Thomson Bible

Collection ID

BIB.002356.1-.4

Type

Bible - Printed Book

Date

1809

Geography

United States

Language

English

Medium

Printed on paper

Dimensions

8.5 × 5.7 × 1.7 in. (21.6 × 14.5 × 4.2 cm)

Exhibit Location

On view in The Impact of the Bible, Bible in America


Charles Thomson (1729–1824), the first secretary of the Continental Congress, created this Bible in the years following the American Revolution. Thomson was born in Ireland and immigrated to the colonies as a child. He later moved to Philadelphia, where he became involved in the movement for American independence. After retiring from government in 1789, he spent most of the next two decades translating this Bible from the Greek Septuagint. His translation was published in 1808 in four volumes by Jane Aitken, the daughter of Robert Aitken. The Thomson Bible is the first translation of the Septuagint published in English, and the first Bible printed by a woman in the United States.

Printed in 1808 by Jane Aitken, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Acquired by Elizabeth Tregos, unknown owner.[1] Acquired by 2010 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Elizabeth’s handwritten name appears on the title page of volume 1.

Select References:

Paul C. Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777–1880 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999).

Sam Haselby, The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).

description

Charles Thomson (1729–1824), the first secretary of the Continental Congress, created this Bible in the years following the American Revolution. Thomson was born in Ireland and immigrated to the colonies as a child. He later moved to Philadelphia, where he became involved in the movement for American independence. After retiring from government in 1789, he spent most of the next two decades translating this Bible from the Greek Septuagint. His translation was published in 1808 in four volumes by Jane Aitken, the daughter of Robert Aitken. The Thomson Bible is the first translation of the Septuagint published in English, and the first Bible printed by a woman in the United States.


provenance

Printed in 1808 by Jane Aitken, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Acquired by Elizabeth Tregos, unknown owner.[1] Acquired by 2010 by Gene Albert (Christian Heritage Museum), Hagerstown, Maryland; Privately purchased in 2010 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2016 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Elizabeth’s handwritten name appears on the title page of volume 1.

Select References:

Paul C. Gutjahr, An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777–1880 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999).

Sam Haselby, The Origins of American Religious Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015).


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