Bible Society of India

 

HISTORY

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The Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society was established on 21 February, 1811 at the meeting held at the college of Fort William, Calcutta. In 1817 three Bible Associations were formed two at Madras and one at Bellary in Karnataka. On 13 June 1813 the Bombay Auxiliary was established. Auxiliaries were opened at Madras in 1820, at Agra in 1845, at Lahore in 1863 ant at Bangalore in 1875. In November 1944 the Bible Society of India was inaugurated.

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GROWTH OF AUXILIARIES
The Bible Society of India has 15 Auxiliaries located in different places all over the country. While some Auxiliaries like Calcutta trace their origins to early 19th century, other Auxiliaries came into being more recently. This dynamism is so because BSI does not believe in remaining just an institution, a monolith. It seeks to be sensitive and adapt itself to the ever changing needs of God’s children.
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TRANSLATIONS
The Bible has two sections namely, 'The Old Testament' and 'The New Testament'. The two sections describe how the compassionate and loving God executes his plan to redeem the humankind from the bondage of wrong doings. The message of the Bible has transformed millions and millions of people down through the century. The Bible teaches people to seek for right relationship with God thereby extending that relationship to people and nature. Since the Bible provides the message of true life, and hope, the Bible Society tries to make this message available to all people in a language they understand. Originally, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. So the Bible Society undertakes the translation of the Bible into various languages.

Meanings of words and phrases are changing as time moves ahead. We are trying to make the word of God available in languages people understand best. This calls for occasional revisions of all existing translations. The number of ongoing projects is about 75 and 25 of these are revision projects. Each manuscript goes through a series of rigorous reviews by specialists before it is sent to the press. This is one reason why it may take years to bring out one new translation. Now the Computer Assisted Text Processing facility is being employed in almost all our projects and this is helping to speed up the process tremendously.

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PRODUCTION
Our in-house facilities include Pre Production Planning, Computer Type setting and Filming units. The printing and binding of the Scriptures is done through many establishments located throughout the country. BSI maintains a close contact with all its suppliers to ensure the maintenance of high quality in all its products. Being a large publishing house, BSI has access to every available production facility in the country. The access to the various resources gives us an edge over others in the field. It enables us to ensure high quality production at the lowest possible costs.
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DISTRIBUTION

The Bible Society provides different types of printed Scriptures like Bibles, New Testaments, Portions, New Reader Portions, Selections and New Reader Selections. In order to cater to the needs of the large number of illiterates, we have introduced audio and video Scriptures. Apart from these, Braille Scriptures are also being distributed to thousands of visually impaired people. These are approximately 3500 different types of Scriptures produced by the Bible Society. Different types of Scriptures are produced, price depending upon the format, quality of paper and the type of binding used. There has been a steady demand for Scriptures over the past years. We normally distribute 55 to 60 million Scriptures in a year. We have also produced Scriptures for specific audiences like children, youth women and the under privileged. For children many comics have been released. A Children's Bible was produced in English and subsequently similar Bibles will be launched in some of the Indian languages also.
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USE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES
Computers and related technologies were introduced a decade ago. Computers are used extensively in all functions of the Bible. All the translations projects use this technology for keying the text and for further processing for page lay out. Communication through E mail has replaced most of the communication through post and Fax. An integrated database in the Auxiliaries and the Central office takes care of the various functions related to sales, production and financial accounting. The data transfer between Auxiliaries and the Central Office are done through using E mail and internet facilities.
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FUNDRASING
In order to underwrite the enormous costs of translating and publishing the Holy Scriptures a fellowship of supporters has been developed through out the country and also outside. This is done through sharing information about opportunities for giving and encouraging their participation in the Bible cause. Periodic seminars organized by the Auxiliaries help to maintain a contact with the supporters.
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SPECIAL AUDIENCE (Visually Impaired)
25% of the world's total sightless population lives in India. About 10% of them can read and write Braille. To meet their needs the BSI produces the following:
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Scriptures - The Bible is available in Braille in English, Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Nepali and Oriya. The full Bible comes in 43 Braille volumes and is given free to the 'visually impaired'.
Calendars - Every year in the month of December the BSI produces Braille calendars in 12 Indian major languages. The sightless eagerly wait for these calendars with the comforting words from scripture.
New Reader Portions - To encourage young visually impaired children to read, Braille "New Reader Portions" are available in major Indian languages.
Seekers - Scriptures addressing to different "felt needs" of people are available to all those who eagerly seek to know the "Good News" in the Bible.
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CONTACT :
If you are interested to know more about us or would like to participate in this ministry please contact :
The General Secretary
bsico@vsnl.com
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