Queen Mary's (1553-1558) persecution of her Protestant subjects caused many to flee to the continent to avoid imprisonment or execution. Geneva, Switzerland soon became a center for Protestant biblical scholarship. It was there that a group of the movement's leading lights gathered to undertake a fresh translation of the scriptures into English, beginning in 1556. Published in 1560, the "Geneva Bible's" popularity kept it in print until 1644 - long after the advent of the Authorized Version (a.k.a. "King James Version"). It was an English Bible that met the needs of both clergy and laity. Perhaps the Geneva Bible's greatest contribution was its commentary, which under girded the emerging practice of sermonizing and helped foster scripture literacy.
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