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United Bible Societies

About the United Bible Societies

The United Bible Societies was formed as the result of a conference of Bible Society representatives at ‘Elfinsward’, the conference centre of the Diocese of Chichester, in Haywards Heath, England, on May 6-8, 1946.  Delegates represented the four Bible Societies most active in promoting the union – the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, the Netherlands Bible Society and the National Bible Society of Scotland (now the Scottish Bible Society) – and the Bible Societies of Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Today, the United Bible Societies is made up of 145 national Bible Societies operating in over 200 countries and territories. Together, they are the biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible in the world. They are also active in areas such as literacy training, HIV and AIDS prevention and disaster relief. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations.

Bible Societies are committed to finding new and imaginative ways to draw people into the Bible. Each is unique – some are large organisations delivering sophisticated Bible advocacy campaigns, others are small offices distributing Scriptures to people living below the poverty line.

Translating the Bible remains at the heart of what we do. There are now more than 450 complete Bible translations (30 per cent of which include the Deuterocanon) and each year more are added. Currently, there are Scriptures available in 2,527 of the world’s estimated 6,500 languages. Our translation policy ensures we have translation guidelines that are acceptable to the Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Churches. Bible Societies are dedicated to faithfully delivering new translations to Christians anywhere who have never had a Bible in their own language.

The Fellowship is incorporated as United Bible Societies, a corporation registered in the state of Delaware, USA, in 1946. The affairs of the Fellowship are administered on its behalf by the United Bible Societies Association (UBSA) at the UBS World Service Centre in Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7PJ, England. UBSA is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales N.o. 2264875. It is also a registered charity, N.o. 800058.

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