My 1790 Bible

Here’s the story of my 1790 KJV Bible:

In 2008 my family and I were visiting friends in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. My friend Ed and I decided to escape the noise of the house (6 kids and our 2 wives) and do what guys like us love to do. No, not sneak out to a sports bar to watch a game and have a beer! We headed for the used book stores in search a rare or hard to find biblical books—something you never have enough of!

We came to this old bookstore with several floors of musty smelling books. Let me emphasize the word musty! I checked out the religious section and found nothing I couldn’t live without. I then went down into the basement where there multiple piles of thousands of old books that weren’t even shelved or catalogued. After checking the shelves along the perimeter and finding nothing, I began quickly scanning the stacks of old books laying on tables that were covering the entire center of the floor of the basement. It would have been impossible to read so many titles quickly, so I simply programmed my eyes to look for anything that looked old.

Suddenly in the middle of one pile, an old book caught my eye. I wondered if it might be a Bible. I dug it out, and sure enough it was. I looked for a publishing date, and found some Roman numerals. It’s not often that I have to read Roman numeral dates, and at first I thought it said 1740. Wow! I thought. This is way cool.

I grabbed the book and headed upstairs to the counter. The clerk told me that the Bible’s date was 1790 and that I could have it for $125. “Deal,” I said, and out I went with my new treasure. It’s a KJV Bible from England, and when it was printed, George Washington had been the president of the United States for just one year.

A couple of years later, I had a friend restore the Bible. Here are the before and after photos. Enjoy!

Before Restoration











After Restoration





6 thoughts on “My 1790 Bible

  1. “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes” – Erasmus
    Thanks for the pictures and what a treasure you found!

  2. Part of the fun of having old books is sharing them with others who also appreciate them.

    That reminds me of something. I have a Jewish client who’s now in his eighties. When he was bar mitzvaed when he was 13, his step dad gave him a small paper (six inch) Torah scroll as a bar mitzvah present. This Torah scroll was the same one his step dad received at his own bar mitzvah.

    I was working for this client some years ago, and we got talking about the Torah and my interest in it as a believer in Yeshua. Before you know it, the man came out with a large envelope and handed it to me and told me to keep it. It was the 100 year old Torah scroll in a little velvet cover (or mantle). He said that it had been sitting in his drawer for 65 years and he hadn’t even looked at it. His kids didn’t want it, so he thought I might appreciate it. I do, though it’s sad that there is no one in his family who loves the Torah!

    Not everyone loves the Word of Elohim as we do—sadly. The world would be a much better place if they did!

  3. What a great story! Enjoyed it so much! Okay, how about the one I am going to tell you: Back around 2001, after 9/11; I just couldn’t sleep one night. I guess it was somewhat in reaction to all the goings on with what our country was going through at that time. So, I decided to get up, get a glass of milk, and get on the internet and do a search on Ebay. I just thought about doing a search for something would tire me out enough to maybe go back to sleep. Well, I did a search for vintage bibles and found several which were similar to my grandmother’s old family bible. (Those bibles are super heavy and would brake your foot if one landed on it!). So, as I was doing my search, I started to read some of the information that came with some of the bibles. Many sellers took pictures of the Family History pages, etc. so you could view them….and you will never guess what! On my second search, I looked at the page and recognized not only my maiden name; but many names of other family members! I actually found my great uncle’s family bible! I rejoiced in tears and just couldn’t believe it. I contacted the seller and told him that I planned to bid on the bible; but would he please take some pictures of those family pages for me just in case I was outbid. The good news was, is that I actually DID win the auction! The seller was in disbelief and actually sent it to me Express Delivery because he had never experienced a situation like this! I now have it displayed, next to my grandmother’s family bible on our library shelf. If I search and find any Lawrence family bibles, I will be the first to let you know! (LOL) Abba’s blessings!

    • What a great story you have also! It’s even better than mine. It was like a divine appointment to bring your family’s spiritual heritage back to you, and at the same time YHVH seems to be encouraging you onward spiritually.

      Can you email me a couple of photos of your family Bible and its date, so I can post them on the blog?

      Thanks for the offer to keep your eyes open for a Lawrence family Bible, but don’t waste your time. I’m related to no other Lawrences out there except to my father and my two sons. When my great grandfather immigrated from Sweden in 1890, he changed the family name from Olson to Lawrence and I’m his only great grandson. So our family tree is very sparse——at least on that side of our family.

      Get that photo to me, and I’ll post it. A photo emailed from your smart phone will do. The Bible pictures on my blog were taken with my I-Phone.

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