Philippine Bible Society

PBS marks three grace-filled milestones at 118th Anniversary

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“Uling balu mu at balu ku

Tatalnan ne’ing bukas

At ing bie ta maulaga ya uling mabie Ya.”

A united chorus of praise echoed the anniversary celebration of the Philippine Bible Society (PBS) singing, “He holds the future and life is worth living just because He lives!” The gathering was attended by hundreds of people from different walks of life and various confessions of faith, yet together glorified God for His abounding grace and faithfulness.

 

At its special thanksgiving event last November 22 in San Fernando, Pampanga, PBS marked three grace-filled milestones in the Bible ministry: its 118th Anniversary, its 50th year of Bible translation partnership with the Roman Catholic Church, and the 100th Anniversary of the Pampango Bible. This three-fold celebration was filled with much rejoicing and thanksgiving of about 500 attendees including Kapampangan locals, esteemed guests, and PBS staff and leadership.

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“There is unity in the Word of God. Not only has the Bible translation into Kapampangan helped bring God’s Word to Kapampangan homes, it has also helped keep the Kapampangan language very much alive,” says PBS Trustee and Bishop of Kalookan Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David. He also highlighted that the translation partnership with the Roman Catholic Church since 1967 brought about the contemporary Bible translations, now available in 8 major languages and in over 20 minor languages.

 

He specially highlighted the strong years of partnership between PBS and the Roman Catholic Church saying, “In 1989, Pope John Paul II addressed representatives of the United Bible Societies (UBS) in the Vatican. He said, ‘It is with great joy that I take note of the spirit of ecumenical work and cooperation that prevails in your work. Today the Scriptures are increasingly known and understood. I am confident that UBS and the World Catholic Federation for the Biblical Apostolate will foster the fraternal collaboration that ignites your efforts.’ Thank you very much PBS for the very fruitful and productive 50 years of partnership!”

 

Another tribute came from UBS Translation Consultant Rev. Dr. Edgar Ebojo, who gave a brief history of the Pampango Bible — known as the Ing Biblia (published in 1917) and the contemporary translation Ing Mayap A Balita Biblia (published in 1994). Afterwards, the Pampango Bible translators were named and duly honored. Present were Msgr. Gregorio Canlas, Dr. Vicente Catacutan, and relatives of Rev. Juan Macaspac and Rev. Arcadio de Ocera.

 

“We thank God for His Word that is available in the Philippines. We pray that there will be Bibles in all the mother tongues in the country,” says PBS President and Chairman and the National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches Bishop Noel Pantoja, who expressed much praise to God for the 118 strong years of the Bible ministry.

 

He also emphasized the importance of being firmly rooted in God’s Word and developing strategic partnerships to further advance the Bible Cause.

 

“The General Sherman Tree is 2,500 years old and over 350 feet tall. Something that huge must have an incredible root system that it can stand that tall. The roots are relatively shallow, going down 6-12 feet. Yet these trees do not fall over, withstanding flooding and fires. The root system is intertwined with other redwood trees. They are very close together and are dependent on each other for survival. Their roots are like an army of men and women standing and supporting each other. This is like the picture of the interconfessional fellowship of PBS. We are standing strong side by side. We all need each other. We all need to be really rooted in Christ and in the Word of Christ through these difficult times. If we are not rooted in Christ, we will easily stumble and fall when trials and difficulties come,” says Bishop Pantoja.

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Representatives from both Catholic and Protestant groups also gave their greetings, namely from the Archbishop of San Fernando, Most Reverend Florentino G. Lavarias, D.D. and Pastor Rodel Ochengco of the Pampanga Gatekeepers Coalition. The celebration was also graced with local prized talents Mirabilia Dei Children’s Choir and Anak Bale-Balayan who both showcased a taste of the Kapampangan culture.

 

Guests and ministry partners likewise graciously expressed their thanksgiving. A local pastor from Candaba, Pampanga says, “I appreciated the beautiful servant-leadership of PBS. The Bible Society would not be here today without its dedicated people. I was challenged as a pastor to serve God more faithfully.”

 

In all these milestones, PBS gives back all the praises, all the honor, and all the glory to God and declares, “Praise Him for the mighty things He has done. Praise His supreme greatness!” (Psalm 150:2). Anchored in His grace, PBS will remain committed in its mission of Making the Bible Known towards its vision of A Transformed Filipino People through God’s Word. As PBS Trustee Dr. Lysander Rivera exhorts, “I encourage all Filipinos including those who belong to the generation Z to read the Bible regularly and if possible, daily, because it is in the Bible that we encounter the love of God. Hopefully it is also through the reading of the Bible that we can transform our society.”

 

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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