Christians come together to celebrate 175 years of biblical commitment in New Zealand
Sam Scannell / stuff
Taranaki Christians will have time to reflect when they gather to celebrate 175 years of Bible Society in New Zealand at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in New Plymouth on Friday evening.
Christians in Taranaki will gather on Friday to celebrate 175 years of the Bible Society in New Zealand.
The event is a milestone and a chance for the leaders of the organization to meet and speak with supporters, said Bible Society program director Graeme Milne.
The organization was established in New Zealand in 1846 and 2021 marks the 175th anniversary, Milne said.
There are now 150 Bible Society groups around the world, helping translate and distribute the book to millions of people, as well as advocating for its place in modern society through the United Bible Societies group, a- he declared.
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Milne said the Bible Society initiatives have helped the holy book reach a wider audience through digital applications, including a Maori translation, engaging more people and making it more accessible to young people.
“There is a growing demand in New Zealand and the translated versions around the world are having a huge impact. But it is a challenge because many Christians still suffer from persecution around the world.
As an example, there are 200 million Christians in China and those under the age of 18 cannot worship in church, Milne said.
New Plymouth is one of 17 centers across New Zealand to host anniversary celebrations during the year, he said.
On Friday evening there will be presentations and discussions on the relevance of the Bible now and in the future, he said.
The Bible was first introduced to New Zealand by the Missionary Reverend Samuel Marsden, who preached his first sermon to the Maoris, led by Chief Ngāpuhi Ruatara, and to Europeans on Christmas Day 1814, in Oihi, Northland
In 1837, William Colenso published the first copy of the New Testament, which had been translated into Maori by brothers Henry and William Williams in Paihia.
The Bible Society described the translation as a “monumental achievement,” which changed everything in Aotearoa and saw many Maori become Christians.
The event will be held at the Hall of St Andrews Presbyterian Church in New Plymouth at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 30.