The First Published Bible Translation by a Woman

The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments

The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments. Hartford, Conn.: American Pub. Co., 1876

Julia Evelina Smith (1792-1886) was one of the five daughters of Zephaniah Hollister Smith (who left the Congregational ministry after concluding it was against his conscience to receive money for preaching and established a law practice instead) and Hannah Hadassah Hickock (described as "a remarkable woman .. an amateur poet, linguist, mathematician, and astronomer"). In 1869, Julia and her sister Abby attended a woman suffrage meeting in Hartford and were convinced "the women had truth on their side." They soon began to appear at the town meeting in Glastonbury, Connecticut (their home), to protest their property being taxed "without representation."
In 1876, Julia Smith published at her own expense a translation of the Bible which she had completed nearly twenty years before. Turning to the original Greek New Testament in 1843 to determine the authority for William Miller's prediction of the end of the world, she had concluded that the King James translation was not literal enough. In the next seven years, she translated "word for word, giving no ideas of my own" the Greek New Testament and Septuagint, and, having taught herself Hebrew, the Hebrew Bible.
In 1879, at the age of eighty-seven, she married Amos Andrew Parker, who had sought her acquaintance after reading her Bible, and moved to Hartford, where she lived for the rest of her life. In 1884, she addressed the Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association. Two years later she died and was buried with her sisters in Glastonbury.


Notable American Women, 1607-1950: A Biographical Dictionary. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971.Source of information: