Lot 110
Mill 1760 BIBLE IN GREEK Rev. War Harvard ms Notes

Estimate: $500 - $1,000

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About this Lot

Mill 1760 BIBLE IN GREEK LONDON Rev. War AMERICANA Harvard Manuscript Notes 

1760 Greek N.T. Annotated throughout by Martin Kinsley, 1774.
[Bible. New Testament. Greek.] He Kaine Diatheke. Novum Testamentum. Juxta exemplar Joannis Millii accuratissime impressum. - Londini : excudit Gulielmus Bowyer. Impensis Sodalium Stationariorum, 1760. 
Pagination:  [title],2,463,[1]p. ; 12°. - ESTC T94887. - Edited by John Mill. Final leaf = Qq4. 

The first three words of the title are transliterated from the Greek. Printed by William Bowyer; his records show 5000 copies printed. (OCLC)

Disbound, title page loose; lacking endpapers; text begins with title page and ends with Chronological Order of the New Testament (verso of p. 463). Final leaf has holes with loss of text; edgewear to title and a few other pages, but in general the condition is acceptable.

Martin Kinsley's copy, with his name signed on verso of title, dated 1774, and again at the end of the text, with manuscript notations found on approx. 200 pages, quite intensely in the Book of John, written in a clear but minuscule hand, providing English translations of specific words or phrases.  There was a Martin Kinsley from Massachusetts, known to have been trained in the classics (Greek, Latin), who graduated from Harvard in 1778 and served as a "purveyor of supplies in the Revolutionary Army."  After the Revolution, Kinsley became involved with Massachusetts state politics, even serving as state legislator from Hardwick; he was also a major in the militia during Shay's Rebellion, which he supported (which cost him his commission).  As a politician, he was a staunch Antifederalist remembered for a speech given in the Massachusetts state ratifying convention of 1788, called "The Excessive Powers of Congress." (See page 105, Wakelyn, J. L. (2004). Birth of the Bill of Rights: Biographies. United States: Greenwood Press). 

In short, Kinsley was a lawyer and judge who held a number of public offices, including one term as a U.S.  Congressman.  

If we are right, then this is a rare survivor— an annotated Greek text from Harvard students during the Rev. War era.  College students of era, including many Founding Fathers, had to demonstrate a facility with Greek by translating excerpts from the N.T.  Classical languages were particularly stressed at Harvard, which at times included Aramaic and Hebrew as core requirements.  (See Carl RICHARD, The Founders and The Bible, &, The Founders and the Classics Greece, Rome, and the American Enlightenment.)

Also of interest, Isaiah Thomas credited the Mill & Boyer text as the source for his first American publication of the Greek N.T.

“Martin Kinsley (June 2, 1754 – June 20, 1835) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts. Born in Bridgewater in the Province of Massachusetts Bay, Kinsley graduated from Harvard College in 1778. He studied medicine. He became a purveyor of supplies in the Revolutionary Army. He served as Treasurer of the Town of Hardwick. He moved to Hampden, and was a representative of that town in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He served as member of the executive council in 1810 and 1811, as a judge of the court of common pleas in 1811, as judge of the probate court, and served in the Massachusetts State Senate. |  Kinsley was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the Sixteenth Congress (March 4, 1819 – March 3, 1821). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1820 to the Seventeenth Congress. He died in Roxbury, June 20, 1835.” [Wikipedia]  

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