LATE 16TH-CENTURY EDITION OF THE GENEVA NEW TESTAMENT, HANDSOMELY BOUND
BIBLE. The Newe Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, translated out of Greeke by Theod. Beza… Englished by L. Tomson. London: Christopher Barker, (1583). Quarto, period style full calf with gilt decorated spine and boards, raised bands. $9200.
Handsomely bound 1583 edition of the Geneva version of the New Testament, the important translation that shaped Protestant piety for some five decades.
William Whittingham, a Protestant exile who sought refuge in Geneva during Queen Mary’s reign, published his translation of the New Testament in 1557. As part of the “Geneva Bible” (complete in 1560), it proved the dominant English translation of the Scriptures until the advent of the King James Version in 1611. Laurence Tomson’s first published his revision of the Geneva New Testament (which he based on a study of Theodore Beza’s Latin version of 1565) in 1576; it “became the final and popular form of the Geneva [New] Testament” (Herbert 146). The Geneva Bible as a whole “became the textus receptus for the Puritan element in England… and is thus of cardinal importance for its influence on the English language, literature and thought” (Great Books and Book Collectors, 105-8). With decorative woodcut head- and tailpieces, initials. Biblical text set in Gothic type, marginal notes set in Gothic and Roman type. Without first two preliminary leaves, one completely blank and the other blank save for a signature mark. Bound with contemporary edition of Sternhold and Hopkins’ metrical psalter. Darlow & Moule 137. Herbert 180. Old owner inscriptions to last blank leaf, old ink markings to top edge of text block.
Paper repairs to final leaf. A distinguished Bible in excellent condition, beautifully bound.