Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language was produced during the years when the American home, church and school were established upon a Biblical and patriotic basis. Webster, descended on his mother’s side from Pilgrim Governor, William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation, made important contributions to an American educational system which kept the nation on a Christian Constitutional course for many years. The famous ’’blue-backed Speller,’’ his ’’Grammars,’’ and ’’Reader,’’ all contained Biblical and patriotic themes and Webster spearheaded the flood of educational volumes emphasizing Christian Constitutional values for more than a century.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the 1828 American Dictionary should contain the greatest number of Biblical definitions given in any reference volume. Webster considered ’’education useless without the Bible’’ and while he cautioned against too extensive use of the Bible in schools as ’’tending to irreverence,’’ he reiterated, ’’In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. . . . No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people. . . .’’
Today when the Biblical basis of education is under systematic attack we need to capitalize upon the availability of our first American Dictionary–the only dictionary in the world to ’’draw water out of the wells of salvation’’–to utilize God’s written word as a key to the meaning of words. Historically, it documents the degree to which the Bible was America’s basic text book in all fields.
Hardcover, 2000 pages.