Philippine Bible Society


Bikol 1911 - John 1_1What is there for Bicolanos around the world to celebrate this year apart from their ever-appetizing laing?
A century ago this year, the British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) published and launched the first ever Bible in the Bicol language. Entitled An Santa Biblia na may laman kan magña mahal na libros kan Daan asin Bagong Tipan, this translation was the fourth complete Bible in Filipino language that was made publicly accessible by the Bible Society, affording Bicolanos the opportunity not just to read it but to read the Scriptures in their own heart language!
Printed in Yokohama, Japan by the Fukuin Printing Company, this Bible was the combined translation efforts of Don Juan Salazar and Don Julian Herras, aided by British and American missionaries. Salazar finished the translation of the New Testament and Psalms in 1909 and was subsequently published in 1911. This combined edition carried the title An bagong tipan ò Testamento nin cagurangnan tang Jesu-Cristo na nalalagdaan can magña evangelio asin magña gawe nin magña apostoles. Meanwhile, except for Psalms, Herras completed the translation of the rest of the Old Testament in 1912; combined with Salazar’s NT and Psalms, it is now known as the 1914 edition.
But Bible translation activities in the Bicol language (and in other Philippine languages for that matter) happened much earlier than 1914! In fact, the earliest Bicol translation of a complete biblical book was the Gospel of Luke, translated by Don Cayetano Lucban, a nationalist lawyer who was banished to the Spanish penal fortress of Ceuta, Africa in 1896 for his profound opposition to Spanish excesses. Upon his release in early 1898, he was contracted by BFBS to translate the Gospel of Luke into Bicol, which he completed with such speed that it became part of the shipment of Scriptures that unstoppably landed the Philippine shores on September 6, 1898 after the Battle of Manila. This “triumphal entry” has forever changed the course of Philippine church history—Bible reading and ownership has since become part of Filipino spirituality.
The 1914 edition was not to be the last though. Since language is dynamic, revisions are inevitable, hence, we see this edition being published subsequently in its revised forms (thus, the 1927 and 1962 revised editions). But perhaps equally noteworthy is the Bible society’s undertaking of the interconfessional translation of the Bible in Bicol, a translation project that was initiated in the 60’s and was eventually launched in June 27, 1992. This interconfessional Bible is now known as the Marahay na Bareta Biblia sa Satuyang Panahon published by the Philippine Bible Society (PBS). This is the only translation in Bicol which can be used by Evangelicals and Roman Catholics alike.
This year, the PBS, in partnership with the churches and the Bicolano people, will celebrate this milestone—indeed 100 years is a rare feat and we should give thanks to God for this favor! In unison with the Bicolano people, we will proclaim the power of God’s Word. And as we are celebrating this milestone, we are also honoring the men and women who unselfishly contributed to the faithful transmission of God’s Word in our country under various circumstances, so that people will experience a meaningful encounter with God through His Word.

I am a Bible Ambassador because I believe that the Bible can help people a lot. And knowing the Bible, people come in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.Apostolic Administrator, Achdiocese of Manila

Gusto kong makipag-fellowship sa kanila, masaya sa Philippine Bible Society kapag may mga (membership) meetings.  Gusto ko rin madagdagan knowledge ko... yung opportunity makapag.distribute ng Biblia sa maraming tao at magamit ako ng Panginoon. Pangatlo ay yung ma.bless din ako and be a blessing to many people.

Ptra. Dolores “Loy” Fulgencio
Ptra. Dolores "Loy" FulgencioAnnual PBS Member

It's an honor and a privilege for me to support the Philippine Bible Society - to reach out to the unreachable people by giving Bibles not only in the Philippines but the whole world.

Ptra. Nina Vergara
Ptra. Nina VergaraAnnual PBS Member

“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