1568 - The Bishop\'s Bible
The widespread popularity of the Geneva Bible after its publication in 1560 made deficiencies in the text of the Great Bible all too obvious.
This highlighted the need for a version acceptable to the church. With the single exception of the Geneva Bible, the text of available English Bibles had been largely the work of individual translators. Their accompanying notes and commentaries conveyed many individual and often unpopular viewpoints.
During the reign of Henry VIII, an English translation prepared under the supervision of the Bishops was proposed. At that time nothing came of this proposal, but in 1561, three years after Elizabeth I ascended the throne, Archbishop Parker submitted another proposal for a new translation. This time, a group of Bishops were assembled to prepare a new version, which was to have "no bitter or controversial annotations to the text". They were not to express any preference for one school of thought and offensive expressions were to be modified. The result was the Bishop\'s Bible, first printed in 1568. Archbishop Parker edited the text. The list of scholars who worked on the Bishop\'s Bible was shown to the Queen and her chief minister, Lord Cecil ahead of time. No doubt to make them more diligent and ensure that the outspoken Calvinist tone of the notes in the Geneva Bible was not part of this new version.
The Great Bible was the basis for this new version. Comparisons were made to the Latin texts of the Hebrew Bible prepared by Pagnius, 1528 and Munster, 1539. This method of including the Hebrew text was necessary because none of the Bishops were Hebrew scholars. The second and third editions contained many corrections and revisions. The third edition has a thorough revision of the New Testament. Nineteen editions were published between 1568 and 1606. This number, however, was still less than the Geneva Bible.
The convocation of Canterbury in 1571 ordered that each Archbishop and Bishop "should place a copy in the dining room of his house, each cathedral and, as far as possible, each church should possess a copy".
Source: F.F. Bruce, The English Bible, A History of Translations, Oxford University Press 1961, 234 pp