Trinitarian Bible Society

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The Trinitarian Bible Society was founded in 1831 "to promote the Glory of God and the salvation of men by circulating, both at home and abroad, in dependence on the Divine blessing, the Holy Scriptures, which are given by inspiration of God and are able to make men wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. "1

The Trinitarian Bible Society members separated from the British and Foreign Bible Society, itself founded in 1804, due to two controversies:

  • Inclusion of the Biblical Apocrypha in some Bibles published in Europe
  • Inclusion of adherents of Unitarianism as officers in the Society, and refusal of the Society to open meetings with Trinitarian style prayers.

The arguments came into the open during the Annual Meeting in May 1831 of the Society. The membership voted six to one to retain the ecumenical status quo. On December 7, 1831, over two thousand people gathered in Exeter Hall in London to form the Trinitarian Bible Society, explicitly endorsing the Trinitarian position, and rejecting the apocryphal books.


Early years

E. W. Bullinger, the noted dispensationalist, was clerical secretary of the Society from 1867 until his death in 1913. Accomplishments of TBS during his secretariat include:

Later years

The Society provides Bibles and Christian literature (from a historical, Reformed perspective) to the world. They also have chapters all over the world.

Their primary function is to translate and disseminate worldwide Bibles in languages other than English. The translation of Bibles into non-English languages is based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text and Greek Textus Receptus which underlie the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible and other Reformation-era Bibles.

The Society sells copies of the King James Version of the Bible, as well as Scriptures in other languages, to the general public. These Scriptures are printed by the Society itself. They also sell (and give away) Scripture-based Christian literature such as tracts and children's items in English and other languages. (These products are available on the Web site.)

As far as accountability to donors is concerned (the Society is funded by the donations of individuals and congregations), the Society provides a good deal of transparency: An Annual Report is circulated to members and a general meeting is held annually to provide information, and their Annual Report in PDF format[] is provided on their Web site each year detailing finances and activities, for the general public.

The Society produces a magazine, The Quarterly Record,[] and sponsors meetings for interested people during which the Society's work and issues surrounding translation and text are discussed.

Anyone wishing to support the Society's goals may join at their Web site.

King James Only

Some, owing to the Trinitarian Bible Society’s support of the King James Version of the Bible, have assumed that the Society is a part of the King-James-Only Movement. However, as the Society has publicly stated,

‘The Trinitarian Bible Society does not believe the Authorised Version to be a perfect translation, only that it is the best available translation in the English language’.[]

Indeed, unlike those in the King James Only movement, it is the firm belief of the Society that ‘The supernatural power involved in the process of inspiration, and in the result of inspiration, was exerted only in the original production of the sixty-six Canonical books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Peter 3:15-16).’

‘Translations from the original languages are likewise to be considered the written Word of God in so far as these translations are accurate as to the form and content of the Original.’

‘Translations made since New Testament times must use words chosen by uninspired men to translate God’s words. For this reason no translation of the Word of God can have an absolute or definitive status. The final appeal must always be to the original languages, in the Traditional Hebrew and Greek texts’. []

See also


Authorised (King James) Version

Bible passages

Bible translators

Biblical language texts

Countries and languages



English versions



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Further reading

External links

Personal tools