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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

October 18, 2016

--by Kenneth J. Ross

On March 7, 1516, Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1469–1536)—Renaissance humanist, Catholic reformer, and Dutch educator—wrote to a friend with great relief from Basel, Switzerland, that the printing of his Greek New Testament was at last complete. It was, he later admitted, “more thrown together than edited,” but even so he had a right to be pleased. A decade of research and nearly a year of hard labor had produced the first printed edition of the New Testament in its original language. The foundational document of the Christian Church at...

October 6, 2016

The leaders of the Reformation wanted to return to a faith and practice more consistent with the teachings of the Bible. Understanding God did not come from allegiance to a church, they argued, but through individual study of scripture. This led to a surge in production of new versions of the Bible. The Bibles produced during the Reformation where just as important as the individuals who led the movement.

The Historical Society has the privilege of preserving some of the most important...

September 30, 2016

In recognition of PC(USA) Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson's recent visit to Colombia as part of an ecumenical delegation supporting the recent peace deal with the FARC, we'd like to present a snapshot of American Presbyterians' relationship with the people of Colombia.

Community nursing in Colombia, 16 March 1965


September 19, 2016

In anticipation of #GA223, let PHS introduce you to a historic St. Louis congregation!

In the 1890s, Mary Jane Thompson, a freedwoman, began teaching reading, writing, and the Bible to African American children, using the basement of St. Louis' Washington-Compton Presbyterian Church. The school grew into a mission church, and was formally organized by the Presbytery of St. Louis in 1898 as Leonard Avenue Presbyterian Church. In 1908 the congregation's first full-time pastor, Selden Parr, moved the church to Pine Street...

September 13, 2016

--by Christopher N. Phillips

How much do you love your church’s hymn-singing tradition? Enough to steal its hymnbook? That was the case for George Fleming, a newspaper publisher in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Why would he do such a thing? A quick history of Presbyterian hymnbooks gives some clues.

Presbyterians, like most English-speaking Calvinists, didn’t sing hymns in church until the second half of the 18th century; it took the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America’s General Assembly (GA) until 1802 to declare that Isaac Watts’...

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