Une bible à la main. La lecture de la Bible par les laïcs calvinistes au XVIe siècle

The image belongs to the collective memory of the reformed world: at nightfall, a family gathered around the dining table listens to the patriarch who reads the Bible in a large format edition open before him. Greuze’s painting or old engravings help us to imagine the scene. However, this scene is rare in the reformed families of the sixteenth century and belongs more to the imagination of nineteenth-century biblical societies. It was only in the 17th century, and late in the 17th century, that the Calvinist ecclesiastical authorities in Geneva really promoted the family reading of the Scriptures. The article discusses the place of lay Bible reading, whether individual or family, in Geneva in the 16th and 17th centuries, starting from the positions taken by Calvin and Beza, and then observing the practice of lay readers through the registers of the Geneva Consistory. In some way, it is the archaeology of the free examination of Scripture by the Reformed people that Max Engammare is investigating.