Grif.Net

05/18/19 Weekend Grif.Net – Bibles for Everyone

05/18/19 Weekend Grif.Net – Bibles for Everyone

In the early =
years of the 19th Century, renewed interest in publication =
and distribution of Bibles, resulted in the creation of voluntary =
associations of Christians, in different states and regions of the =
United States, devoted to that end. By 1816, 130 Bible Societies has =
sprung up in twenty-four states and territories. Their chief purpose was =
to supply Bibles to Americans in their various languages. Although the =
Bible had been published in the United States since the previous =
century, most societies had to rely on the British and Foreign Bible =
Society to provide most of their stock for the insatiable demand. The =
Societies called for an umbrella organization to help them distribute =
Bibles around the world. The formation of the American Bible Society in =
New York City answered that call in May 1816.

 

Adopting the =
template of the BFBS, the Americans created a board of majority laymen =
who chose as their first chairman one of the most active and well known =
of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Elias Boudinot. He had =
served as a lawyer, statesman, and delegate to the Continental Congress, =
a Colonel in the Continental army and Congressman in the new Republic, =
and director of the U.S. Mint, appointed by George Washington. Boudinot =
was happily self-conscious of his Huguenot roots and served as an elder =
in the Presbyterian Church; he was nationally known for his Christian =
testimony—in many ways the best man to lead the American Bible =
Society in its infancy. He was followed by John Jay, the first Chief =
Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

 

The main =
purpose of the ABS was to help the existing societies get the Bible into =
every home in America. Within a year, forty-one societies became =
auxiliaries, looking to the parent Society to provide Bibles and money. =
As time passed, the auxiliary Societies folded into the ABS and it =
expanded to providing the Scriptures in foreign lands also. They teamed =
up with American missionaries around the globe, and secured the printing =
services of several publishers to meet the overwhelming demand for the =
Bible. The “King James Version” was their primary issuance =
in New Testaments, Psalms and the whole Bible, “without notes or =
comment.”

 

In 1806, the =
BFBS began using the “stereotype” printing process, which =
dramatically increased the number of Bibles that could be produced. When =
the ABS was formed they went to the same process quickly, enabling the =
production of sixty different forms of the KJV by 1850. In 1829 alone, =
the ABS printed 360,000 English Bibles and by 1860 were producing more =
than a million per year. By 1912, they were publishing Bibles in =
eighty-four languages, including those of Native American =
tribes.

 

With an easily =
readable format, good paper and sturdy binding, the goal of putting a =
Bible in every home in America seemed a reachable goal. In 1986, the ABS =
distributed almost 290 million Bibles in that year alone. The original =
vision of the founders continues unabated, and God has prospered their =
efforts and expanded His Kingdom, with the continued production and =
distribution of millions of two-edged swords.

 

[thanks to =
Bill Potter for this encouraging information]

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"