The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society


The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society



Endorsed in its time by Francis Scott Key, John Jay, and Theodore Roosevelt, the American Bible Society (ABS) is a seminar institution for American Protestants. The groups were founded in 1816 with the goal of distributing free copies of the Bible in local languages throughout the world. Today, the ABS is a Christian ministry based in Philadelphia with a $300 million endowment and a mission to engage 100 million Americans with the Bible by 2025. The ABS’s primary mission—to place the Bible in the hands of as many people as possible—has caused the history of the organization to intersect at nearly every point with the history of the United States. For the last two hundred years, the ABS has steadily increased its influence both at home and abroad, working with all Christian denominations in the United States and internationally, aligning itself whenever possible with the gatekeepers of American religious culture. Over the years ABS Bibles could be found in hotel rooms, bookstores, and airports; on steam boats, college and university campuses; the Internet; and even behind the Iron Curtain. Its agents, Bibles in hand, could be found on the front lines of every American military conflict from the Mexican-American War to the Iraq War. However and wherever the United States developed, the ABS was there, never wavering in its mission and its commitment to be the guardian of a Christian civilization.



Publication Date



Oxford University Press


Oxford, England


bible, christianity, Protestantism, Catholicism, Evangelicalism, history


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | History of Christianity | History of Religion

The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society