As a national religious charitable organization, the purposes of the Canadian Bible Society are to translate without doctrinal note, publish, and distribute the Christian Scriptures, and to promote and encourage the use of the Bible, throughout Canada and worldwide in cooperation with members of the United Bible Societies and other organizations.
It started with a girl named Mary…
Mary Jones had longed for a Bible in her own language from the time she was ten. But, her family was poor and Bibles in 18th century Wales were both expensive and scarce.
Mary was a determined girl, however, and for six long years she toiled at chores saving every hard-earned penny. By the summer of 1800 she had finally saved enough. Mary Jones walked 28 miles in her bare feet to buy a Bible.
It sounds just like the experience of new Christians in China or in the remote parts of Africa today. But Mary Jones was a girl who lived in Wales over 200 years ago. Her story inspired people and helped lead to the founding of the Bible Society making the Bible available throughout the world.
The Canadian Bible Society was formally founded in 1904. In 1906 CBS became a chartered member of the United Bibles Societies, a fellowship of over 145 national Bible Societies around the world. The Societies work in partnership with churches and other Bible agencies to facilitate and support translation and Scripture distribution work around the globe.
In Canada, CBS translates, publishes and distributes Bibles, New Testaments and other Scriptures, which are available in over 100 languages including Canadian First Nations languages. The first Canadian native translation to be published by the Bible Society dates back to 1804, when the Gospel of John was translated into Mohawk.
The Canadian Bible Society is committed to exercising faithful stewardship over the funds entrusted to us. We are aware of the sacrificial nature of your gifts and in recognition of your faithfulness, we make this pledge to you:
- Gifts will be used for the purpose of sharing the Holy Scriptures with as many people as possible for the lowest possible cost.
- If project needs are met, gifts will be used for related projects where most needed.
- We will engage in full financial disclosure and will provide an Annual Report of all income and expenses to anyone who requests it.
This is our faith pledge to you.
Teyoninhokarawen (John Norton)
In the spring of 1804, Teyoninhokarawen (John Norton), arrived in England to negotiate treaties with the English. At the request of the British and Foreign Bible Society, he translated the Gospel of John into Mohawk. His work would represent a number of firsts for the newly-formed Bible Society: the First translation; First publication; First distribution in a foreign land.
In the Mohawk Chapel at Brantford Ontario, there is a memorial window of unusual significance which portrays the distribution of the Gospel in Mohawk in 1806. the bottom panel of the window records Norton’s preface to his translation: “Let us strictly adhere to what the Lord has transmitted to us in the Holy Scriptures, that thereby the unbelievers may know that love we bear the commandments of God.”