AA4v-BB6r, Matthew 6
THE GENEVA BIBLE
The Bible and Holy Scriptures conteyned in the Olde and Newe Testament. Translated according to the Ebrue and Greke, and conferred With the best translations in divers langages. With moste profitable annotations upon all the hard places, and other things of great importance as may appeare in the Epistle to the Reader. Geneva: Rouland Hall, 1560.
Quarto. 1228 pages (, 474, 122 leaves,  pages, 6 folded leaves of plates), 9⅛ x 6½ inches. Roman, marginal notes in small roman type, double column. Title page illustration represents the Israelites crossing the Red Sea; 26 engravings enhance the text; 5 folded maps. Bound with the stamp of the Royal Arms laid down over a new calfskin base. Title page mounted with imprint cut away; lacking maps. § DMH 107, with tables and metrical Psalms (1588); STC (2nd ed.) 2093. § CD-ROM: 10.2, title page; 10.2, title page (detail); 10.2, fol. AA4v (detail).
The "Geneva Bible" is the first complete Bible in English printed in roman type with verse divisions. It was translated by William Whittingham (1524?–79) and several associates whose names and the portions on which they worked remain mostly unknown. In the primary address To our Beloved in the Lord the Brethren of England, Scotland, Ireland, &c. Grace, mercie and peace, through Christ Jesus we are given insight into the translators’ methods and goals:
Now as we have chiefely observed the sense, and laboured alwies to restore it to all integretie; so have we moste reverently kept the proprietie of the wordes, considering that the Apostles who spake and wrote to the Gentiles in the Greke tongue, rather constrayned them to the lively phrase of the Ebrewe, then entreprised farre by mollifying their language to speake as the Gentils did. And for this and other causes we have in many places reserved the Ebrewe phrases, notwithstanding that thei may seme somewhat hard in their eares that are not wel practised and also delite in the swete sounding phrases of holy Scripture(***4r).
Until the triumph of the King James Version, this Geneva Bible was by far the most popular, and had a long publishing history. At least 140 editions appeared, the last edition being printed in 1644.
The felicity of the language of the Geneva Bible entered into the texts of poet and playwright. Although Shakespeare used the Bishops’ Bible in his early plays, from about 1596 on he generally used the Geneva text. It is probable that the Geneva version was first brought to America in 1607 and used in the Jamestown Settlement. The Pilgrims carried the Geneva Bible with them on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620.
The Geneva version was immediately condemned as being too Calvinistic, and the English establishment fumed and fussed, and ultimately came up with their own answer: the Bishops’ Bible of 1568. This, of course, turned out to be a poor reply. During the fifty years before the King James one gains the impression that the episcopacy read the Bishops’ Bible in Church on Sundays, but used the Geneva when in the study.
Subsequent editions, but not the first, include Certain questions and answeres touching the doctrine of predestination, the use of God’s worde and sacraments. One question and answer tells all: "Question: Are all ordained unto eternal life? Answer: Some are vessels of wrath ordained unto destruction, as others are vessels of mercie prepared to glory."
The Sacraments? Notes on Matthew 26:26 "This is my body" declare: "That is, a true signe and testimonie that my bodie is made yours, and by me your soules are nourished ... with the blood of Christ spiritually received."
On the matter of the keys of heaven, Matthew 16:19, the Geneva note reads: "the preachers of the Gospel open the gates of heaven with the worde of God, which is the right key, so that where this worde is not purely taught, there is neither key nor authoritie."
The above citations illustrate the most obvious Calvinist notes, but the large majority of them could be appended to any number of other versions. Generally one is left with the conclusion that far, far too much has been made of a light Calvinistic patina.