The Breeches Bible of the Covenanter Peter Gemmell Killed in 1685 #History #Scotland


Among the relics of the Covenanters held at Lochgoin, is the bible of Peter Gemmel, aka. Patrick Gemmell, who was shot and killed at Midland in Fenwick parish in November, 1685.

According to Johnston:

‘Breeches’ Bible. — Imprinted at London, 1599. It is inscribed — Peter Gemmel, with my hand. And aye to be at God’s command.’ (Johnston, Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, 638.)

A Breeches Bible was a copy of the Geneva Bible, which had a more direct translation of the text than the King James Bible and contained explanatory footnotes and introductions to chapters for the reader that were missing in the latter. In general, the Geneva Bible offered more direction on how the reader should interpret the text. The ‘Breeches’ Bibles take their name from the translation of the famous passage on Adam and Eve and the fig leaves found in Genesis 3.7. Where the Geneva text used the down-to-earth term ‘breeches’ to describe how they had covered their nakedness, the King James version chose to use ‘aprons’. The 1599 edition of the Breeches Bible went through many cheaper, pirated editions in the 1630s that were “falsely” dated 1599. It is probable that Gemmel’s copy was one of the later.

Although killed near Fenwick and buried there, Gemmell was from (New) Cumnock parish.

For more on Peter Gemmell, see here.

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Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine



~ by drmarkjardine on September 28, 2016.

One Response to “The Breeches Bible of the Covenanter Peter Gemmell Killed in 1685 #History #Scotland”

  1. […] bible was a Geneva, or ‘Breeches’, Bible like that of Peter Gemmell, but it was also unusual. Published in 1610, it was only the second edition of the Bible printed in […]

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