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on December 2, 2006
It's wonderful to finally have a genuine Geneva Bible reprinted in modern typeface that is actually portable. It is my favorite Bible version and I've owned quite a few different reprints of this Bible over the years in various formats. Of the versions that have been reprinted, this is the most portable and complete version available with the notes of the Genevan Reformers included. The leather is supple and soft (mine is a limited edition calfskin version), and the type is dark on white india paper and very easy on the eyes.

However, as great (and historic) as the reprinting of this classic work is, there are a few things that keep it from being as perfect as it could have been:

1) It has a cross on the cover (limited calfskin edition, not sure about hardcover). But not only that, it is a Celtic cross, which legend tells us was a blending of the Roman Catholic cross and the Solar Cross, introduced by Saint Columba in order to help pagans ease their way into Christianity by linking the symbol of the cross with the symbol of their sun-god Taranis. A variation of this cross has since been adopted by neo-facists in Europe. So what's this doing on my 1599 Geneva Bible? The Reformers would be turning over in their graves. They fought hard to rid the church of religious icons such as these. A cross is simply out of place on the Bible of the Reformers and Puritans and goes against the grain of what they taught and practiced. Bad choice. Very bad choice. Guess I need a cover to hide the cross which sort of defeats the purpose of a soft, supple calfskin leather cover. What's worse on my Bible is that the cross isn't centered on the front. It's about 1 cm to the right of center, and slightly crooked. I would have preferred nothing at all on the cover instead of a crooked Celtic cross. And I'm Scottish!

2) The notes, while great, are very difficult to reference. In the original Geneva Bible, the editors used lowercase letters of the alphabet, from a to z, to indicate a note; and the note was in the margin near the verse so you didn't lose your place in the text. It is very easy in an original Geneva Bible to glance at the superscript reference letter, scan for that letter in the margin next to the verse, and read the note for that reference. After reading the note, which was sometimes long, you could glance back at the text, and continue where you left off. Simple. Unfortunately, in this reprint the publisher opted to put the notes at the bottom of the page, broken down by chapter/verse, using reference numbers within each verse that restart from 1 each time within each verse. So you have some thirty something superscript number 1's within the biblical text on each page of this Bible. So, for example, if you're reading Hosea 7:1, in order to read the reference note for this, you have to make a mental note of the chapter and verse you are on, as well as the superscript reference number for this note, then scan the bottom of the page until you find the corresponding chapter and verse, find the corresponding number within that chapter and verse, and then read the note. Then you have to find where you left off in the text above...let's see...where's note 1...oh yes, there are 30 of these little 1's throughout the text! It's even worse if there are two identical verse numbers from two different chapters on the same page...I find myself inadvertently reading the note for the wrong chapter/verse combination. The note referencing clearly wasn't thought through in this release, and it's a shame because it really is a hindrance to Bible study by causing you to memorize 3 things, chapter, verse, and annotation number, before you can find and read the note. By then your mind has probably wandered from the text. It may seem like not such a big deal, but in actual practice, it's very cumbersome and unintuitive. In the original Geneva, you only had to remember one letter, and once you finished, you could use that letter to find your spot back in the main text. Simple and effective, and shows that the Reformers were concerned with the details.

3) I bought the limited edition calfskin leather version (only 500 hand-numbered volumes were produced). The original color appeared black in the original advertisement so I was excited to be getting this reissue in black calfskin leather. However, when it finally arrived, I was surprised to find that they released it in an ugly puke-tan leather with a large gold cross emblazoned on the front. I fully expected it to be black (and cross-less) based on the photos and would have preferred it to remain that way.

4) I'm extremely concerned about the integrity of the source text that was used for this version, as well as the proofreading that was done before publishing this Bible. It appears they rushed to publish it, errors and all. I've only read 6 chapters so far and already found 3 mistakes: 1) In Luke 15:30 this version has "devoured thy good with harlots" but the original 1599 Geneva Bible that I own says "devoured thy goods with harlots", which makes more sense. If you look at digitized copies of the Geneva Bible online, they contain the same error. Over the years I've come across several errors in the standard digitized versions of the Geneva Bible, so I fear that these same errors have been replicated in this release. It is likely that Tolle Lege used the extant digitized 1599 text as a base text without checking whether that text was indeed true to the original. But the next error I found boggles my mind. 2) In 2 Peter 3:16 this version has "among the which some things are hard to be understand..." whereas the original 1599 Geneva (both online and in the copies I own) has "among the which some things are hard to be understood...". The word "understand" doesn't even make sense, and how this could have slipped past a proofreader is beyond me. 3) In 1 John 2:5 this version has "hereby we know that ye are in him" but the original 1599 Geneva Bible says "hereby we know that we are in him." Big difference in the meaning between these two verses. This version implies that we can know whether other people are saved or not. This error is not in the 1599 Geneva version I own, or the versions online, only in this version. I remember having the same issues with the Modern King James version that was released in the early 90's. It was riddled with errors like "Cod" instead of "God" making it basically useless since it couldn't be trusted. I guess it goes to show that you can't rely on computer software to proofread copy and grammar. This is a major concern and from what I've seen so far in only 6 chapters, it's not looking very promising as an accurate copy of the original Geneva Bible.

5) After two days of owning it my Bible is already falling apart (limited calfskin version). The glue that holds the vinyl to the leather front cover is already coming apart...about an inch and a half at the corner...and I've hardly used it. This is unacceptable in a Bible at any price, let alone $300. I'm not sure if the quality of the hardcover is similar to the calfskin version.

This is the most compact Geneva Bible you can hope to find on the market today. And that's why it's unfortunate there are so many issues with it. Initially I gave this Bible a 5 star rating, but after 2 days of owning it, I have to retract my rating. At the most I'd give it 3 stars, but due to the textual and grammatical errors, I simply cannot recommend it. I was going to buy 4 other copies for members of my family, but now there's no way I will. I suggest holding out until Tolle Lege comes out with a second edition in 2007 - or even the third edition. They've started to fix the grammatical errors and list them on their site - hopefully they'll also fix the quality control issues.
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on February 22, 2007
This is the translation of the Bible that told millions of beaten down and enslaved English common folk that freedom from tyranny and opression was God's plan for their lives. This is the Bible that eventually put an end to Feudalism in Europe, strenghtened Puritans, Quakers, and came to America on the Mayflower. This was the first Bible published in the language of the common people, the first Bible to contain commentary and verse numbers, and the first Bible written in English from Greek and Hebrew texts available from Constantinople, not from the Latin Vulgate. The dynamite in this Bible, is the almost 1/3 length of commentary. The Church of England and King James were so upset they determined to create a new translation. They called it the King James version. They choose to use language so formal and grand, even by the standards of those days, that the common people would find difficult to understand. The Geneva Bible was found seditious by it's insertions of commentary that spoke directly about the priesthood of lay believers, the church as naturally anti-oligarchy, and setting forth some other ideas considered anarchy by the King, but meaning freedom to the masses who read it. Commentaary reflects the ideas of Wyclif, the Lollards, and is also heavily Calvinistic. As orthodox, I do not align myself with on any of the 5 main doctrines of Calvinism, but as an American who reads the scriptures daily, it is profoundly moving to read what the Pilgrims were reading when they boarded the Mayflower, not to mention what the Quakers read as they denounced war and violence. The text is highly readable and will remind you of the New Living Translation of the Bible.

Important facts to remember about this Bible. The refomation was strong in England and the Lollards were a lay group of huge influence that had to go underground. English Christian theologians, not Catholics and not Anglicans, fled in huge numbers to Geneva for freedom. Geneva was not part of Switzerland at that time because Geneva was its own city-state. Tyndale's translation of the Bible into English in 1525 lead to his death. The Geneva Bible was printed 1560-1644. The King James version was published in 1611. The Geneva Bible was against the law to own. The Anglican Church, officially breaking from Rome in 1534, was not the first protestant or only reformist activity going on in England. But it did do did it's best to squelch all other reform and seize control of the people thourgh torture, cruel death, and other punishments barbaric and inhumane in Jesus name.

I give this version on of the Bible a strong BUY recommendation. It is amazing and your faith in God and His overarching plan to free men from sin and hatred will be strengthened. Love one another!
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on December 12, 2007
This bible gives a fascinating look at the first time study notes as well as chapter and verse marks were used. A must have for serious Christians who wish to see and have the first bible published for the masses. Includes an introduction to the history of the Geneva Bible as well as the project to get it reprinted for "our time." It is beautifully and masterfully recreated in an easy to read format and text. Quality of the book is excellent.
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on February 13, 2007
I was reading a previous user's comments about this Bible and I truly am not sure why he has such a problem with this Bible. I have been a proud owner of the Limited Calfskin Leather edition since Christmas and have used it quite often. The issue of that commenter's Bible falling apart after two days of use are unfounded from my own experience with the same Bible. After almost two months of use, my Bible still looks brand new. It has worn in well for more ease of use, but still looks like it was just purchased. I have come across a few owners of the leather editions and they haven't had a problem with their Bibles holding up. I imagine that one commenter's problems is a rare exception or he dropped it. They are just, too well put together. The calfskins are hand-sewn.

The notes are extremely useful and easy to use. It is wonderful to be able to know what John Calvin, John Knox, Miles Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, and other reformers thought about the exact verse I am reading. The system by which you use the notes is quite simple. Say you are reading John 3:16 and you come to the first note in that verse, you go to note 3:16(1). That seems simple enough and it allows you to go back to the exact spot you left off at.

I've seen the facsimile versions of the Geneva Bible and they don't even come close to this edition. The legibility and readability of this edition is so far above any other version of this Bible there is no reason to even try to compare. There have also been concerns about textual errors, but Toll Lege Press has acknowledged and fixed them in the printings following the first.

As you can tell, I am in love with my Geneva Bible. It is easy to read and the use of extensive notes makes it such a pleasure to use. I didn't even go into how amazing it looks. My best friend wants to know when she can get one. From what I understand, it's about to go to it's 3rd printing because it sells out as soon as a printing is done! I now know how lucky I am to have gotten mine! How is that for a well regarded product?
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on June 29, 2009
I have had my Geneva Bible from Tolle Lege Press now for abut three weeks. I simply love it. I have and am so enjoying it. The quality, the look and the feel is incredible. I love to read the Word and the Geneva Bible has spurred an even stronger desire to do just that. It is exciting to read the version that the early settlers, framers and great writers like Shakespeare read.

I love to see the differences in the wording between the KJV and The Geneva Bible. For example, in Acts 2:38 it says "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." The Geneva Bible says the same thing with the exception of the word repent. Instead, it states: "amend your lives." Which is exactly what it means to repent; as repentance is more than merely words, it invokes action.

I would highly recommend this Bible! And I commend all those who made this project possible. You have done a great service.

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on June 28, 2010
This is the same text as the standard edition of the 1599 Geneva Bible, with the addition of the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and Constitution. The political texts are not interspersed through the biblical text, but rather placed at the end. The Geneva Bible footnotes are unchanged from the standard edition.

This Bible is available in a hardcover edition, 1599 Geneva Bible: Patriot's Edition. I don't know why there is no link to it. When I originally wrote this, I was reviewing the paperback edition, which had no link to the hardcover. Now, I see that my review is on the hardcover with no link to the paperback. How odd!
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on January 2, 2011
My husband had seen this Bible advertised in a conservative online news service and expressed an interest in having a copy. I bought it for him as a Christmas gift and he has been very pleased with the content - not only does it have the Scriptures, it has the text of important documents of American history which show that our country was founded on Biblical principles.
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on July 6, 2012
I have a few facsimile editions of the Geneva Bible. A 1560, a 1591 and a 1601. The facsimile editions are interesting reads and it doesn't take long to get used to the antiquated text. I had read the reviews on Tolle Legge's modernized version on Amazon and on Mark Bertrand's Bible Design Blog with interest.

I ran up on a calfskin limited edition NOS on ebay and finally decided to go for it. I am so happy with the Bible that I ordered a hardback copy to keep at work. I ordered direct from Tolle Legge and they are having a sale. The hardback (sewn binding) is $29.99 + shipping and includes the CD.

The print is medium size. Not sure of the type size exactly but it is adequate for comfortable reading. On the calfskin cover, I am not particularly bothered by the embossed cross. It is a beautiful soft calfskin and while the binding on this limited edition calfskin is not up to the standards of an Allen Bible , it is very good and should last for years with normal use.

The hardback is rock solid and also has the sewn binding. The typos in the first two printings have been corrected and I'm happy to have a copy to keep in the car to read at work or wherever I happen to get the chance. The translation is very similar to the KJV so far. There are differences though and it is interesting to see where they differ as well as where they concur.

The study notes are short and to the point. Very interesting to read the interpretations of Puritans who were contemporary with the time of the translation. I have had no difficulty in referencing the study note to the verse referred to. All in all I highly recommend this Bible.
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on March 3, 2010
After reading all your comments I was troubled not knowing what to do to buy it or not,however I bought that bible hopping that they had fixed the problems you mentioned in your comments.Today after a couple of weeks I received my bible in Greece and I am really exited!!this copy is the new "fixed "the same with the one that the editor sales in his site at [...] ,no spelling problems no biding problems!it is awesome!!I ordered the genuine leather edition.Concerning the typing it is very very good no problem at all!if you have no problem with your eyes I think you will enjoy every day study.The type point I think is 8.
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on March 15, 2015
I am reviewing the 400th Anniversary leatherbound hardback edition of the Geneva 1599 Bible. I purchased this after being ULTRA disappointed by the teeny tiny print size of the Geneva Bibles by Toll Legge in the $40-$50 price range. This Bible is much too big and heavy to take it around with you anywhere, but I wanted to be able to read this Bible without eye strain and going cross-eyed.

Well, now I CAN read the scriptures in it -- but I would not call it "large print" by any means -- and the footnotes are still really much too small for comfort. It is a sad thing I have now spent well over $200 just to get a readable version of the Geneva 1599 Bible and still am less than thrilled with the print size -- which is the reason for 4 stars rather than 5 stars.

My suggestion to the group that prints this book is to put the footnotes IN A SEPARATE VOLUME. This would automatically allow for the prints to be doubled from their current size -- and we are supposed to READ it, are we not?!! (smile)

Because this edition of the Bible is too large (and heavy) to take to church, I do use the $40-$50 leatherbound Geneva 1599 to take to church, and it works for the very light reading I do there -- (but the footnotes? forget about it...!)

If another Geneva Bible will come out with TRULY LARGE -- not giant, but just large print (say 12 point), I will buy a third copy, with or without the footnotes.
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