• Polyglot Bible, Antwerp: C. Plantin, 1572, World map in vol. 8

  • Luke in Seneca and English, New York: American Bible Society, 1829

  • Bible with Apocrypha in English, Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, 1791, Frontispiece

  • Bible with Apocrypha in English, Worcester, Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, 1791, Title Page

A Light to the Nations

America's Earliest Bibles (1532-1864)

October 14, 2010–January 16, 2011

“I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” (Isaiah 49:6)

Columbus’ voyages in the 1490s and the subsequent conquest and colonization of the New World brought Christianity to the Americas and opened endless possibilities to the activity of missionaries and Bible translators. In the age of discovery, spreading the Christian faith was routinely presented as the ultimate goal of geographical exploration and territorial expansion.

Once established Christian communities faced the need for new translations of the biblical text and locally printed editions of well-known translations in their mother tongues. Printers had to solve a variety of technical problems while developing marketing strategies for the distribution of home made products. A Light to the Nations explores the history of their efforts and achievements.

Support for A Light to the Nations: America’s Earliest Bibles (1532-1864) and all related programs has been provided by the American Bible Society.

Visit MOBIA Museum of Biblical Art
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New York, NY 10023
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