British and Foreign Bible Society

British and Foreign Bible Society

Overview
The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply as Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society
Bible society
A Bible society is a non-profit organization devoted to translating, publishing, distributing the Bible at affordable costs and advocating its credibility and trustworthiness in contemporary cultural life...

 with charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 status whose purpose is to make the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 available throughout the world.

The Society was formed on 7 March 1804.

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.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'British and Foreign Bible Society'
Start a new discussion about 'British and Foreign Bible Society'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
The British and Foreign Bible Society, often known in England and Wales as simply as Bible Society, is a non-denominational Christian Bible society
Bible society
A Bible society is a non-profit organization devoted to translating, publishing, distributing the Bible at affordable costs and advocating its credibility and trustworthiness in contemporary cultural life...

 with charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 status whose purpose is to make the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 available throughout the world.

The Society was formed on 7 March 1804.

History


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
Mary Jones (Bible)
The story of Mary Jones and her Bible inspired the founding of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Mary Jones was a Welsh Protestant Christian girl who, at age fifteen, walked twenty-five miles across the countryside to buy a copy of the Welsh Bible from Thomas Charles because she did not have...

 who walked over 20 miles to get a Bible in Bala, Gwynedd
Bala, Gwynedd
Bala is a market town and community in Gwynedd, Wales, and formerly an urban district of the historic county of Merionethshire. It lies at the north end of Bala Lake , 17 miles north-east of Dolgellau, with a population of 1,980...

.

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
Biblical apocrypha
The word "apocrypha" is today often used to refer to the collection of ancient books printed in some editions of the Bible in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments...

. Controversy in 1825-6 about the Apocrypha and the Metrical Psalms resulted in the secession
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 of the Glasgow and Edinburgh Bible Societies, which later formed what is now the Scottish Bible Society
Scottish Bible Society
Scottish Bible Society, founded in 1809 as the Edinburgh Bible Society, amalgamated in 1861 with the Glasgow Bible Society to form the National Bible Society of Scotland, is a Scottish Christian charity that exists to make the Bible available throughout the world.The Scottish Bible Society arose...

. A similar 1831 controversy about Unitarians
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 holding significant Society offices resulted in a minority separating to form the Trinitarian Bible Society
Trinitarian Bible Society
The Trinitarian Bible Society was founded in 1831 "to promote the Glory of God and the salvation of men by circulating, both at home and abroad, in dependence on the Divine blessing, the Holy Scriptures, which are given by inspiration of God and are able to make men wise unto salvation through...

.

The British & Foreign Bible Society extended its work to England, India, Europe and beyond. Protestant communities in many European countries (e.g. Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

 and Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

) 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
United Bible Societies
The United Bible Societies is a worldwide association of Bible societies. In 1946 delegates from 13 countries formed the UBS, as an effort to coordinate the activities of the bible societies. The first headquarters were London and in Geneva...

. The Bible Society is a non-denominational Christian network which works to translate, revise, print, and distribute affordable Bibles in England and Wales.

Overseas work


The majority of the Bible Society's work is overseas, making the Bible available in a language people can understand and at a price they can afford. In doing this, Bible Society is responding to a situation where:
  • For a billion people, the Bible is a luxury they cannot afford.
  • 4,500 languages still wait for even one book of the Bible.
  • One billion people are illiterate
    Literacy
    Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material.Literacy represents the lifelong, intellectual process of gaining meaning from print...

    , but only 3% of languages have the Bible in audio.
  • Someone goes blind every five seconds, but the Bible in Braille exists in only 30 languages.


The Bible Society is linked with 140 national Bible Societies through the United Bible Societies
United Bible Societies
The United Bible Societies is a worldwide association of Bible societies. In 1946 delegates from 13 countries formed the UBS, as an effort to coordinate the activities of the bible societies. The first headquarters were London and in Geneva...

. Together, they distribute most of the world's Bibles.

In England and Wales the Society works to build bridges between the Bible and people's everyday lives, as well as to rebuild confidence in its message. In this context Bible Society is a campaigning organisation which works to engage people with the Bible's message through culture, the arts, the media, education and politics. Its main strategic approaches are geared towards a mission to the world, to the Church, to society and to other Bible Societies across the world.

See also

  • American Bible Society
    American Bible Society
    The American Bible Society is an interconfessional, non-denominational, nonprofit organization, founded in 1816 in New York City, which publishes, distributes and translates the Bible and provides study aids and other tools to help people engage with the Bible.It is probably best known for its...

  • Protestant missionary societies in China during the 19th Century
  • Bible advocacy
  • Ernest Tipson
    Ernest Tipson
    Ernest Tipson was a Brethren missionary and linguist who compiled a dictionary of Cantonese.Born into a large Brethren family in Enfield, England, Tipson began his working life, at the age of 14, as an architect's clerk and typist, but was called to missionary service in the early 1900s. His first...

  • George Borrow
    George Borrow
    George Henry Borrow was an English author who wrote novels and travelogues based on his own experiences around Europe. Over the course of his wanderings, he developed a close affinity with the Romani people of Europe. They figure prominently in his work...

  • 1823 Peshitta edition

External links