British and Foreign Bible Society
|British & Foreign Bible Society (Bible Society)|
|Purpose/focus||Bible distribution, translation, advocacy, literacy, engagement, production|
|Region served||England & Wales|
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2010)|
The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society with charity status whose purpose is to make the Bible available throughout the world.
The British & Foreign Bible Society dates back to 1804 when a group of Christians sought to address the problem of a lack of affordable Bibles in Welsh for Welsh-speaking Christians. This was highlighted by a young girl called Mary Jones who walked over 20 miles to get a Bible in Bala, Gwynedd.
From the early days, the British and Foreign Bible Society sought to be ecumenical and non-sectarian, and from 1813 allowed inclusion of the Biblical Apocrypha. Controversy in 1825-6 about the Apocrypha and the Metrical Psalms resulted in the secession of the Glasgow and Edinburgh Bible Societies, which later formed what is now the Scottish Bible Society. A similar 1831 controversy about Unitarians holding significant Society offices resulted in a minority separating to form the Trinitarian Bible Society.
The British & Foreign Bible Society extended its work to England, India, Europe and beyond. Protestant communities in many European countries (e.g. Croatia and Albania) date back to the work of nineteenth century BFBS Bible salesmen. Auxiliary branches were set up all over the world which later became Bible Societies in their own right, and today operate in co-operation as part of the United Bible Societies. The Bible Society is a non-denominational Christian network which works to translate, revise, print, and distribute affordable Bibles in England and Wales.
Bible Society today
Bible Society is working to circulate the Scriptures across the world, in the church and through the culture.
The strategy of Bible Society centres on Bible availability, accessibility and credibility - what it calls the ‘lifecycle’ of the Bible. These strategic approaches encompass all of its activity: translation, production, distribution, literacy, engagement and advocacy.
- Translation: making the Bible available in new languages, and revising existing Bibles to bring the language up-to-date, so that everyone can experience the Scriptures in their ‘heart language’
- Production: printing physical copies of the Bible and producing sign language, audio and digital Scriptures in order to meet the demands of the millions around the world who want a Bible of their own
- Distribution: taking the Bible to places it might otherwise be hard to come by, in formats that people can use
- Literacy: helping people to read and to read well, using the Bible as a resource
- Engagement: helping people grapple with the Bible, read and respond to it wisely
- Advocacy: giving the wider culture a reason and opportunity to encounter the joys of the Bible
Where Bible Society works
Bible Society's mission is global. Its work is organised into two categories: domestic and international.
Bible Society is part of an international fellowship of over 140 Bible Societies around the world, known as the United Bible Societies. Its entire international programme is delivered on the ground through the close relationship they have with each of their fellow Bible Societies.
They are as committed to encouraging the circulation and use of the Scriptures in England and Wales as to their international programme. It's just that the work might look different: in our contemporary culture, people can easily read the Bible should they wish to – but 9 out of 10 currently choose not to. Bible Society thinks they're missing out and so they're working to change that. 36% of people don't think the Bible is relevant but they're open to changing their minds.
Bible Society maintains various social media channels. You can find out more about connecting with Bible Society here
- American Bible Society
- Protestant missionary societies in China during the 19th Century
- Bible advocacy
- Ernest Tipson
- George Borrow
- 1823 Peshitta edition
- "Our timeline". Bible Society. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "British and Foreign Bible Society's Library, Cambridge University Library:". MUNDUS. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
- Our History - BFBS
- Official website
- British and Foreign Bible Society, Registered Charity no. 232759 at the Charity Commission