The Russian Bible Society is the oldest established mission to the part of the world now called the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The Russian Bible Society was first founded in 1812 in a time when the iron-handed church state relationship was loosened somewhat. For fourteen years the Society went well, with the cooperation of Czar Alexander I and under the leadership of Prince Galatsin. A good Russian translation of the New Testament was printed. There is no doubt God used this period to spread His Word in the language of the Russian people, which produced an evangelical revival in the land. However, for fear of an evangelical Reformation in the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox clergy stirred up opposition against the Bible Society. Therefore, in 1826, under Czar Nicholas I the Russian Bible Society was disbanded.
The Russian Bible Society was brought to new life in 1944 under the direction of Pastor Basil Malof.
Pastor Malof was converted at 15 years of age in the little Baptist assembly that met in his father's house. He was baptized with other converts after midnight for fear of persecution and imprisonment. Shortly after this he was called to preach and he gave his first sermon at age sixteen. He was trained at Spurgeon's Pastors College in London, England, as there were no evangelical training schools in Russia.
In 1907 he graduated with honors and returned to Russia with this conviction: "If John Knox could claim all Scotland for Christ, why can I not claim all Russia for Christ?" God led him in the founding of three Baptist churches. The first was the Dom Evangelim (Gospel House) in St. Petersburg. Later he established Moscow Baptist Church. This church is still in existence today. Pastor Malof also started the Salvation Temple in Riga, Latvia.
In 1914 Pastor Malof was arrested and sentenced to Siberia. Later this sentence was commuted to banishment abroad. He then began to evangelize the two million Russian war prisoners in Germany and Austria. He later came to the United States from where he was able to send large quantities of Bible portions and other Christian literature and gospel tracts which were translated into Russian by his wife. These were distributed to the Russian war prisoners in Germany.
Pastor Malof never forgot the people of Russia. His burden was to reach his own people. In 1944 he reopened the Russian Bible Society and began the first real effort in modern times to get Bibles into Russia. Basil Malof went to glory in 1956, and the work was capably carried on by his friend and fellow laborer, Dr. James Stewart. When Dr. Stewart passed away in 1975, Dr. Bob Doom became the International Director.
The Russian Bible Society is committed to giving the pure Word of God to various language groups in the CIS.
The Russian Bible Society has been at the front-line of providing Bibles for Russia and its people since 1944. We are convinced that the greatest gift we can give to any people is the pure Word of God in their native tongue. Thus, we are interested only in word-for-word translations (not paraphrases) based on reliable manuscripts, such as the Received Greek Text. Therefore, we are committed to continue providing the "Synodal Translation" of the Russian Bible for the Russian people and its translation into many of the minority languages.
It is a goal of ours at the Russian Bible Society to provide the New Testament for all the non-Slavic languages which have one million or more speakers and do not yet have a New Testament. There are nineteen groups of this size in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The opportunities are at hand. Bibles are entering the largest country in the world after years of their rejection and confiscation by the Communist authorities. Never in the history of Marxist control has there been such openness. We are committed to using this open door to its fullest possibility and to do our very best to provide the Word of God for all the people of the former USSR.
We believe that the Living God is using us, along with others, as an instrument in seeing many "redeemed . . . . to God by thy blood out of every KINDRED, and TONGUE, and PEOPLE, and NATION."
Projects Completed Since 1975
Bibles and New Testaments
Gospel of John In Uzbek (reprint)
Jonah in Uzbek (new translation)
Four Gospels and Psalms in Tatar (reprint)
Four Gospels in Bashir (reprint)
Four Gospels in Kazakh (reprint)
Gospel of Mark in Karachay (new translation)
Jonah in Crimean-Tatar (new translation)
Jonah in Tat (new translation)
Psalms in Georgian
Gospel of John in Georgian
Gospel of John in Ossete
Russian Preacher's Bible
Russian Children's Bible
Yugoslavian Bible Dictionary
Projects in Progress
Abkhaz - Four Gospels
Balkar - New Testament
Crimean-Tatar - Matthew
Georgian - Old Testament
Karachay - Four Gospels, Acts and Genesis
Kazakh - New Testament
Ossete - New Testament
Tat - Genesis, Luke and John
Tatar - New Testament and Psalms
Udmurt - Psalms and I-Ill John
Uzbek - New Testament and Genesis
Russian Preacher's Bible
Georgian - Bible Story Book
We would ask you to prayerfully consider how you could become involved in helping us to satisfy the spiritual hunger of the tens of thousands in the CIS who desire their own personal copy of God's Word! We cannot comprehend the great joy of these people when they receive Bibles, New Testaments, or Bible story books in their native tongue. These publications are not available to them in bookstores or public libraries.
THE RUSSIAN BIBLE SOCIETY
P.O. Box 6068 · Asheville, NC 28816
Dr. Bob Doom, Director
Jerry Young, Assistant Director