John Eliot Bible Project

Please allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves and the purpose of this correspondence. My name is Mark Smith, and I am the administrative director of the in Tacoma, WA. We produce and provide, for the public use, facsimile editions of antiquarian Bibles and books and related items that visually enhance a historic presentation, whether institutions, collectors, museums, or academic exhibits and display, we are reproducing rare and original pieces for use in visual education. Our primary function is reproducing in facsimile the finest extant copies of the historic line of Bibles and books that tell the story of the transmission of God’s Word from the Hebrew and Greek through the English Bible, and many accompanying texts along the way.

We are working with American Indian missionary Gerry Locklear on reproducing for him this nation’s first printed Bible; it is a First Nation Bible, not in English but in the Natick language of the Wampanoag Indians of Massachusetts, called the Algonquians. This Bible was translated by missionary John Eliot with the help of several native Indians, including two men who dedicated themselves to printing it in 1661 as a complete New Testament, and then in 1663 the complete whole Bible. The Wampanoag language was not a written language, so John Eliot dedicated 14 years to learning the language and then producing a written format to help the people to learn God’s Word, and better communicate even among the native Indians. John Eliot had previously translated the Hebrew text of the Old Testament book of Psalms into English meter, and that would be the first book printed in British America in 1640, called the Bay Psalms book. This would be the Puritans’ songbook for many decades to come, and it too would be translated for the numerous tribes living in New England.

Reverend Gerry Locklear

Click on the button above to visit the the Biblical Heritage Exhibit!

This Bible is an exact facsimile of the first Bible printed in America in 1663 at Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Bible was translated from the Geneva English by missionary John Eliot into the Natick language of the Wampanoag Algonquian Indians. John Eliot was aided by several First Nation men who had converted to Christianity, and the project was funded by Christians in England. Under the heading of The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Indians and The New England Company, a printing press was purchased and production began. The New Testament was printed first in 1661, and the complete Bible in 1663. The cooperative effort provided the First Nation people with the nation’s first Bible printed in North America, the Eliot Algonquian Indian Bible. This Bible is the first full facsimile produced in over 360 years when 1000 copies were printed and provided freely for the people. We return to the Algonquian Indians of Massachusetts, the Bible that is rightly theirs.

A single copy can be purchased online at for $99.99 plus shipping.

Please watch this brief video about the John Eliot Bible Project

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to the project, please click on the button below.