One Million Bibles: A Crossway Global Initiative

Help Provide God's Word Where It's Needed Most

702,727 of 1,000,000 Bibles

1,000,000
Every $40 you give delivers ten copies of God’s Word into the hands of Christians in need. Would you prayerfully consider a gift to help distribute God’s Word to those with little or no access? The overall goal for the initiative is to distribute one million Bibles.

An Opportunity to Impact the Global Church

Throughout the past year, God has provided many donors to support the One Million Bibles Initiative. And by his grace, more than 500,000 Bibles are in the process of being distributed to ministry partners throughout the Global South, with more in process as we receive financial support to do so. These Bibles will equip believers to worship the Lord in truth and more faithfully minister to their communities, as they have for recipients like Michael Rayla’s congregation in the northern Philippines.

For the people in my church to receive a Bible who don’t have one is a really big blessing. They will be joyful to have a Bible because they all really long to have a copy of their own. Just recently I was teaching them the significance of the Word of God for all of life, and they have come to see how valuable it is. The Bible is filled with instructions that come from the Lord—it’s a manual that they need to have access to each day.

We celebrate this progress that has been made and the lives that are being changed! But the work is not yet complete—there are many who still have yet to read God’s Word for themselves.

The Treasure We Hold

Since the formation of the world, God has spoken through the means of language (John 1:1). “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host” (Ps. 33:6). Words have been the primary way God relates to human beings, and he has been speaking to us since the beginning of creation.1

Today, God continues to communicate with his people by means of his written Word, and we have access to this completed work, from Genesis to Revelation. We know the whole story, start to finish, through the Word he has spoken and inspired. This Word is the truth by which we understand who God is and who we are (John 17:17). There is nothing more important in all the world for the Christian faith than these words of life.

The Need We Can Address

As followers of Christ can attest, spiritual growth most often occurs as a result of regular Bible reading and engagement. But sadly nearly 70% of the world’s evangelical Christians living in the Global South struggle to have direct access to a copy of the Bible, whether digital or physical.2

Joseph Lu pastors a congregation in Southeast Asia, where many people do not have a Bible of their own. As he explains:

It’s very important that each person in my congregation has their own Bible. Without it, how will they grow? How will they be fed spiritually? It’s not enough that they just come on Sundays and listen to the pastors deliver the Word to them. I always tell my congregation that they ought to have read the passage for that Sunday before coming to church. But how can they read it if they don’t have a Bible?

Without direct access to the Word of God, brothers and sisters in Christ in Joseph’s church and around the world cannot effectively grow in their faith, and are often forced to interpret it with an incomplete or incorrect understanding. Without Bibles of their own, believers are unable to learn God’s Word for themselves or hold their leaders’ words up to the light of truth (Acts 17:11). For churches and communities in the Global South to flourish spiritually, Christians need direct access to God’s Word.

We invite you to partner with us in our continued effort to distribute one million Bibles around the world. These Bibles are being freely provided to Christians in places of great need and strategically subsidized in other locations where the need is just as great but the current priority is building sustainable, long-term Bible distribution models. By partnering with churches, ministry networks, and other organizations in the Global South, our goal is to provide the Word of God to one million Christians who would otherwise not have access to their own Bibles.

Through the Bible, Christians grow in their understanding of God and salvation and are equipped to share the good news with others. Every $4 you give will support the delivery and distribution of a copy of God’s Word. Would you consider joining us today in giving the gift of a Bible to a believer in need?

Notes:

  1. Poythress, Vern Sheridan. In the Beginning Was the Word. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway), 10.
  2. Johnson, Todd M., and Gina A. Zurlo. 2020. World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), 4.

Updates

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“With This, Women Can Impact the World”: How the Bible Changes Everything

Many of the Christians in India today who are looking for answers to life’s questions and flocking to church gatherings are women. But there’s one problem: many of them don’t have a Bible. If they did, it would have a great impact. Through Crossway’s One Million Bibles Initiative, you can help to address this problem.

Why the Gospel Is Reviving Displaced Peoples Camps in Nigeria

In Nigerian homes where women have been left to raise their children alone, some don’t have access to God’s Word. How can these women teach the truth of God’s Word when they don’t have a Bible? Through Crossway’s One Million Bibles Initiative, donors are partnering with us to address this need.

What Is the Christian’s Compass?

“Imagine you’ve bought a piece of equipment and you want to know how it operates. You have to read the manual to learn how to operate that piece of equipment that you’ve bought. And that’s what the Bible is.” Join Crossway this spring in providing God’s Word to women and other believers in need.

The Secret to One Church's Effort to Prepare Their Members for Eternity

Greenheights Community of Believers resides in a bustling city just outside of Manila, Philippines. Their doors are always open to anyone who may choose to stop by for a brief visit, and others who come to stay awhile. But what so many of these visitors have in common is a request they make: they are looking for a Bible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Bibles are being distributed as part of this campaign?

All of the Bibles being distributed are ESV English-language Bibles, some with the Bible text only and others with study notes or additional content.

Are there other ways I can give to this initiative (e.g., wire transfer, cash, stocks, etc.?)

Crossway provides a number of ways for supporters to give to this initiative. You may donate gifts of stock, gifts designated from donor advised funds, and estate gifts, among others. If you have questions regarding Crossway’s ability to receive your donation, visit this page to learn more or contact us at donate@crossway.org.

How much of my donation will go toward Bible distribution?

100% of your gift will be used for the specific purpose of funding the distribution of 1 million Bibles, with Crossway covering all administrative costs.

Your gift of $40 could provide 10 Bibles to a rural church in the Global South where members are sharing copies. $100 could equip 25 pastors with study Bibles so they can faithfully understand and preach God’s Word. $1,000 or more could provide Bibles to an entire church network and help make it possible for a community to sustain its own Bible distribution in future years.

How does Crossway choose the recipients of these Bibles?

Crossway has a large number of close ministry partnerships around the world, and will deliver many of these Bibles into the hands of recipients through these trusted networks. We will focus on the areas of the Global South which we and our ministry partners have identified as having the greatest immediate need.

What countries or parts of the world will receive Bibles through this initiative?

We anticipate distribution in dozens of English-speaking countries and territories, particularly in Africa and Asia.

When will distribution of the Bibles begin, and when will distribution be completed?

The first distributions funded by this initiative began in the summer of 2023. Bibles will be distributed on an ongoing basis as funds are received during the course of the campaign. Our goal is for the distribution of all Bibles to be completed by the end of 2026.

Will all Bibles be given away, or will any be sold?

The vast majority of these Bibles will be given away for free. However, in some communities, the most strategic way to meet the need for God’s Word is through assistance in building sustainable Bible distribution markets. Christians in these communities can afford to pay something for a Bible, and ministry partners on the ground are investing in the network infrastructure needed to sell and distribute Bibles at low, locally-appropriate prices for years to come.

In these communities, Crossway will provide Bibles at our manufacturing cost (no margin) and will use a portion of donated funds to underwrite shipping costs. This will enable our ministry partners in these regions to resell Bibles at affordable prices to those who desperately need a Bible, and to invest their proceeds toward distributing more Bibles.

Will Crossway profit from the sale of Bibles subsidized by this initiative?

Crossway will not profit from the sale of any Bibles subsidized by this initiative. We will sell Bibles at our manufacturing cost to ensure our partners can resell these Bibles at the most affordable prices possible.

How is the cost of a Bible being determined?

While we initially anticipated that each Bible would cost approximately $5, including the costs of printing and delivery to each location, we have since been able to reduce those costs. We constantly monitor production and shipping realities, knowing that the costs may change based on any variety of factors.

The progress bar shown at the top of the One Million Bibles home page reflects the cost of $4 per Bible. We pray that the costs will remain lower than expected, so that more Bibles may be distributed for the same cost!

Why physical Bibles? Can’t people access Scripture on their phones or online?

We recognize the value of both digital and print Bibles and work to distribute both wherever possible. Crossway freely offers the ESV text on our website and app, so that anyone around the world with sufficient access can read the ESV Bible on their personal device. However, the reality is that internet connectivity and smartphone usage are not reliable, widespread, or affordable in much of the developing world and among the people we are trying to reach through this initiative. While it’s true that smartphone and internet access have increased in developing countries in the last ten years, there is still a large gap between access and actual usage. In 2021, 78% of the total population in sub-Saharan Africa and 66% of the population in South Asia were not able to functionally access mobile internet.

A physical Bible, however, bridges this “digital divide” by granting its recipient immediate access to Scripture—no internet, data, or smartphone required. With these current global realities, we have made it our mission as part of this initiative to provide direct access to Scripture in physical form to those who haven’t had it before.

Sources:
Anne Delaporte, “New insights on mobile internet connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa”, GSMA, Accessed November 2, 2023, https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/blog/new-insights-on-mobile-internet-connectivity-in-sub-saharan-africa/

Nadia Jeffrie, “The state of mobile internet connectivity in South Asia: the coverage gap is narrowing but the usage gap remains the largest in the world”, GSMA, accessed November 2, 2023, https://www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/blog/the-state-of-mobile-internet-connectivity-in-south-asia/


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