The Gospel of John and Gospel Tracts in Karen

Collection ID



Bible - Printed Book


ca. 1838


Tavoy (Burma), Dawei (Myanmar)




Printed on Paper


7.5 × 4.1 × .98 in. (19 × 10.5 × 2.5 cm)

Exhibit Location

Not on View

Translated by Adoniram Judson and his colleagues in Burma. This, the very first product of their work in the Karen language, was printed in Tavoy, a city now known as Dawei, Myanmar, by the Karen Mission Press. One of Judson's co-workers was fellow American, Abner Webb. This copy is the only known surviving copy and was brought to California by Webb as his personal copy.

Printed around 1838 by the Karen Mission Press in Tavoy (Dawei), Burma (Myanmar); Ownership assumed until 1891 by Abner Webb (1804–1891), missionary and colleague of Judson, Oakland, California.[1] Acquired until the 1990s by a private dealer.[2] Privately purchased in the 1990s by Andrew Stimer, private collector, Camarillo, California; Purchased in 2016 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2017 to National Christian Foundation (later The Signatry) under the curatorial care of Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.

Notes: [1] Toward the end of Abner Webb’s life, he wrote a note on the first page, “Karen Tracts & John's Gospel / Abner Webb / Fruitvale E. Oakland Cal. / 1st edition ever printed. / Preserve this carefully. / Printed about 1838. / Abner Webb. 1886.” [2] The private dealer is unnamed by the subsequent dealer.

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