Yesterday’s Grand Rapids Press Religion section featured the story (from the Washington Post) of a wonderful recent find in the archives of a small college in Portland, Oregon.
You know I love these kind of stores (and finds!), and because this one relates to our Reformation remembrance this year (a 400 hundred year-old Geneva Bible was found!), we will include it in today’s posts (Yes, may also find something on the Chicago Cubs in the World Series later today we are back at Wrigley Field tonight!).
This story is taken from a local (Portland, OR) paper and news site. Below is a portion of it, along with a picture of the title page. For the rest of the story, visit the link at the end of this post.
For probably half a century, a copy of one of the most historically significant Bibles ever published sat forgotten in the basement of Lewis & Clark College’s Aubrey R. Watzek Library in Portland.
Then, on Tuesday, a curious history major opened a box, and the 1599 Geneva Bible – the Bible of Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare and the Mayflower Pilgrims – came back into the light of day.
“It’s quite rare,” said Hannah Crummé, the library’s head of special collections and college archivist. “It’s not the only copy of this particular book … but it is the only catalogued copy in the Northwest.”
On top of that, it could be said to have royal lineage. One page reads: “Imprinted at London, by the Deputies of Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queenes most excellent Majestie.”
The Geneva Bible was a leading symbol of the Protestant Reformation, Crummé said. It was dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I, who by 1599 had been excommunicated by Pope Pius V.
“Elizabeth I pitted her Protestant nation against the Catholic powers in Europe, particularly Spain,” Crummé said. “She allowed her subjects to study the Bible in their native English, making not just religion but the written word newly accessible to the majority of people.”