be read aloud in the church services of the Church of England.

    The 1568 Bishop's Bible is the second authorized Bible of the Church of England.
    The intention was for it to be used in church as what would today be termed a "pulpit Bible". The publication of this version was an ill designed attempt by the Anglican bishops to forestall the popularity of the Geneva Bible (first published in 1560). Due to its size and expense it failed to displace the Geneva Bible as a domestic Bible to be read at home.

    The issues created by the Geneva Study Bible.

    The New Testament was published in 1557 and the complete Bible in 1560.
    The marginal notes contributed by the Protestant reformers offended the high-church party of the Church of England because they saw the notes sought to replace the government of the church by the bishops (Episcopalian) with church government by lay elders (Presbyterian).

    The Geneva Bible was the "Bible of the Protestant Reformation", and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. It was the first Bible taken to America, brought over on the Mayflower. The Geneva Bible is the Bible upon which America was founded. You can imagine, most early American colonists, who were fleeing the religious oppression of the Anglican Church (Church of England), wanted nothing to do with the King James Bible of the Anglican Church! Also, the Geneva was the first Bible to introduce easier-to-read “Roman Style Typeface” rather than the “Gothic Blackletter Style Typeface” which had been used exclusively in earlier Bibles. Another curious innovation; the Geneva was the first “Study Bible” with extensive commentary notes in the margins.
    http://www.geneva-bible.com/geneva-bible-history.html
    The Geneva Bible was 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.
    The Geneva Bible is the only Bible ever able to outsell and exceed the popularity of the King James Bible, as it did in the early 1600’s until its printing ceased in 1644. In fact, one of the greatest ironies of history, is that Protestants of all denominations today embrace the King James Version of the Bible (which reads 90% the same as the Geneva), even though the King James Version is not a Protestant Bible (it’s Anglican / Church of England).
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    About the 1599 Geneva Bible The Forgotten Translation

    By Gary DeMar, President of American Vision &
    Honorary Member of the 1599 Geneva Bible Advisory Board
    http://genevabible.com/introduction/
    When Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) became queen of England in 1553, she was determined to roll back the Reformation and reinstate Roman Catholicism. Mary had strong ties to Catholic Spain. She married Philip II of Spain and induced the English Parliament to recognize the authority of papal Rome. Mary met with a great deal of resistance from Protestant reformers in her own country. Mary showed no signs of compromise. The persecution of Protestants followed. The era known as the Marian Exile drove hundreds of English scholars to the Continent with little hope of ever seeing their home and friends again. God used this exodus experience to advance the Reformation. A number of English Protestant divines settled in Calvin’s Geneva: Miles Coverdale, John Foxe, Thomas Sampson, and William Whittingham. With the protection of the Genevan civil authorities and the support of John Calvin and the Scottish Reformer John Knox, the Church of Geneva determined to produce an English Bible without the need for the imprimatur of either England or Rome – the Geneva Bible.

    Translation Work Begins In 1557

    The Geneva translators produced a revised New Testament in English in 1557 that was essentially a revision of Tyndale’s revised and corrected 1534 edition. Much of the work was done by William Whittingham, the brother-in-law of John Calvin. The Geneva New Testament was barely off the press when work began on a revision of the entire Bible, a process that took more than two years. The new translation was checked with Theodore Beza’s earlier work and the Greek text. In 1560 a complete revised Bible was published, translated according to the Hebrew and Greek, and conferred with the best translations in divers languages, and dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I. After the death of Mary, Elizabeth was crowned queen in 1558, once again moving England toward Protestantism. The Geneva Bible was finally printed in England in 1575 only after the death of Archbishop Matthew Parker, editor of the Bishop’s Bible.

    England’s Most Popular Bible

    While other English translations failed to capture the hearts of the reading public, the Geneva Bible was instantly popular. Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions appeared. For forty years after the publication of the King James Bible, the Geneva Bible continued to be the Bible of the home. Oliver Cromwell used extracts from the Geneva Bible for his Soldier’s Pocket Bible which he issued to the army.

    A Threat to King James

    In 1620 the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth with their Bibles and a conviction derived from those Bibles of establishing a new nation. The Bible was not the King James Version. When James I became king of England in 1603, there were two translations of the Bible in use; the Geneva Bible was the most popular, and the Bishops’ Bible was used for reading in churches. King James disapproved of the Geneva Bible because of its Calvinistic leanings. He also frowned on what he considered to be seditious marginal notes on key political texts. A marginal note for Exodus 1:9 indicated that the Hebrew midwives were correct in disobeying the Egyptian king’s orders, and a note for 2 Chronicles 15:16 said that King Asa should have had his mother executed and not merely deposed for the crime of worshipping an idol. The King James Version of the Bible grew out of the king’s distaste for these brief but potent doctrinal commentaries (which were seen as encouragements against the divine right of kings). (Therefore,) He considered the marginal notes to be a political threat to his kingdom. At a conference at Hampton Court in 1604 with bishops and theologians, the king listened to a suggestion by the Puritan scholar John Reynolds that a new translation of the Bible was needed. Because of his distaste for the Geneva Bible, James was eager for a new translation. “I profess,” he said, “I could never yet see a Bible well translated in English; but I think that, of all, that of Geneva is the worst.”

    A Threat to Rome

    In addition to being a threat to the king of England, the Geneva Bible was outspokenly anti-Roman Catholic, as one might expect. Rome was still persecuting Protestants in the sixteenth century. Keep in mind that the English translators were exiles from a nation that was returning to the Catholic faith under a queen who was burning Protestants at the stake. The anti-Roman Catholic sentiment is most evident in the Book of Revelation: “The beast that cometh out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7) is the Pope (in the marginal notes), which hath his power out of hell and cometh thence.” In the end, the Geneva Bible was replaced by the King James Version, but not before it helped to settle America.
    (Remainder of this article was not copied due to the information being irrelevant to the issue.)
    -------------------------------------------------------

    The 1611 Authorized King James Bible is the third authorized Bible of the Church of England. Eventually the AV would replace the Geneva Bible being used by Protestants.

    Why is there the 1611 Authorized King James Version? It is because the English rulers and Church of England objected to the marginal notes in the Geneva Bible.

    Last edited by glen smith; November 30, 2017, 09:13 AM.
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