American Bible Union

The American Bible Union was formed in 1850 by Baptist members of the American Bible Society (ABS) who wanted the Society to produce translations that, in their view, more accurately reflected the original text. One place where they ran into conflict with other members of the ABS was over the translation of the Greek word baptize. Most English translations (including the Authorized or King James Version) simply transliterate the word rather than translate it as “immerse.” Between 1852 and 1861, they published a series of quarto edition that contained proposed revisions for most of the New Testament. A complete New Testament was published beginning in 1862 with a Second Revision published in 1865. A series of Old Testament volumes was also published between 1856 and 1884. In 1883 the American Bible Union ceased operation and turned over their activities to the American Baptists. The American Baptists continued their work and published an Improved Edition of the New Testament in about 1891 (this was published in two version – in one baptize is translated as immerse and in the other it is left as baptize.) They also published a complete Bible in 1912.

An excellent article on the history of the American Bible Union version may be found at www.bible-researcher.com.

For sample verses from the various American Bible Union versions,click here

New Testament Quartos - 1852-1861

Second Peter, Epistles of John, Jude - 1852

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Title: The Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistles of John and Jude: Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version.
Date: 1852
Publisher: New York: Printed by Holman and Gray, for the American Bible Union
Contents: 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude
References: Chamberlin 773-4; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.081.
Images: Cover, Title page (from the online facsimile)
Facsimile: A Facsimile is available at books.google.com
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as John Lillie.

Second Peter, Epistles of John, Jude, Revelation - 1854

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Title: The Second Epistle of Peter, The Epistles of John and Judas, and the Revelation: Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version, With Notes. New York: American Bible Union. London: Trübner and Co., No. 12 Paternoster Row. 1854
Date: 1854
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude, Revelation
References: Chamberlin 773-5; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 339, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.082.
Images: Cover, Title page
Facsimile: A Facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as John Lillie.

Matthew Chapters 1-3 - 1855

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Title: The Gospel According to Matthew, Chapters I., II., III. Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes.
Date: 1855
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Matthew Ch 1-3
Images: Cover, Title page (from the online facsimile)
References: Chamberlin 659-7; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 369, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.084.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as Orrin B. Judd.

Thessalonians - 1856

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Title: The Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians: Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes by the translator of II Peter - Revelation
Date: 1856
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: 1 & 2 Thessalonians
Images: Cover, Title page
References: Chamberlin 659-7; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 351, 362, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.088.
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as John Lillie.
Facsimile: A Facsimile is available at archive.org

Ephesians - 1857

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Title: The Epistle to the Ephesians. Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes. "The seed is the word of God." - Luke viii 11.
Date: 1857
Publisher: New York: American Bible Union. Louisville: Bible Revision Association. Cincinnati: American Christian Bible Society. London: Trubner & Co.
Contents: Ephesians
Images: Cover Title page
References: Chamberlin 747-3; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 362, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.090.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as N.N. Whiting.

Hebrews - 1857

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Title: The Epistle to the Hebrews. Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes.
Date: 1857
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Hebrews
Images: Cover, Title page
References: Chamberlin 769-5; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 363, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.091.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org. (The facsimile lacks the title page.)
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as N.N. Whiting.

Mark - 1858

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Title: The Gospel According to Mark Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes.
Date: 1858
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Mark
Description: 4to p. vi, 134.
Images: Cover, Title page
References: Chamberlin 668-3; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 369, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.093.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as N.N. Whiting.

Acts - 1858

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Title: Acts | of the Apostles. | Translated from the Greek, | on the Basis of the Common English Version. | With Notes. | He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. | What is the chaff to the wheat? saith Jehovah. | New York: | American Bible Union. | Louisville: Bible Revision Association. | London: Trübner and Co., No. 60 Paternoster Row. | 1858.
Date: 1858
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Acts
Images: Cover, Title page.
References: Chamberlin 693-3; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 370, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.092.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as Alexander Campbell.

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Title: Acts of the Apostles. Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With notes by Alexander Campbell.
Date: 1858 (facsimile reprint 1960s)
Publisher: College Press: Joplin, MO.
Contents: Acts
References: Chamberlin 693-3; Hills 1764, O'Callaghan p. 370, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.092.
Images: Jacket, Title page
Comments: This is a facsimile reprint of the American Bible Union's revision originally published in 1858. It was reprinted by the Ozark Bible College probably in the 1960s.

John -1859

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Title: The Gospel, by John; Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. New York: American Bible Union.
Date: 1859 (reprint 1864)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: John
References: Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.094.
Images: 1859 Cover, 1859 Title page, 1864 Title page
Facsimile: A facsimile of the 1859 edition is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as J.W. Morton.

Matthew - 1860

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Title: The Gospel by Matthew. The Common English Version and the Received Greek Text; with a Revised Version, and Critical and Philogical Notes, prepared for the American Bible Union. By T. J. Conant, D.D. New York: American Bible Union, 350 Broome Street, Bible Revision Association, Louisville, KY. 1860.
Date: 1860
Publisher: New York: American Bible Union; Bible Revision Association, Louisville, Ky.
Contents: Matthew
References: Chamberlin see 659-7; Herbert 1946; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.095.
Images: Cover, Title page

Luke - 1860

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Title: The Gospel According to Luke. Translated from the Greek, on the basis of the Common English Version. With Notes. New York: American Bible Union.
Date:1860 (reprinted 1864)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Luke
References: Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.096.
Images: Title page (from the online facsimile)
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Comments: Hills identifies the translator as N.N. Whiting.

Philemon - 1860

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Title: Notes on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, as the basis of a revision of the Common English Version; and a Revised Version, with notes. New York: American Bible Union. Louisville: Bible Revision Association. London: Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1860. (by H. B. Hackett)
Date: 1860
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Philemon
References: Chamberlin 766-7; Herbert 1946; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.098.
Images: Cover, Title page
Facsimile: Facsimile available at archive.org and lulu.com

Four Gospels - 1861

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Title: The Four Gospels. The Common English Version and the Received Greek Text; with a Revised English Version, and Critical and Philological Notes. Also the Appendix to the Gospel of Matthew. Prepared for the American Bible Union.
Date: 1861
Publisher: New York: American Bible Union; Louisville: Bible Revision Association; London:Trϋbner & Co.
Contents: Gospels
References: Chamberlin 766-7; Herbert 1946; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.
Images: Title page

The following Table lists the books of the New Testament and the dates when their prelimiary edition was published and the translator responsible for the particular book. The dates and translators are (in general) taken from Hills 1764.

Book Copyright Date Translator
Matthew ch. 1-2 1854 Orin B. Judd
Matthew ch. 1-3 1855 Orin B. Judd
Matthew 1860 Thomas J. Conant
Mark 1858 N.N. Whiting
Luke 1860 N.N. Whiting
John 1856 Unknown
John 1859 J.W. Morton
Acts 1858 Alexander Campbell
Romans not issued
I Corinthians not issued
II Corinthians not issued
Galatians not issued
Ephesians 1856/7 N.N. Whiting
Philippians not issued
Colossians not issued
I Thessalonians 1856 John Lillie
II Thessalonians 1856 John Lillie
I Timothy 1860 N.N. Whiting
II Timothy 1860 N.N. Whiting
Titus 1860 N.N. Whiting
Philemon 1860 H.B. Hackett
Hebrews 1857 N.N. Whiting
James not issued
I Peter not issued
II Peter 1852/4 John Lillie
I John 1852/4 John Lillie
II John 1852/4 John Lillie
III John 1852/4 John Lillie
Jude 1852/4 John Lillie
Revelation 1854 John Lillie

New Testament - First Revision 1862

This first complete edition of the New Testament is copyright 1862. The first part (Gospels) was printed in 1862 and the second part (Acts-II Corinthians) was printed in 1863 (even though the copyright date is 1862). No separate third part was produced, but the complete New Testament was printed in 1864 (again with an 1862 copyright date). The complete Testament agrees exactly with the earlier two parts down to the exact page layout.

According to the Preface of the 1912 New Testament, the final committee responsible for this version were: Thomas J. Conant, Horatio B. Hackett, and Asahel C. Kendrick. With the greater part of the work probably done by Dr. Conant.

Several printings were produced from 1862 to 1865. In general, they will include a date and press run (such as "Eleventh Thousand") on the title page.

The complete New Testament was produced in several different formats and prices as follows:

Plain Cloth Binding, with Double Ruled Border lines $1.00
Sheep Strong Binding, with Double Ruled Border lines $1.25
Roan Binding, Red Edges, with Double Ruled Border lines $1.50
Roan Binding, Gilt Edges, with Double Ruled Border lines $2.00
Turkey Morocco, Gilt Edges, with Double Ruled Border lines $3.00
Turkey Morocco, Gilt Edges, Clasps and Bands $5.00
Plain Cloth (cheap edition) without Ruled Border lines $0.75

Volume I - Gospels

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Eleventh Thousand. New York: American Bible Union. 1863.
Date: 1863 (copyright 1862)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: (Vol I) Gospels
Description: 12mo title,A-2A122B2 (uses 26 letter alphabet for signatures), 138 mm, p. [2b],326.
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Hills 1773, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.100.
Images: Title_page
Comments: A pdf version of this book is available here.
Comments: A copy of the 1863 (Eleventh Thousand) Gospels sold for $42.89 on December 4, 2011 (eBay item 320802802397).

Volume II - Acts-II Corinthians

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Vol. II. Second Thousand. New York: American Bible Union. 1864.
Date: 1864 (copyright 1862)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: (Vol II) Acts, Romans, I & II Corinthians
Description: 12mo title, 2B*22B*42C-2S12 (uses 26 letter alphabet for signatures), 138 mm, p. iv,327-540.
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Hills 1773, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.110.
Images: Title_page, Cover

Volumes I & II Published Together

After the publication of Volume 2, the American Bible Union published both parts in a single volume. The title is identical to that of the complete New Testament and does not indicate that this only contains Matthew through 2 Corinthians. The spine, however. reads: "New Testament / I-II / American Bible Union"

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Title: The New Testament of out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Eighteenth Thousand. New York: American Bible Union. 1864.
Date: 1864 (copyright 1862)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Matthew to II Corinthians
Description: 138 mm, p. [2], 540.
References: Chamberlin see 556-1; Hills see 1764 & 1773, Taliaferro-EELBV see 7475.120.
Images: Title page, Spine

Complete New Testament

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Title: The New Testament of out Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Twenty-Ninth Thousand. New York: American Bible Union. 1864.
Date: 1864 (copyright 1862)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: New Testament
Description: 12mo A-3D123E22Y43H123I43A*23K43B*23L-3O12 (uses 26 letter alphabet for signatures), 140 mm, p. [2], 766.
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Hills 1787, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.120.
Comments: This edition was produced in 1864 and 1865 only.
Images: 1864 Cheap Edition Title page, 1865 Ruled Edition Title page, 1865 Cheap Edition Title page
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org

New Testament - Second Revision 1865

The Second Revision (so indicated on the title page) was produced in a variety of formats from octavo to 18mo to 32mo. The editions prepared by the American Bible Union seem to be of two "memorial" editions. The earlier Testaments are "Amory Memorial" and the later editions are "Merrill Memorial" (I am unsure when the change took place). These ABU editions also seem to come in three sizes: octavo, 18mo, and 32mo. The first edition of 1865 was published in an octavo. The 18mo size is copyright 1865 while the 32mo is copyright 1866 even though I have not been able to find any differences between the two except the size. In 1883 the printing and distribution of this version was taken over by the American Baptist Publication Society. So, any edition containing their imprint was probably produced after 1883. This edition is seen in an octavo but the text is still copyright 1865 and appears identical to the editions published by the American Bible Union. In 1955, B. C. Goodpasture published an "exact reprint" on the "Second Revision" - this was the last know publication of an American Bible Union Testament until recent "print-on-demand" editions.

Like the "First Revision," this version was also prepared by Thomas J. Conant, Horatio B. Hackett, and Asahel C. Kendrick.

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. New York: American Bible Union. 1865. 1st Thousand. Pica-8vo.
Date: 1865
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Herbert see 1962; Hills 1791 (see also 1804), Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130.
Images: Title page.
Facsimile: A facsimile of the first edition of the Second Revision is available at archive.org

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. [Amory Memorial] New York: American Bible Union. London: Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1866. 10th Thousand.] [Agate, 32mo. Edition.
Date: 1866
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Herbert 1946; Hills 1863, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130
Images: Title page, Cover

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. [Amory Memorial] New York: American Bible Union. London: Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1870 35th Thousand] [Brevier 18mo Edition.
Date: 1865 (reprinted 1870)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Herbert 1946; Hills 1863, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130.
Images: Title page

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. [Merrill Memorial] New York: American Bible Union, No. 32 Great Jones Street. London: Trubner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1873 91st Thousand,] [Agate, 32mo Edition.
Date: 1866 (reprinted 1873)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Herbert 1946; Hills 1863, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130.
Images: Title page

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, No. 1420 Chestnut Street.
Date: 1865 (reprinted after 1883)
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 556-1; Herbert 1946; Hills 1791, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130.
Images: Title page
Comments: Since this was published by the American Baptist Publication Society, it is likely a later edition (after 1883).

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Title: The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Corrected by the Final Committee of the American Bible Union. Second Revision. New York: American Bible Union. London: Trübner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1877. B. C. Goodpasture 932 Caldwell Lane Nashville 4, Tenn. 1955.
Date: 1955 (copy of 1877 edition, copyright 1865)
Publisher: B. C. Goodpasture: Nashville
References: Chamberlin 556-1, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.130
Images: Title page
Comments: The last known printing of an American Bible Union Testament before recent "print-on-demand" facsimile editions.

New Testament - Third Revision after 1883

This Third Revision is not to be confused with the New Testament published with the complete Bible in 1912. Like the Second and Fourth Revision, it is copyright 1865. It is not clear what changes were made from the Second Revision, but it does differ slightly (see Matthew 3:1 which reads "John the Baptist" in the Third Revision but "John the Immerser" in the Second Revision.

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Revised by the American Bible Union. Third Revision.
Date: After 1883, copyright 1865.
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: New Testament
References: Hills 1794, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.140.
Images: Title page (from the online facsimile)
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

New Testament - Fourth Revision after 1883

This Fourth Revision is not to be confused with the New Testament published with the complete Bible in 1912. The copyright is 1865 (which matches the copyright for the Second Revision), but the text differs in some small ways from Second Revision. One example is Matthew 3:1 which reads "John the Baptist" compared with "John the Immerser" in the Second Revision.

The changes might be explained by a sentence in the preface reads: "The work was completed and first published in 1865, since which time many editions have been circulated with still further slight emendations."

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Common English Version, Revised by the American Bible Union. Fourth Revision.
Date: After 1883, copyright 1865.
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: New Testament
References: Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.150.
Images: Title page

New Testament - Improved Edition 1891?

The Improved Edition was produced in two formats. In one the Greek word baptize was translated as immerse while in the other it was transliterated as baptize. Otherwise the two editions are identical. All copies of this version are undated on the title page and do not contain a copyright notice. The date of 1891 is taken from the Introduction to the Fourth Edition New Testament found in the complete Bible printed in 1912.

This Improved Version was prepared by Alvah Hovey, John A. Broadus, and Henry G. Weston.

Dating the Improved Edition

The various editions of the Improved Edition are undated. According to Daniel Gurden Stevens writing in The First Hundred Years of The American Baptist Publication Society (undated but probably 1924 or 1925) the Improved Edition was release in 1891. On page 51 he says:

The Society took up with earnestness the work committed to its trust by the Saratoga Convention {May 22-23, 1883}. Not only did it continue to issue the translation of The American Bible Union, but committed the New Testament revision to representatives of Northern and Southern seminaries, and in 1891 brought out a translation of this portion of the Bible, which has often received high commendation for its felicity and its faithfulness to the original.

One way to get approximate dates for these editions is to look at the address for the American Baptist Publication Society given on the title page. Stevens given the following dates for each address:

1876 - 1896 - 1420 Chestnut Street
1896 - 1898 - 1632-4 Chestnut Street
1898 - 1906 - 1420 Chestnut Street
1906 - 1908 - 1630 Chestnut Street
1908 - (1924) - 1701-1703 Chestnut Street - The Roger Williams Building

Edition with Baptize

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. American Bible Union Version. Improved Edition. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1420 Chestnut Street. Edition with Baptize.
Date: 1891?
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 562-5; Hills 2048, Taliaferro-EELBV 7715.110.
Images: Title page

Edition with Immerse

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Title: The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. American Bible Union Version. Improved Edition. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1701-1703 Chestnut Street. Edition with Immerse.
Date: 1891?
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 562-5; Hills 2048 Taliaferro-EELBV 7715.100.
Images: Title page

Old Testament Portions 1856-1884

Job

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Title: The Book of Job. A translation from the original Hebrew on the basis of the common and earlier English versions in parallel columns with the Hebrew text and the common English version. With Critical and Philological notes. For the American Bible Union by Thomas J. Conant, D.D. New York: American Bible Union. Louisville, KY.: Bible Revision Association. London: Trübner and Co., Paternoster Row. 1856.
Date: 1856 (reprinted 1857)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Job
References: Chamberlin 251-7; Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.085.
Images: Cover, Octavo Title page, Title Page 1857, Hebrew English Title page
Comments: Other editions containing just the English text or interleaved with the Hebrew were also produced. All seem to contain the same English text.
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org

Genesis

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Title: The Book of Genesis. The Common Version Revised for the American Bible Union, with Explanatory Notes by Thomas J. Conant. New York: American Bible Union, No. 32 Great Jones Street. London: Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1868.
Date: 1868 (reprinted 1897 by the American Baptist Publication Society)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Genesis
References: Chamberlin 191-6; Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.132.
Images: 1868 Title page, 1868 Cover, 1897 Title page
Facsimile: A facsimile of the 1868 edition is available at archive.org

Psalms

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Title: The Psalms. The Common Version Revised for the American Bible Union, with an introduction and occasional notes. By Thomas J. Conant. New York: American Bible Union, No. 32 Great Jones Street. London: Trübner and Co., 60 Paternoster Row. 1869.
Date: 1869 (Reprinted in 1871 by the American Bible Union and in 1885 by the American Baptist Publication Society)
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Psalms
References: Chamberlin 316-6; Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.133.
Images: 1869 Title page, 1871 Title page, 1885 Title page
Facsimile: A facsimile of the 1871 edition is available at archive.org

Proverbs

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Title: The Book of Proverbs. - Part First. The Hebrew Text, King James Version, and a Revised Version, with an Introduction and Critical and Philological Notes. - Part Second. The Revised Version, with an Introduction and Explanatory Notes. For the American Bible Union by Thomas J. Conant.
Date: 1871 (reprinted 1872)
Publisher: Sheldon and Company: New York
Contents: Proverbs
References: Chamberlin 386-10; Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.134.
Images: Title page, Cover
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at books.google.com

Joshua, Judges and Ruth

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Title: The Books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth, the Common Version Revised for the American Bible Union New York American Bible Union No. 32 Great Jones Street. 1878
Date: 1878
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Contents: Joshua, Judges, Ruth
References: Chamberlin 215-5; Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.137.
Images: Title page, Cover
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org

Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel, and I and II Kings

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Title: The Books of Joshua, Judges and Ruth, I. and II. Samuel, I. and II. Kings - The Common Version Revised with an Introduction and Occasional Notes. By Thomas J. Conant.
Date: 1884
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings
References: Herbert 1910; Hills 1764, Taliaferro-EELBV 7475.
Images: Title page, Cover (from the online facsimile).
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org

International Sunday School Commentary

According to the American Baptist Year Book for 1875, The International Series of Sunday-school Lessons provided a suitable opportunity for circulating copies of the Revised Scriptures. The plan was to release two volume every year beginning in 1873. The first volume was Thomas J. Conant's revision of Genesis (while not prepared for this purpose, this volume provided the material for Sunday Schools). The second volume was the Gospel of Matthew with notes by Rev. Franklin Johnson. Unfortunately, it was released when many Sunday Schools were suspended for the summer and less than two-thousand copies were sold. The Two volumes for 1874 were: "Moses and Israel" and "The Mighty Worker." The two volumes for 1875 were: "Heroes and Judges" and "Kings and Apostles."

The New Testament portions are from the Second Revision of the New Testament (copyright 1865). For the Old Testament portions, they appear to be from those published in the 1870s, and they differ from the final version found in the 1912 Bible.

1873

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Title: The | Gospel According to Matthew, | with notes, | Specially Prepared for the | Use of Sunday Schools, | in studying the lessons of the | International Series. | By | Rev. Franklin Johnson, D.D. | The Revised English Text of the American Bible Union. | New York: | American Bible Union. London: | Trübner & Co., | 1873.
Date: 1873
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at books.google.com
Contents: Matthew with notes. Volume 2 in this series.
Images: Title page

1874

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Title: Moses and Israel | International | Sunday School Commentary. | Volume Three - January to July, 1874. Sacred Text of the Lessons. | Revised by | Prof. Geo. R. Bliss. D.D. | With notes prepared expressly to meet the wants of the | Sunday School teacher, embracing Commentary, Bible | Dictionary and Spiritual Instruction. | By Rev. Franklin Johnson, D.D., | Author of Notes in Volume Second, Lessons in Matthew. | New York: American Bible Union, | 32 Great Jones Street. | London: | Trübner & Co., | 1874.
Date: 1874
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Images: Title page
Contents: The volume contains 26 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1 Exodus 1:7-14 Lesson 14 Exodus 20:1-17
2 Exodus 2:1-10 15 Exodus 32:1-6, 19-20
3 Exodus 3:1-10 16 Exodus 33:12-20
4 Exodus 4:1-9, 27-31 17 Exodus 40:17-30
5 Exodus 6:1-8 18 Leviticus 7:37-38
6 Exodus 7:14-22 19 Leviticus 23:4-6, 15-22, 33-36
7 Exodus 12:21-30, 51 20 Numbers 3:5-13
8 Exodus 13:17-22 21 Numbers 14:1-10
9 Exodus 14:19-31 22 Numbers 20:7-13
10 Exodus 15:22-27 23 Numbers 21:4-9
11 Exodus 16:1-5, 31-35 24 Deuteronomy 18:9-18
12 Exodus 17:8-16 25 Deuteronomy 34:1-12
13 Exodus 15:1-11 26 Deuteronomy 8

Comments: The portions of the Old Testament in this commentary (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) were not otherwise printed by the ABU until the complete Bible in 1912. However, the translation in the Commentary are from "the translation of the Book, furnished for the American Bible Union, by Professor C.M. Mead, of Andover Theological Seminary." A quick comparison with the 1912 edition shows that this is not identical to that edition, but may represent an earlier state of the translation. Also, Professor Bliss was part of the group that prepared the ABU New Testament.


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Title: The Mighty Worker. International Sunday School Commentary. Volume Four. Lessons in Mark. July 1874, to January, 1875. Text of the Lessons both in the Common Version and in the Revised Version of the American Bible Union. With notes prepared expressly for the use of Sunday School teachers and Bible classes. By Geo. W. Clark, D.D. Author of "English Harmony of the Gospels," "Notes on Matthew," etc. "If any one desires to know an evangelical fact, not only in its main features and grand results, but also in its most minute and graphic delineation, he must betake himself to Mark." - Da Costa. New York: American Bible Union, 32 Great Jones Street. Philadelphia: Bible and Publication Society, 530 Arch Street. 1874.
Date: 1874
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Facsimile: A facsimile is available at archive.org
Contents: Portions of Mark's Gospel are included in each lesson and the complete Gospel of Mark in the American Bible Union (Second Revision) Version is included as an appendix.
Images: Title page

1875

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Title: Heroes and Judges, From the Lawgiver to the King. International Sunday School Commentary, Volume Five - January to July, 1875. Sacred Text of the Lessons Revised by Rev. H.B. Hackett, D.D. and Rev. Geo. W. Bliss, D.D. with Notes prepared expressly to meet the wants of the Sunday School teacher, embracing commentary, Bible dictionary, and spiritual instruction. By Rev. Franklin Johnson, D.D., Author of notes involumes second and third, Lessons in Matthew, and Moses and Israel. New York: American Bible Union, 32 Great Jones Street. American Baptist Publication Society, 530 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
Date: copyright 1874
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at books.google.com
Images: Title page
Contents: The volume contains 26 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1 Joshua 1:1-9 Lesson 14 Joshua 24:14-18
2 Joshua 3:14-17 15 Judges 2:11-16
3 Joshua 4:4-9 16 Judges 6:11-18
4 Joshua 5:9-15 17 Judges 7:1-8
5 Joshua 6:12-20 18 Judges 16:25-31
6 Joshua 7:19-26 19 Ruth 1:16-22
7 Joshua 8:30-35 20 1 Samuel 1:21-28
8 Joshua 14:6-15 21 1 Samuel 3:1-10
9 Joshua 18:1-10 22 1 Samuel 4:12-18
10 Joshua 20:1-9 23 1 Samuel 7:5-12
11 Joshua 22:21-27 24 1 Samuel 8:4-9
12 Joshua 23:11-16 25 1 Samuel 10:17-24
13 Joshua 24:1-13 26 1 Samuel 12:20-25

Comments: It appears that the text for Joshua, Judges, and Ruth is the same as that published in 1878, but differs from the final version published in the complete Bible in 1912.


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Title: Kings and Apostles, Israel's Kings and Christ's Apostles. International Sunday School Commentary. Volume Six - January to July, 1876. Text Revised by Geo. R. Bliss, D.D., Thomas J. Conant, D.D., H.B. Hackett, D.D., and A.C. Kendrick, D.D. With notes prepared expressly to meet the wants of the Sunday School teacher, embracing commentary, Bible dictionary, and spiritual instructions; and Golden Texts. by Rev. T. A. T. Hanna. New York American Bible Union, 32 Great Jones Street. American Baptist Publication Society, 530 Arch Street, Philadelphia.
Date: copyright 1875
Publisher: American Bible Union: New York
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at books.google.com.
Images: Title page
Contents: The volume contains 26 lessons as follows:

Lesson 1 1 Samuel 15:10-23 Lesson 14 Acts 1:1-12
2 1 Samuel 16:1-13 15 Acts 2:1-11
3 1 Samuel 17:38-51 16 Acts 2:12-28
4 1 Samuel 18:1-16 17 Acts 2:37-47
5 1 Samuel 20:35-42 18 Acts 3:1-11
6 1 Samuel 24:1-16 19 Acts 3:12-26
7 1 Samuel 31:1-6 20 Acts 4:8-22
8 2 Samuel 5:17-25 21 Acts 4:23-37
9 2 Samuel 6:1-15 22 Acts 5:1-11
10 2 Samuel 7:18-29 23 Acts 5:12-26
11 2 Samuel 15:1-14 24 Acts 5:27-42
12 2 Samuel 18:24-33 25 Acts 6:1-15
13 review lesson 26 review lesson

Complete Bible 1912

In this version of the New Testament the Greek for baptize was translated as both immerse and baptize. Both were considered part of the text and either or both could be used when reading the text. The New Testament of this Bible is the Fourth edition of the American Bible Union New Testament.

The Old Testament revision was prepared by:
Prof. Barnard C. Taylor, D.D. of Crozer Theological Seminary - Revised the work of Prof. T.J. Conant of Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Job Psalms and Proverbs. He also translated Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Prof. J. R. Sampey, D.D. of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - Translator of 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations
President William R. Harper, President of the University of Chicago - Translator of Isaiah and the Minor Prophets
Prof. Ira M. Price, D.D. of the University of Chicago - translator of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel
Prof. J.M.P. Smith of the University of Chicago revised the proofs of Dr. Harper's work.

The New Testament revision was prepared by J. W. Willmarth.

The complete "An Improved Edition" Bible can downloaded/read from the following four web pages:
Internet Archive - Canadian Libraries
Internet Archive - American Libraries
Google Books
Open Library

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Title: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments, An Improved Edition (Based in Part on the Bible Union Version)
Date: 1912 (reprinted 1913)
Publisher: American Baptist Publication Society: Philadelphia
Contents: Bible
References: Chamberlin 36-3; Herbert 2175; Hills 2209, Taliaferro-EELBV 7715.120.
Images: 1912 Title page, 1912 New Testament Title page, 1913 Title page, 1913 New Testament Title page
Facsimile: A PDF facsimile of the 1912 edition is available online at archive.org.

Article by Rev. John Wright - 1894 Plus Recent Additional Comments

The following is from Early Bibles of America by Rev. John Wright, 1894. pages 266-268.

On June 10, 1850, the American Bible Union, also a Baptist organization, was founded in New York City. The object was to promote the translation and printing of a Baptist version of the Bible. This was done by publishing separate books from time to time. The first to appear was the Book of Job, in 1856. The book is a quarto of 165 pages, with the King James translation, the Hebrew text, and the revised Baptist version in parallel columns, "with critical and philological notes" at the bottom of the pages. The translation was made by the Rev. Thomas J. Conant, D.D., professor of sacred literature in Rochester Theological Seminary. Genesis appeared in 1868, the Psalms in 1869, the Book of Proverbs in 1871, and the Books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth in 1878. In 1865 the Union published a revised edition of the New Testament. While there are several hundred emendations, they refer mostly to small words, such as the use of "says" for "saith." The principal and most decided changes in the translation consist in the substitution of "immerse" for "baptize," and "immersing" for "washing." The following quotations will show the nature of the revision:

St. Mark vii. 3. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, unless they wash their hands diligently, do not eat, holding the tradition of the elders;
4. And coming from the market, unless they immerse themselves, they do not eat; and there are many other things which they received to hold, immersions of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and couches.

St. John 1. 25. And they asked him, and said to him, Why then dost thou immerse, if thou art not the Christ, nor Elijah, not the Prophet?
26. John answered them, saying, I immerse in water.
28. These things took place in Bethany beyond the jordan, where John was immersing.
32. And John testified, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and it abode upon him.
33. And I knew him not; but he who sent me to immerse in water, he said to me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding on him, this is he who immerses in the Holy Spirit.

St. John iii. 22. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he remained with them, and immersed.
23. And John also was immersing in Anon near Salim, because there was much water there; and they came, and were immerses.

This version of the New Testament is not as a rule read in public services, but is used as a book of reference. There is a difference of opinion among Baptists regarding it, and one edition is printed with the word "immerse," and another with the word "baptize."

Recent Additional Comments (the following comments are not by Rev. John Wright)

In addition to the above comments of Rev. John Wright, contrary to common belief, there are also many changes of greater significance. For example Matthew 18:3 says "if ye do not turn" instead of "except ye be converted". Further in the early editions, there was a footnote pertaining to 1 John 5:7,8. In the "Improved Edition" 1 John 5:7,8 says "For there are three that testify; the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one." The "Improved Edition" at John 1:3a says "All things were made through him" instead of "All things were made by him". John 1:9 says "The true light, which lights every man, was coming into the world" instead of "That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The First Revision, "Second Revision", and "Improved Edition" incorporate many Alexandrian Text readings (especially where those agree with the Majority Text readings) in place of many of the corresponding Textus Receptus readings. The New Testament of the "Improved Edition" indents quotes made from the Old Testament. It also has a footnote for Mark 16:9-20 which says those verses are not in the two oldest Greek manuscripts, nor some other documents. The "Improved Edition" has John 7:53-8:11 in brackets and a footnote for those verses say that those words are not included in most of the ancient documents.


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