Bible Heritage Collection

Eliot Bible Leaf


Eliot Bible Leaf



Document Type

Original leaf


Bible, Eliot Bible

Brief Description

[One original leaf- printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts] This Bible translated into the Natick dialect of the east coast Algonquin Indians was the first Bible printed in America. This page is from a copy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Samuel Green and Marmaduke Johnson between 1660 and 1663. The printing was done at what is now the site of Harvard University, near Boston. The text from the Bible on these two pages is from Ezekiel 25:1 to 27:12


Many are surprised to discover that the first Bible printed in America was not in English, or any other European language, but an Algonquin Indian Bible in the Natick dialect published between 1660 and 1663 by the missionary John Eliot. The first English language Bible printed in America would not be produced until 1781. Eliot's Bible did much more than bring the Gospel to one of the native tribes in America; it also gave them literacy. Eliot had to first reduce the spoken language to print and then translate the English Bible into the Algonquin language. Eliot agreed to learn the Algonquin spoken language, they agreed to learn the western world's phonetic alphabet, and then Eliot translated the Bible into their native tongue phonetically using the English alphabet. Pages from the Eliot Algonquin Bible remain some of the most rare and historically important artifacts of our American heritage. They are also among the earliest of all American printings

Country or Place of Origin



Natick dialect of the Algonquins

Publisher of the Original

Printeuoop nashpe Samuel Green kah Marmaduke Johnson


Cambridge, MA

Publication Date of the Original


Eliot Bible Leaf