Second Edition of the Earliest Bible Printed in the Americas
[Bible. Massachuset]. Mamusse wunneetupanatamwe up-biblum God naneeswe nukkone testament kah wonk wusku testament.
Translated by John Eliot.
Cambridge, [Mass.]: Samuel Green, 1685. (Prothro B-64)
The first edition of this translation into the Native American language of Massachuset was the first Bible printed in the Western Hemisphere. Published in 1663, the so-called “Eliot Indian Bible” was compiled by John Eliot (1604–1690), a New England Puritan whose evangelical interest in the Natick-Algonquin Native Americans compelled him to learn their language and to render it phonetically into the roman alphabet. His translation was aided immensely by a native speaker, Job Nesutan, and the printing was made possible by the assistance of James Printer, a young native whom Eliot called “the one man…able to compose the Sheets and correct the Press with understanding.” Considered the earliest example of a new Bible translation printed for purposes of evangelization, Eliot’s Massachuset Bible of 1663 is extremely rare; Mrs. Prothro’s copy is from Eliot’s revised second edition of 1685.