The digital team at the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) raised a collective cheer when they heard the news that the Bible page on Facebook had outdone many leading sites from the world of sports, entertainment, and politics.
This came on the heels of news stories that the Bible has cracked the top 10 highest-grossing book applications for the iPad for the first time2 and, according to Google Blog Search, there are about 277,000 blog posts for Bible reading, 409,000 for Bible verses, and 1,650,000 for Bible study.3
The stark contrast is not lost on the CBS team. Its impressive that in a world of instantaneous, electronic communication and 140 character observations and anecdotes, young people are being impacted by two thousand year old Bible portions like Pauls letter to the Philippians; a text written in a Roman prison and hand delivered by Epaphroditus, who travelled much of the distance to Philippi on foot.
Beyond the launch of a special 400th anniversary edition of the King James Version and presentations explaining the development of the landmark Bible, the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is seizing the opportunity to underline the spirit behind the King James Version, which is still at the heart of its mandate.
It may have been called the Authorized Version, but it wasnt immediately widely accepted explains Joel Coppieters who directs the Scripture Resources department at CBS. When it appeared in 1611, the controversial new Bible brought the Word of God to the common people, in a language they could understand. A lot of the religious elite thought it just wasnt right to have God speaking in street English!
The mandate CBS shares with sister societies in over 140 countries around the world insists that God must speak the language of the street and of the heart, that the Bible must be made easily available and accessible to every man, woman and child.
Relaxing a ban imposed in citizenship courts in 2004, Canadian immigration officials are preparing to once again allow the distribution of Bibles to new immigrants who wish to use them for the swearing of allegiance ceremony.
This Canadian Bible Society (CBS) ministry began in the early 1900’s when representatives of the society were present at Pier 21 in Halifax greeting the immigrants arriving on ships from the old countries. By the end of the fifties the presentations were happening in more organized ceremonies in citizenship courts across the country. While a Bible had been on hand in other legal courts to swear in witnesses before testifying for instance, many new immigrants welcomed the idea of a keepsake Bible of their own that they could keep as a souvenir after the citizenship ceremony. CBS responded to the unique opportunity to connect new Canadians with God’s Word, eventually even designing a specific Bible for the program and distributing almost 25,000 copies in the last year the program was offered.
Representatives from several First Nations and the Canadian Bible Society joined with the public and officials at the Queen’s House Retreat Center to celebrate the launch of the new Gospel of Mark in Plains Cree. The milestone was an encouraging point of progress in a work that has been several decades in the making and that reflects the Bible Society’s commitment to making Scriptures accessible to everyone in their heart language.
Because of the profound link between a people’s culture and identity and their language, the Bible Society’s efforts often have an impact much broader than the availability of Scriptures. The work done by Bible translators and linguists inevitably also helps to build literacy and contributes to preserving important cultural elements.
Hart Wiens is a great believer in the immense value of Bible translation
“In translation we participate in God’s plan to reach all nations,” says Hart Wiens, director of Scripture translations for the Canadian Bible Society (CBS).
He is convinced of the immense impact Bible translation has had on the spread of Christian faith. “Where missionaries took time to learn the language and culture and translate the Scripture, the church was strong and vibrant. Where they took shortcuts, it was less strong,” he says.
Joshua Seller, winner of the CBS, 2009 GMA Scripture Song category, released his first EP (extended play) on April 6. The album, JOSHUA SELLER: Passionate Reverence, contains three new worship songs including Sellers award winning piece, Song of the Angels. Also included are Greater and Worship Rises.
The Canadian Bible Society sponsored the Scripture Song Award, a new category at the 2009 Gospel Music Awards held in Calgary. Song of the Angels, which contains the Scripture text found in Revelation 4.8 and 11, was chosen from over 350 entries.
Who could ever have imagined the unique opportunities that the Winter Olympics would bring to Canada? On the heels of sporting triumphs, there comes a once in a lifetime opportunity for Christians to share hospitality and God's Word.
Because of this, the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) has partnered with More Than Gold (MTG), a non-profit organization that coordinates the volunteer efforts of the Christian community for major sporting events worldwide, so that visitors and athletes will know that the Christian community is present.
Thousands of spectators will witness simple acts of service when a volunteer hands them a warm drink and engages them in spiritual conversation - offering a winter sports themed New Testament provided by the Canadian Bible Society.
The Canadian Bible Society (CBS) is partnering with the Haitian Bible Society, the American Bible Society and the United Bible Societies in a holistic project that will provide critical care for the spiritual and physical needs of Haitians impacted by the earthquake.
We have received word from our Haitian Bible Society Director, Magda Victor, and we thank God that her staff and much of their facilities have been spared. While she reports that her own home has been destroyed, the Bible Society's work is going forward with God's Word and critical care for those at Haiti's ground zero.
Several partners have come alongside the Bible Society, each providing contributions specific to their ministry. These include: Water Missions International, Operation Compassion, One Hope, Back to the Bible and Faith Comes By Hearing.
In a world of disposable products, rapid change and uncertainty, the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) exists to reach every man, woman and child with the life-giving Word of God and to encourage its use. We also continue to partner with the 145 national organizations in the United Bible Societies family and we translate and distribute Scriptures in over 100 languages, so that people everywhere can receive the Bible in their heart language.
While our vision to bring Gods Word to the world remains constant, changing times and new technologies bring challenges and opportunities that must be reflected in our approaches. Over the past two years, together with our management team, we have responded by initiating new ministry partnerships, new branding, and more effective communication with thousands of loyal CBS supporters. In distribution, we have streamlined our methods and we have added cutting edge Scripture resources that include audio downloads and digital options.
In a world of disposable products, rapid change and uncertainty, the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) continues its almost two-hundred-year commitment to making God's Word accessible to everyone. In support of this commitment, CBS has developed strategic partnerships with organizations such as campusfire, More than Gold, Canadian Military and recently with the Gospel Music Association Canada.
CBS is pleased to announce that they are sponsoring the new GMA category for the 2009 Scripture Song. The winner will receive a prize valued at more than $9,000 that includes:
- Custom Nova Scotia Crystal Award to be presented at the GMA Awards show
- Complete CD recording at AME Recording Studio with session musicians, production and promotion of three songs on a CD