Marking two centuries of reaching the lost

By December 10, 2009

International (MNN/IBS) — Much has changed since 1809 when
the  International Bible Society was

With a recent name change to Biblica, it has grown with the times, all the while
sharing an unchanging Gospel.

This month, the ministry marks
200 years of Bible outreach. In that time, they've distributed more than 650 million Scriptures to people in need of its
life-transforming message.

Biblica's Steve
Johnson says their vision remains true. "I think back over those two centuries of history, and I'm reminded
of how Biblica was the first organization to produce Bibles in audio format for
blinded civil war veterans." 

Ministry to the military began during the War of 1812 and continued through every major conflict
since, expanding to cover as many people as possible. 

In its beginning, a handful of Christian visionaries met in
lower Manhattan, NY, on Dec. 4, 1809, to form the New York Bible Society (later
International Bible Society and now Biblica). This group included Revolutionary War hero
Col. Henry Rutgers (for whom Rutgers University was named), and Samuel Miller,
a founder and director of Princeton Theological Seminary.

Their passion was to see the fledgling nation
rooted in Christian faith by providing Bibles to people who lacked access to

Over the next 200 years, new technologies emerged, as did the challenges of an
industrial society. Johnson says the key to survival lies not only in holding true to God's Word, but also in being willing to work with new technology tools of the era. 

He explains, "Part of our
strategy in a third century of ministry is figuring
out how to adapt to each of those unique circumstances to make the Word of God
available to those who don't have it, to get it into restricted parts of the
world, and certainly to remind the Western world that the Word of God is still

also translates the Bible for major language groups lacking contemporary
translations, currently working on translations in 27 languages. Biblica is the
translation sponsor of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the
most widely-read contemporary English version.

partnering with donors and other ministries, Biblica provides the Bible for
audiences worldwide through print, the Internet, audio, video, and digital
Scripture media.

Global President/CEO Keith Danby notes: "With God's grace, we will
continue this great heritage of transforming lives through God's Word as we begin
a third century of service to God and others."

operates in 50 countries and is the sponsor and copyright holder of the New
International Version® family of contemporary-English Bible
translations. For more information, visit


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