Friday, February 09, 2007

First English Bibles in America

If you had asked me a month ago, when and where did the first English Bible make its way to America, I would have guessed on the Mayflower in 1620, or perhaps on an earlier expedition to Jamestown (1607) or with Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584 when he landed on the coast of North Carolina. It turns out, however, that I may not have even guessed the right coast correctly. David Daniell in his book, The Bible in English, suggests that the correct answer is 1579 by Sir Francis Drake on his famous around-the-world voyage. Drake was looking for a North-West passage back to England but Canada got in his way. He turned back south and found a port, perhaps in San Francisco Bay, to overhaul his ship in preparation for his return journey. Drakes tells of his men reading from their Bibles and singing Psalms in response to the pagan worship ceremonies performed by the native Indians. The Geneva Bible was published in 1560 and it very well could have been that Bible that those sailors had in their possession on that famous voyage.

Now here is the interesting thing. I am currently in California for the RSA Security Conference and this trip has given me the opportunity to do a lot of reading in David Daniell's book. I just read the chapter about English Bibles in America on this trip. Here's the kicker: I am staying in downtown San Francisco at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel!


At 2:27 PM, Blogger Daphne said...

Hi Andy,
The Lord puts you where He wants you, when He wants.

It's great to get a real sense of His control and sovereign power.

I love you and can't wait to see you in about 26 hours,



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