Founded in 1816, the American Bible Society (ABS) exists to disseminate free copies of the Bible in local languages throughout the world, based on the belief that healthy republics require a moral citizenry and that the best way of promoting virtue throughout the nations is through the publication and dissemination of the Bible. Today, the ABS is a Christian ministry based in Philadelphia with a $300 million endowment and a mission to engage 100 million Americans with the Bible by 2025. Released just in time for the ABS's Bicentennial year, this book will demonstrate how the ABS's primary mission-to place the Bible in the hands of as many people as possible-has led the history of the ABS to intersect at nearly every point with the history of the United States.
However and wherever the United States developed, the ABS was there, fusing American imperialism with the biblical mandate to preach the gospel throughout the entire world. Over the years ABS Bibles could be found in hotel rooms, bookstores, and airports, on steam boats, college and university campuses, and the Internet, and even behind the Iron Curtain. Its agents, Bibles in hand, could be found on the front lines of every American military conflict from the Mexican-American War to the Iraq War.
Over the last two hundred years, the ABS has steadily increased its influence both at home and abroad, working with all Christian denominations in the US and internationally, aligning itself whenever possible with the gatekeepers of American religious culture, and has been on the cutting edge of technological innovation. However, despite the changes that the organization has undergone, The Bible Cause demonstrates that the ABS's primary mission and its commitment to positioning itself as the guardian of a Christian civilization have remained constant throughout the last two centuries.