King James Bible vs Geneva Bible: Difference and Comparison

The Bible is a holy scripture of Christianity. It is a group of religious texts describing the earth’s history from its beginning to the spread of religion worldwide.

The Bible contains two parts, The Old Testament and The New Testament, which are further divided into different books. The two most popular versions of the Bible are the King James Bible ( also known as the King James Version) and the Geneva Bible.

Key Takeaways

  1. The King James Bible was published in 1611 and is known for its poetic language and formal style, while the Geneva Bible was published in 1560 and is known for its scholarly notes and commentary.
  2. King James I of England commissioned the King James Bible. At the same time, English-speaking Protestant exiles produced the Geneva Bible in Geneva during the reign of Queen Mary I of England.
  3. The King James Bible has had a greater cultural impact and is considered a masterpiece of English literature. At the same time, the Geneva Bible was widely used by Puritans and played an important role in shaping early American colonists’ religious and political views.

King James Bible vs Geneva Bible

The King James Version, or the Authorised Version of the Bible, was published in 1611 with King James I’s authorization. This version was the earliest English translation of the New Testament for the Church of England. The King James Bible is a standard version of the Holy Bible used today. The Geneva Bible was another English translation of the Bible published in 1560 by a group of Protestants who fled from the reign of Queen Mary. It is still used today, but it is not widespread.

The King James Version is considered one of the essential religious scriptures of all time, not only for its most widely accepted portrayal of Christianity but also for its ability to spread the English language worldwide.

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This Bible was commissioned and published in 1604 and 1611, respectively, for the Church of England after its predecessor, the Breeches Bible, was considered unorthodox.

The Geneva Bible is also an English translation of the Holy Bible published in Geneva in 1560 by a group of protestants in exile. They worked under the direction of scholars and priests.

This Bible is also one of the most historic translations into English. It portrays Protestantism. Great scholars and thinkers used it, and it was one of the Bibles taken to America on the famous ship, the Mayflower.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonKing James BibleGeneva Bible
HistoryThe King James Bible is a translation of the Holy Bible for the Church Of England. It was commissioned and published under the sponsorship of King James because he believed that the revolutionary Geneva Bible was seditious. The Geneva Bible is another translation of the Holy Bible published by a group of protestants in exile.  They worked under Miles Coverdale, John Knox, and John Calvin.
Published byThe King James Version was commissioned and published under King James the First.The Geneva Bible was published by a group of protestants in exile from England working under several scholars.
Publishing yearThe King James Bible was published in the year 1611.The Geneva Bible was published in 1560, 15 years before the King James Version.
Books and volumes80 books are part of the complete King James Version; 36 in the Old Testament, 14 in the Apocrypha and 27 in the New Testament.The Geneva Bible, like most other Bibles, contained two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. It also had an Apocrypha but was separated from the rest of the text.
UseThe King James Bible is today’s most commonly used version of the Holy Bible.The Geneva Bible’s use is widespread but not as recognized as the King James Version.

What is King James Bible?

The King James Bible is a translation of the Christian scripture, the Holy Bible, for England’s church. It was commissioned and published under King James the First.


The King James Version is celebrated as the most important religious scripture of all time for its most widely accepted ideals and values of Christianity.


This Bible was commissioned and published in 1604 and 1611 for the Church of England after the Geneva Bible, which was considered unorthodox and mutinous.

It consists, as usual, of an Old Testament, New Testament, and an Apocrypha. It is the most widely used and best-known Bible in the world today.

king james bible

What is Geneva Bible?

Also known as the ‘Breeches Bible,’ the Geneva Bible is an English translation of the Holy Bible published in 1560 by a group of protestants in exile from England and Scotland.

They worked under the direction of scholars like Miles Coverdale, John Knox, and John Calvin.

This Bible is also one of the most important religious scripture in history to be translated into English, preceding the King James Version by 51 years.

Great scholars like William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, and John Donne used this Bible because it was the most important bible of 16th English Protestantism.

King James despised the revolutionary Geneva Bible because he thought it was anarchical. He thought the Bible’s notes threatened his authority and kingship.

He described it as the antichrist. Paranoid, he outlawed the Geneva bible and ordered a new translation. This translation came to be known as the King James Bible.

geneva bible

Main Differences Between King James Bible and Geneva Bible

The two versions of the Holy Bible are similar and have different characteristics. Examination of these differences helps us draw the following conclusions.

  1. The King James Bible was translated in 1611. It was commissioned and published under the sponsorship of King James the First. The Geneva Bible is another translation of the Holy Bible published by a group of protestants in exile.  They worked under Miles Coverdale, John Knox, and John Calvin.
  2. The Geneva Bible is considered more direct and modern than the King James Version. It also contained marginal notes that the King James Bible did not have.
  3. The King James Version was considered religiously correct. In contrast, the Geneva Bible was considered nihilistic.
  4. The King James Bible was published in 1611, and the Geneva Bible in 1560.
  5. The King James Bible is today’s most widely used version of the Holy Bible, but the Geneva Bible is not as recognized as the King James Version.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 24T090605.106
References
  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2DwA0f6cXgoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA3&dq=King+James+Bible+vs+Geneva+Bible&ots=bsDa7gDCZa&sig=WvjSzzq1IFa-Xks8xRDrhYb9aRg
  2. https://slife.org/authorized-king-james-version/

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