How looking back can help us look forward

Author Bio: This blog is written by Juliet Kelly, who is Bible Society Australia’s Brand Manager in the Marketing Team. A wife, proud aunty and avid cook, she loves being outside, attending her Church and sharing meals around the dining table.  

Earlier this year, some of our Bible Society Australia (BSA) team drove to Canberra to view BSA’s collection of historical Bibles. This was a fantastic opportunity for our BSA Publishing team to understand and witness the amazing legacy of Bible publishers, readers and translators who have gone before us. 

We drove down on a Thursday afternoon after being refreshed by an all-staff Vision Day earlier in the week. With other planning and strategy meetings for the staff, we took this as an ideal time to visit St Mark’s Theological Centre and have a history lesson with Bible Society Australia Custodian, Rev. Dr John Harris.  

He, with great vigour, shared the history of the English Bible being translated, published and distributed along with the wild and wonderful stories of how Bible Society acquired them. Cementing to me how God’s word brings life, Dr Harris lit up as he shared editions that included hand-written notes, drawings, some etchings of a child practising writing the alphabet, stitching from Scottish wives and flowers that had been kept in pages. 









We were left in awe of how deep the work God has been doing through his word for generations, and we were also slightly relieved when we saw typos or printing mistakes on these precious pages. It somehow reminded me how important the human hands are in helping share, print and distribute the Holy Bible. 

For the historians among us, a glimpse into centuries ago — and for the empaths in us, we were left with the holy obvious realisation that God’s word was not meant to sit on shelves but to be opened and minister to hearts and minds. 

As we carefully and reverently opened the pages, I found myself being opened to a new revelation of how enduring Scripture is. 

I walked away wondering what verses jumped out of the page to them without having verse numbers. Or what passages convicted and led one to repentance. I was once again realising how important and crucial the work of Bible Society is and what responsibility we hold in printing, translating, distributing, and engaging others in God’s word. 

As we looked back, I felt the need to look forward, to continue to engage in the work we are doing for Australians. As our BSA Publishing team is working on new editions, our goal is to help reach individuals in Australia with God’s word in a helpful and beautiful format. We have some exciting new releases that are coming soon, Including the ‘Read this’ Bible created for Australian youth (available now),  Godaku Tjurkapa (the Pitjantjatjara Children’s Art Bible), and a new colour of the New Beginning’s Bible.

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