Turning to the Bible in times of danger has long been a source of comfort. Providing soldiers with a printed Bible was first done by Oliver Cromwell in 1643. His Souldiers Pocket Bible was a small pamphlet including verses selected mostly from the Old Testament in the Geneva version. Starting with the American Civil War, pocket copies of the New Testament or the entire Bible were regularly distributed to both Union and Confederate soldiers, with the American Bible Society assuming the leading role. Surviving copies of these Scriptures bear testimony to their use and tell compelling stories of hardship and faith. This exhibition brings together a large number of “Soldiers’ Bibles” that document individual lives within the tragic context of war.
Exhibition and preservation of the Rare Bible Collection @ MOBIA are made possible, in part, by the generous support of the American Bible Society.