Large-print Bible renews love of the Bible for Chinese Christian!

Madam Zhang Xiuyin became a Christian in 1997 through reading the Bible.  However, since then her eyesight has deteriorated to the point where she can hardly read a standard-sized Bible.  That is why she was so happy to receive a large-print Bible distributed through her church recently, with the support of the United Bible Societies (UBS) and generous supporters like you. 

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Volunteer Week 2021

Thank you to all our Bible Society NZ volunteers!

The contribution of our volunteers to the work of Bible Society NZ for the past 175 years is unparalleled and without their help, it would be impossible to fulfil our mission.

To those who walked and travelled on horseback throughout frontier regions to distribute Bibles, to the ‘Red Book’ Collectors, Church Representatives, Action Group members, Volunteer Speakers, Bake for Bibles, and Manna Christian Stores volunteers, we say Thank You!

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175th Anniversary South Island Update

Celebrating 175 years in the South Island

By Stephen Opie – 175th anniversary Project Lead.

I was really nervous about our 175th anniversary events. “Have we bitten off more than we can chew?” “Are we being too ambitious?” Planning 19 events around the country has not been easy, so when we left for Invercargill the week after Easter, nerves were running high.

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Translations update – 2021

Bible available in more than 700 languages

At the start of 2021, a significant milestone was  reached when the full Bible became available in 704 languages for the first time. Spoken by 5.7 billion people, more than 70% of these translations have been provided by the United Bible Societies! Another 825 million people have the New Testament in their language, and 450 million people have Scripture portions.

However, 75 years ago when the United Bible Societies (UBS) was formed in the wake of World War II, the Bible translation landscape looked very different. At that time fewer than 200 languages had the full Bible, 230 had the New Testament, and 620 had Scripture portions.

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Holding History

I’ve always loved history. I can spend hours walking around an historical site or looking at artefacts in a museum.

There’s a strange kind of connection with the past you feel when you see something several hundred years old. A person who lived all those years ago owned that item, and now I am looking at the very thing they held in their hands. I often wonder what life was like for that person.

Recently, my historical research into the history of the Bible in Māori took me to the Alexander Turnbull Library here in Wellington. I requested a special book, which I wanted to see – the corrected proof copy of the first ever New Testament in Māori. It was William Williams’ copy, who worked with others including his brother Henry on the original translation.

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Surviving the tough times

This year, you have helped the United Bible Societies fellowship survive one of the worst periods in its history.

At the start of 2020 no one could have predicted how the world would be impacted by Covid-19! 

By March or April Bible Societies all over the world were struggling as lockdown restrictions hit and Scripture sales and distribution plummeted. Thirty Bible Societies were quickly classified as ‘critical’ and a further 65 were considered to be ‘at risk’ of closure. 

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New Testament bring joy

In a year marked with many challenges, the launch of two New Testaments in southern Nigeria has brought joy to the people of Ogbia and Epie.

In September 2020, Covid-19 restrictions had eased sufficiently so that Bible Society was able to organise two dedication services, one on the 22nd September for the Ogbia New Testament and one on the 23rd September for the Epie New Testament. 

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Gearing up for 175!

I was fortunate enough to attend the American Bible Society’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2016.

This was a huge event held at the top of the ‘Rocky steps’ in Philadelphia. Later that week, I was given this magnificent gift – a copy of the entire New Testament on a single sheet of paper. And yes, the font is small!

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175 years; the untold story

When planning how to celebrate 175 years of Bible mission, we were unanimous – we needed to tell stories.

Stories that show the impact the Bible has had on peoples’ lives. Stories that document the role Bible Society has played in the spread of the Gospel message in New Zealand. And stories that reveal the passion and dedication for God’s Word held by Christians all over the country.

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Covid-19 brings new challenges to mission

In response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bible Societies around the world are finding new ways to reach out to people.

Here are a few of their stories.


The Bible Society of Ukraine is providing New Testaments to go with emergency food parcels provided by churches. These will be distributed to elderly people living alone, or to disadvantaged families. It’s been running a daily Gospel video on its Facebook page, which thousands of people have been tuning into under lockdown, with many subsequent enquires about purchasing Bibles.

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