ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE BIBLE SOCIETY

120 YEARS OF MAKING THE BIBLE KNOWN

Our Unwavering Commitment

Through the years, the Philippine Bible Society’s commitment has not changed nor waned one bit. We remain committed to making the Bible known to every Filipino and to providing each one with opportunities to encounter God in His Word. We believe that national transformation can only take effect when the inner man is transformed by the beautiful message and saving truth found in the Scriptures.

As our forebears envisioned, we continuously strive to produce translations of the Bible that are not only faithful to the original biblical languages but are also published in languages that our people understand. It is our prayer that our fellow countrymen get to read the Bible in the language closest to their hearts. As there are still Philippine languages without translations of the Scriptures, we commit ourselves to exploring more avenues to ensure that all Filipinos have easy access to God’s amazing Word. 

We work hand in hand with our dear ministry partners to effectively and meaningfully distribute the Bible in formats that meet the needs of the Filipino people. Whether print, audio, visual, or digital in format, we hope that people will develop a deeper appreciation and reverence for the Bible. Praise the Lord for He continues to be faithful and His Word remains unchanging.

As a non-stock and non-profit interconfessional organization, we also place much importance on making our PBS-published Bibles and Scripture materials affordable. In this way, more people can have Bibles of their own! Our efforts to make these Scripture materials as affordable as possible for our countrymen all stem from our desire to glorify the Lord and give thanks to Him for His goodness. His love for us simply abounds and overflows; we want others to experience this same joy.

Many nearby cities and far away provinces have been covered since our founding anniversary in 1899, but there are still several areas that we have yet to reach. So, we must not grow tired or weary. New generations mean new challenges; new situations call for new solutions. At the end of the day, one fact remains: the Word of God is what will transform and unite our nation. 

Let us continue to work together to make the Bible known! There is strength in numbers and we need one another to complete our mission for God’s greater glory.

“I, the Lord, have called you and given you power
to see that justice is done on earth.
Through you I will make a covenant with all peoples;
through you I will bring light to the nations.”
Isaiah 42:6, Good News Translation (GNT)

Dr. Nora G. Lucero
General Secretary
Philippine Bible Society

VISION

“A Transformed Filipino People through God’s Word”

The Bible is the guide to life for all Filipinos and in every Filipino home so that lives are transformed resulting in:

  • National righteousness
  • Economic sufficiency
  • Social peace
  • Public justice
  • God-fearing citizenry

MISSION

“Making the Bible Known”

We translate, produce, distribute, promote, and fundraise for the Holy Scriptures and help people engage with God’s Word.

We make them available in translations faithful to the original languages, in formats that meet people’s needs, and at affordable prices.

CORE VALUES

Faith in the triune God and obedience to God’s Word
(Matthew 28:19-20; Psalm 119:7-8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Obedience to the law of the land
(1 Peter 2:13-17)
Respect for all people
(Romans 12:10, 15-16, 18)
Commitment to inter-confessional relationships
(Ephesians 4:4-6)
Excellence and integrity
(Philippians 4:8; Proverbs 4:24-26)

Philippine Bible Society History

1972
Sep 13
1974
Sep 13
1977
Sep 13

Trials and Triumphs (1977-1979)

The years 1977 to 1979 was considered a dark period in the history of PBS. PBS was expelled from the global UBS fellowship, faced financial crisis, and for a time, was unable to fulfill the reason for its existence: distribute Scriptures. In dire circumstances, however, God raises people who will carry out his work. Dr. Ricardo B. Jumawan came on board and led the rehabilitation of PBS. Since then, these most trying years have become became a constant reminder for succeeding Bible Society leaders to be good and faithful stewards of God’s resources.

1979
Sep 13
1980
Sep 13

Arrival of the Popular Version Bibles (1980- 1989)

This decade was marked with the completion of the Interconfessional Bible translations, either the whole Bible or the New Testament. First to be completed and subsequently published was the Tagalog Magandang Balita Biblia and the rest followed thereafter. More Filipinos start to read the much easier-to-understand yet faithful translations of the Holy Scriptures.

1981
May 01

Pampango Ing Bayung Tipan at Ding Dalit (New Testament with Psalms)

On June 1, 1981, the Pampango Ing Bayung Tipan at Ding Dalit (New Testa- ment with Psalms), Catholic edition, was introduced to the public at the Cathedral of the Assumption in San Fernando, Pampanga.

1982
Nov 19

National Bible Week proclaimed a national event

By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 2242 signed by President Ferdinand Marcos on November 19, 1982, the National Bible Week became a national celebration, to be observed every last week of November.

1984
Sep 12

Increased eagerness to study the Scriptures

Reports of an increase in the number of Bible study groups, as a result of widespread Bible distribution, reached the Bible Society. During the 50th Founding Anniversary of the Bible Society, Rev. W.H. Fonger reported to the membership that since its formal beginnings in 1899, the Society has already distributed a combined total of 4,294,478 copies of the Bible and the New Testament. In 1984 alone, 25,810 copies of the Bible were distributed, the largest in its history at the time.

1985
Oct 01

An Engineer for the Bible Cause

On October 1, 1985, Dr. Medarlo B. Rivera, an engineer by profession, became General Secretary of PBS, succeeding Dr. Jumawan. Under Dr. Rivera’s leadership, PBS continued to respond to the Scripture requirements of the churches in the Philippines, in whatever format people would appreciate.

Nov 19

PBS launched a Bible week stamp

In 1985, PBS launched a Bible week stamp, showing an open Bible and the words of Matthew 22:37-39.

1986
Feb 25

The National Bible Week gains more government support

Martial Law ended in 1986 after the EDSA Revolution. Newly-proclaimed president Corazon Aquino supported the Bible Cause by signing Proclamation No. 44, assigning the last week of January as the National Bible Week celebration and the last Sunday as National Bible Sunday.

This afforded the Bible Society a wider and more meaningful promotion of the Scriptures throughout the country as the proclamation also sanctioned PBS to lead the celebrations. Both Protestant and Roman Catholic Christians supported the proclamation.

1988
Sep 13

PBS leadership goes global

During the UBS Budapest Council Meeting in 1988, Rev. Dr. Cirilo A. Rigos, one of the Presidents and Chairmen of PBS, was elected as General Secretary of the United Bible Societies—the first Asian ever to have held the position since its founding in 1949.

Nov 13

First Asia-Pacific female UBS Translation Consultant

In 1988, Dr. Anicia del Corro was appointed as a UBS Translation Consultant, making her the first-ever female UBS Translation Officer in the region.

1989
Dec 31

Increased Bible distribution

The distribution of Bibles steadily increased from 170,000 in 1981 to 414,781 in 1989.

1990
Sep 13

Emergence of multimedia presentation of the Scriptures (1990- 1999)

With the development of technology came new ways of presenting the Scriptures. PBS produced and distributed Scriptures in multimedia formats such as tapes (Faith Comes By Hearing), videos, diglot formats, etc.

1995
Jan 01

PBS became a self-supporting Bible Society in 1995

Self-sufficiency

After many decades of receiving support from the UBS, PBS became a self-supporting Bible Society in 1995. Since then, PBS has also been able to contribute to the global fellowship in terms of financial support, leadership, and expertise.

1997
Aug 26

The Bible recognized by the government in nation-building

For the third time in 1997, a Presidential Proclamation was signed, this time by President Fidel Ramos, reiterating the celebration of National Bible Week. Presidential Proclamation 1067 recognized the Bible as “an excellent source of life-giving principles to develop a value-oriented, morally strong, and socially responsible citizenry.”

1999
Nov 26

A Centennial of Bible Work

In November 1999, PBS celebrated its centennial, marking the 100 years of formal Bible work in the Philippines. A series of activities had conducted including the campus lectures of Dr. Eugene Nida, who had seen the simple beginnings and eventual growth of PBS.

2000
Jan 01

Financial stability despite the odds (2000-2009)

The country faced many challenges during this period, including economic and political instability, and insurgency. The Philippine peso value dropped several times, yet the Bible Society unwaveringly continued to deliver the Scriptures needed by the people, even the highly subsidized Scripture editions such as the Ang Pangako Bibles.

2001
Sep 13

Major Tagalog Revisions

In 2001, PBS launched the revised edition of the 1905 Tagalog Ang Biblia. Subsequently, in 2005, the revision of the Magandang Balita Biblia of 1980 was also launched. These were done in order to make the Word of God speak afresh to new generations and to account for the changes that have come to the Tagalog language brought about by extensive and rapid contact with other non-Filipino languages.

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“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society