The Thompson Chain Reference Bible
The Thompson Chain-Reference system was devised by its namesake, Dr. Frank C. Thompson, in the early 1900s, but the original work was started in 1890. Dr. Frank Charles Thompson was born in 1858, in Elmira, New York, and was ordained in 1879. His wife was Laura Boughton Thompson. He began work on the system because of his dissatisfaction with the reference Bibles that were then available to preachers.
Dr. Thompson believed the Bible should be presented in a simple, but scholarly way. He saw the need for a well-organized reference Bible that would be of practical use to the layman as well as a minister. In 1890, Dr. Thompson began the work he would continue for the rest of his life. He completed the "thought suggestions" opposite the verses throughout the Bible. These are what became the "chain-links" that are the heart of the Thompson system. Some of the men in Dr. Thompson's church saw his Bible and told him this would be a great help to them in their Bible study too. They encouraged Dr. Thompson to have his Bible, with marginal references, published so that everyone could enjoy the blessing of this helpful study tool.
The first version of Thompson's study Bible was published in 1908 by the Methodists Book Concern of Dobbs Ferry, New York. Five years later, in 1913, Dr. Thompson was joined by B.B. Kirkbride, of Indianapolis, Indiana. The two men formed the Kirkbride Bible Company, in order to further improve and distribute Thompson's work.
The original Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, as well as several subsequent versions, were based on the King James Bible. Currently, editions based on the King James Version, New King James Version, New International Version (1978 version) and New American Standard Bible (1977 version) are available, as well as electronic versions that incorporate other features.
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