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

2002
Jan 01

Opportunities to reach special audiences through Ilaw sa Tahanan family Bible

PBS established new ties and strengthened existing ones with the government and private agencies, which opened opportunities to reach the masses with God’s Word through programs such as the Ilaw sa Tahanan. In 2002-2003, about 20,000 families were blessed with a copy of the Ilaw sa Tahanan family Bible. PBS also focused on producing Scriptures relevant to the needs of people, printing Scriptures targeting specific audiences—prison inmates (Paano na ang Bukas Ko?), children-at-risk (Joseph comics), drivers (Huli Ka!), the youth, etc—in cooperation with partner agencies and the UBS through Opportunity 21

Nov 26

Poimen: Bible for Pastors

A special Bible edition specifically designed to cater to the needs of pastors was launched in 2002 to help ministers build up their resources in terms of fulfilling better their ministerial functions.

2003
Aug 01

Mrs. Nora G. Lucero became the first woman General Secretary

Mrs. Nora G. Lucero became the first woman General Secretary of the Philippine Bible Society. She was elected as Chairman of the United Bible Societies Global Board from 2009- 2011, the first Asian woman to hold this position.

2005
Jan 01

Developments in technology

Technological development has proven to be an ally in terms of Scripture presentation. In a fast-changing world, God’s Word must be in step with technological advances so as not to be swallowed by emerging forms of media. Thus, PBS made the Bible available on the Web for people who prefer to read the Bible the “modern way”. PBS also launched

the first-ever electronic Bible (Filipino E-Bible), featuring 20 translations of English and local languages, all in one CD. Other electronic projects are being undertaken to continue to meet the Scripture needs of our growing population, marked with electronic sophistication.

2006
Oct 11

Regional Auxiliary Bible Office (RABO)

On October 11, 2006, the PBS Board of Trustees led the dedication of the first-ever Bible Society branch office, known as RABO, outside the island of Luzon. The dedication of the PBS Cebu-RABO testifies to the continuing desire of the Bible Society to bring the Word of God closer to the people. PBS Bible depots are also now in place in Mabalacat, Pampanga and Cagayan de Oro City.

Nov 23

Philippine Bible Society at its permanent location

The dedication of the PBS BibleHouseat United Nations Avenue on Nov. 23, 2006, is a fulfillment of the dream of PBS leaders of a BibleHouse at its permanent location at 890 United Nations Avenue. It now houses the various offices, a book- store, a Bible Museum, a library, and a multi-purpose hall for seminars and conferences. This landmark is a fitting testimony to God’s ever-abounding grace, faithfulness, and love for the Filipino people.

2009
Sep 01

The May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Project

In yet another show of committed partnership between the PBS, the Catholic Church, and the Protestant Chris- tians, the May They Be One Project was launched in September 2009, aimed at accentuating the Filipino consciousness of our need for national transformation, by distributing five million (5,000,000) copies of the Bible to poor Filipino families.

Sep 13

New Translation Initiatives

To serve specialized segment of the Filipino society, PBS also launched audience-specific translation projects. The Greek-Tagalog Interlinear New Testament Project was launched to help in enhancing Filipino biblical scholarship. On the other hand, the Pinoy Version, was undertaken as PBS’s offering for the Filipino youth whose language preference for a Bible version has become a challenge— the Pinoy Version would certainly bring them closer to God as they would realize that God can also speak their language. For those who prefer a more literary- liturgical translation, the Filipino Standard Version is PBS’s response.

2013
Aug 13

Taking the Word where the world is

In response to the growing need for people to get the opportunity to encounter God’s Word even in non-traditional avenues, PBS has been progressively intensifying its distribution efforts not only in church-related events but also in malls, in bank offices, in social events, in international events such as the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), and other events where the people are!

Nov 30

God is our Shelter Program

In the aftermath of the strongest typhoon ever recorded in human history, PBS launched its own disaster-response initiative—the God is our Shelter Program, not only providing immediate physical relief support to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) victims but more importantly giving them much needed hope and encouragement that spring only from the Word of God. This program has been implemented through the active partnership of local and international friends of the Bible Society. To date, PBS has freely distributed 1.6 million copies of the Bible under this program.

2014
Sep 13

The PBS Bible Seminars (BRIMS)

As a way of enhancing our support to churches, Bible seminars are being held around the country to equip church leaders and members alike to become more confident in using their Bibles. What used to be called as Bible Translation Seminars (BTS) have now expanded to include other specialized topics underscoring the relevance of the Bible even in our contemporary time and context. Hence, this service offering is now known as Bible Relevance in Modern Times Seminars (BRIMS).

2015
Sep 13

Renewed commitment to the Minor Languages

Since its founding more than a century ago, PBS has committed itself to translating the Word of God into the language people understand and appreciate, that is, their heart language. Historically, PBS initiated and helped initiate translations of the NT into the minor languages. While it may be true that PBS has, through the years, put its major effort on the eight major Filipino languages, it has never abandoned its commitment to the minor languages. In fact, the dawn of the new millennium highlights this renewed commitment by PBS’s partnership with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), the Translators Association of the Philippines ( TAP), and other mother-tongue translation groups in translating the New Testament

into Kinaray-a, (Antique), Northern Subanen, (Zamboanga Peninsula), Paranan(Isabela), Majukayong (Mt. Province), and Rinconada (Bicol). But even more so is PBS’s deliberate decision to commence groundbreaking translation initiatives of select NT books into Tinggian Inlaud(Abra), the Western, Northern, and East- ern Waray dialects (Samar and Leyte). Some other minor languages are also being considered.

2016
Jan 13

The Bible goes digital

As the early Christians took advantage of technological advances to broaden their platform of propagating the message of the Bible, so did the Bible society. PBS continues to take on the challenge of “converting” the Word of God into different modern platforms so that people who frequent cyberspace would also have the opportunity to hear the Word of God in their own backyard, so to speak. As such, PBS, in partnership with UBS and other national Bible Societies, contributes and shares in seeking ways to put the Bible in various digital formats.

2019
Jan 01

Luke and Lallave (1887)

It was probably during these secret Bible distribution exploits that a Spanish Dominican friar, Rev. Fr. Manrique Alonzo Lallave, assigned in Urdaneta and Manaoag, Pangasinan, got a copy of a Spanish Bible and developed a great love for this “Book of Life”. Having acquired a good facility of the local language, Lallave would have the distinction of being the first to translate a book of the New Testament (NT) into a Philippine language. His translation of the Gospel of Luke into Pangasinan was completed in 1873 and was subsequently published in London in 1887. Eventually, he
was able to translate the whole of NT into Pangasinan, except for the book of Revelation. However, only the Four Gospels and the Book of Acts were published eventually by BFBS in 1888, in separate editions.

Two crates of these Pangasinan translations, together with some other Spanish Bibles, were taken to the Philippines by Lallave, an Episcopal minister by then, accompanied by the youthful Francisco Paulo de Castells, in May 1889. But their secret Bible distribution mission was cut short as Lallave died during this trip and de Castells became ill. Hence, only a few of these Scriptures were sold; the rest were sent back to the BFBS Agency in Singapore, where they laid dormant for more than a decade.

Nov 26

The beginnings of official Bible Society work in the Philippines

Rev. Jay Goodrich, a Methodist minister, to serve as ABS’s Manila office agent. Goodrich arrived in the Philippines on November 26, 1899— a date that will be remembered as the beginnings of official Bible Society work in the Philippines.

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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