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April 2013

Posted on 01/04/2013

Geneva Bible, 1583


220.5201 BIB                               

Easter as a renaissance, is a time of new beginning and promise.

We acknowledge the ultimate promise a Creator made in the form of his son who died for the redemption of human kind.

Reminds me a little bit of a superhero. Think Superman from planet Krypton leaving his family behind, falling to earth to look after us.

For this month’s Easter themed item of the month, we looked a little closer to home and discovered in the Founders Library Rare Books Room, the 1583 Edition of the Geneva Bible.

The bible that William Shakespeare, John Milton and Oliver Cromwell used. A bible that actually precedes the King James Version by over 50 years.

The first Geneva Bible was published in English in full (both the New and Old Testament) in 1560, in Geneva Switzerland. It went out of print in 1664 in favour of the King James Bible we are familiar with today.

Although unpopular with King James for its Calvinist and Puritan roots, the Geneva bible was appreciated by the masses as it contained annotations allowing for more easy understanding as well as being the first Bible available in sizes that were convenient and affordable.

The picture above is the first page of the New Testament.

The New Testament includes 4 books written by Christ’s apostles, St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke and St John.  They tell the story of The Last Supper, The crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. The foundations of Easter that we celebrate today.

This page of this Bible symbolises the start of the New Testament.  Turning the page away from the often violent and bloody times of the Old Testament, looking forward to the forgiveness and salvation of the new.

This reminds us of what Easter symbolises.  A new beginning a new start, Easter as a renaissance.

Toni-Ann La-Crette, Information Assistant (Technical Services)


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