The translation of the Scriptures into the Algonquian language of the Massachuset, made by John Eliot (1604-90), the Apostle to the Indians, was the first Bible printed in America by the English authorities. The first edition of the whole Bible was published at Cambridge, Mass., in 1663,the New Testament having appeared two years before. The books of Genesis and Matthew seem to have been printed in 1655 and a portion of the Psalms in 1658, by which time the translation of the whole Bible was completed. Eliot was the author of other works in the language of the Massachuset, and of books about the language and the natives (Pilling, Bibliog. Algonq. Lang., Bull. B. A. E., 1891). Trumbull’s Dictionary of the Eliot Bible, which is not exhaustive, has been published as the Natick Dictionary (Bull. 25, B. A. E., 1903). The Eliot Bible is one of the monuments of missionary endeavor and prescientific study of the Indian tongues. In his linguistic labors Eliot was assisted by his two sons and by several Indians. See Bible translations, Cockenoe. (A. F. C.)
John Eliot Bible
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