The Bible Commission takes special interest to promote and encourage the study of the Bible at different levels, taking into consideration the tremendous interest among the laity and religious to understand deeply the Word of God. The programmes also take care to bring the best of scholarship to the general public through different activities.
A. Bible Correspondence Course
The total number of students of the Bible Correspondence Course is 13198. There are 97 new registrations this year. Though a contact class was arranged in May 2020 at the POC, it was cancelled due to COVID 19 restrictions. Rev. Sisters and laity, especially the Sunday school teachers and NRI’s show genuine interest in this Course. Certain dioceses organize every year Bible study programme based on Correspondence course and distribute certificates for those who complete the course.
B. Bible Courses
i. Wednesday Evening Bible Course (2019-2020)
The Commission conducted the Wednesday Evening Course of 40 weeks from 5th June 2019 to 11th March 2020. 113 persons have registered for this course. The first section of the course from June to October concentrates on particular books of the Old and New Testaments, and the second session on different themes from the Bible. Bishop James Anaparambil inaugurated the course this year and delivered a lecture on Biblical Spirituality. Other resource persons and the subjects are the following: Dr. Joshy Mayyattil (Exodus); Dr. Antony Tharekadavil (Sirah); Dr. Sebastian Kuttiyanickal (Background to the Study of the Bible); Dr. Stanley Mathirappilly (Mission and Major OT Prophets); Dr. Jacob Prasad (First Corinthians; Mission in Letters of Peter); Dr. Sr. Bincy SH (Mission in John); Dr. Sr. Linta SH (OT Missionaries); Dr. Joy Panjikaran MST (Mission Theology of Paul); Dr. Luke Thadathil (Mission in Matthew; Mission in Luke); Dr. Johnson Puthussery CST (Mission and Book of Revelation); Dr. Mathew Olickal MCBS (Daniel); Bishop Abraham Mar Julios (Mission in the Old Testament).
iii. Bible Classes in Dioceses
As part of extending service of the Bible Commission to dioceses, classes are arranged in Dioceses and different centres. Short Bible programmes in dioceses are partially subsidized by the Bible Commission in order to encourage them to conduct such courses.
2. Bible Apostolate Directors’ Meeting
The Diocesan Bible Apostolate Directors’ Meeting was held Online on 25th September. They shared their experiences, ideas and visions regarding Bible Apostolate during the lockdown period due to COVID 19. They also discussed the issues regarding Logos Quiz in the present situation. Such meetings help the directors to engage more actively and fruitfully in the ministry of the Word of God in their respective dioceses. The directors are members of the Board of Trustees of KCBC Bible Commission and also the members of the Managing Council of Kerala Catholic Bible Society.
3. Revision of the POC Bible
The revision of the POC Bible is progressing under the guidance of the KCBC Bible Commission. The following scholars are part of the revision team: Rev. Dr. Joshy Mayyattil (co-ordinator), Rev. Dr. Antony Tharekadavil, Rev. Dr. Sebastian Kuttiyanyil, Rev. Dr. Jacob Prasad. Prof. Primus Perincherry is the language expert in the revision of the Bible. The first stage of the revision will be completed in December 2020. The Bible Commission is contacting Malayalam language experts to go through the text completely and to make it available for printing in 2021.
4. POC Study Bible
The revised text of the New Testament is now being prepared as Study Bible and the first volume, POC Study Bible: Gospels was published in June, 2018. The Bible Commission has been working on the rest of the Study Bible and the whole New Testament is ready for publication in December 2020. This is a great help for those who study the Bible.
5. South-Asian CBF Meeting
South-Asian regional meeting of the Catholic Biblical Federation was held in Colombo between 6th to 10th January, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The biblical ministry in Kerala by the KCBC Bible Commission was presented there which was highly commended by the participants. The report of our activities was published in the international journal of CBF in different languages.
6. Bible Reading Month and Bible Sunday
The Month of December is celebrated as the Bible Reading Month to encourage the faithful to read the Bible personally and in public. The Bible Sunday was celebrated in all dioceses of Kerala on 29th December, 2019. The Bible commission with the help of the diocesan bible Apostolate departments arranged Bible Reading Program in the dioceses of Pala, Thiruvalla, Irinjalakuda and Ernakulam-Angamaly. The Bible-Reading materials were also made available to dioceses and individuals.
7. Publication and Distribution of the POC Bible
The publication and distribution of Bible is one of the notable apostolate of the KCBC Bible Commission. At present Kerala Church has five types of complete Bible and seven types of New Testament. A total of 80855 copies of various formats of Bible were distributed this year.
8. Free Bibles for flood affected people
The KCBC Bible Commission distributed free and subsidized bibles worth a total of Rs. 5,91,160 to the dioceses to be distributed among the people affected by natural calamities as flood and land slide. Free bibles were also given for distribution among the non-Christians and the poor.
9. Activities of the Kerala Catholic Bible Society
At present, the Society has14610 members. In the current year 185 new members have registered their names in the Society. During the reporting year the Society spent Rs. 214620 as subsidy for Bible to its members. A total of 3180 copies of the New Testament ordinary Bible and 2160 copies of the New Testament Bold Letter Bible were distributed during this period. Copies of various formats of Audio Bible, Sign bible for the deaf reached the people this year. In addition, thousands of people listen to the free on-line Audio Bible through different channels.
The Managing Council and the Executive Committee together met met on 4th November 2020 and the Executive Committee met on 3rd August, 2020 and 13th October 2020 for various purposes. The Annual General Body of KCBS was convened Online on 21st November 2020. It was inaugurated and presided over by the Chairman Rt. Rev. Dr. James Anaparambil. Rev. Fr. Jacob Palackappilly delivered felicitatory address. The General Body gave approval to various programmes of the current year of the Bible Society.
a. Logos Quiz - 2020
Logos Quiz is a joint venture of the KCBC Bible Commission and the Kerala Catholic Bible Society. Due to the restriction of public gatherings on account of the spread of COVID 19, the examination is postponed to March 2021. However, preparations for the examinations are done at parish level in many dioceses. The diocese of Adilabad joined the Logos quiz this year.
b. Publication of Books
The Society published Biblical Symbols written by Bishop Abraham Mar Julios.
c. Inter-linear Bible
The Bible Society has prepared the Interlinear Bible (Greek- Malayalam) and is ready for release in December, 2020. This is a great contribution in the field of biblical studies in Kerala.
d. Bible Cyber Ministry
The website of the Society (www.keralabiblesociety.com) provides updated information regarding the nature, scope and activities of the KCBC Bible Commission and the Kerala Catholic Bible Society. POC Audio Bible is available on-line in different sites now. The audio files of bible classes of Fr Joshy Mayyattil in Goodness TV is now available in our website. The Malayalam Audio is now available as Audio Bible player which is very useful for the elderly or sick people. Now there are more than 5 laks download for the POC Bible App which shows the spread of Bible in digital media. The new adroid version of POC Bible was released in October 2020.