The Bible Society is the oldest functioning association in Iceland, founded in 1815, and will celebrate its bicentenary this year. The Society’s mission has always been the publishing and the diffusion of the Bible as well as providing guidelines for reading it. The Society participates in the activities of the United Bible Societies (UBS) and also enjoys the collaboration of the Nordic Bible Societies.
The Icelandic Bible Society was founded at a synod in Reykjavik on July 10th 1815. Ebenezer Henderson initiated its foundation with the support of influential citizens. From the beginning, the Society was entirely in local hands. These citizens must therefore be considered co-founders and can be divided into two categories. The smaller group consists of the Church and Community officials whom Henderson contacted ahead of the foundation. The other category consists of national or church representatives, 19 or 22 in number. They attended the inaugural meeting on July 10th and lent their support by signing the society’s charter. The establishment of the Icelandic Bible Society is considered one of the most remarkable events in Icelandic church history in the first quarter of the 19th century.