Tolle Lege Press is responsible for the rejuvenating the 1599 Geneva Bible. Unfortunately not many people know about this or seem to care. (Except for Kirk Cameron) I say it is unfortunate because I truly believe the historical importance of this translation has been overlooked for a blind allegiance to the KJV. Many people don’t know anything about the Geneva translation. They are happy with their King James versions. I’ve always wondered why the KJV onlyists are so loyal to a version that was translated by order of the King to conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England. The royals and Church leaders were afraid of losing their grip on power. The Bibles of that time period all relied on the Latin Vulgate to some degree as a resource for translation. The Geneva and the KJV were no exceptions. The KJV relied on the Geneva for reference during its translation. The KJV onlyists are always spewing their venomous polemics towards all other versions being Papal translations from Rome. It is disturbing that they can suspend rational thought in regards to the KJV, but seem rational most other times.
The Geneva was translated by the Reformers. They had to flee to Geneva so that they wouldn’t be martyred by the Roman Catholic Church and Bloody Mary. John Calvin and John Knox are most often credited for the Geneva translation. There were other individuals working with them in Geneva to make this translation. The notes and references of this Bible are retained and printed in modern font. They are printed on the bottom of the page like a modern study Bible. These notes are what made this translation such an enemy to the Crowns of the King and the Pope. You have to understand that the Roman Catholic Church was in the business of hunting down and killing the reformers. Then Puritans were persecuted for believing what the reformation brought to fruition. This is what led to them becoming pilgrims. They fled to America hoping to live God honoring lives obedient to His word. The Bible they took with them was the Geneva Bible.
For more on the Geneva’s history visit this site; http://genevabible.com/
Here is a short youtube video about it as well; http://youtu.be/Nq1YhU8cGko
Don’t mind the trolls. They keep complaining about some pagan imagery on the cover, but I don’t see any. I’ve asked them specifically and really haven’t gotten any answers other than, “You’re going to Hell for using anything but the KJV heretic!!!” and now for something completely different, how about the review of the 1599 Geneva Bible?
The 1599 arrived in a cardboard box.
Inside was the Bible in its retail 2 piece box. The cd-rom contains searchable, printable PDFs of the Geneva Bible, plus the Apocryphal Books and Metrical Psalms, was also in the retail box.
The packaging was sufficient to ensure the Bible was delivered without being damaged. Tolle Lege did a wonderful job of giving the 1599 a modern typography. They placed all of the references and notes at the bottom like a modern day study Bible.
The Bible is printed on some pretty opaque paper. It is off white and a bit more rigid than most Bible papers I’ve seen. I don’t know what kind of paper it is for sure, but it seems suitable. The text is printed in a double column verse format with an 8 point font. The notes are printed at the bottom of the page like a modern study Bible. Chapter numbers are larger and in bold print. The pages are bound in a sewn binding done here in America.
The sewn binding makes up for the bonded leather cover. I can’t begin to tell you how much I detest bonded leather. I would much rather see a hardcover or trutone fake leather cover. Of course if this Bible came in a top grain cowhide or goatskin cover with sewn edge lining of leather it would be great. The cover is lined on the inside with white paper that is glued down.
The front outer cover is decorated with, “1599 Geneva Bible” at the top and some kind of flower on the bottom.
I imagine that these are the pagan symbols the kooks are upset about. Who knows? The spine is also gilded with the same as is on the cover except on the bottom of the spine is the Tolle Lege logo.
The sewn binding makes this Bible open better than it would without it. It doesn’t open as nicely as it could with a better cover.
The binding doesn’t completely stop the pages from folding closed on you while you are reading. This is only just out of the box, brand new. As I used it this problem went away. It also will make this Bible hold up much better.
There is one black ribbon marker. The page edges are gilded.
There is a Middle English Glossary in the back and several prayers including morning and evening. There is a purely subjective quality about this Bible that makes me want to sit and read it. The combination of the size, weight, paper, and layout, make sense to me and I find it easy to read. Now just because that is the experience I have with it doesn’t mean I expect everyone to agree with me so don’t go launching fiery darts at me. This Bible should be a part of every Christian’s library. If you don’t have one, go get one.
Don’t get this Bible confused with the 1560 facsimile Geneva Bible. This one is actually useful for daily reading. The 1560 is a little tedious.