75 Years of Distributing the Bible

75 Years of Distributing the Bible

Bible League International was started by William Chapman, a Chicago-area businessman and an elder in a Reformed Church in America congregation.

After purchasing 1,000 Bibles, Chapman and his wife, Betty, began traveling through the neighborhoods of Walkerton, Ind., offering a free Bible to whoever agreed to read it.

That was in 1938.

Now, 75 years later, Bible League International has offices and centers all over the world, offering scriptural materials in many languages to explore new ways of serving churches and ministry partners.

“God continues to use Bible League International to reach the world,” says Robert Frank, Global Chief Executive Officer.

 “We are continually seeing new opportunities and new approaches to getting God’s Word into the hands and hearts of people everywhere.”

Soon after Chapman began the Bible league, the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) became involved and many CRC pastors played a key role in the early days of the organization, says James Van Drunen, a CRC member and chair of the international board.

“Early on, the Bible League’s governance drew from both CRC and RCA members,” he says.

Over the years, the CRC has received many benefits from and provided support to the organization.

“We are thankful to God for Bible League International and for its dedication to providing the Bible to the world for 75 years,” says Pastor Bernard Tol of First CRC of South Holland, Ill. whose congregation is involved in the Bible’s League’s work.

“People need Jesus, and every time we give a Bible, someone has the opportunity to come to know him,” says Tol.

Van Drunnen says Bible League material include Bibles, study Bibles, various literacy materials and training materials. The organization has also set a goal of digitizing up to 40 percent of its material by 2018, says Van Drunen.

Today, the Bible agency's work is supported not only by CRC churches, but also by individual Christians and churches from many denominations living in various countries around the world.

The Bible League is currently teaming up with ministries such as World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, and Compassion International in order to reach even more people with scriptures that are easy to read and understand, says a Bible League press release.

In the past 22 years alone, more than 42 million people have used material provided by Bible League International.

Despite the widespread impact Bible League International has had, there is still a great need, particularly among the poor, the persecuted, and those who don’t know Jesus.

“We’re facing a global Bible famine,” says Frank. “People are hungering for the Word of God and aren’t being fed.”

Bible League International's website features free Bible downloads and other Bible-related resources, including the newly released Easy-to-Read Bible App.

The app currently has Scriptures in three languages—English, Hungarian, and Spanish—and is expected to include an additional 27 languages in the near future.

To learn more about Bible League International and read testimonies of those whose lives have been transformed by the Bible, go to www.bibleleague.org.