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HOW MANY BIBLES WERE THERE?

HOW MANY BIBLES WERE THERE?   By SpiritualDictionary.com

Most of the new Bibles used today, such as the Revised Standard Version are simply updates of the King James Version. There have been many versions and translations of The Bible. The first one written in English was in the 1500s. One of the most popular was the Geneva Bible that lasted 80 years, and went out of print in 1644. The first Geneva Bible, both Old and New Testaments, was first published in English in 1560 in what is now Geneva, Switzerland. William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, and the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, used the Geneva Bible exclusively. Until he had his own version named after him, so did King James. He then denied all knowledge of the Geneva Bible. King James I of England believed in the ‘divine right of kings,’ which meant that since a king’s power comes from God, the king then had to answer to no one but God. The reasoning was that if a king was evil, then that was a punishment sent from God. The citizens should then suffer in silence. If a king was good, then that was a blessing sent from God. This is why the Geneva Bible annoyed King James so much, it didn’t agree with that point of view. The religion in James’ time was not what it is today. In that era the government-controlled religion. If someone lived in Spain at the time, he had two religious ‘choices:’
  1. Roman Catholicism
  2. The Inquisition – reserved for ‘heretics,’ or people who didn’t think the way the Government wanted them to. To governments of that era, heresy and treason were the same.
England wasn’t much different. From the time of Henry VIII onwards, an Englishman had two choices.
  1. Anglican
  2. The rack, burning at the stake, being drawn and quartered, or some other form of ‘persuasion’
Anyone caught with religious opinions of their own were simply punished according to the royal whim. Henry VIII, once he had appointed himself head of all the English churches, kept the Roman Catholic system of bishops, deacons and the like for a very good reason. That system allowed him a ‘chain of command’ necessary for any bureaucracy to function. This system passed intact to his heirs. This system became a little confusing for English citizens when Bloody Mary ascended to the throne. Mary wanted everyone to switch back to Roman Catholicism. Those who wanted to remain Protestant were burned at the stake – about 300 people in all. She intended to burn a lot more, but the rest of her intended victims escaped by leaving the country for Geneva. The Reformation prospered in Geneva. Many of those who had fled Bloody Mary started a congregation there. Their greatest effort and contribution to the Reformation was the first Geneva Bible.  

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