Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Bible No Living Person Can Read

(taken from "Strange Facts About the Bible" by Webb Garrison)

John Eliot is famous as the translator who issued a Bible no living person can read. Working with tribesmen who spoke a Massachusetts dialect of the Algonquian Indian tongue, he published a New Testament for them in 1661. Several natives, among who Cockenoe the interpreter was most important, assisted in the work.

Approximately fifty copies of Eliot's Bible have been preserved, but no one can read it because the tribesmen who spoke the language it employs have become extinct. A few words have been identified by scholars, however. Eliot rendered the phrase "kneeling down to him" (Mark 1:40) by a thirty-four letter word;

Though that word didn't survive, at least one of Eliot's is still in use. For the title "duke" that appears in Gen. 36:40-43, he substituted the native title "mugwump". Used as a slogan in several famous political campaigns, it is still included in the English dictionary as a label for a chieftain or person of importance.

In 1966 one copy of his Bible sold at auction for $43,000 - more money than the missionary-translator made in his entire life.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yes, Jesus Love Me

(Taken from "The Cyber Hymnal"at

In 1891, when Har­u­tune S. Je­nan­yan, took his wife and lit­tle daugh­ter on a per­i­lous and dan­ger­ous mis­sion­a­ry jour­ney from Tar­sus, Asia Mi­nor, the ci­ty of St. Paul, to Si­vas in Ar­men­ia, they tra­velled on horse-back through rob­ber-in­fest­ed coun­try for four­teen days. Two of the lead­ing rob­ber chiefs on that ter­ri­to­ry were Chol­lo, whose “name cast ter­ror on ev­ery side” since he had suc­cess­ful­ly evad­ed pur­su­ing Gov­ern­ment forc­es for ma­ny months, and Ka­ra Ag­ha, a fa­mous Koor­ish chief, whose name caused even the fear­some Chol­lo to trem­ble. Har­u­tune took his small par­ty di­rect­ly in­to the heart of Ka­ra Ag­ha’s coun­try, tell­ing those he met en­route that he was go­ing to be Ag­ha’s guest in his own vill­age. When they reached the bri­gand’s head-quar­ters, the mis­sion­a­ry asked that they be re­ceived as guests for the night. The sur­prised rob­ber chief gave them ac­com­mo­da­tions, en­ter­tain­ing Har­u­tune in his own spa­cious tent while his wife, Hel­ene, and their lit­tle daugh­ter, Grace were cared for in ano­ther tent by the wo­men of the vill­age. The next morn­ing, be­fore tak­ing their leave, the mis­sion­ary asked for per­miss­ion to read a por­tion of the Ho­ly Script­ure, and then of­fered a pray­er. See­ing that the chief was some­what af­fect­ed, he then said, “Do you wish to have the lit­tle child sing for you?” The chief re­plied, “Oh yes; can she?” Then lit­tle Grace, on­ly three-and-a-half years old, came for­ward and stood be­fore the tall old man and sang two songs she had re­cent­ly learned in the Sun­day School in Tar­sus, sing­ing them in the na­tive tongue, “Je­sus loves me, this I know” and “I want to be an an­gel”. The chief was so deep­ly touched, that he sent his own son, Bek­keer Ag­ha, mount­ed on a hand­some Ar­a­bi­an steed, to lead the small mis­sion­a­ry par­ty through the rest of his ter­ri­to­ry.