Scripture outreach ministry Biblica marked its 200th anniversary Friday, celebrating two decades of connecting people to the life-transforming message of the Bible.
To date, the group, formerly known as the International Bible Society, has distributed more than 650 million Scriptures to people around the world.
Biblica has also been active in Bible translation, and is currently working on translations in 27 languages.
"We are deeply grateful that God has guided us through two centuries of Bible outreach in order to proclaim His message of salvation to the world," commented Biblica U.S. President Doug Lockhart.
"It is amazing that a small Bible society formed by a handful of Christians should gather such momentum and remain faithful to its mission for 200 years," he added.
It was on Dec. 4, 1809, that a handful of Christian visionaries met in lower Manhattan, N.Y., with the desire to see the fledgling nation rooted in Christian faith. Since then, the group – first known as the New York Bible Society – has been providing Bibles to people who lacked access to them, eventually extending its efforts to every continent and people group.
In 2007, the organization merged with Send the Light (STL) and changed its name from International Bible Society to IBS-STL. Earlier this year, the merged ministry announced its decision to move into its third century with a new name, Biblica, which it said clearly reflects an emphasis on the Bible.
"Although our means of sharing God's Word may change to keep up with technological advances and global needs, our mission has not," said Biblica Global President and CEO Keith Danby. "With God's grace, we will continue this great heritage of transforming lives through God's Word as we begin a third century of service to God and others."
Today, partnering with donors and other ministries, Biblica provides the Bible for audiences worldwide through print, the Internet, audio, video, and digital Scripture media.
In parts of the world where there's no formal Christian training or education, Biblica also equip leaders with study resources and sound, Bible-based training.
Biblica operates in 50 countries and is the translation sponsor of the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, the most widely read contemporary English version.