The Geneva or Breeches Bible (1603 edition)


The Geneva or Breeches Bible (1603 edition)



This 415-year-old Bible, printed in 1603, is permanently housed in the Lynn University Archives.

Officially known as the Geneva Bible, this translation is referred to as the Breeches Bible because, according to Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together to make “breeches.”

This Bible is significant because of the history surrounding it. When Mary Tudor became Queen of England in 1553, she tried to reverse the policies of her father Henry VIII (who had made himself head of the Church of England) and her brother Edward VI (who had encouraged the Protestant faith) and restore the Roman Catholic religion.

Nicknamed “Bloody Mary,” the queen pursued a policy of burning both Bibles and Protestants. Many Protestant scholars fled from England to Geneva, where they produced the first English Bible translated entirely from the Greek and Hebrew.

Shakespeare quoted from the Geneva Bible. Pilgrims took the Breeches Bible with them when they came to America and landed at Plymouth in 1620 even though the King James translation was also in circulation at the time.


Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Queenes Majestie


Archives, Special Collections, Donations, Bibles

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Tina Zegas, mother of Lynn student Leah Zegas

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The Geneva or Breeches Bible (1603 edition)