Bible Societies Responsible for 692 Translations

In 1800, 15-year-old Mary Jones was longing for a Bible of her own, in her own language, so she could read it whenever she wanted. After saving her pennies for six years, she began her trek to reach Thomas Charles, the only person selling a Bible translated into Welsh.

Mary rose early that morning and set out on her 25-mile hike over rugged mountainous terrain — barefoot! But she arrived only to learn all the Bibles were sold.

Legend states Thomas was so moved by Mary’s faith he arranged for her to stay a few days until the new supply arrived. He then sold her three Bibles for the price of one.

Inspired by his encounter with Mary, Thomas founded The British and Foreign Bible Society, the first of its kind. Today, the organization has distributed more than 180 million Bibles worldwide.

There are now hundreds of Bible societies all over the world. United Bible Societies, a network of Bible Societies from over 200 countries, works alongside churches and other organizations to distribute, translate and advocate for the Bible. They have helped provide almost three-quarters of the world’s Bible translations. UBS reports that of the 7,350 languages of the world, the (Protestant) Bible is now available in 692 languages and used by 5.6 billion people.

Although the Bible is the most translated book of all time, there are still millions unable to read the Bible in their own language. Bible societies remain vital in translating and distributing the Bible to all people in all languages.

We invite you to learn more about their work and the continuing progress of Bible translation in the Illuminations exhibit on Museum of the Bible’s History of the Bible Floor. Visit

(Source: Museum of the Bible)

Print This Post Print This Post