Our History

Bible Work in the Philippines started even before it was formally established in 1898. 

During the Spanish colonial period Filipinos were forbidden to own or read the Bible. Still more than a thousand copies of Scriptures were brought into the Philippines during the 19th century. This period also brought to Filipinos the first Scripture in Philippine language, the gospel of Luke in Pangasinan translated by Spanish priest Fr. Manrique Alonzo Lallave in 1887. In 1898, when Americans took control of Manila and Bible reading was no longer unlawful, this translation of Luke became the first Bible portion in the Philippine language to be freely distributed among Filipinos.

Formal Bible work in the country was initiated, supported and carried out by the American Bible Society (ABS) and British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS).

ABS” Jay C. Goodrich and his wife became the first resident representatives to establish a Bible depot and to begin systematic planning and organization of Bible work in the Philippines. In 1912, a two-story office was established at 636 Isaac Peral Street (presently 890 United Nations Avenue) that carried out distribution and promotion of Scriptures throughout the country.

The Philippine Bible House became an autonomous Bible Society in 1966 under the leadership of the first Filipino General Secretary Rev. Angel B. Taglucop. This was also the time of Vatican II when the Pope encouraged Bible reading and Bible use among Catholics. This event paved the way for Scripture translations undergone by teams from both the Catholic and Protestant groups. This joint undertaking brought Filipinos the Bible in eight major Philippine languages.

The Philippine Bible Society mission continues through the partnership of more than 3,000 individual members, churches and organizations who believe in the power of God’s Word.

In the area of translation work,
PBS makes the Scriptures more understandable through translation and revision projects.

In production,
PBS endeavours to produce Scriptures in the best quality and form favourable to readers.

In distribution,
the Bible Society endeavours to make the Word available and accessible to all Filipinos from different points of the country.

In promotion,
PBS endeavours to make people understand the importance of the Bible in their lives.

More than a century later, the task of getting God’s Word into the hands of an estimated 84 million Filipinos is far from complete. But all that have transpired and all that is to come, we give glory and honour to God.