American Bible Society Founded
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Time Period
1816
Description
Wealthy converts from the early revivals associated with the Second Great Awakening desired ways of advancing the gospel as laypeople. They started missions agencies, like the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which funded missionary efforts all over the globe. They also created an array of voluntary societies meant to promote the gospel at home along interdenominational lines through literature and education.

In 1816, several regional Bible literacy organizations banded to form the American Bible Society (ABS). In its first four years, the group distributed 100,000 Bibles. From 1829 to 1831, when the population of the United States stood at less than 13 million people, the ABS printed more than one million Bibles.

The ABS still exists and estimates to have printed more than four billion full or partial Bibles.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
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Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Selling bibles in Atlanta, GA- Hathi Trust- from Story of the American Bible Society, 1916

Elias Boudinot, first American Bible Society president- Hathi Trust- from History of the American Bible Society by W. P. Strickland

The Bible House, Astor Place, New York- Hathi Trust- from The Centennial History of the American Bible Society by Henry Otis Dwight
Book/Journal Source(s)
Ahlstrom, Sydney, 2004. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Noll, Mark, 1992. A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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