One Million Bibles: A Crossway Global Initiative

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

$1,101,450 of $1,250,000 funded

Phases Phase 1 - $500,000 Phase 2 - $1,250,000

The Treasure

Could you imagine what life would be like without your Bible? How would your faith be different? What impact would the lack of a Bible have on your life? What would you miss most about God’s Word?

In the West we have near-immediate access to the Bible. Most of us probably own multiple copies. If not, many of our churches stock Bibles to share with members and visitors on Sundays. And of course we have convenient access to free Bible websites and apps on our smartphones.

The Need

Direct access to the Bible for the nearly 70% of the world’s evangelical Christians living in the Global South, however, is unusual.1 Consider Pastor German Banda’s small congregation in Lusaka, Zambia. Many of his members live in deep poverty, struggling to afford the maize meal that is their main food staple. And because Bibles in their community are more expensive than bags of meal, Pastor Banda estimates that only 25% of the people in his church own a Bible, with the rest forced to share or borrow.

Even in the face of physical poverty that plagues the 86% of Zambia's population living below the poverty line, spiritual hunger has multiplied. Evangelical Christianity in Zambia expanded from 28% to 86% over the past 50 years.2 As a result, these Christians recognize the Word of God as “the most valuable thing this world affords.”3

While we celebrate the growth of both the Zambian and global church, efforts to resource Christians and church leaders have not kept pace, and demand for the most fundamental resource—Bibles—is outpacing supply to an alarming extent. An estimated 11 million church ministry leaders in the Global South lack access to proper biblical training and resources.4 Further, many communities do not have the infrastructure available, or market to sustain, the long-term distribution of Bibles at locally affordable prices.

As a result, biblical illiteracy, spiritual malnourishment, and the transmission of false teaching run rampant. Without direct access to the Bible, some pastors are forced to preach from an incomplete or incorrect understanding of Scripture. Without Bibles of their own, church members 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.

The Opportunity

We invite you to partner with us in our ongoing effort to distribute one million ESV 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.

Every $50 you give will help to support the distribution of God’s Word into the hands of Christians in need and will contribute to building sustainable Bible distribution channels for long-term impact. Would you prayerfully consider a gift to help distribute God’s Word to those with little or no access? Our overall goal for this initiative is to distribute one million Bibles.

Distribution Report

We rejoice that God has been glorified through the gifts of so many faithful partners thus far. This has helped us to surpass the $1 million mark, funding the initial printing, delivery, and distribution of more than 200,000 Bibles. In June 2023 we shipped 125,000 Bibles to distribution hubs throughout the Global South, which will arrive in the coming weeks. Please join us in praying for the safe delivery and distribution of these Bibles, and for the hearts of those who will receive them.

God’s Word is life-giving and powerful. Through the Bible, Christians throughout the Global South will be able to grow in their understanding of God and salvation, equipping them to share the Good News with others. Through the Bible, pastors and church leaders are strengthened to preach the gospel and shepherd Christ’s flock, who now have Bibles of their own. Would you partner with us to give Christians in need the most valuable thing this world affords?


  1. Johnson, Todd M., and Gina A. Zurlo. 2020. World Christian Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), 4.
  2. Ibid, 885.
  3. The Translation Oversight Committee, preface to the English Standard Version Bible (Wheaton: Crossway, 2001).
  4. Madson, Paul. Global Training Network, accessed August 29, 2022.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What types of Bibles will be distributed as part of this campaign?

Crossway is planning to distribute English language ESV study Bibles as well as a variety of ESV editions featuring other content or just the Bible text.

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

Crossway is providing a number of ways for supporters to give to this initiative. We can receive gifts of stock, monthly giving, planned giving, employer-matched giving, wire transfers, and phone, mail, or email.

If you have questions regarding Crossway’s ability to receive your donation, please contact us at

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 $50 could provide 10 Bibles to a rural church where members are sharing copies. $100 could equip 20 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 will 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 we and our ministry partners 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, especially in Africa and Asia.

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

The first distribution projects funded by this initiative are already being planned and will begin in early 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.


Other Ways to Give

Monthly Giving

Help resource the church around the world every month.

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Gifts of Stock

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Planned Giving

Make a lasting impact for the gospel through planned giving.

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Employer Matching

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Wire Transfer

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Phone / Mail / Email

(630) 682-4300
1300 Crescent St.
Wheaton, IL 60187

Crossway is a not-for-profit Bible-based, gospel-centered ministry. It is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. All gifts to Crossway are deductible to the full extent permitted by U.S. tax law. Your contributions are used to further the ministry of Crossway under the oversight and control of its Board of Directors.