Bible Society is working to see a day when the Bible’s God-given revelation, inspiration and wisdom is shaping the lives and communities of people everywhere. However, millions lack the Bible in a language they can understand, in a form they can use or at a price they can afford. At the same time millions still have no understanding of the Bible’s value for them and their communities.
In England and Wales, Bible Society works especially with the worlds of the media, politics, arts and education to show how the Bible connects with life. It also resources and helps churches and their members have confidence in the Bible by living it out. For example, Bible Society helps politicians develop and sustain a biblical worldview in their work but running the official all-party Parliamentary group for Christians in Parliament, bringing MPs, Peers and staff together for monthly worship, and running a weekly programme of Bible studies for politicians.
Around the world, Bible Society works in partnership with 140 other national Bible Societies. There are 6,912 languages in the world. Of these 451 languages have a translation of the whole Bible and 2,479 languages have part of the Bible. This leaves 4,421 languages still waiting for even one book of the Bible and means millions either have no access to the Bible at all or can only encounter it in something other than their ‘heart’ language. Bible Society is presently involved in more than 600 translation and retranslation projects.
Over a billion people cannot read so Bible Society provides the Bible in audio format and solar-powered, wind-up listening machines called Proclaimers. Communities listen to the New Testament for 30 minutes weekly and then take part in a question and answer session run by a church leader. There are more than 270 groups in Nepal.
Bible Society is committed to making the Bible available in Braille for the blind or visually impaired. Braille Bibles are very expensive and they are produced on heavy paper so they can be printed on both sides. When it’s complete, the whole Bible fills an average of 50 enormous volumes.
A billion people in our world live on just 60p a day, making a Bible a luxury they can’t afford. More than that, it is among poor communities that the Church is growing fast – including China, Nepal, Vietnam and many parts of Africa. This creates an urgent need for the Bible to be subsided so people can afford it. 50 million subsidised Bibles have been distributed in China where a standard Bible costs the same as 20 eggs.
Worldwide, more than 25 million Bibles are distributed each year. Since 2006, Bible distribution has risen by around five per cent each year. Around 28 million New Reader Portions are given out as Bible distribution is combined with literacy programmes. About another 400 million Scriptures are distributed to those in need, including children, those suffering from HIV/AIDS, and people driven from their homes due to war, conflict, persecution, famine and natural disasters.