King James I is known for his statement that he did not like the Geneva Bible, the Bible of English puritans, because the notes revealed “traitorous conceits,” or seditious views. The king’s words were prophetic: his own son Charles was beheaded at the hands of the puritans.
When it came to the New Covenant, John Calvin contradicted Martin Luther on the fundamentals. They cannot both be right. See in their own words what these men said, and judge for yourself.
Genesis 20 tells how Abraham, when he moved into Gerar, told everyone that his wife Sarah was his sister. The king of Gerar took Sarah. But God intervened. Compare the Matthew and Geneva Bible treatment of verse 16.
The Gospels say Zechariah’s prophecy about 30 pieces of silver was fulfilled when Judas accepted them as the price to betray Christ. However, Calvin taught that it was a metaphor about hypocritical and “dirty” ceremonies. This led to much strife in the Church.
When the Geneva Puritans revised the Bible, they made changes that concerned the prophecies of the Messiah. Here is just one surprising example.
On January 30, 1649, the revolutionary Oliver Cromwell, working with his rebel parliament, beheaded King Charles I in England. Cromwell styled himself a “Puritan Moses,” and believed he was guided by the finger of God. He was also known as the “General of the Parliament.”
To my knowledge, this is the only place on the internet where you can read the Puritan dedication to Queen Elizabeth from the 1560 Geneva Bible. This forgotten document gives insight into the teaching of the early Puritans, who considered themselves “God’s mouth,” and prophets called to restore the Church.
William Tyndale and Thomas Cranmer were peaceful soldiers of the Reformation. But in England in the 1640s, the Puritans led an armed uprising to complete the Reformation (as they said) and build a Church on the Geneva model. Does revolution = reformation?
Tyndale was a humble man. He always wanted to do better and he welcomed sound criticism. But he had a few choice words for men who took his translations, changed them, and then promoted their work as a “diligent correction.”
In the Matthew Bible, certain proverbs stand out for their practical value. In this short series we see some that distinguish the behaviors and attitudes of good and bad people – what they do, how they treat others, and what motivates them. Proverbs 11:23 in the Matthew Bible was uniquely translated by Myles Coverdale. See the fascinating history of the revisions of this proverb.