1 The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom
shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life, of
whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked, even mine enemies and my
foes came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled
3 Though an host pitched against me, mine heart
should not be afraid: though war be raised against
me, I will trust in this.
4 One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I
will require, even that I may dwell in the house of
the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty
of the Lord, and to visit his Temple.
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in
his Tabernacle: in the secret place of his pavilion
shall he hide me, and set me up upon a rock.
6 And now shall he lift up mine head above
mine enemies round about me: therefore will I
offer in his Tabernacle sacrifices of joy: I will sing
and praise the Lord.
7 Hearken unto my voice, O Lord, when I cry:
have mercy also upon me and hear me.
8 When thou saidest, Seek ye my face, mine heart
answered unto thee, O Lord, I will seek thy face.
9 Hide not therefore thy face from me, nor cast
thy servant away in displeasure: thou hast been my
succor, leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of
10 Though my father and my mother should
forsake me, yet the Lord will gather me up.
11 Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a
right path, because of mine enemies.
12 Give me not unto the lust of mine adversaries:
for there are false witnesses risen up against me, and
such as speak cruelly.
13 I should have fainted, except I had believed to see
the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Hope in the Lord: be strong, and he shall
comfort thine heart, and trust in the Lord.
When the Pilgrims arrived in America in 1620, they brought along supplies, a consuming passion to advance the Kingdom of Christ, a bright hope for the future, and the Word of God. Clearly, their most precious cargo was the Bible. Have you ever wondered what version of the Bible the Pilgrims brought to America on the Mayflower? Believe it or not, it was not the King James Version of 1611. It was actually the 1599 Geneva Bible a forgotten yet priceless treasure.
The Geneva Bible, printed over 200 times between 1560 and 1644, was the most widely read and influential English Bible of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This superb translation was the product of the best Protestant scholars of the day and became the Bible of choice for many of the greatest writers, thinkers, and historical figures of that time. Men such as Shakespeare, John Bunyan, and John Milton used the Geneva Bible, and it was reflected in their writings. During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell issued a pamphlet containing excerpts from the Geneva Bible to his troops. William Bradford cited the Geneva Bible in his book Of Plymouth Plantation.
The Geneva Bible is unique among all other Bibles. It was the first Bible to use chapters and numbered verses and became the most popular version of its time because of the extensive marginal notes. These notes, written by Reformation leaders such as John Calvin, John Knox, Miles Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, and others, were included to explain and interpret the scriptures for the common people.
For nearly half a century these notes helped the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland understand the Bible and true liberty. King James despised the Geneva Bible because he considered the notes on key political texts to be seditious and a threat to his authority. Unlike the King James Version, the Geneva Bible was not authorized by the government. It was truly a Bible by the people and for the people. You can see why this remarkable version with its profound marginal notes played a key role in the formation of the American Republic.
Sadly, 407 years after its original publication, this wonderful version of the Bible has been nearly forgotten. The only complete version available today is a large, cumbersome, and difficult-to-read facsimile edition. A facsimile edition contains pictures of the original pages. The small print and the older English letters and spellings make it nearly impossible to read or study. If the 1599 Geneva Bible is to survive the passing of time and be remembered for generations to come, it must be resurrected and redistributed.
The publication and promulgation of the 1599 Geneva Bible will help restore Americas rich Christian heritage and reclaim the culture for Christ. — Dr. D. James Kennedy, Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church