Bespoke Bibles for New Zealand’s Army, Airforce and Navy

Bible Society New Zealand has just given 5,000 specially designed Bibles to the chaplaincy service of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF).

Chaplain Di Woods with 2019 Airforce Bible

For the first time ever, the Bibles were individually tailored to members of New Zealand’s Airforce, Navy and Army. Each of the three different editions of the NZDF Bible includes messages from the Governor General and the Principal Defence Force Chaplain Ants Hawes, along with NZDF photographs, the National Anthem and the relevant prayer for each of the Forces.

The majority of the Bibles will be given to new NZDF recruits who can choose to attest on the Bible at their swearing in ceremony. “They are then asked if they would like to keep the Bible,” Ants Hawes says. continue reading →

A blind man’s love for the Braille Bible

Just a few weeks ago, Pradeep walked into the Bible Society office in India and left a lasting impact on staff.

Pradeep is unable to see, hear or speak but he converses using his hands and fingers. He loves to read Scripture and uses his fingers to gently glide across the raised Braille text.

The Braille Bible in India

The Bible Society of India have been providing Braille Bibles to the country’s visually impaired community for many years. The full Braille Bible is made up of 43 large volumes and sometimes people with visual disabilities request various books of the Bible in Braille. continue reading →

Ukraine’s President visits the Bible Society office in Kyiv

For the first time ever, the President of Ukraine visited the Bible Society offices, marking a monumental moment in the Country’s history.

President Petro Poroshenko says “It is important that every politician reads the Bible. And not just once… The Bible Society carries out incredible mission. Many thanks to them for serving for over 25 years! Because of you, someone is able to open and read the Bible!”

President Petro Poroshenko writes in Handwritten Bible

The President also joined thousands of Christians and wrote in the Handwritten Bible, his text was Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The Ukraine Bible Society would have never expected, or even thought of this in the past so this became a pinnacle moment of the Year of the Bible for the Country. Not only was this historical for the Bible Society but for the general Ukrainian society and Christian community. The Year of the Bible is a project aimed at drawing people’s attention to the values and principles taught in the Bible.

President Poroshenko also met with the leadership of all Ukrainian churches and the Bible Society staff to a receive report on the Year of the Bible. Poroshenko seemed positive about the impact the event had on the nation and encouraged churches and Ukraine’s Bible Society to continue installing biblical values to their nation.

The Ukraine Bible Society also shared the progress of their contemporary Bible translation into Ukrainian with the President and their plan is to have the full Bible published in mid-2019.

The Ukraine Bible Society extend their gratitude, for the prayers and support from all their sisters and brothers from around the world. Let us continue to pray that the Bible will reach many more hearts in Ukraine.

Two million more people have the full Bible in their language

More full Bibles than ever before are available in the widest number of languages to date.

At the start of 2019 some 5.6 billion people have access to the full Bible in 692 languages. These figures represent an increase of 200 million people and 18 languages on the 2017/18 figures when 5.4 billion people had access to a full Bible in 674 languages.

In addition, 1,547 languages used by 805 million people have the New Testament. Also, shorter portions of Scripture are available in a further 1,123 languages used by 411 million people.

Still waiting for the Bible

However, of the 7,111 languages in the world, 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their language. In total, 3,988 languages used by 246 million people don’t have any Scripture at all.

Pastor Cil Poh with his newly published Koho Bible

United Bible Societies critical translator

But there’s good advancement to date with Scripture translations in 66 languages used by 440 million people finished last year. This was achieved by Bible Societies worldwide working closely with churches and partner organisations.

Reaching young people

Bible Societies also published new or revised translations for 22 languages used by 363 million people that already have some Scripture, including the completion of five full Bibles. These fresh translations will help new generations be able to understand and engage with Scripture.

Eritrea in Africa gets first New Testament!

Letensea, age 42, celebrated with thousands of others at the launch of the very first New Testament in Eritrea in their language, Blin. “Today, I have received food that can fill us up more than anything in the world: this new Scripture speaks to our hearts!” she exclaimed.

After the celebration, copies of the new Scripture were loaded onto camels to take to villages and churches in remote areas.

Church leaders and County Government officials receive the unveiled revised Maasai Bible

Acceleration in Bible translation

There is a gathering momentum in Bible translation as the dream of every person on earth being able to access God’s word gets closer. Translation processes have benefitted from technology, with better software and online resources. Translation is increasingly owned by the community whose language is being translated.

Last year UBS embarked on a bold 20-year journey that aims to provide around 600 million people with new access to Scripture in their heart language. If Bible Societies receive the funding they need, this will involve the completion of 1,200 translation projects by 2038.

“Our 20-year vision and mission strategy builds on a legacy of sacrifice and generosity passed down by generations of faithful servants,” says UBS Director General Michael Perreau. “Now we continue that mission with fresh momentum by working more closely than ever before with partners around the world, including modern day Bible heroes living lives of sacrifice and dedication so that we all might have access to the life-giving word of God.”