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Their books are respectively published by Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, since the 17th century not always friendly rivals in publishing the KJB (in Oxford’s case, originally through a dedicated printing company, whose incorporation in OUP remains a useful source of cash for the university).
Like the KJB editions published by the two universities, the two books are beautiful to look at; they are written to the highest standards by two acknowledged experts, who despite their respective insights end up saying much the same thing, though Norton has a better index.
This was only slightly modified in 1769 by Benjamin Blayney, an Oxford scholar who has succeeded in taking most of the credit, and their joint effort is what KJB enthusiasts read today.
During the reign of Queen Mary I of England (1553–58), a number of Protestant scholars fled from England to Geneva, Switzerland, which was then ruled as a republic in which John Calvin and, later, Theodore Beza, provided the primary spiritual and theological leadership.
The Geneva Bible had also motivated the earlier production of the Bishops' Bible under Elizabeth I, for the same reason, and the later Rheims-Douai edition by the Catholic community.
The Geneva Bible remained popular among Puritans and remained in widespread use until after the English Civil War.
The quatercentenary commemorative King James Bible (KJB) sits on my desk as I write: a satisfying artefact in its chocolate livery enriched by opulently gilded top, tail and fore edges, with stout chocolate slipcase to match, impressive in its folio bulk, though not nearly as bulky as the originals of 1611, which needed a sturdy lectern to bear them, announcing their presence with a swagger equal to the most majestic of England’s medieval church buildings.
Inside, Oxford University Press have thoughtfully provided a sticky-back presentation label, since most of these monuments will no doubt end up as gifts for clergy (I pity the Archbishop of Canterbury in particular).
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This is useful in letting us know that Noah’s flood happened in 2849 bc, and of course, famously, that the creation of the world took place in 4004 bc (thanks to a misplaced piece of ingenuity by the genuinely learned and original historian James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh).