Bible Society NSW

Bible Society NSW - NSW, Australia

Bible Organizations Asia Harvest East Gates
Voice of the Martyrs Bible League American Bible Society
Open Doors Bible Society NSW Chinese Christians

Bible Society NSW

Bible Society NSWBible Society NSW is an Australian Bible society created in 1817 by the government of New South Wales, the Australian province where Sydney is located (the "NSW" in Bible Society NSW is an acronym for New South Wales).

Bible Society NSW is a member of the United Bible Societies, which includes Bible societies from 146 nations, and is the joint venture partner of Amity Foundation, which owns Amity Printing - i.e., Bible Society NSW is a partner of Amity Printing. An ecumenical organization, United Bible Society includes Roman Catholic groups.

Bible Society NSW - Strength

Because Bible Society NSW buys Bibles directly from its partner, Amity Printing, whose Bibles retail for $1.20 in China (in 2008), Bible Society NSW has the potential to serve as the lowest cost provider of Bibles to the persecuted Christians in China.

Bible Society NSW - Weakness

In a November 12, 2008 press release, Bible Society NSW covered a speech in which Daniel Willis, the CEO of Bible Society NSW appealed for funds, stating that "for just $10, a Bible could be placed in the hands of a believer in remote provinces such as Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangsu" in China.

"Jiangsu", which borders Shanghai, is not a "remote province". Curious as to why Bible Society NSW requires $10 to deliver a Bible that costs about $1.20 in 2008, wrote to Bible Society NSW on November 25, 2008 as follows:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings in Christ.

Compared to smuggling Bibles into China, distributing the Bibles printed by Amity Printing, now the world's largest and the lowest cost Bible printer, appears to be the most efficient way to supply Bibles to our brothers in Christ in China.

In your September 12, 2008 press release, Daniel Willis, your CEO, is mentioned as having appealed for funds for Amity, and having indicated, "for just $10, a Bible could be placed in the hands of a believer in remote provinces such as Shaanxi, Henan and Jiangsu."

Bibles printed by Amity can be purchased at Three Self churches in China starting at around $0.90 to $1.20. Could you please advise why Amity-printed Bibles promoted by Bible Society NSW cost $10, or about 10 times more, to distribute in the provinces mentioned? How much do they cost to distribute in the other Chinese provinces? And what percent of the Bibles are distributed to the Three Self church members, and what percent to the unregistered house church Christians?

Thank you in advance for your response.

Bible Society NSW replied on November 27, 2008 as follows:

Dear BillionBibles.Org

Thank you for your email and questions.

The Bibles printed at Amity do cost from US$0.90 to US$20 and more.

The printing of Bibles is subsidised by Bible Societies from around the world so that the price to Chinese Christians can be as low as possible.

When we distribute Bibles to Chinese Christians we purchase a particular Bible (hardback) from the press that has an enduring quality rather than a paperback version. Because we are foreigners we pay the full cost of the Bible instead of the subsidised price. Thus in fact, paying the subsidy for the paper and then paying a price as though there was no subsidy for the paper. Our negotiations to fix this anomaly have not reached success at this point.

Add to the above costs the cost of Bible transportation to the remote areas where they will be distributed and a small amount for the administrative overheads here in Australia and you end up with an average cost of AUD$10.

Our appeal is to an Australian audience and therefore we need to be telling our donors the true cost of delivering a Bible not just purchasing a Bible in China. Of course we could say a Bible costs $1. However, the report back to donors would not be accurate if we only told them the number of Bibles distributed and not the total cost of the whole exercise including the amount raised. Our purpose is to provide transparency for our donors so they have confidence in where and how their donations are being spent.

Grace & Peace

Daniel Willis CEO
Bible Society
PO Box 375, North Ryde, NSW,1670.
5 Byfield Street, Macquarie Park, NS
W, 2250.

On November 28, 2008, the following request for clarification was emailed to Bible Society NSW:

Thank you for your reply.

Regarding the "particular Bible (hardback) from the press that has an enduring quality" you mentioned, what price do you pay for this Bible, and what price do the Chinese buyers pay?

And approximately what percent of the Bibles you distribute are to the Three Self church members, and what percent to the unregistered house church Christians?

Thank you in advance.

To date, Bible Society NSW has yet to reply to the email above. The "$10" quote above is clarified as 10 Australian dollars, which is about US$ 6.50, still 3 times the retail price of the same Bibles across China. Interestingly, Bible Society NSW CEO's words above do indicate that the Chinese government is swindling Western Bible organizations. How? Click here.

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