THE BIBLE SOCIETY
The Bible Society was founded in 1804 in the most unlikely of places – a tavern! One of its earliest and most influential supporters was William Wilberforce who had such a profound impact on so many aspects of Christian faith and witness. The first translation produced by the new Society was St John’s Gospel in the Canadian Indian Mohawk language. In its first fifty years of existence the Bible Society resourced the production of 28 million complete Bibles or Bible portions in 152 languages. This was a massive achievement yet it represented only the tip of the iceberg in the vast undertaking of translating the Bible into the 6,900 plus languages and dialects that are currently known to exist.
The long-term mission of the Bible Society is to see the day when the Bible’s God-given revelation, inspiration and wisdom is shaping the lives of individuals and communities of people everywhere. At the present time over 2,500 languages have at least a part of the Bible translated. So there is still a long way to go! However, the use of modern technology and sophisticated translation software is considerably reducing the time-scale needed to complete a translation.
There is now a network of 145 independent national Bible Societies operating in over 200 countries. Each Bible Society is committed to translating and publishing the Bible in the heart languages of its own country and also to supporting translation work for other communities across the globe. This network is co-ordinated by the Central Services Base in Reading.
In addition to the standard translation work considerable resources are also deployed in the production of Braille Bibles and, increasingly, of audio Bibles for the one billion illiterate people in the world.
Visit The Bible Society website.