Read the Centuries-Old Inscription in George Washington's Bible

The minuscule book contains several early American woodcuts depicting various biblical scenes and figures.
The minuscule book contains several early American woodcuts depicting various biblical scenes and figures. ( The National Library of Israel)

A rare miniature Bible dedicated to the first president and founding father of the United States, George Washington, can now be viewed online, thanks to the National Library of Israel. The George Washington "thumb Bible," which includes a shortened version of both the Old and New Testaments, was originally penned by John Taylor, a 16th-century English poet.

The full, enclosed dedication reads: "To his Excellency G. Washington, President of the United States of America. Most hopeful George, into thy hands we give, The sum of that which makes us ever live," adding: "And tho' the volume and the work be small, Yet it contains the sum of all in all."

The tiny text is extraordinarily rare. Experts believe that less than a dozen copies of the 2-by-1.375-inch special edition remain in the public domain. "The term 'thumb Bible' refers to abbreviated Bibles like this, which were popular in early 19th-century America, where they were used to educate children," said Dr. Aviad Stollman, head of collections at the National Library of Israel, as reported by The Times of Israel.

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