Commentary on the Bible
The Protestant culture of Reformation Europe and early America set great store on spreading the word of God through the printed word. Protestants were nearly always taught to read and write since they were expected to read the Bible for themselves. This emphasis on reading the Bible spawned relatively high literacy rates among early New England Protestants. In addition to providing religious inspiration and comfort, Bibles often served as a place to list family records such as births and deaths. This 1672 commentary on the Bible, published in Lyon, France, was written by the Jesuit priest Jacobus Tirinus. It was reportedly given to John Williams while he was in captivity in New France (Canada) in 1706.