The Massachusetts Bible Society has been giving out Bibles for over 210 years. In the early days, a colporteur traveled in a horse-drawn Bible wagon , giving out Bibles to anyone he found without one. Today, instead of distributing Bibles door to door, we have a program of Bible grants, giving gifts of Bibles (and sometimes other sacred scriptures) to prisons, hospitals, homeless programs, churches, and many others who have need. We are able to grant Bibles in a variety of languages and translations, as well as audio, Braille & large print formats.
Why donate to our Bible Grant Program? The Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Wintle, President, Evangelical Missionary Society in Massachusetts 1807, says this:
"In a time when the Bible is ignored by many and misused by too many, the importance of promoting biblical literacy is crucial to the future of our faith communities. We applaud and support the Massachusetts Bible Society for its long-time effectiveness in distributing Bible grants AND helping people understand what they read."
Grants are offered for the sole purpose of reaching out to those without easy access to the Bible. Applicants for a grant must agree that the Bibles will be given free of charge and not sold, and that the focus of the project or program is others and not, for example, the replacement of pew Bibles and other normal needs of a congregation. We do provide the latter for congregations when special circumstances warrant, as in the case of a catastrophic event that has destroyed church property and the church is financially unable to replace pew Bibles themselves. Preference is given to outreach projects with an ongoing leader/teacher presence.
We do sometimes send Bible outside of the borders of Massachusetts when our budget permits and when there is a link to a qualifying program in Massachusetts.
Please complete and return our Grant Application Form if you're organization would like to be considered for a Bible grant.
The following list represents the organizations and individuals that have received grants of Bibles, Exploring the Bible course materials, and other books of scripture from the Massachusetts Bible Society for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Our fiscal year runs from July through June and the Society's annual Bible grants budget is $12,500.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
- Bibles for LEO, Inc.
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Brigham & Women's Hospital
- Common Cathedral
- Franciscan Children's Hospital
- Harvest Time International
- Outreach Center
- HCCC Individual Prisoners
- Lunds Corner Gospel Ministry
- McLean Hospital
- Mercy Medical Center
- MTC Individual Prisoner
- New England United Methodist Conference
- Old South Church
- Pacto De Amor Church
- Provision Ministry, Inc
- Salvation Army MA Division
- Sherrill House, Inc.
- South Shore Hospital
- St. Elizabeth's Medical Center
- Tewksbury Hospital - DMH
From Our Grant Recipeints:
From Department of Mental Health Hospital - MA - July 16, 2021: "The primary purpose for this grant request was to be able to provide access to a variety of Bibles to people coming into our facility with diverse needs the same day they request it. Having the ability to provide Bibles that reach our diverse population in their language of choice, version of choice that is most accessible with their disabilities and barriers. It serves our organizations mission to continue to provide person centered care by having resources of faith that are easily accessible, meets the needs of a diverse population and establishes and adequate inventory. The benefits were experienced the first day of receiving the Bibles. Once I created an inventory and sent it out to the staff serving our clients I was met with specific requests that met the clients spiritual needs. Before the grant it would be difficult, time consuming and costly to retrieve. Having these resources allows us to connect with many people who are sometimes difficult to engage by showing them we care enough to be aware of their specific spiritual needs. This goes a long way in establishing trust and developing a good initial relationship with the people we serve." - Rehabilitation Counselor
From Boston Children’s Hospital - Boston, MA - May 17, 2021: "When going to the hospital, quite a few people pack their bible along with their other essentials. Sadly, not all admissions are planned. Especially when that has happened, being able to respond to the request for a bible, and to do so with specificity, is a great service. Because of the Massachusetts Bible Society, we have been able to honor specific requests for Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian bibles, putting the bibles immediately into the hands of people who requested them. In addition, for English readers, we have been able to fill the requests for specific editions ranging from Good News to King James! Bibles offer the companionship of wisdom, comfort and solace in the long vigil of a hospital day. And they are a springboard for conversation, learning and prayer when others are around to share." - Rabbi Susan Harris
From St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center - Boston, MA - April 14, 2021: "Our goal was to provide those patients who are interested in further delving into questions of spirituality and those looking for comfort from scripture, appropriate resources. Behavioral health patients are not allowed access to their personal phones or to computers, so the sacred texts provided are their only way to access scripture. In contrast, medical and surgical patients do frequently have the ability to use a phone or tablet to access resources, which also helps explain why the majority of our sacred texts go to behavioral health." Chaplain Elizabeth Goeke, Director of Spiritual Care
From First Baptist Church - Woburn, MA: "We would like to thank you for your generous donation of the Chinese Holy Bibles through the Massachusetts Bible Society. I assure you we will get much use out of them and look forward to future collaborations we will have with your organization. We are running an Alpha Course with Chinese first-generation immigrants. These Bibles introduced not only God’s words, but also English-Chinese translations for them to learn English. Thank you once again for your beautiful Bibles." Pastor Yaliang
The Massachusetts Bible Society is able to sustain its ministries of Bible Grants, promoting Biblical literacy, and nurturing open spiritual/theological dialogue through financial contributions from people and organizations such as you.