Our Story

Biblica – The International Bible Society has a rich history. For more than 200 years, Biblica has helped

Handing out Bibles in Harlem in the 1960’s.

people beyond the reach of God’s Word discover the love of Jesus Christ through the pages of Scripture. Now in our third century of ministry, we continue to produce relevant and reliable Scripture translations and resources that minister to people on the margins of the Gospel.

Our History

In 1809, a group of Christians, including some prominent businessmen, gathered in New York’s Lower Manhattan to discuss the city’s spiritual needs. Birthed from a belief that God’s Word could transform the needs of their city, they formed the New York Bible Society (NYBS), initially sharing God’s Word with the flood of immigrants entering the country through Ellis Island.

The Society quickly grew and in 1810 funded its first foreign language Bible translation: William Carey’s Bengali Bible translation. This began a long history of translation work around the world. In 1812, the NYBS began its ministry to the military, and in 1815 the ministry extended to prisons also.

Soon, members of the Society were going door to door throughout New York City to make sure everyone had the opportunity to hear about Christ and have a copy of the Bible in their language. The ministry reach of the organisation continued to grow and expand over the coming decades, reaching more people with God’s Word in new and innovative ways. Biblica was amongst the first to provide Bibles in New York City hotels and hospitals and to begin to provide Bibles in braille.

Billy Graham finds both a text and congregation underground. Location: Uptown Lexington Avenue Subway at 51st Street.

In 1968 the New York Bible Society became the translation sponsor of the New International Version of the Bible. When this ground-breaking translation was first published in 1978, the NIV soon became the best-selling contemporary English translation of all time. The initial print run of over a million copies sold out before they were fully printed!

In 1988, our name was changed to The International Bible Society to better reflect a new and widening scope of ministry. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the International Bible Society translated God’s Word into dozens of the world’s most-spoken languages, continuing the history of Bible translation first established by William Carey many years before.

In 2009, The International Bible Society became Biblica and today, we partner with like-minded organisations in over 50 countries to ensure God’s Word reaches those who need it most.