John Eliot

John Eliot was born on August 5, 1604, and lived 86 years, leaving a legacy as a missionary and Bible translator. He was an English Puritan who cared deeply for the Native Americans of New England—an unpopular allegiance in the colonies. He learned the Wôpanâak language, and with the help of a Native American named John Sassamon translated the Bible into their language. Tensions between Native Americans and English colonists erupted in King Philip’s War of 1675. By the end of the war, nearly all copies of the Wôpanâak language Bible had been destroyed. But on display in the Impact of the Bible on America exhibit in Museum of the Bible is a rare first edition of Eliot’s translation—the first Bible printed in America!

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