Did You Know?
By Debra Conley
One of the first complete dictionaries published in America was Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. At the time, the Bible was the standard textbook in most schools and homes and Webster, a Bible student himself, included many interesting quotes from Scripture within his definitions. Consider the word Study. Along with the full etymology of its origins, Webster includes quotes from the classic authors such as Bacon and Milton, but as is his practice, includes the Bible’s statement of such a word, using I Thessalonians 4:11 and II Timothy 2:15.
An interesting tidbit is that Noah Webster made himself a millionaire on the sale of his Blue Back spelling book. This was in part the impetus for his push for new copyright laws which were enacted in 1831. When he died in 1843, he had not yet finished a second revision of the dictionary and some reports say that his family sold the rights to help pay for his debts, even though there was controversy over whether Webster had a copyright on it. The purchasing family of George and Charles Merriam agreed to keep the Webster name on future publications. To this date, the company still publishes as Merriam-Webster.
Consider these quotes:
“The Bible must be considered as the great source of all the truth by which men are to be guided in government as well as in all social transactions.”
“Education is useless without the Bible. The Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields. God’s Word, contained in the Bible, has furnished all necessary rules to direct our conduct.”
“Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.”