Yes. In fact, the Canadian Bible Society is a part of the United Bible Societies, a global fellowship of Bible Societies in 145 countries and territories. Bible Societies work together to promote and encourage the translation, publication, distribution and use of the Scriptures.
For about 50 years, the Canadian Bible Society had been distributing Bibles to new citizens in Canada by way of a table present at each ceremony. Many new citizens have taken advantage of this offer.
God has also opened doors of opportunity for CBS to reach immigrants and other newcomers to Canada in a more meaningful way. CBS now partners with churches and organizations that conduct ESL/FSL classes. The Word of Welcome Bible was produced specifically for this purpose. Churches use these Bibles as textbooks in helping new immigrants learn English or French.
Contact the district office nearest you to learn more about this program.
Former CBS Translation Director, Hart Wiens, responds to this question:
Translation of the Bible into modern English can be traced back some 600 years. Some of the most prominent names attached to this early work of Bible translation in modern English are John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. However, attempts at translating the Bible into Old English (also known as Anglo-Saxon) go back to the work of the Venerable Bede in the 7th century. Today there are so many different versions in English that no one seems to know the exact number. I have heard numbers as high as 600 and Wikipedia gives the number as more than 450. As English speakers we might think of this as an embarrassment of riches considering the fact that there are at least 3,000 spoken languages in the world which still do not have even one translation of the Bible.
With so many versions of the Bible in English today, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to do a thorough analysis and evaluate all these translations. In practice however, the number of English versions in widespread common usage is much smaller. I count just over a dozen versions that account for the vast majority of English Bible sales today. That is a much more manageable number and yet it is still very difficult to make a blanket statement in answer to the question, Which version is best?
The military Bible was designed specifically for Canadian soldiers. For instance, the cover matches the camouflage of their uniforms, and the Bible is the right size to fit into their uniform breast pockets.
The Bibles are available in both English and French. CBS used easy-to-understand versions the Good News Translation for English and the Français Courant version for French. The Bibles are also available in both Catholic and Protestant editions.
The cover design is based on the two camouflage patterns used by the Canadian Forces. CADPAT (Canadian Disruptive Pattern) comes in two designs: Arid (Khaki) and Temperate (Green). These patterns are patented by the Department of National Defence (DND) and used strictly for military uniforms. However, DND granted CBS permission to use them for the covers of the military Bibles. It is also interesting to note that these Bibles were not allowed to have gold stamping. In the dark, light reflected by the gold stamping might give away a soldiers position in the field.
Complete Bibles for Soldiers
For many years, CBS had been distributing the New Testament with Psalms to new recruits in the Canadian Forces. However, DND approached the Canadian Bible Society for assistance in providing the complete Bible to members of the Forces. As a result, the complete military Bible was published and distributed for the first time in 2007. This Bible contains special features important to soldiers, including a foreword by General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. There are also sections called Where to Look and Well-known Passages and Stories in the Bible.
No. While the Canadian Bible Society raises funds for and prints the military Bibles, distribution is carried out through the Chaplain Generals Office of the Canadian Forces. The Bibles are intended for Canadian soldiers and therefore are not made available in any Bible Society bookstores; they are available only through the Chaplain Generals Office. This is to ensure that this specially- designed Bible reaches the intended recipients and that Gods Word is available whenever and wherever it is needed by our military personnel.
If you have family or friends in the military that wish to receive a military Bible, you may advise them to contact the Chaplain Generals Office or the Chaplain attached to their unit.