|The Bible has been translated into many languages from the Biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Bartholomew Ziegenbalg was the first to translate the Bible into an Indian Language. The names of people like Fabricius, Carey and Nathan Brown have only to be recalled to conjure up in the mind stories of heroism and perseverance amid difficulties that would have overwhelmed many a lesser human. The modern translator working as the member of a team, his/her work checked and discussed by colleagues before publication, may feel harassed at times and his/her calling requires no less dedication, but his/her life is humdrum by comparison.
India's 1 billion plus people speak an estimated 1652 languages, of which only 216 are spoken by 10,000 speakers or more. However, several of these language speakers are bi-lingual. According to our survey, if translation is carried out in at least 300 of these languages we are confident we can reach the entire population. So far BSI has provided full Bibles in 65 of India's languages, and NT in 70 additional languages. At present the Translation Department carries out 45 language projects as first time translations. There is a growing need for the Scriptures in several languages to meet the needs of the people for the worship and mission needs of the Church
The demanding task of Bible translation requires scholarship and expertise in the areas of biblical studies, theory and practice of translation, communication, linguistics and anthropology to bring about high quality Bible translations. To enhance the productivity of those involved in the Bible translation task, and to speed the provision of the Word of God, computer software is widely used.
The Production Department is responsible for procurement of raw materials, selection of printers to print and bind the Scriptures, placement of orders and delivery of Scripture items to the Auxiliaries and customers.
The Department also develops new book designs by selecting appropriate book size, binding materials of suitable colours and texture and adding suitable edge gilding. The printing and binding of the Scriptures is done through many printing establishments located throughout the country. BSI maintains a close contact with all its suppliers to ensure the maintenance of high quality in all its products. Being a large publishing house, BSI has access to every available production facility in the country. The access to the various resources gives us an edge over others in the field. It enables us to ensure high quality production at the lowest possible costs.
There are approximately 3500 different types of scriptures produced by the Bible Society in many languages and in a wide variety of formats including Scriptures in Braille, specialised Scriptures for children, youth, women, the under privileged and adults who are learning to read. Braille Scriptures are being distributed to thousands of visually impaired people. For children many comics have been released. A Children's Bible was produced in English and subsequently in some of the Indian languages also.
This department also organises the transportation of raw materials and scriptures to various destinations.
The Bible Society provides different types of printed Scriptures like Bibles, New Testaments, Portions, New Reader Portions, Selections and New Reader Selections. There has been a steady demand for Scriptures over the past years.
The task and mission of the Marketing Department of the Bible Society of India is to meet the Scripture needs of all Churches, Christian Organizations and evangelists who are committed to share the Word of God with the people of our nation. To achieve this goal, Marketing Department constantly develops new formats of Scripture items in various languages, sizes and shapes which appeal to our audience and distribute them to every nook and corner of our country, at a price they can afford.
The Finance Department is responsible for all accounting and financial matters of the Central Office as well as the 15 Auxiliaries. By the very nature of our operations, the accounts are required to be audited by Statutory Auditors every financial year.
Audited accounts are placed before the relevant Committee and filed with the relevant Government Departments.
The Finance Department is also responsible to co-ordinate preparation of the annual budget. Each Auxiliary prepares an estimate of its financial needs for the following year which is submitted to the Finance Department. The Finance Department prepares the consolidated budget and submits the proposed budget to the Working Committee or Executive Committee for endorsement through the Finance Committee.
The Computer Department is located in the Head office at Bangalore and handles databases and data communication. The fifteen Auxiliaries, a Translation Centre and a Promotional Office spread all over the different states of India and Andaman & Nicobar Islands are connected through internet and this facilitates regular exchange of data. This department is also engaged in developing in-house programs to cater to the different departmental and auxiliary day to day operations such as Production Monitoring, Production Accounts, Distribution Monitoring, Budget, Finance, HRA, Payroll, Provident Fund, Pension, Inventory, Customer Ledger and General Ledger. The distribution data entered in the Auxiliaries are collated in the Head Office, providing information of Scripture distribution. The entire process of producing Bibles & other Scripture materials is monitored through the information provided by these systems. These programs and tools are regularly updated. Most of the Bible Society operations are computerised and the Computer Department also provides facilities and support to all the Departments and Auxiliaries by regular training and upgrading of the systems
Resource Mobilisation & Ministry
This Department exists:
To help fulfill the role of the BSI in promoting the Word of God through personal reading; study; preaching; teaching; training and equipping “All People of God” i.e., Children, Youth, Adults and Families, to come closer to God and to fulfill the Mission of God. This covers Bible Advocacy, Scripture Engagement, Trauma Counseling and Stewardship of God’s Creation-both human and non-human.
To Solicit contributions, donations, gifts and legacies from Churches, individuals, families and others, including institutions, Organizations, Mission Bodies, Non-Government Organisations, for the Cause of God’s Word, support and work of the Society.
To Develop and Coordinate fund raising programmes and provide training for the Central Office, Auxiliary Staff, Resource Persons and Volunteers.
To Provide Training for volunteers involved in Projects Implementation through this Department.
To Compile/Co-coordinate the publication “Sowing Circle”, an organ of the Bible Society of India which serves as a tool for Christian Discipleship and Ministry.
General Secretary’s Department
The Head Office of the Bible Society India is located at Bangalore and branches in 15 locations including Bangalore as well as a promotional office in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. While the operational management of the Organization is the responsibility of the General Secretary, various tasks are executed through the departments; each department headed by a Director except for the support functions which reports to the General Secretary. Auxiliary Secretaries are responsible for offices located in different parts of the Country.
Human Resources & Administration
The primary functions of the department is to discern potential staffing needs, to maximize human resources for the needs of the Society, to coordinate all general administrative functions including meetings, conferences etc., and to arrange for the purchase and procurement of office equipments, vehicles and capital assets
On the administration angle, the department is concerned with providing all staff a congenial and clear work environment, facilities, furniture, equipment and office automation to reduce fatigue and stimulate self- development.
The department provides Christian nurture to staff, by way of planning daily devotions, inviting men and women of God to bring messages from God's Word.
Our Internal Audit Department exercises effective internal financial control through Audit and evaluation and appraisal of the activities/operation of the Central Office and Auxiliaries
Accounts of Auxiliaries and Shillong Translations Centre are audited in regular intervals to ensure proper financial management and suggest corrective measures wherever necessary.
The Internal Audit is engaged in routine pre-audit of print orders of Production Department, follow-up of Internal Audit Reports, scrutiny of Customer's Outstanding, Cost Analysis of Bibles and New Testaments, Expenses analysis of BSI operation and other related functions in the Central Office.
Audio Visual & Media (AVM)
In order to cater to the needs of the large number of illiterates, AVM department provides the Word of God in audio and video forms. Although many people prefer printed Scriptures, the percentage of illiterates and the paradigm shift from reading to listening and viewing has opened avenues for the Audio Visual Scriptures. In this scenario the AVM department has more opportunity to reach out to people with the Audio Visual Scriptures. Apart from catering to the need of the illiterates it also caters to the need of non-readers and neo literates.
The responsibilities of this department includes building relations with Churches and Public, Coordinating with the auxiliaries the observation of the Bible Sunday in all Churches, Preparation of Bible Study Guides for use by Churches and Organizations/Institutions.
The department serves as a liaison between the Society, Churches and general public for matters dealing with the mission of the Society.
The Special Audience department is primarily involved in the development of new Scriptures to meet the ever growing Scripture needs of Churches, Mission Agencies and Christian Organisations.
To meet this objective, the department continuously does qualitative and quantitative research to ascertain the special Scriptures needed. The department has pioneered the development of a wide range of new Scriptures for different audiences like the visually challenged, terminally ill, victims of HIV, semi-literate and rural audience, hearing impaired etc.
The Bible World is a permanent exhibition set up at the Central Office in Bangalore which includes the Bible History, Antique Bibles, Bibles in various languages of India & foreign language Bibles, the Bible in stamps, a museum of artifacts, model of Bible land and touch screen computers for children.
Many visitors from India and abroad are visiting the Bible World, regular visitors being Theological College Students, Church members, VBS and Sunday school students, and general public.