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Shining Light: The Impact of the NIV and Biblica’s Ongoing Mission

“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.”
Psalm 119:105


Psalm 119:105 reminds us that God’s Word serves as a guiding light in our lives. As Christians, we should have a high value for the Word of God. It truly is a lamp for our feet and a light to our path. God’s Word will show us our next steps and our final destination. Moreover, the Word of God isn’t static; it’s alive and active, offering relevance and transformation to believers today, just as it did centuries ago.

In 1973, a pivotal moment unfolded for English speakers everywhere with the introduction of the New International Version (NIV) — a contemporary translation in today’s English that’s committed to both clarity and accuracy. With more than 650 million copies distributed worldwide, the NIV is now the most widely read Bible translation in contemporary English.

Yet, the seeds for this milestone were sown much earlier, back in the 1950s, when the New York Bible Society, later known as Biblica, assumed the role of publishing sponsor for this groundbreaking project. This endeavor wasn’t solitary; rather, it was a collaborative venture involving scholars, linguists, and theologians, united in their aim to make God’s Word more accessible worldwide. This partnership illuminated the unwavering commitment to ensuring that everyone has access to the transformative message of the Bible.

It became readily apparent that a contemporary English translation was a costly, but necessary, endeavor. In the early 1970s, Biblica (then called the International Bible Society) sold a building they owned for 1 million dollars to help pay for the translation of the NIV. This wasn’t a random liquidation of a long-forgotten asset. It was a costly act of faith, trust, and obedience. The building sold was “The Bible House,” a four-story facility on the list of New York City’s valuable historical buildings. No matter the cost, the work of translating God’s Word had to be done.

Fast forward to today, and Biblica continues its mission of making God’s Word accessible to all through nearly 100 active Bible translation projects. Spanning various languages and regions, these projects aim to reach individuals from every walk of life with the life-changing truth of Scripture. Each translation endeavor is a labor of love, undertaken with meticulous care and dedication to ensuring clarity and accuracy in conveying God’s Word. Through these efforts, Biblica remains steadfast in its commitment to illuminating the path for others through the transformative truth of Scripture. 

Translating the Bible is no easy task. It takes a lot of time and resources for each language we translate into. Clarity and accuracy are paramount in translation work, ensuring that the Word of God effectively communicates its transformative message to all.  This is not a process that we want to rush. At the same time, we want to quickly get the Bible to as many as we can and steward each project well. That’s why we use the latest groundbreaking technologies to accelerate the reach of God’s Word to those still waiting.

Together, we can help illuminate the path for others through the transformative truth of Scripture.

There are an estimated 1 billion in our world who still do not have access to the Word of God. They don’t have that beautiful lamp creating a path before them. Biblica’s passion is to change that narrative by making the Word of God accessible to people of every nation, tribe, people, and language.  Many have generously supported our mission, but there is still more work to be done.

Here is how you can partner with us in this Great Commission work:

  • Pray: Our mission of getting God’s Word to everyone, everywhere, cannot happen apart from the passionate prayers of God’s people globally.
  • Give: Translating and distributing the Word of God in multiple languages takes a great deal of resources, from $35 to translate a single verse all the way to $900,000 to translate the whole Bible. We invite you to prayerfully fuel this urgent work through a gift of any amount.
  • Read: We have a wonderful community that reads God’s Word together every morning. Consider signing up for our free daily devotional emails to receive encouragement straight to your inbox.