The First Bible Printed in America

Among the many Bibles on display at Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, is a first edition of the so-called "Eliot Indian Bible." It’s the first Bible printed in America and in a Native American language! John Eliot, a Cambridge scholar and Christian missionary, was a gifted translator and linguist.

With the assistance of several native speakers, he learned the Wôpanâak dialect of the tribes of colonial New England. His New Testament translation was printed in 1661. Two years later he completed the Old Testament in Wôpanâak. His translations documented a language that didn’t exist in written form before his translation, and decades before other English and European language translations of the Bible would be printed in America.

Share

More Book Minute Features

October 15, 2018

Phillis Wheatley

In 1773, Phillis Wheatley was freed from slavery and became the first African American to publish a book of poetry. She was bought by John and Susanna...
October 08, 2018

A Presidential Month

October is the most prolific month of the year to celebrate the birthdays of US Presidents—John Adams, Rutherford Hayes, Chester Arthur, Theodore Roos...
October 01, 2018

Lands of the Bible: Virtual Reality

Last year, a record-breaking number of people visited Israel—more than 3 million—800,000 of which were Americans; a number that keeps increasing. But...

Click to Expand