Trivia about the Philippine Bible Society

On 26 November 1899, the Reverend Jay C. Goodrich and his wife arrived in Manila after being appointed the first resident representative to carry out the vision of the American Bible Society (ABS) in the Philippines. ABS and the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) were both involved in the Bible cause in the Philippines and in Korea.

In 1919 it was mutually agreed that ABS would concentrate in the Philippines and BFBS in Korea. At that time the Philippine Bible Society was constituted as a national, autonomous Bible Society, succeeding ABS. In 1994 PBS became a self-supporting Bible society, able to contribute financially to the global fellowship of Bible Societies.

One far-reaching influence of PBS began in 1966 when Bible reading and Bible use have been encouraged by the Holy Father in Vatican. Vatican 2 and the actions thereafter paved the way for more translation in response to the nationalization of the mass among Filipinos. At this same time, ABS in the USA saw phenomenal response to a new translation of the New Testament written in contemporary English which was the result of innovative linguistic and biblical scholarship.

Due to these developments, PBS proposed that a joint venture be pursued by Protestant and Roman Catholic leaders so that translation work on an interconfessional Bible could begin. To this day, it has resulted in the translation of the Holy Bible in 8 major languages, in popular versions and in a format that can be used by the Catholics as well as non-Catholics.

More than 5 million Bibles were distributed by PBS during the last ten years from 1988 to 1998. Our national heroes: Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, and Apolinario Mabini, demonstrated from their preserved writings that Biblical culture made an impact on their thinking. All these years, PBS continues to cooperate with churches of various demonstrations and confessions, so that Filipinos may not only have easy access to the Bible, but experience a positive transformation in their life.

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