Charles Thomson

Charles Thomson (1729-1824) was an American patriot in Philadelphia during the American Revolution and Secretary of the Continental Congress (1774-1789). In addition, he was the first person to translate the Greek Septuagint into English and the first American to translate the New Testament into English. His translation of the Bible was printed in 1808 by Jane Aitken (daughter of Robert Aitken who printed the first English Bible in America) who was the first woman to publish a Bible in America. In 1815 Thomson published a translation of the Gospels arranged as a harmony.

Click here for sample verses from the version by Charles Thomson.

Complete Bible - First Edition (1808)

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Title: The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Covenant, commonly called the Old and New Testament: translated from the Greek. By Charles Thomson, Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71, North Third Street. 1808.
Date: 1808
Publisher: Jane Aitken: Philadelphia
References: Chamberlin 19-1; Herbert 1514; Hills 153, O'Callaghan p. 91; Taliaferro-BVE CN00200, Taliaferro-EELBV 7255.100.
Images: General Title page
Comments: A copy may be found at the Houston Bible University

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Title: The Old Covenant, commonly called the Old Testament: translated from the Septuagint. By Charles Thomson, Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. Vol. I. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71 North Third Street. 1808.
Contents: Vol I: Genesis - I Samuel
Imnages: Volume I Title Page (from the on-line facsimile).
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

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Title: The Old Covenant, commonly called the Old Testament: translated from the Septuagint. By Charles Thomson, Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. Vol. II. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71 North Third Street. 1808.
Contents: Vol II: II Samuel - Psalms
Images: Volume II Title Page (from the on-line facsimile).
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

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Title: The Old Covenant, commonly called the Old Testament: translated from the Septuagint. By Charles Thomson, Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. Vol. III. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71 North Third Street. 1808.
Contents: Vol III: Proverbs - Malachi
Images: Volume III Title page.
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

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Title: The New Covenant, commonly called the New Testament: translated from the Greek. By Charles Thomson, Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. Vol. IV. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71 North Third Street. 1808.
Contents: Vol IV: New Testament
Images: Volume IV (NT) Title page (from the on-line facsimile).
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

A complete four volume first edition of Thomson's Bible was offered on abebooks for $6850 in July 2008.

Synopsis of The Four Evangelists (1815)

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Title: A Synopsis of The Four Evangelists or A Regular History of the Conception, Birth, Doctrine, Miracles, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, in the Words of the Evangelists, By Charles Thomson.
Date: 1815
Publisher: Philadelphia: Published for the Author. Wm. M'Culloch, Printer.
Contents: Title, Preface (p. iii-iv), Synopsis divided into LII (52) sections (p. 1-200), Notes (p. 1-50), "An Index to find every verse in the four Evangelists (2 unnumbered sheets).
References: Chamberlin 636-1, Hills see 153, O'Callaghan p. 128.
Location: Worldcat list of libraries holding this volume.
Images: Title page
Facsimile: A pdf facsimile is available at archive.org.

Reprint of the Bible by S.F. Pells (1907 & 1929)

S.F. Pells reprinted Thomson's complete Bible in what appears to be a facsimile edition. He reproduced Thomson's general title (following his preface) and the Volume I title at the beginning of volume I and Thomson's New Testament title page at the beginning of volume III.

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Title: The Old Covenant commonly called the Old Testament: translated from The Septuagint by Charles Thomson, late Secretary to the Congress of the United States a new edition by S. F. Pells.
Date: 1808 (reprinted 1904, 1907)
Publisher: S.F. Pells: Hove, England
Contents: (Vol I - Old Testament) (Vol II - Old Testament)
References: Chamberlin 19-1, 114-2; Herbert 2134; Taliaferro-BVE CN00200, see Taliaferro-EELBV 7255.100.
Images: Volume I Cover, Volume I Title Page, Volume II Cover, Volume II Title page
Facsimile: A facsimile of Volume 1(1904) and Volume 2(1904) are available at www.archive.org.

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Title: The New Covenant commonly called The New Testament: translated from John Field's Cambridge Edition, 1665, A Greek Text, first published at Amstelodami, 1639, of Codex Vaticanus by Charles Thomson Late Secretary to the Congress of the United States. A New Edition (Facsimile Reprint) Vol. III. Published by the Editor of the Septuagint, S.F. Pells St. Mary's New Church Road, Hove. 1929.
Date: 1808 (reprinted 1929)
Publisher: S.F. Pells: Hove, England
Contents: New Testament
References: Chamberlin 19-1; Taliaferro-BVE CN00200, Taliaferro-EELBV 7255.100.
Images: Cover, Title page, Thomson's New Testament Title page

Reprint of the Old Testament by C.A. Muses (1954)

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Title: The Septuagint Bible, the Oldest Text of the Old Testament in the Translation of Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress of the United States of America, 1774-1789, as edited, revised and enlarged by C. A. Muses
Date: Thomson's translation was published in 1808 and Muses' reprint/revision was printed in 1954 and reprinted in 1960.
Publisher: The Falcon's Wing Press: Indian Hills, CO
Contents: Old Testament
References: Chamberlin 19-1, 114-2, 124-1; Hills 2540; Taliaferro CN00314, Taliaferro-EELBV 7255.110.
Comments: This edition contains some changes made by Charles Thomson in his own copy of this Bible and the material from the Septuagint version of Esther that is found in the Apocrypha.
Images: Cover, Title page


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