The Lunar Bible Lands at Princeton Seminary

Oct 20, 2022

In February 1971, the lunar module of Apollo 14 touched down on the surface of the moon. Aboard the module was astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who carried with him 100 copies of the King James Version of the Bible. Each copy was microprinted on a small, 1.5 inch microform plastic square. This momentous occasion was later commemorated in the creation of a beautiful and elaborate display case for each microform object. The historic undertaking was supported by the Apollo Prayer League and its leader, Rev. John Stout. Along with his wife Helen, Rev. Stout donated many of the Lunar Bibles to museums and educational institutions around the world. Carol Mersch, family friend of the Stouts and historian of the Lunar Bible, helped facilitate such a donation to Princeton Theological Seminary in August 2022.

The Lunar Bible is not only a significant historical object, it also has numerous connections to the seminary. Former Princeton Seminary President, James McCord, ordained Rev. Stout at Austin Theological Seminary and was actively involved in the preparation of the Lunar Bible project. In addition, former Princeton Seminary student Carl McIntire was involved in the Apollo Prayer League and worked closely with Rev. Stout. The copy of the Lunar Bible, currently on display in the Special Collections lobby, was dedicated to McIntire by Rev. Stout for his efforts in disaster relief in Texas. The personal papers of both James McCord and Carl McIntire are housed here in the Seminary Archives.

To view the Lunar Bible exhibit, A Biblical Journey Through Space and Time, and see more treasures, visit Special Collections & Archives on the 2nd floor of Wright Library!

photo of the Lunar Bible exhibit in a display case