Baptized on August 5, 1604, John Eliot’s eighty-six years earned him respect and the legacy as the “Apostle to the Indians.” He was a Puritan who cared deeply for the Native Americans of New England—an unpopular stance in the colonies.
But Eliot learned to speak the Wôpanâak language fluently, and with the help of a Native American named John Sassamon, he translated the Bible into that language. Tensions between Native Americans and English colonists erupted, leading to King Philip’s War in 1675. By the end of the war, nearly all copies of the Wôpanâak-language Bible were destroyed.
But when Museum of the Bible opens in November 2017, on display in the "Bible in America” exhibit, will be the rare, first edition of Elliot’s translation—the first Bible printed in America!