The Canadian Bible Society Atlantic Regional Office oversees program implementation in the Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, as well as in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The earliest records show that Bible Society work in Canada started in the Atlantic Region, with distribution and translation beginning in the early 1800s:
- The Bible Society has been distributing Bibles in the province of Nova Scotia for over 211 years. In 1808, a consignment of 500 Bibles and 1,000 New Testaments in Gaelic was sent from the recently formed British and Foreign Bible Society (1804) to a Bible Society at Pictou, for the use of the highlanders who had settled in the eastern part of Nova Scotia.
- The British and Foreign Bible Society published the Gospel of John for the Moravian missionaries on the coast of Labrador in 1810. A report in 1811 states that when the Inuit received the Word of God in their own language, they were moved to tears and exclaimed, “Jesus is worthy of thanks and our friends are worthy of thanks, who loved us so much though they have never seen us.”
- As early as 1808, a grant of Bibles was made to the town of Burton, New Brunswick, by the British and Foreign Bible Society. In 1819 the Bible Society was officially formed and has since been recognized as a chartered not-for-profit ministry in the province.
- The Prince Edward Island Auxiliary was organized in Charlottetown on December 13, 1837. One distributor was employed, and he travelled 16 to 19 km a day, often selling 50 Bibles or so and giving away a few to those too poor to buy one.
From the beginning, Bible work in the Atlantic region – recognized as having the oldest Bible Society branches in Canada – depended upon churches to provide volunteers to administer and sustain the work. The same is true today as Bible work continues to enjoy its strong ties with the church and Christian organizations in the region. The Regional Office is located in Truro, NS.