Delaware Bible Summaries for Indian Youth
Delaware Bible Summaries. Forty-six Select Scripture Narratives from the Old Testament, Embellished with Engravings, for the Use of Indian Youth. Translated into Delaware Indian by A. Luckenbach.
New York: Daniel Fanshaw, 1838. (00157)
Abraham Luckenbach (1777–1854) became a Moravian missionary in 1800 and served among the Delaware Indians in the northeastern United States and Canada for four decades. In his preface to these translated Bible stories, addressed to the Delaware Christian Indians, Luckenbach wrote, “This book will give you a summary historical account of the creation of the world, the fall of man, the flood, the lives of the Patriarchs, God’s particular dealings with the children of Israel, as his covenant people. . . . I flatter myself with the thought, that the possession of such a treasure will be an encouragement to you and your children hereafter, to apply yourselves more ardently to the exercise of reading and meditating upon those great truths and events, which . . . have been exhibited and revealed by the great Ruler of the Universe to the children of men.”
Luckenbach’s publication of the Bible into Delaware was preceded by the work of two earlier Moravian missionaries. The American Bible Society published a translation of the Epistles of John by Christian F. Dencke (1775–1838) in 1818 and Daniel Fanshaw printed a Delaware Gospel Harmony by David Zeisberger (1721–1808) in 1821. Zeisberger also composed an Essay of a Delaware-Indian and English spelling-book, for the Use of the Schools of the Christian Indians on Muskingum River, printed in 1776 at Philadelphia.