NPR

Slave Bible From The 1800s Omitted Key Passages That Could Incite Rebellion

What's notable about this Bible is not just its rarity, but its contents, or rather the lack of certain contents — It excludes any portion of text that might inspire liberation or revolt.
Anthony Schmidt, associate curator of Bible and Religion in America at the museum, says the first instance of the abridged version of the Bible titled, Parts of the Holy Bible, selected for the use of the Negro Slaves, in the British West-India Islands, was published in 1807. Source: Museum of the Bible

On display now at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., is a special exhibit centered on a rare Bible from the 1800s that was used by British missionaries to convert and educate slaves.

What's notable about this Bible is not just its rarity, but its content, or rather the lack of content. It excludes any portion of text that might inspire rebellion or liberation.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR6 min read
'Rigoletto' In Vegas And The Pleasures Of The Metropolitan Opera
A recent Pop Culture Happy Hour trip to New York took the team to see Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera. A jester in a rat pack? We saw it.
NPR4 min read
Seeing Apollo Through The Eyes Of Astronauts
Five former NASA astronauts who flew on space missions reflect on some of the awe-inspiring photos from Apollo 11, the first lunar landing flight.
NPR3 min readPolitics
Steve Bullock Vows To Disentangle 'Dark Money' From Politics
The Montana governor, one of the last Democratic candidates to join the presidential race, is focused on bringing "sunshine and transparency" to campaign finance.