Christian History timeline: A book for the church
[Distinguished Colored Men, c. 1883. New York: Published by A. Muller & Co.—Popular Graphic Arts / [Public domain] Wikimedia]
1607 Rev. Robert Hunt reads Scripture as part of his duties as Anglican chaplain in the new Jamestown colony.
1620 Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth, bearing the Geneva Bible.
1630 The first King James Version (KJV) arrives in America.
1638 Anne Hutchinson is exiled, in part over views expressed at her home Bible study.
1640 Bay Psalm Book is printed.
1663 John Eliot publishes Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe Up-Biblum God.
1669 Solomon Stoddard becomes pastor of First Church of Northampton. His 1729 death leaves the congregation pastored by his grandson Jonathan Edwards.
1693 Cotton Mather begins his Biblia Americana.
1697 Quaker missionary Elizabeth Webb, author of the earliest biblical commentary by a woman in America, arrives in the colonies.
1719 Isaac Watts publishes The Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, which becomes popular in the colonies.
1739 George Whitefield begins his first American preaching tour.
1741 Edwards preaches his most famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”
1742 Edwards authorizes singing Watts’s hymns in his congregation.
1781 German author Immanuel Kant announces an “age of criticism.”
1782 Robert Aitken prints the first complete KJV published in America.
1790 American Methodists publish Pocket Hymn-Book: Designed as a Constant Companion for the Pious Collected from Various Authors.
1791 Isaiah Thomas prints what he hopes will be the first “completely correct” KJV; Isaac Collins prints a KJV introduced by John Witherspoon instead of by King James.
1801 Richard Allen publishes A Collection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs. The famous Cane Ridge camp meeting attracts tens of thousands of attendees and spreads Second Great Awakening revival fervor.
1816 American Bible Society is founded.
c. 1818 Henry `Ōpūkaha`ia begins translating Genesis into Hawaiian.
1820 Thomas Jefferson cuts apart two Bibles to remove supernatural passages and produces The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.
1824 American Sunday School Union (ASSU) is founded. Charles Finney begins evangelistic work.
1830 ASSU introduces the Union Questions curriculum for Scripture study.
1832 Alfred and Harriet Wright move to present-day Oklahoma with the Choctaw; Alfred Wright begins translating the Bible into Choctaw.
1835 Sarah Lankford begins prayer meetings that will spark the Holiness movement, joined in 1837 by her sister Phoebe Palmer.
1839 Catholic priest François Blanchet publishes a “ladder” to explain the Bible and church history to the Nimíipuu; by 1845 Henry and Eliza Hart Spalding publish a Protestant response.
1840s Colporteurs begin to sell Bibles door to door.
1844 The Bible Riots occur in Philadelphia over the use of the KJV in public schools.
1845 Frederick Douglass publishes Life of an American Slave.
1847 Horace Bushnell publishes Discourses on Christian Nurture.
1849 Jarena Lee publishes Religious Experience and Journal.
1851 Sojourner Truth gives her speech “Ain’t I a Woman?”
1853 Antoinette Brown Blackwell is ordained.
1857 Phoebe and Walter Palmer’s preaching and Jeremiah Lanphier’s prayer meetings begin a third great period of revival.
1858 Lowell Mason publishes The Sabbath Hymnbook.
1873 Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Woman in Sacred History. Charles Hodge publishes Systematic Theology. Emma Dryer organizes Bible work for D. L. Moody’s church.
1878 Julius Wellhausen puts forth the documentary hypothesis that the Pentateuch is based on four sources edited together.
1885 The Revised Version is published in England and will become the basis for the American Standard Version.
1890 In the Edgerton Bible Case, courts rule in favor of Catholics and against mandatory public school KJV reading.
1892 Lyman Abbott publishes The Evolution of Christianity. William Rainey Harper founds the University of Chicago.
1895–1898 Elizabeth Cady Stanton publishes the Woman’s Bible.
1896 Billy Sunday begins his evangelistic ministry. After his death in 1935, his wife, Nell Thompson Sunday, begins her own preaching ministry.
1917 Joseph McCabe publishes The Bankruptcy of Religion.
1901 The American Standard Version is published.
1909 Cyrus Scofield publishes the Scofield Reference Bible, which popularizes John Nelson Darby’s dispensationalism to Americans.
1910 The Fundamentals are published to reemphasize scriptural authority.
1913 Aimee Semple McPherson begins her evangelistic ministry.
1934 William Cameron Townsend starts Camp Wycliffe, which becomes Wycliffe Bible Translators.
1947 Carl F. H. Henry publishes The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism. Billy Graham begins his crusades.
1950 New Testament scholar Mary Redington Ely Lyman becomes first woman full professor at Union Seminary.
1950s Bible Quizzing begins and quickly gains popularity.
1952 The Revised Standard Version is published. Martin Luther Hux famously sets a page on fire.
1964 The Bible Bowl is founded.
1969 Roman Catholics introduce a new three-year lectionary.
1977 Rollen Stewart begins holding up John 3:16 signs at sporting events.
1978 The New International Version is published.
1992 The Revised Common Lectionary is published and adopted by many mainline Protestant denominations.
1993 Bible Gateway, one of the oldest and largest Bible internet sites, begins.
1994 Beth Moore begins publishing Bible studies for a national audience.
By the editors
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #143 in 2022]
“Sing and make melody in your heart”
Singing Scripture through hymnsMark A. Noll
Old book in a new world
The story of Bible translations in America centers around the KJVChris R. Armstrong
Rioting over the Bible
Flames of hatred engulfed St. Michael’s and St. Augustine’sAnn T. Snyder
Four historic paths
The Bible in indigenous languagesJames D. Smith III
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