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His there any valid source that one of Voltaire house have been used by the Bible Society? I heard many times the illustration, but I never read a valid source of this.

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about the history of voltaire's house and not Christianity. You can visit History.SE where this is on-topic. –  fredsbend Jul 1 at 4:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Apparently it is not true:

There is an apocryphal story that his home at Ferney was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society and used for printing Bibles, but this appears to be due to a misunderstanding of the 1849 annual report of the American Bible Society. Voltaire's chateau is now owned and administered by the French Ministry of Culture.

Source: Wikipedia

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Dang, I thought it would be a day without wholly wikipedia sourced answers. Oh well +1, fearless and inventive. –  Peter Turner Jan 18 '12 at 15:04
@PeterTurner: I did it from memory. :) –  Wikis Jan 18 '12 at 15:28
I've read that voltaire owne two houses. One in Geneva, one in France. The one in Geneva would be the one used by the Geneva Bible Society. –  David Laberge Jan 19 '12 at 12:45

I don't think we can determine the truth about one of Voltaire's houses being used to print Bibles, only what sort of website considers it a fact. Here is a reference that quotes wiki and explains that there was a second house -- actually in Geneva. Feel free to believe or disbelieve this version, as you prefer, since this site doesn't have any references.

The Voltaire home that the 'Geneva Bible Society' purchased

was the house in 'Geneva, Switzerland;

NOT the one in Ferney, France.

In Geneva, he bought a large estate (Les Délices) and this is the one used to distribute Bibles.

It is not known if the Wikipedia statement is to "to deceive intentionally" or by ignorance. We would have to think they know the difference between the Homes in France and Switzerland.

FACT: The French Ministry of Culture operates the house in France!

FACT: The Geneva Bible Society operates the house in Geneva.


The following article, by a non-believer, is mentioned at the link above:

http://www.nzarh.org.nz/journal/2004v77n1aut.pdf (see toc for article about Voltaire's house)

This appears to be somewhat carefully researched, although I didn't check his references. If it is correct, none of Voltaire's houses were used by Bible societies. The article suggests the story may have originated due to a hotel Gibbon, from which many Bibles were sold, being mentioned in a book in the same sentence as Voltaire.

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The same report that lists two houses says that Voltaire was driven out of Geneva by the Christian reformer Jean Calvin. That would be quite a trick since Calvin died decades before Voltaire was born. It does not aide the Truth to pass on false stories to make a true point. –  Ken Aug 16 at 20:32
@ken, thanks for the comment. The error you mentioned was within brackets and a quoted section, anyway, but I did look at the pdf file listed next to it. From that, I conclude the main point was probably NOT true. –  disciple Aug 16 at 22:43

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