Bible FAQ

Folger Shelfmark 1427 (STC 2106): The 1570 de Vere Geneva Bible. After an original kindly provided by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Folger Shelfmark 1427 (STC 2106): The 1570 de Vere Geneva Bible. After an original kindly provided by the Folger Shakespeare Library.

What is the de Vere Geneva Bible?

A copy of the 1568-70 2nd edition of the Geneva Bible, purchased in 1925 by Henry Clay Folger for his Folger Shakespeare Library Collection, from Leicestershire bookseller Bernard Halliday. The receipt states – correctly — that the book bears the “arms of the Earl of Oxford.” The book will hereafter be referred to by its Folger shelfmark, 1427.

Can we be sure that the book was actually owned by the 17th Earl of Oxford?
Yes. Four independent lines of evidence converge to prove this point:

1) Shelfmark 1427  is bound in scarlet velvet with silver engraved armorial devices belonging the Earldom of Oxford. Given the publication date, the only Earl of Oxford for whom this binding can plausibly have been created is Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl (1550-1604).

2) Surprising as it may seem, the original bill of sale for shelfmark 1427 is still preserved in records for the Court of Wards from 1570, as reprinted in B.M. Ward’s 1928 biography of Oxford: “To William Seres, stationer, for a Geneva Bible gilt, a Chaucer, Plutarch’s works in French, and other books and papers…£2 7d 10p.”  The Folger 1427 volume, like the Geneva Bible described in the 1570 purchase order, has a gilded foredge.

3) The handwriting in shelfmark 1427 – which contains approximately 32 short handwritten notes (often of no more than one word) – has been verified through independent forensic paleography, to be that of the 17th Earl.  Board certified examiner Ms. Emily Will concluded  that “After thorough examination of the documents presented in this case, it is my expert opinion that it is highly probable that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is the author of the Q1 questioned annotations. It is the limitations of the questioned materials, rather than any significant difference between the known and questioned writings, which prevents an unqualified opinion” (Will 2000).

4) As Dr. Stritmatter’s dissertation has  shown (55-59), many themes reflected in the marked passages of shelfmark 1427 can be traced directly to known biographical facts of Oxford’s life. This confirms the evidence of handwriting:  not only was Oxford the original owner of the book, but  it was he who made the annotations.

How do We Know that the Annotated Passages really can be found as allusions in Shakespeare?

Please take the quiz.

What is the Geneva Bible?

The Geneva Bible is the translation of the Bible prepared by William Whittingham and his Protestant associates in Geneva, Switzerland, during the period 1553 through 1560. The first edition was published in 1560 in Geneva; due to its incendiary implied criticisms of Catholicism, it remained a popular but unauthorized translation throughout the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1568 the Church of England published an alternative Protestant translation, the Bishop’s Bible, which remained the official English Bible until the King James edition appeared in 1611.

Over a hundred years of scholarship has made it clear that the Geneva Bible was the translation most familiar to Shakespeare; although he knew the Bishop’s and other translations, and sometimes prefers their variant wording, the version of the Bible which he recalled most spontaneously and frequently was the Genevan. This fact alone is enough to demonstrate the extreme unlikelihood of the recent revisionist view that Shakespeare was a recusant Catholic. To any Catholic the Geneva translation of the Bible would have been heretical and is the last version he would be likely to read or recall in his work.

Where was shelfmark 1427 between 1604 (when Oxford died) and 1925 (when Henry Clay Folger purchased it)?

We do not know. Presumably it was somewhere in Leicestershire during the early 20th century, since Folger’s bookseller was from that county. It has been suggested that it may have been deacquisitioned around 1925 from Kenilworth castle. Although this is a plausible scenario, at this time it cannot be supported with any known tangible evidence.

Have the  inks been tested to prove their authenticity as 16th century inks?

No. In 1995 Dr. Stritmatter and colleagues (specifically, Mark K. Anderson and George Anderson, a chemist) requested that the Folger library undertake such tests, and offered to help design protocols and arrange funding. These requests were refused.

Doesn’t the fact that the underlining is in several colors of ink mean that the book was annotated by multiple annotators?

No. Despite claims to the contrary by Professor James Shapiro in his Oxfordian-baiting book, Contested Will, which I reviewed here (generically) and here (with respect to his false claims about my dissertation), and here (with respect to the book’s bizarrely incompetent scholarship) annotations appear in all three major ink groups of the Bible. In several cases, annotations in orange ink (also used elsewhere to underline) are found in association with underlining in brown, and visa-versa.

By overwhelming preponderance the evidence suggests that the book was read and annotated over many years in several different colors of ink by the one individual for whom it was purchased and bound in 1570.

What is the evidence connecting the annotations of shelfmark 1427 to the works of Shakespeare?

The following claims are documented in Dr. Stritmatter’s dissertation or in follow up analysis by Dr. Richard Waugaman:

1) Of the approximately 1043 underlined or marked verses in shelfmark 1427, 147 are cited in previous authorities (Carter, 1905; Milward, 1984; Shaheen, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1999) as Shakespearean influences (Stritmatter 311-315).

2) 20 more marked verses contain language that is at least as close as that found in the verse identified by one or more of these authorities as a Shakespearean influence (Stritmatter 315).

3) 81 marked verses contain language that, although not cited by previous authorities as influencing Shakespeare, exhibit more or less definite traces of influence, documented in the dissertation (Stritmatter 316-318).

4) Of sixteen psalms marked in the Sternhold and Hopkins 1569 metrical psalms which is bound with the de Vere Bible, nine have been  cited in previous authorities as influencing Shakespeare. Subsequent work by R. Waugaman, published in Notes and Queries,  shows that the actual number of marked psalms significantly influencing Shakespeare is much greater than was known in 2001.

5) The more times a Shakespearean verse is cited by Shakespeare, the more likely it is to be marked in the de Vere Bible.

6) At least two marked verses as well as a number of underlined notes contain language reflected in Shakespeare that is found only in the Geneva Bible.

7) Of 81 Bible verses or groups of verses that Shakespeare alludes to four or more times (accounting for as many as 22.5% of all Shakespeare’s Bible references), no less than thirty are directly marked in the de Vere Bible (Stritmatter 78; 267-304).

Many of the annotations fall into one of several definite thematic emphases, all of them with implications for better understanding their relationship to the field of Shakespeare’s references to the Bible. These include:

1. The responsibilities of the rich and powerful.

2. The virtue of charity.

3. The evils of usury.

4. The nature of sin.

5. Prophecy.

6. The value of secret works.

7. The nature of providence in eschatological end times.

8. The nature of proper speech.

9. The discrepancy between truth and appearance.

Isn’t it true that the annotations of shelfmark 1427 were made before Oxford purchased it?

No. This is a rumor started by the Folger Shakespeare Library, in a 1993 pamphlet, Roasting the Swan of Avon, and later perpetuated by the Smithsonian Magazine. Despite being promulgated by such supposed authorities as the Folger library and Smithsonian, the argument, as Mark K. Anderson and Roger Stritmatter demonstrated in 1996, was based on erroneous facts and indefensible reasoning.

Doesn’t Berkeley Emeritus Professor Alan Nelson claim that the shelfmark 1427 annotations are not by Oxford?

That depends when you talk to him. Here is a partial chronology of Dr. Nelson’s opinions on the matter:

  • 6/3/95, personal communication to R. Stritmatter and Phaeton online discussion forum: “I am 99 and 44/100 percent certain that the annotating hand is Oxford’s; I am 100 percent sure (if its possible to be that) that the Bible is Oxford’s.”
  • 6/4/99, to the Chronicle of Higher Education: “The hand is simply not the same hand that wrote [the] letters. The people who claim this is clearly Oxford’s hand just don’t know their paleography.”

Why did Nelson change his mind?

In a 2000 conversation with William Boyle and Roger Stritmatter, Dr. Nelson explained his transformation this way: “Um…I wanted it to be Oxford’s handwriting….yes, that’s what I’m going to say.”

At the present time, this is the most complete explanation that Dr. Nelson has given for his remarkable “about face” on the fundamental question of the handwriting of the annotations. If you don’t find it to be thorough or convincing, perhaps you can ask Nelson yourselff….

How can I order a copy of the dissertation?

As of 10/17/2017, the dissertation is again available, with a substantially revised and updated appendix, at a retail price of $69, on Amazon.

83 Responses to “Bible FAQ”

  1. bella says:

    It was my understanding that when Queen Elizabeth, all ( if not most variables) og the good book were allowed. So one could argue that Shakespeare (although catholic), may in fact owned a Geneva bible..what say you?

    • Roger Stritmatter says:

      Good morning, Bella. I wouldn’t say that it is impossible that a Catholic would have owned a Geneva Bible, but I would also say:

      1) The authorship question has, in my opinion, long since passed beyond such hypotheticals;
      2) We’re now looking at a particular Geneva Bible, once owned and annotated by the 17th Earl of Oxford
      3) It shows many tangible and telling connections to the works of Shakespeare
      4) These connections are part of a much larger pattern of connective tissue that has been developed over the last ninety years suggesting that Oxford is the real author of the canon.

      Therefore, discussions about who might possibly have owned what kinds of Bible, while they may be entertaining in their own right, have little relevance to the actual fact pattern that the Oxfordians have brought forward for consideration. For further details, please consult Looney online, or find a copy of Anderson, Ogburn, etc.

      Thanks for the question!

  2. […] to Dr. Stritmatter for being ahead of his time and an expert in the beginnings of a little-but-yet-to-be explored […]

  3. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc,
    Would you please add the eight “definite themes” you’ve identified in the de Vere Bible that “the annotator seems clearly preoccupied with” to your Bible FAQs… Thanks!!

    1. The responsibilities of the rich and powerful.
    2. The virtue of charity.
    3. The evils of usury.
    4. The nature of sin.
    5. Prophecy.
    6. The value of secret works.
    7. The nature of providence in eschatological end times.
    8. The nature of proper speech.

  4. Roger Stritmatter says:

    hmmm…..I think you just did! Thanks. 🙂

  5. knitwitted says:

    O excellent! Knew you’d see things my way 🙂

  6. knitwitted says:

    Roger, don’t you think your dissertation adequately proved the Looney/Ogburn case? When will you stop following their cause and start leading the annotator’s cause? Doesn’t the annotator deserve his own say?
    Hope this bugs ya 🙂

  7. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hiya Knit,

    Good idea. Unfortunately my next book is going to be a detour in Melville studies, and then I will finish up the de Vere Bible book. Here is the basis for the Melville book: Many reasons for doing this first, and I have applied for sabbatical next spring (which I got) and an NEH grant (which I’m still waiting on) for that project – so it will go quickly and will be finished in a little over a year from now, and then I will be back with the de Vere Bible book.

  8. knitwitted says:

    Certainly not an unfortunate alternative but suppose waiting further for your de Vere Bible book will be good for one’s soul. Plus the idea of clogging your brain with more ideas is quite appealing. Heck, I’m grinning already 🙂 Many well wishes to you, and much success and congrats to you and Lynne! Best, L

  9. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Thanks. Still enjoying your time off?

  10. richard waugaman says:

    re: evidence connecting de Vere’s Bible with Shakespeare’s work–

    5) Should be, “The more times a BIBLICAL verse is cited by Shakespeare, the more likely it is to be marked in the de Vere Bible.”

    Many thanks for citing my work, Roger! It’s all thanks to you that I got started on this, and it was your encouragement that led me to persevere with the Psalms.

  11. Roger Stritmatter says:

    My pleasure, naturally. What are you working on now?

  12. knitwitted says:

    Howdy Doc!
    Just wondering if Sonnet 116: “Whose worths unknowne, although his hight be taken.” would fall under I Samuel 16.7: “Loke not on his countenance, nor on ye height of his stature… For man loketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.” Many thanks!!

  13. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Very interesting conjecture. There is indeed a close affinity of idea – which I had never seen before.

    Of course this is also about using the stars for navigation.

  14. Roger Stritmatter says:

    I like how wikipedia seems to regard an online blog which argues in part by ridiculing my name as R(eliable) S(source). Does that mean that if I decide to expose the fallacies and misrepresentations of Veal in my own blog, it will be regarded as RS on the basis of some principle of fairness? I’m not holding my breath.

  15. knitwitted says:

    uh-oh I hope you’re not fussing at me… I’m the one who first made the RS connection (strictly to make my point about the themes of the Bible being part of the Oxfordian theory). Apologies for any inappropriate word play. I hope you will have a chance to read my essay in which I’ve tried to point out a couple of major errors committed by your critics regarding your research. Best!

  16. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Nope, not fussing, just commenting about the tendency to decide whether or not a source is “reliable” based on whether it endorses one conclusion or another. The entire Wikipedia operation is directed at proving that Tom Reedy, NIshidani, et al. are always right. Any source that shows how wrong they are is, of course, not RS. Sorry about not reading yet – mea culpa, coming up.

  17. knitwitted says:

    Am sorry, I actually misread your reply. Was hoping you’d see the WP gods finally allowed the Bible themes to grace their page. Agree their rules aren’t allowed to be used by anyone else…. What else is new?! Amazing how your blog linked to the Bible FAQs couldn’t be used as an external link because the Shax Fellowship was already listed but Irvin Matus’ personal blog could be listed.

  18. Roger Stritmatter says:

    I guess Wikipedia prefers a deceased bum to a living professor.

  19. knitwitted says:

    LOL. Have ya noticed the concept of logic doesn’t exist in Wikiville?

  20. knitwitted says:

    Regarding Wikipedia’s concept of “reliable sources”: “Academics have also criticized Wikipedia for its perceived failure as a reliable source…”

  21. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Yes, the irony is that I am more generally a supporter of Wikipedia and believe that on many topics the entries cannot be beaten — that in many instances the collaborative nature of the enterprise can produce better results than the “expert only” top down model of generating information. But to revert the immortal works of Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker, Wikipedia fails miserably when “one side is wrong and doesn’t know it” — that being, of course, the side that feels empowered to compel its own blinkered view of reality on the rest of the world using the means by now well documented in the Wikipedia authorship wars.

  22. knitwitted says:

    Hey Doc,
    What’s the rationale for pointing out that Will of Strat couldn’t have been the author because of x, y, z (no record of his education, of his books, etc.)? Don’t a lot of the plays deal with “don’t judge a book by its cover” i.e. I Samuel 16.7: “For man loketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.” ? So why the need to judge Will of Strat? Can’t the evidence that Oxford wrote the canon stand on its own?

  23. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Great question as usual. The question of to what extent one needs to deal with the “negative case” of Stratford Will before proceeding to talk about Oxford as the author has a long history of discussion and debate among anti-Stratfordians. Some have felt that we are in a position to just proceed to talking about the abundant positive evidence for Oxford and have no need to further dismantle the crumbling edifice of Stratfordiana.

    Mark Anderson, for example, took this track in his wonderful Shakespeare by Another Name. Diana Price took the opposite approach in Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography. Both are superb books that accomplish what each author set out to do, and depending on the reader one may appeal more than the other, or some readers will like combining them.

    Personally I think both approaches are valid, but I have also long been among those who are satisfied that one does not need to know very much, or say very much, about Stratford Will (beyond, say, what Touchstone says about him in AYLI!!), and “let’s get on to the interesting stuff” about Oxford. The evidence for his authorship certainly can, imho, stand on its own — as you rightly suggest.

  24. knitwitted says:

    Great!! Surely don’t have a need to tell people what to write in their own books but would be interested in arguments challenging Shax’s intrinsic values. For example, the Strats have it *WRONG* regarding the doubters and the snob attitude. It’s the guy from Strat who was the snob. Specifically, he was a nouveau snob who attained the rank of gentleman via a coat of arms, amassed his £££, purchased the second-largest house in Stratford, and enacted his legacy via primogeniture and the entailment of his property. Compare and contrast with de Vere who sponsored the publication of mere mortals’ books and basically un-amassed his rights, titles, and hereditaments by giving away his £££ and lands. From my experience, nouveau snobs tend *not* to associate with mere mortals and basically blind-eye the existence of such persons.

  25. knitwitted says:

    Hey Roger! I notice a criticism of your research regarding finding new allusions to the Bible in that those new allusions were ones marked in de Vere’s Bible rather than ones found in *all* of Shakespeare. umm… For our purposes, who cares what allusions weren’t marked in the de Vere Bible? i.e. If the de Vere Bible wasn’t a workbook for writing the plays, then there is *no significance* attached to what wasn’t maked in it. i.e. Do your critics have a clue???

  26. knitwitted says:

    Hey again! Shaheen’s chapter “Criteria for a Valid Reference” gives examples of events in the plays which “various authorities” (mostly well-known Shax scholars) have suggested as being based on or at least inspired by the Bible (in particular, the N.T.) but Shaheen says such events are derived from secular sources. One example: Cleopatra’s death with her two attendants parallels the Cruxifixion. Question: Why couldn’t Shax, upon reading Plutarch, mentally note a similarity to the Cruxifixion? Or was he expected to put aside his knowledge of the N.T. when reading secular works (i.e. read within the context of what that author would have known)? What’s the rationale for assuming Shax used a secular source over the N.T.? If, per Shaheen, Shax seldom borrows biblical references from his sources even when those sources contain many references, why couldn’t Shax come up with his own parallels of Plutarch, etc. to the N.T.? Do we know that stories in the N.T. weren’t borrowed from secular sources?

  27. Roger Stritmatter says:

    You won’t get any argument from me. Shaheen’s own evidence for the bard’s facile, associative memory suggests that he would be collating similar ideas from multiple sources, not as you say just “putting aside” his knowledge of the NT for example when reading secular sources. Shaheen’s work has a number of limiting biases, but among them is the assumption that if a secular source is available, that must be the one Sh. used. In some cases it may be possible to demonstrate “from sign” — i.e., particular unique or unusual wording — that this is the case. But in other cases “sign” may point both directions, in effect documentating the collation process hypothesized above.

  28. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hi Knit,

    In response to your first comment above (the previous comment was in response to your second comment), I’m not sure I fully get your point. Can you clarify what you mean by “those new allusions were ones marked in de Vere’s Bible rather than ones found in *all* of Shakespeare”?

    Did you mean to write “rather than ones found in *all* of the Bible?”

    In my Notes and Queries articles I focused mainly on new Bible references in Shakespeare of passages marked in the de Vere Bible. There are many of these, but I focused on the most readily apparent of them and wrote six articles. Richard Waugaman followed a similar strategy for the psalms in his much longer N&Q article. The fact that one can use the de Vere Bible to discover new dimensions of Shakespeare’s religious imagination is one of the strongest arguments for the validity of the hypothesis that he was Shakespeare.

    Are there many verses marked in his Bible that show no obvious influence in Sh.? Yes — depending on how you count, anywhere from 1/2 to 4/5.

    Does this mean anything? Only to those living on the banks of Denial.

    Where is Mr. Shakspere’s Bible? Where, as Justice Stevens asked in 1991, are any of his books?

    As you say, he did not read the Bible looking for verses to use in his plays. He read it for his own spiritual instruction, a great deal of which he found occasion to express in one way or another in the plays. It is comical to watch people like Tom Veal set up hoops which the evidence, like a trained circus animal, is supposed to jump through in order to satisfy their limited comprehension of what the evidentiary fact pattern is saying.

  29. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hey again!

    In response to your first post above (I really need to install threaded comments!), about snobbery — absolutely. The snobbery accusation is simply a measure of the ignorance and insecurity of those who use it!

  30. knitwitted says:

    re: “those new allusions were ones marked in de Vere’s Bible rather than ones found in *all* of Shakespeare”… meaning focusing on annotations in the de Vere Bible to match w/ Shax rather than going through all of Shax looking for new allusions and *then* matching the new allusions to de Vere. (Poor wording on my part?!!) And if, as we think, de Vere used his Bible for his own personal growth, then we would not expect *any* correlation between his Bible and the plays. We would then start our evaluation of the two at zero. Meaning *any* overlap between the two canons would be considered significant. It would be meaningless to quantify what doesn’t overlap because de Vere didn’t use his Bible to write the plays. (Wordy, huh!!)

    re: “the collation process”… Yep. Don’t we all build upon our own knowledge base? Why promote the same old ideas when you can put 2+2 together and come up with a 5 !! Would Shax have used a secular source “as is” to illustrate a particular perhaps well-known event? And mish-mash multiple sources to come up with a new idea? i.e. the creative process.

    re: “snobbery”… I thought so!! Thanks for the confirmation!!

    re: “I really need to install threaded comments!” Yep. 🙂

    And thanks for all your great responses!! Having fun finding stuff that fits my brain 🙂

  31. knitwitted says:

    Your “The fact that one can use the de Vere Bible to discover new dimensions of Shakespeare’s religious imagination is one of the strongest arguments for the validity of the hypothesis that he was Shakespeare.” Excellent !!!

    Any chance you would put an addendum to your Bible FAQs to highlight (1) this fact, (2) the fact that the Bible was used by de Vere for his own spiritual growth, and (3) the identified themes. I think these facts have unfortunately been overshadowed by the stats.

  32. Roger Stritmatter says:


    These are excellent suggestions and I will follow up on them. Also I haven’t forgotten your guest post! I just went in and updated your status to “author.” You should now be able to login and use the wordpress dashboard. Then you can cut and paste your article. If you do that, you will show up as the author of the post and it won’t look like I was ghosting under your name! Save the story, but don’t publish it, and then email me. I can then go in and edit it (as needed) and publish it.

    Also, I do plan on published a detailed critique of Tom Veal’s nonsense, probably in January. Thanks for the reminder!

  33. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Knit, you write: re: “those new allusions were ones marked in de Vere’s Bible rather than ones found in *all* of Shakespeare”… meaning focusing on annotations in the de Vere Bible to match w/ Shax rather than going through all of Shax looking for new allusions and *then* matching the new allusions to de Vere.

    Ok, that’s what I thought you meant, but I wasn’t quite sure. Well, hey, I would ask those critics to put their money where their mouths are. It is not my job to go on *their* fool’s errand. I used the materials available to me (as did Richard Waugaman, moreover) to hunt down a whole raft of new Shakespearean Bible allusions. Even a blind pig finds a pearl sometimes, but I would hope that even my critics would agree that it is better to employ the best available search methodology if you want to find something.

    Last summer I was with a group of friends on a primitive wilderness island in Washington State when one of our party lost a wedding ring in the mudflats on an incoming tide. I hate to think where that ring would still be if we had followed the advice of these armchair scholars.

    Don’t get me wrong. There are unidentified Shakespearean bible allusions that are *not* underlined in the de Vere Bible. In fact, you can read about a major one here (, in my review of Shaheen’s study of the comedies, and doubtless there are others. That a significant number, perhaps the majority, of those not identified in Carter, Noble, or Shaheen, *are* marked in the de Vere Bible is the prediction of the Oxfordian hypothesis. To a considerable extent my dissertation had already, in 2001, confirmed this to probably be true. If someone wants to disprove it, I’m not standing in his way. But it would be a lot of work, and my experience is that anti-Oxfordians as a group are not particularly enterprising in their approach to scholarship. Empty criticism is easier than substantive scholarship.

  34. knitwitted says:

    Excellent re: your follow-ups on the FAQs and Mr. Veal. Why is it when presented with the facts the Strats tend to hurl such choice expressions (per one recent discussion I had with Tom Reedy and Paul B. on Wikipedia): “utterly obscure”, “barely intelligible”, “frankly idiotic”, “bizarre”, “specious bullshit”, “minor nuisance”, “illogical”, “bias”, “incompetent”, “dishonest” ?

    Your “It is not my job to go on *their* fool’s errand.” Agree. Per the same Wikipedia discussion the boys do not like to do their own homework. A point I made was countered with a link to a generally-written Wikipedia article as proof positive *instead* of going to the group of documents in question to find out what actually took place.

    Your “Empty criticism is easier than substantive scholarship.” Yep.

  35. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc !!

    Thank you for your very generous offer to post my knitwittings !! I’m hoping my essay will show others how well the *facts* stand on their own when approached from a different view-point. i.e. Do we come to the same conclusions via differing research methods… Thanks again and best wishes !!

  36. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Naturally you are very welcome. I will in fact be composing a response to your excellent summary of the evidence for Shakespeare’s use of variant translations.

    Meanwhile you might oblige me, if you have Shaheen’s 2011 edition handy, by double-checking whether or not he lists Philippians 2.15 (the source of Portia’s “see how far that little candle throws his beams” line) in it, and if so whether he indicates what translation Shakespeare is following in that instance. This is a pretty important detail. Thanks.

    Regarding the fruitful reinvention of terms of abuse, the trouble what that strategy is that Shakespeare was way ahead of that gang of artless, lily-livered, mumble-newsing pompions. He could outswear any of them, and will do so, I imagine, before his ghost is finally exorcised. Cf any number of annotations in the de Vere Bible concerning speech, swearing, etc. Of course, none of Shakespeare’s swear words are actually found in the Bible, so I guess that proves — what? Huh?

    “A point I made was countered with a link to a generally-written Wikipedia article as proof positive *instead* of going to the group of documents in question to find out what actually took place.”

    Uhu. : )

  37. knitwitted says:

    Hey Doc!
    Golly!! Sounds like you’ve got yourself a full agenda with all your forthcoming posts and addendum, not to mention your off-the-blog projects… Enjoy!! And will be looking forward to more good news!! One more for the kitty, how about a review of not only Veal but Kathman? Thinking they’d both be “no-brainers”.

    Sending you an email re Philippians 2.15 … Look out for it 🙂

  38. Roger Stritmatter says:

    I will cover, perhaps in two postings, the whole entire sorry saga of the orthodox responses to the de Vere Bible evidence, including not only Kathman and Veal, but also Nelson and Smith. The chapter on Nelson and Smith is of some interest because when you view their published comments in relation to one another it is not difficult to see why Nelson changed his mind. He and Smith had contradicted one another, and so he had to fall on his sword.

  39. knitwitted says:

    Howdy Doc!

    Would you think a Bible dated 1568-70 would be of interest to Bible scholars, Renaissance scholars, social historians, and/or other similar groups based on its thematic content?

    Per William H. Sherman’s *Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England* (2008):
    p. 72: “[S]cholars have been surprisingly slow to take a closer look at what the growing number of readers did with the growing number of religious texts that were made available to them. Despite the fact that Renaissance households were far more likely to contain a Bible than any other volume, religious books have attracted less attention from historians of reading than used books from the fields of literature, rhetoric, politics, law, mathematics, and medicine.”

    p. 79: He goes on to say: “Very often the notes and underlinings simply serve to highlight noteworthy passages, but it can be interesting to see which sections particular readers took a special interest in.”

    p. 109: And thusly: “Even when we cannot know how representative a single object or practice is, it can shed light on larger logics (structural, social, and symbolic) that only can be glimpsed in their particular manifestations.”

    Thanks for your opinion! 🙂

  40. knitwitted says:

    BTW… I’m asking as if we didn’t know who owned the Bible… Would the annotations still be important?

    And further on that premise, how well do the identified themes in that marked Bible overlap themes in Shax?

  41. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hi Knit, some great quotes there from Sherman, who is one of the best contemporary Renaissance scholars, especially on the material culture of books. Regarding your question, I suppose the answer would be yes, but for different reasons.

  42. knitwitted says:

    Hi Doc,

    Could you add another criticism of Kathman, et al in their role as critics to your list please? A researcher’s goal is to add to the world’s knowledge base; hence any criticisms of other’s works should include an in-general viable solution to any such perceived problems. Presumably one can only review a subject based upon one’s own intimate knowledge of a subject and hence would be qualified to provide said solution. Failure to supply any viable solution shows an utter lack in what constitutes good-faith criticism and very well constitutes instead, as you have pointed out before (and often!), empty criticisms. Such critics aren’t true researchers in that they seek to deter the addition of knowledge via their own selfish interests.

    Hope this helps,

  43. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Patience, grasshopper. All good things come to he who observes the laws of the cosmos.

  44. knitwitted says:

    Howdy Doc,

    Would the de Vere Bible be useful for finding biblical allusions in the Shakespearean Apocrypha? And then compare those allusions to the plays’ prior sources? Or has someone already done this a la Shaheen? Seems to me such study would validate/invalidate that Shax wrote those plays based on the fact that Shax rarely borrowed his biblical allusions from his prior sources.

    Just thinking the de Vere Bible can be used for many such studies rather than just for proof of authorship.

    BTW… Congrats again on the acceptance of your latest *Notes and Queries* newly-found biblical allusion!!

    Best wishes,

  45. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hey knit, how’s the ol’ bayou country? Enjoying a few days with bro in Palo Alto b4 heading for the Sierras for a few days. Mostly working lately on Eliza Triumphans and some other projects aside from the de Vere Bible, and reading up regularly on the “Cold Fusion” Rossi saga – well worth following as it has just gotten more intriguing and plausible than ever – your folks in the petrol industry should keep an eye on it since it is a perfect storm economically and geo-politically.



  46. Roger Stritmatter says:

    O bye the way, yes there might be work to be done along the lines you suggest – although the apocrypha tends to have relatively few biblical references in it, but I once contemplated such a study of RIchard II, part I (Woodstock) – there’s lots there to collate for sure.

  47. knitwitted says:

    Hey Rog,

    Thanks for your comments… As for your “your folks in the petrol industry” sorry but I fear you hath blundered badly as you seem to be a bit behind the currency of the times. Everybody here’s on board the Blue Bell Posterior Expansion Theory. At $13/gallon, a much more profitable venture dontcha think? Check it out

    Glad you’re enjoying your time off!!

    Have fun,
    L : )

  48. knitwitted says:

    Hey Doc,

    hmm… Didn’t realize that when I said “Glad you’re enjoying your time off!!” your blog would take some well-deserved time off too!! Welcome back!!

    Thanks about the apocrypha… Just my noodle of interest if de Vere’s Bible would match the apocrypha…

    Another noodle… What about the de Vere Bible and Shakespeare’s source plays for his plays i.e. King Leir, the academic Timon, etc.? Shaheen says Shax didn’t use any biblical allusions from Leir nor did he use its Christian setting. Nor did he use the allusions from the academic Timon.

    Help please… Where would I find book(s)/article(s) showing those biblical allusions in King Leir, etc.? I checked Shaheen’s bibliography but nothing by title jumps out. Or did Shaheen find those allusions on his own? But never published his findings? That would be interesting if those allusions in Shax’s source plays show up in de Vere!!

    Enjoy! And take care,

  49. Roger Stritmatter says:

    Hi Knit, yep still in sunny western Oregon. This is a great question and I’m sure it would be worthwhile to investigate further. In general, it is correct that the “apocryphal” plays have fewer Bible allusions. One conspicuous exception is *Woodstock,* or *Richard II part 1*. Without having tabulated the evidence carefully (one of many good projects that need doing) I would say that the pattern of Bible allusions in that play strongly supports Michael Egan’s case identifying “Sh.” as the author.

    As for the literature search I’m sorry but at present I have no leads on that. It may not have been done, ever. There are many links between Leir and Shakespeare — sufficient, in my opinion (among others), to view it as being a work of Shakespearean juvenalia. But few of them (if any) are Biblical in nature.

    Good luck. Keep me posted.

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In "From Crackpot to Mainstream"Keir Cutler, PhD, takes down the recent Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (OUP, 2013)

Criticism of Cutler's "Is Shakespeare Dead?": "A magnificently witty performance!" (Winnipeg Sun). "Highly entertaining and engrossing!" (EYE Weekly). "Is Shakespeare Dead? marshals startling facts into an elegant and often tenacious argument that floats on a current of delicious irony" (Montreal Gazette).