Skip to Main Content

Rare Bibles: Geneva Bible Phony (1495/1594)

The Styberg Library has a special collection of rare Bibles. This guide features some of the ones that are within the collection.


This edition of the Geneva Bible, published in quarto size, is a “phony version” of an incunabula Bible. The word incunabula is the word used for books that were printed before 1500. The Incunabula was published in 1495, and the Geneva Bible was not published until 1560; however, the publisher mistakenly printed 1495 for the New Testament. Of course, this was before the Geneva Bible was even printed. Likely, the publisher actually meant to put 1594. So, this edition is a very rare item, as the publisher attempted to recover it after publication, due to the mistaken date of publication. Within the text, there are tables and concordances which are meant to aid the reader.