A short overview of Hellenic Bible Society’s history

The work of the Bible Society in Greece has a very old history, with roots in the years before the Greek Revolution in 1821! The first small beginning took place on July 20th, 1819 in Corfu. A delegation of the British Bible Society under the name “Ionian Bible Society”, chaired by the (at that time) President of the Ionian Senate, Emmanuel Theotokis.

It was the first step. Ten days later another delegation of the company opened in Argostoli, Kefalonia. President of the office was the Bishop of the island. The next month a third delegation made its appearance in Zakynthos, and the Bishop of the island was the first president of the Society there. Finally within the same month on the 20th of August a delegation of the British Society was established in Athens and chaired by the Bishop of the city. At that time the Ionian Islands were under British occupation, which guaranteed the security of Britain and the freedom of the Constitution of 1817.

The exclusive purpose of the Bible Society from that very time, was the distribution of the Bible whether it be original texts or in translation, at a low price that everyone could afford. A firm policy of the Society from the very beginning was and still is to cooperate with all Christian denominations (Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant) and to serve all Churches. The publications of the Hellenic Bible Society do not include any doctrinal notes or comments.

The Hellenic Bible Society was established in 1992, when it ceased to exist by British delegation, as an urban non-profit organization with its own statute published for the first time on December 22nd 1992 and amended on February 19th 2000.  The Hellenic Bible Society as an urban company consists of a General Assembly of 35 members including members of the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Churches. The board of directors is elected every three years.

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