THE total quantity of Bibles in various languages published by the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) in 1997 was 738,522, says the 167th Annual Report of the Society. The number published in the English language increased by over 60% to just under 279,000 copies. “This is a further tangible indication,” said Mr D. P. Rowland, the General Secretary, in his Report, “of the continuing interest and demand that there is for the Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures.”
Mr Rowland added, “It is now estimated that of the approximately 5,500 languages in the world, a total of only 363 have a Bible. When it is realised that this comparatively small number includes the many translations that have been produced during the last one hundred years from a critical form of the Greek text of the New Testament, and using translation philosophies that effectively deny verbal inspiration, it will be evident that only a very small number of these languages have translations of the Word of God that can be described as faithful and reliable. Indeed, very few peoples have enjoyed anything like the privileges of the English-speaking peoples, who have had the rich blessing of faithful translations of the Holy Scriptures available in their language since the days of William Tyndale.”
The Society expressed its gratitude to the Gereformeerde Bijbelstichtingin Holland for their financial support of the production of the Hebrew Bible. As the TBS has announced in recent issues of its Quarterly Record, they are hoping to republish not only the Hebrew Bible, but also the Hebrew New Testament very shortly.
The Society has received many enquiries regarding the possibility of its undertaking new translation and revision projects, and has received requests to consider extending its witness in different parts of the world where there is currently little understanding of the principles underlying their work. “As each of these enquiries is considered,” said the General Secretary, “we shall value your prayers that the Lord may grant us His gracious guidance.” Of particular interest to our Church with regard to its work in Kiev and Odessa is the fact that the Society hopes to print the Kulisch edition of the Ukrainian Bible.
The Editorial Manager, Mr G. W. Anderson, reported that the Society continues to take advantage of the benefit afforded by its official website on the Internet. Its address is: http://www.trinitarianbiblesociety.org “This website,” he said, “enables us to provide The Quarterly Record and numerous articles to many around the world who would not otherwise be familiar with our work and principles. In addition, e-mail enables us to keep closer contact with translators and helpers. We thank God for this useful tool in reaching many in connection with the affairs of His kingdom.”
Mr Rowland expressed the great gratitude of the Society for the generous help given by its supporters. “In the Lord’s goodness,” he said, “the charitable support of the Society during 1997 wonderfully increased. This has enabled the Society to go forward with more confidence, replenishing our stocks, modestly increasing the value of the Scriptures granted during the year and budgeting for a significant increase in the level of grants in the current year. In addition to our obvious expenditure on the Scriptures that are granted free of charge, a significant proportion of our charitable funds is expended on subsidised sales for those who otherwise would not be able to purchase the Word of God.”
The Consultant Accountant, Mr David Cooke, stated in his Report, “Following the cut-back in the amount of Scriptures granted two years ago due to economic constraints at that time, in the year under review the value of such grants was increased roughly in line with inflation, at just over 3%. In view of the very encouraging results in 1997, a further increase has been budgeted for 1998 at a rate significantly higher than inflation, in order to increase the quantities of Scriptures distributed freely to those in the greatest need.”
“These and other similar projects,” said Mr Cooke, “will require substantial funds, and we continue to look to the Lord, seeking His provision for the future. And we are thankful to you, our supporters, for the part you play in the spreading of God’s Word to a spiritually needy world! ‘God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister,’ Hebrews 6:10.”
“The need of today is not for the Society,” said Mr Rowland, “but rather for the principles for which the Society stands. With today’s general indifference to true Christianity, the professing Christian church’s rejection of the confessions of the Reformation period, its toleration of heretical doctrines and unbiblical practices that has given rise to so many cults and sects, the advance of the combined forces of darkness attempting to discredit the authority and reliability of the Word of God, the subtle strengthening of Papal powers and the extending of the menacing influence of Islam, we must continue to publish the Word of God in faithful and reliable translations, earnestly praying that the Lord may be pleased to revive His work and use His Word to the glory and praise of His Name among the peoples of the earth that are in the darkness of false religion and unbelief.”
He concluded, “The end for which the Society was formed was not merely the publishing of faithful copies of the Word of God. It was first and foremost for ‘the glory of God and the salvation of men’. Our prayerful desire, indeed, is that the great God whom we serve may be glorified in the salvation of sinners through the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures. ‘Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified’.”