"Brit-Am Now"-141: Geneva

November 7, 2002
1. David Miller: Quotation
2. Calvinists
3. Geneva Bible: History
4.  The Geneva Bible: More History
5. Israel in the West

1. David Miller: Quotation
New Evidence?: Geneva Bible notes
From: keysuspect <keysuspect@netzero.net>

Mr. Davidi:
I didn't know if you were aware of this, but the following notes appear in
the 1599 Geneva Bible on Obadiah 1:20. This is another secondary source
that seems to substantiate the truth of Israel's identity.
David Miller
1:20 And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel [shall
possess] that of the {p} Canaanites, [even] unto Zarephath; and the
captivity of Jerusalem, which [is] in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of
the south.
(p) By the Canaanites, the Jews mean the Dutchmen, and by Zarephath,
France, and by Sepharad, Spain.

Comment: This quotation (which we were not previously aware of) ties in
well with what we wrote concerning this passage in Ephraim. I would be very
interested in learning more about this quote and what authorities were
and what sources they used.

2. Calvinists
The following articles (notes  nos 3 &4 downloaded from the web) attribute
the Geneva Bible to Calvin.
Calvin was a controversial figure.
John Calvin (1509 - 1564) was a Frenchman who joined the Protestant cause.
He went to Geneva in the french-speaking section of Switzerland and was
given effectual control of the city. Geneva became a center of refuge for
Protestant scholars from all over Europe. Calvin had about 58 people
executed for various forms of heresy.
Was Calvin an anti-Semite?
An anti-Jewish quotation has been attributed to Calvin but it may be (like
similar quotations attributed to others) a forgery.
[Recently,  enemies of the truth attributed  statements and opinions to
Yair Davidiy and Rabbi Avraham Feld that are the
exact opposite of all we have ever believed in. I am still in shock at the
effrontery of these dogs to make such slanderous statements about us].

At all events  Calvin wrote (in both commentary on Romans, chapter 11, and
in Institutes of the Christian Religion):

1) God would save the Jews.

2) Jews while in general in unbelief are still in a way elect by God and
are to be loved and seen as wayward brothers we long to see come back.

3) God's love never left the Jews even when they are in general disbelief.

This was the bottom line and these sentiments (with some notable serious
exceptions) were to be what most influenced
the followers of Calvin in the long run.

John Knox took Calvinism to Scotland where it became Presbyerianism.
<<The historian, Frederick M. Schweitzer, in his work entitled, A History
of the Jews Since the First Century A.D., has a note about Scotland and the
Jews: "Scots are very proud that unlike `the kingdom to the south' their
homeland has never been desecrated by anti-Semitism, expulsions,
confiscations, or ill-feeling of any kind toward Jews . . ." (page 295).
This happy condition is due to their Calvinist heritage. John Calvin
(1509-1564) was one of the foremost leaders in the Protestant Reformation
in Europe. John Knox (1515-1572) perpetuated Calvin's teaching in Scotland.
Hence, Calvin's principles of his theology are em-bodied in the creeds and
practice of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. "To follow Calvin meant to
live a high degree of holiness, seeking to know and follow the will of
God." (Elgin S. Moyer. The Wycliffe Bio-graphical Dictionary of the Church,
p. 73).>> (Source:
http://christianactionforisrael.org/judeochr/rolegent/reformat.html ).

Calvin extended the name "Israel" to "all the people of God" meaning in
effect all who followed his teachings
BUT he also emphasized "in such a way, that the Jews shall obtain the first
place, being, as it were the firstborn in God's family".
Calvin apparently meant by "Jews" in the above quotation those Jews who
would accept his doctrine
nevertheless the ultimate effect of his creed was to instill a not
unsympathetic attitude towards the Jewish people.
Most of those who adopted the Calvinists form of belief appear to have been
of Israelite descent.
On the one hand I consider Calvin to have been very wrong, on the other
hand he did have positive effects.
Ruth Schecter is an Israeli historian  of philosophy who has written
several books and lectures at Universities
and the Israeli Ministry of Education, on behalf of the Israeli Open
University, has published a book by her.
Ruth Schecter considers Calvin to have instilled a "Hebraic" frame of mind
in  his followers as distinct from that of
other Europeans that she considers to have been ant-Hebraic. She also
considers this Hebraic frame of mind
to have become typically "Anglo-Saxon" meaning pertaining to those of
British descent.
Calvin himself may have also, as I once read,  had anti-semitic sentiments
BUT historically Protestants who followed
Calvin were the ones who in practice were in most cases the least
anti-semitic and often strongly pro-Jewish.
The Huguenots were in effect  Calvinists. Calvinists in France and Holland,
per head of population, did more to save Jews during the Holocaust than any
other group .

3. Geneva Bible: History

The Geneva Bible:
The Forgotten Translation

By: Gary DeMar

When Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary) became queen of England in 1553, she was
determined to roll back the Reformation and reinstate Roman Catholicism.
Mary had strong ties to Catholic Spain. She married Philip II of Spain and
induced the English Parliament to recognize the authority of papal Rome.
Mary met with a great deal of resistance from Protestant reformers in her
own country. Mary showed no signs of compromise. The persecution of
Protestants followed.

The era known as the Marian Exile drove hundreds of English scholars to the
Continent with little hope of ever seeing their home and friends again. God
used this exodus experience to advance the Reformation. A number of English
Protestant divines settled in Calvin's Geneva: Miles Coverdale, John Foxe,
Thomas Sampson, and William Whittingham. With the protection of the Genevan
civil authorities and the support of John Calvin and the Scottish Reformer
John Knox, the Church of Geneva determined to produce an English Bible
without the need for the imprimatur of either England or Rome - the Geneva

Translation Work Begins In 1557

The Geneva translators produced a revised New Testament in English in 1557
that was essentially a revision of Tyndale's revised and corrected 1534
edition. Much of the work was done by William Whittingham, the
brother-in-law of John Calvin. The Geneva New Testament was barely off the
press when work began on a revision of the entire Bible, a process that
took more than two years. The new translation was checked with Theodore
Beza's earlier work and the Greek text. In 1560 a complete revised Bible
was published, translated according to the Hebrew and Greek, and conferred
with the best translations in divers languages, and dedicated to Queen
Elizabeth I. After the death of Mary, Elizabeth was crowned queen in 1558,
once again moving England toward Protestantism. The Geneva Bible was
finally printed in England in 1575 only after the death of Archbishop
Matthew Parker, editor of the Bishop's Bible.

England's Most Popular Bible

While other English translations failed to capture the hearts of the
reading public, the Geneva Bible was instantly popular. Between 1560 and
1644 at least 144 editions appeared. For forty years after the publication
of the King James Bible, the Geneva Bible continued to be the Bible of the
home. Oliver Cromwell used extracts from the Geneva Bible for his Soldier's
Pocket Bible which he issued to the army.


In 1620 the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth with their Bibles and a conviction
derived from those Bibles of establishing a new nation. The Bible was not
the King James Version. When James I became king of England in 1603, there
were two translations of the Bible in use; the Geneva Bible was the most
popular, and the Bishops' Bible was used for reading in churches.

King James disapproved of the Geneva Bible because of its Calvinistic
leanings. He also frowned on what he considered to be seditious marginal
notes on key political texts. A marginal note for Exodus 1:9 indicated that
the Hebrew midwives were correct in disobeying the Egyptian king's orders,
and a note for 2 Chronicles 15:16 said that King Asa should have had his
mother executed and not merely deposed for the crime of worshipping an
idol. The King James Version of the Bible grew out of the king's distaste
for these brief but potent doctrinal commentaries. He considered the
marginal notes to be a political threat to his kingdom.

At a conference at Hampton Court in 1604 with bishops and theologians, the
king listened to a suggestion by the Puritan scholar John Reynolds that a
new translation of the Bible was needed. Because of his distaste for the
Geneva Bible, James was eager for a new translation. "I profess," he said,
"I could never yet see a Bible well translated in English; but I think
that, of all, that of Geneva is the worst."


In addition to being a threat to the king of England, the Geneva Bible was
outspokenly anti-Roman Catholic, as one might expect. Rome was still
persecuting Protestants in the sixteenth century. Keep in mind that the
English translators were exiles from a nation that was returning to the
Catholic faith under a queen who was burning Protestants at the stake. The
anti-Roman Catholic sentiment is most evident in the Book of Revelation:
"The beast that cometh out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 11:7) is the Pope,
which hath his power out of hell and cometh thence." In the end, the Geneva
Bible was replaced by the King James Version, but not before it helped to
settle America.

Back in Geneva

Calvin knew that the job of reforming a city seemingly bent on destruction
would not be easy. "There is no place in the world that I fear more," he
confessed. Immorality was at an all-time high, with gambling, street
brawls, drunkenness, adultery, and public indecency common everywhere. But
not all was dark. When he arrived on September 13, 1541, a change had come
over the city. The people actually wanted him to return. The city officials
bestowed honors on him and apologized for the way he had been treated. The
Council members assured Calvin that they would cooperate with him to
restore the Gospel and moral order. The businessmen were equally relieved
to learn that Calvin might return. Calvin was overwhelmed by the outward
display of affection and decided to return to Geneva. On September 16th he
wrote to Farel: "Your wish is granted. I am held fast here. May God give
His blessing."

Calvin's Contributions

Calvin continued his work of reformation, not by a heavy-handed use of the
civil magistrate, but with the preaching of God's Word and the building of
the Church. Church government was lacking, not only in Geneva, but all over
Protestant Europe. Calvin understood that only the Church, not the State,
could define orthodox theology and bring about true long-term reform.
According to the Bible, the State and the Church were jurisdictionally
separate. Each had its God-ordained area of jurisdiction and authority -
one civil (the State) and one ecclesiastical (the Church). Even so, Calvin
insisted, both Church and State were ordained by God and obligated to
follow His laws as they applied to their specific appointed jurisdictions.

Calvin's view that God reigns everywhere and over all things led him to
develop the biblical idea that man can serve God in every area of life -
church, civil government, education, art, music, business, law, journalism.
There was no need to be a priest, a monk, or a nun to get closer to God.
God is glorified in everyday work and family life. Calvin's teaching led
directly to what has become known as the "Protestant work ethic."
Individual initiative leads to economic productivity as Christians work out
their faith in their callings before God.

Stricken with tuberculosis, Calvin preached his last sermon on February 6,
1564. Although bedridden until his death on May 27, 1564, Calvin continued
to work, extending his legacy in the lives of those who sat under his teaching.

Thanks to the Institutes of the Christian Religion, his printed sermons,
the Academy, his commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible (except the
Song of Solomon and the Book of Revelation), and his pattern of Church and
Civil government, Calvin shaped the thought and motivated the ideals of
Protestantism in France, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungry, Scotland, and the
English Puritans; many of whom settled in America. The great American
historian George Bancroft stated, "He that will not honor the memory, and
respect the influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of American
liberty." The famous German historian, Leopold von Ranke, wrote, "John
Calvin was the virtual founder of America." John Adams, the second
president of the United States, wrote: "Let not Geneva be forgotten or
despised. Religious liberty owes it most respect."

 From American Vision's Biblical Worldview February 1997 (Used by permission)

4.  The Geneva Bible: More History
   The Geneva Bible
A bible in every Puritan's home.

The Puritan's Bible:

The Bible every Puritan family had in their home was not the KJV of 1609 or
1611.   The Bible which they carried was the Geneva Bible.  The Geneva
Bible was the most widely read and influential English Bible of the l6th
and 17th centuries, which was printed from 1560 to 1644 in over 200
different printings. As a product of superior translation by the best
Protestant scholars of its day, it became the Bible of choice for many of
the greatest writers, thinkers and historical figures of its day. Puritans
John Bunyan and John Milton used the Geneva Bible, which is reflected in
their writings. During the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell issued a
pamphlet containing excerpts from the Geneva Bible to his troops. The
Geneva Bible was even brought with the Pilgrims when they set sail on the
Mayflower and was the generally accepted text among the Puritans. William
Bradford cited it in his book Of Plymouth Plantation.

           The key feature of the Geneva Bible that distinguished it from
all other Bibles of its time and made it so popular were the extensive
marginal notes that were included to explain and interpret the scriptures
for the common people. For example, "the sun, the moon and the stars
falling from the heavens" was interpreted as meaning that the religious
leaders of the latter days would be discredited. These notes, run to
approximately 300,000 words, or one third the length of the text of the
Bible itself!  Written by Reformation leaders John Calvin, John Knox, Miles
Coverdale, William Whittingham, Anthony Gilby, William Keithe, Thomas
Sampson, Thomas Wood and several others. For nearly half a century these
notes helped the people of England, Scotland, and Ireland understand the
scriptures. The marginal notes were especially useful to the common people
when Queen Elizabeth prohibited priests from addressing the congregations.

           The Geneva Bible had several other novel features. On the advice
of John Calvin it became the first Bible to divide scriptures into numbered
verses. It was published in Roman type rather than black letter, and all
interpolated words were italicized.

           The Geneva Bible owes its origins to the Reformation Leaders who
defied the persecutions of "Bloody Mary" (as Mary Queen of England would
come to be called). Upon her ascension to the throne, Queen Mary banned the
printing of English scriptures. This led William Whittingham, Anthony
Gilby, and a small band of Englishmen to flee to Geneva where they began
translating an English version of the Bible. These scholars were concerned
about the influence the Catholic Church would have in shaping the available
English translation of the Bible (all translated from the Latin Vulgate).
They turned to the original Greek and Hebrew texts to create the Geneva
Bible, which became the first Bible ever translated into English from the
original Biblical texts.

           It took the leaders of the Reformation over two years of
diligent work day and night to finish the translation and commentaries of
the Geneva Bible. During this time they used many works and commentaries,
including those of Theodore Beza, one of the most prominent Biblical
scholars of the era.

           In addition to being the reason for its popularity, the marginal
notes of the Geneva Bible were also the reason for its demise. These
strongly Protestant notes so infuriated King James that he considered it
"seditious" and made its ownership a felony. James I was particularly
worried about marginal notes such as the one in Exod 1: 19, which allowed
disobedience to Kings. Consequently, King James eventually introduced the
King James Version, which drew largely from the Geneva Bible (minus the
marginal notes that had enraged him). During the reign of James I and into
the reign of Charles I the use of the Geneva Bible steadily declined as the
Authorized King James version became more widely used. In 1644 the Geneva
Bible was printed for the last time.

         © A Puritan's Mind, All Rights Reserved, 1998-2002

5. Israel in the West
Extracts Adapted from "Ephraim" by Yair Davidi, Chapter Seven


In early Medieval and Modern Hebrew the country of France is called
"Zarephath". Zarephath was originally a Phoenician town, "Zarephath which
belongeth to Zidon" (1Kings 17;9) in which Israelites also dwelt. The name
"Zarephath " is derived from a Hebrew root meaning "MetalForger"1.
Throughout ancient Gaul and especially on the northwest coast there are
signs of Phoenician or Israelite settlement2. It may be that France
received the name Zarephath for ethnic reasons due to some connection with
the mixed Israelite Phoenician center of Zarephath. This is in accordance
with Rabbinic opinion.

At all events Zarephath is mentioned in the Biblical Book of Obadiah in
connection with the future location of the Lost Ten Tribes. Commentators
understood the intention to mean the country of Gaul-France that according
to Abarbanel (on Obadiah) included in Biblical terms the Isle of Britain. T

         The above translation is from the King James (KJ) version. The
Hebrew original is capable of additional nuances of meaning.
         Sepharad means Spain and refers to the Jews or descendants of
Jews. Our interest at the moment is concentrated on the Lost Ten Tribes who
are in Zarephath.  As explained above, Zarephath was the name of a township
on the coast of Lebanon, "Zarephath which belongeth to Sidon" (1Kings
17;9). "Zarephath" was also the name given in later Hebrew to France and
its neighbors and encompassed Britain. "Zarephath" is mentioned in the Book
of Obadiah (1;20) in connection with the exile of the children of Israel:


According to a composite explanation based on Rabbinical Commentators
[especially Rashi and Nachmanides] the above verse may actually be
understood to say:
         "This first exile [of the Lost Ten Tribes] who reach from the Land
of Canaanites [i.e. Germany] to Zeraphath [France and Britain].."

         The Hebrew word ("Chail") translated in the KJ as "host" can also
mean "first" and most Jewish Commentators seem to have understood the verse
to refer to the First Exile which was that of the Lost Ten Tribes. They
also tended to understand the place name "Zarephath" (in this case) as
referring to France and its area or to France and England together and thus
either expressly. This identification, by implication, links the Lost Ten
Tribes with these western regions.

For full quotations and a more thorough explanation of the sources, see

"This first exile [of the Lost Ten Tribes] who reach from the Land of
Canaanites [i.e. Germany] to Zeraphath [France and Britain].."
This could be understood to mean Holland and Scandinavia.


"And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your
name great.
And you shall be a blessing.
"And I will bless they who bless you, and curse him who curses you.
And in you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(Gensis 12;2-3).

The Principles of Brit-Am require:
1. Acceptance of Prophecy.
2. Self-Respect (no hatred of fellow Israelite groups, no antisemitism)
3. Acknowledgement of The Israelite Identity of many people amongst
Western Nations.
4. recognition of  "Captive Jews" meaning Israelite or Jewish descendants
who lost their identity and emerged from amongst dominantly non-Israelite
peoples. The destiny of these "Captive Jews" is bound up with that of  the
Lost Ten Tribes even though
the Lost Ten Tribes retained some degree of communal cohesion, and they did

The aims of Brit-Am  are to encourage:
1. The spread of Identity Awareness.
2. Increased Identity research and clarification.
3. Association of members together for the sake of  mutual-empowerment,
learning and fellowship.

The giving of donations
together with the ordering of publications enables
Brit-Am to function.
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