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During the 1550's, the Church at Geneva, Switzerland was very sympathetic to the Reformers who had fled from the cruel persecution of bloody Queen Mary and her Roman Catholics in England, and was one of only a few safe havens for the refugees. Many of them met in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe, as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham. There, with the protection of John Calvin and John Knox, the Church of Geneva decided to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile. The New Testament was completed in 1557, and the complete Bible was first published in 1560. Known as the Geneva Bible, it was the first Bible to add verse numberings to the chapters. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English 'Study Bible'. The works of Shakespeare contain many quotes from the Geneva translation. The Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice for over 100 years of English speaking Christians. Between 1560 and 1644, at least 144 editions of this Bible were published. Examination of the 1611 King James Bible demonstrates the great influence of the Geneva Bible, and thus the influence of William Tyndale. The Geneva Bible retains approximately 90% of William Tyndale's translation. For many decades, the Geneva Bible remained more popular than that authorized by King James. It holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims.

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