Over 140 Christian organizations dedicated to providing copies of the Bible translated in people's native languages will converge in Philadelphia this week for a World Assembly that only happens once every six years.
Gunnar Mägi from United Bible Societies told The Christian Post there will be around 500 attendees representing work being done in 200 countries, which would be comparable to the previous World Assembly meeting held in Seoul, South Korea, in 2010.
"The theme for this year is: 'God's Word: Living Hope for All.' And the key Bible passage for the week is 1 Peter 1:3," Mägi said about the World Assembly that starts Thursday and runs through next week.
"Because it only occurs every six years, this is an important time for Bible Society leaders to connect with one another. It is also an opportunity for them to be inspired and energized as they plot the future of Bible ministry."
Hosting this year's World Assembly is the American Bible Society which is celebrating its 200th anniversary. ABS spokesman Andrew Hood told CP that hosting this year's event was a "natural fit to extend the celebration to include ... collaboration around the future of Bible ministry."
This is not the first time ABS has served as host for the gathering. In 1966, ABS hosted what was then called the "UBS Council Meeting" at Buck Hill Falls, Pennsylvania.
"The World Assembly is always hosted by a member of United Bible Societies, so the event takes place in a different country each time," Hood explained.
According to the United Bible Societies newsletter from March, the organizations "are responsible both for the largest number of translations produced in the world and for the widest distribution of Bibles.