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The 1782 Aitken Bible: The First English Bible Printed in America


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RANDOM PASSAGES may be ordered online.

SKU: ABL-1578 Categories: , Tag: Product ID: 1353


A leaf from the first Bible printed in the English language in America. These leaves are over 230 years old. Called “The Bible of the Revolution”, Robert Aitken’s little Bible was small enough to fit into the coat pocket of the Revolutionary War soldiers. The leaves measure only 6 inches tall by almost 4 inches wide. The only Bible printing ever called for by an act of the United States Congress; this King James Version Bible helped meet the need for scriptures while England refused to allow their Bibles to be imported by the rebellious colonists, during the embargo of the Revolutionary War.

These little treasures also come with a lovely black leather, gold-stamped, numbered limited-edition presentation book detailing their history, and containing their Certificate of Authenticity. The book shows what many of the other pages of the Aitken Bible looked like, offers a great historical overview of this “Bible of the Revolution”, shows the entry in the Journals of Congress calling for the printing to be done, and also offers the text of George Washington’s letter, commending Robert Aitken for helping to meet American soldiers’ need for Bibles, and being the first to print an English Bible in America.

As a curious side note: Robert Aitken’s daughter, Jane Aitken, went on to become the first woman in the history of the world to ever print a Bible. Jane published a translation into English done by the Secretary of the United States Congress, which was itself actually the first non-King James version English language Bible ever printed in America (or the Western Hemisphere for that matter).

Robert Aitken’s Bible was printed at his Philadelphia print shop, using an early American movable-type press. The paper stock is a thick grade of wood-pulp paper, as cotton was deemed to be too expensive for this production. Imagine …having a leaf from the first English Bible printed in America: The 1782 Aitken Bible.