“Death is swallowed up in Victory” “O death where is thy victory? “O death where is sting! 1-Corinthians 15:55

Brief History of the Pakistan Bible Society

The Pakistan Bible Society is the full member of the United Bible Societies who have work in 146 countries. The beginning of the organized Bible work in the areas now comprising Pakistan can be traced as far back as 1809 one year after the formation of the Bible Society of India, Burma and Ceylon. There are some records of 1925 which mention Bible work in these areas.
1862 the second General Council of Indian Missionaries met at Lahore. The participants of this conference actually felt this need of establishing an office for the promotion of the Bible work with the prime purpose of serving the constituency of the Punjab.
Finally in January 1863 the efforts of the General Council of Indian Missionaries bore fruit and British & Foreign Bible Society inaugurated at the Punjab Auxiliary with its office at the present site of Arnarkali, Lahore. At that time the population of Punjab was estimated to be 15 million of which 0.53% were literate. Some of the pioneers of the Punjab Auxiliary, which later on became the Pakistan Bible Society, were Sir Robert Montgomery, D. F. McLeod, Lt. Col. R. McLagen and Mr. R. N. Kistin, at the commencement of the Bible work in 1863. The patron was the Honorable Sir, R. Montgomery and the first General Secretary and Treasurer was A. Thomason Esq.
The formation of the Bible Society occurred in 1944. East Pakistan (Bangladesh) too was looked after from Lahore. In 1956 The Pakistan Bible Society was registered under the registration of Societies Act 1860. On November 1, 1967 the Pakistan Bible Society became an autonomous body and full member of the United Bible Societies.
Since 1997 there has been a lot of creativity in the programmes of the Bible Society. The WEB (Women's Endeavour for the Bible is doing a wonderful job for the promotion of the Bible work. The youth volunteer wing POWER (Promotion of Word Evangelism and Recourses) too is contributing in a meaningful. The Sports festival has grown and has been regularly organized since 2000. It is now being held in Islamabad, Multan and Sheikupura besides Lahore. Today the work of the Bible Society is better known and our support base has increased considerably for which we thank God.
Anthony Aijaz Lamuel took over the Charge as General Secretary on November 1st, 1997. The computerization of the Bible was also undertaken in his tenure. The audio scriptures and the WASAI Programme gained momentum. 2001-2010 was called the decade of the Bible and during this time it was targeted to make the Bible and the New Testament available in creative formats so that our readers can interact with the Holy Scriptures. The Urdu Study New Testament was the first lap of this race; in 2003 we gave the Bible in a new format with computer typesetting. This edition had introduction to each book along with topic headings. The plan to setup the project of developing the Urdu Study Bible took off and in 2010 the Urdu Study Bible was launched. We were also able to produce a colourful edition of two children's Bibles. The Urdu Greek interlinear with interpretation will also be a landmark. We also have a dream of coming up with the Hebrew Urdu interlinear edition also. There is also a vision to make the Bible available on CD Rom with search facilities etc. I also hope, that in the coming years we can work with all of you thus make scriptures available in yet more languages and in new and creative formats.
We work very closely with the Catholic Bible Commission of Pakistan in fact the Catholic Church in Pakistan is represented on the Board of the Pakistan Bible Society. We did the typesetting of the Catholic Bible and have printed the last two editions. We have jointly produced two series (one having 14 titles and the other 16 titles) for children and a scholarly edition. "Synopsis of the four Gospels" and are working together on the Greek-Urdu interlinear edition of the New Testament.
In 2013 we are celebrating the completion of 150 years of Bible Ministry in Pakistan. The Inauguration of the Bible Museum on February 9, 2013 to commemorate the completion of 150 years has been very much appreciated by all. We would like to enhance our role of serving all Churches and would continue to promote our image of going interdenominational. The new era will indeed challenge us to provide the Word of God to the people in their communities in new and profound ways for which we as a Church will have to be ready for change, as these would have far reaching effects on the Church of tomorrow.
The Government of Pakistan has always extended its full cooperation and at times of tensions has always expressed concern for our well being and has provided security. We thank God for the many friendships we have made with the scholars and religious leaders of the Muslim community.

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