If the Geneva Bible was the bible of the reformation, Why is the KJV used more widely than the Geneva Bible? And (if applicable) what would be the main differences between the two bibles (in terms of biblical content rather than the preferences of a presiding king)?

  • Excuse the edit, but at this site we don't try to judge which translation are 'more true', but we can tell you about how the content differs between the two translations. Aug 23, 2019 at 14:17
  • Why it's used now really has nothing to do with the time of the reformation, the main version of the KJV used is the 1769 revision, long after the reformation!
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 23, 2019 at 14:28
  • 2
    The Wikipedia article on the Geneva Bible is extensive and detailed and very interesting. Probably has all you require.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 23, 2019 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia gives a summary of the history.

The Geneva Bible translation was produced about 50 years before the King James, and was used by most English-speaking Protestants for much of the Reformation. However the Geneva Bible incorporated "annotations which are an important part of the Geneva Bible [and] were Calvinist and Puritan in character, and as such they were disliked by the ruling pro-government Anglicans of the Church of England, as well as King James I".

King James therefore commissioned an alternative translation (which also did not include the notes). The KJV was adopted by the Church of England, which constituted by far the majority of English-speaking Protestants. This adoption caused the translation to be by far the most widely available English translation over the next 300 years, and accounts for its enduring popularity.

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