United Bible Societies (UBS) is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. We believe the Bible is for everyone so we are working towards the day when everyone can access the Bible in the language and medium of their choice.
In 1946, just after the end of World War II, a small group of Bible Societies met together and agreed that Bible Societies all around the world would be stronger if they worked together. They agreed to create the fellowship of Bible Societies that continues today.
Many of the original reasons for forming the United Bible Societies fellowship remain relevant today. We still believe we are stronger together as a fellowship than as independent Bible Societies. By choosing to work together, we believe we are acting in obedience to Jesus’ final prayer request that “…they may be one.” (John 17:21) We put aside doctrinal differences in our common pursuit to make the Bible available to everyone.
In the 21st Century, being a global fellowship enables us to respond with one voice to other global organisations including United Nations and the Roman Catholic church. Having direct contact with local people in every country enables us to speak with authority about the lives of Christians, Bible poverty and the state of Biblical literacy around the world.
Being a global fellowship also enables Bible Societies to collaborate and plan together to achieve a range of impressive goals including building the world’s largest Digital Bible LibraryTM, training thousands of church leaders to respond compassionately to HIV/AIDS through our Good Samaritan programme and teaching hundreds of thousands of people to read in our Bible-based literacy classes.
Proclaim his glory to the nations, his mighty deeds to all peoples.
(Psalm 96:3, GNT)
What has United Bible Societies achieved?
• United Bible Societies is one of the world’s largest Christian organisations in terms of our global reach. You will find local Bible Society staff working in almost every country and territory across the world.
• We are one of the world’s leading experts in the field of Bible translation. We maintain excellent translation standards using leading edge software and regular training for translators. We have translated the majority of the world’s full Bibles.
Bible printing and distribution
• We are one of the world’s most active printers and distributors of Bibles and Scripture portions. We distribute an average of 32 million full Bibles each year. In addition to that, we distribute enough New Testaments and Scripture portions to potentially reach 5% of the world’s population each year. In 2012 we distributed over 405 million Scripture items.
• We are rapidly building the world’s largest online Digital Bible Library®. We have collected more than 1,000 digital Bible texts in over 800 languages.
• United Bible Societies manages a growing social media ministry on Facebook and other social networks. Our Digital Bible
Facebook page reaches millions of young adults every year. 71% report it helps them apply the Bible’s teaching to their lives.
Our history and our future
• The oldest Bible Society in our fellowship is the British and Foreign Bible Society, established in 1804. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the founders, who held the global vision to share God’s Word everywhere from the very earliest days.
• The youngest Bible Society in our fellowship is the Bible Society of South Sudan which was established in 2011, a few months after South Sudan became an independent country.