Select Page

January 17th, 1885 – On This Day In Sioux Falls History, a new reverend of the local Congregational Church arrived in town by the name of Rev. P E Holp. Rev. Holp had in his possession upon his arrival a brand new Bible (not the one in the photograph, but perhaps one very similar!). New Bibles were not all that uncommon in Sioux Falls, it was indeed at the time, and still remains to be, a very spiritual or religious town. However, Rev. Holp claimed that his Bible was the very first copy of the Revised New Testament ever sold in America! If his claim is true, then Sioux Falls held the distinction for just over 4 years from 1885-89 of being the home of such an important piece of history!

The Revised Bible or the Revised Standard Bible is the only officially recognized revision of the King James Version recognized by the Church of England. It was a work begun in 1879 to modernize the language and to improve the translation from Greek or Hebrew where years and the growing global knowledge of mankind had allowed for a more precise interpretation. The New Testament was finished first in 1881 with the Old Testament and Apocrypha books being completed in the years to follow.

The timeline certainly makes sense for a copy of that first publication to have found its way across the Atlantic, into the hands of a young clergyman, and eventually suffer with that man on his missions west to our budding town of Sioux Falls! True or not, I am content with the knowledge that even from the very early years of Sioux Falls, our town was a place that even reports of one being in possession of a good perhaps unique copy of the Bible was considered noteworthy news!