The seven priorities are: Bible translation, Bible distribution, Bible engagement, care for creation, migration, digital Bible use and sustainable funding. Buitenwerf: ‘I think it is important that we stay close to the mission we have been carrying out for more than two centuries – where Bible distribution and translation are, of course, the first things that come to mind. At the same time, it is powerful that we are also seeking direction together when it comes to modern developments, such as digital Bible reading. That is a great opportunity for our mission. And now that the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly noticeable and many millions of people are leaving their homes for various reasons, it is good, and a necessity that we respond to these changes in our global work.’
The 150-plus Bible societies reaffirmed their commitment to serve all churches. They also affirmed in the final statement that their shared mission for the Bible encompasses all aspects: translating, publishing and distributing the Bible and providing resources through which people can discover the meaning of the Bible.
The mission – ‘The Bible for everyone – remains unchanged
The mission of the Bible Societies – ‘The Bible for everyone’ – remains unchanged. This mission, according to the closing statement, flows from Jesus’ words in the ‘the great commission’ of Matthew 28:18-20. People everywhere, all over the world should have the opportunity to discover God’s love for the world through the Bible. The Assembly Statement was prepared in conversations prior to and during the World Assembly and was adopted at the end of the conference.
The World Assembly took place in Egmond from Oct. 12-18 and was the tenth since the founding of the UBS. During the conference, the first copy of the Migration Bible was presented to Samuel Lee, Rector of the Center for Theology of Migration at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This Bible edition allows readers to discover that in God’s story with humanity, migration is a recurring theme.