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December 22, 2014

American Bible Society Selects Bible Translator as New President

Roy Peterson has led The Seed Company and Wycliffe USA; now he’s heading to Manhattan.
American Bible Society Selects Bible Translator as New President

The American Bible Society (ABS) has hired a Bible translation veteran as its next president.

Roy PetersonImage: Courtesy of American Bible Society

Roy Peterson

Roy Peterson, president and CEO of The Seed Company since 2003, will start at ABS in February. He previously served as executive director of Wycliffe USA from 1997-2003, as well as eight years in Ecuador and Guatemala in various Wycliffe leadership roles.

"We are thrilled to welcome Roy Peterson to American Bible Society," said ABS chairman Pieter Dearolf in a press release. "Roy's decades-long leadership in Bible translation and depth of experience will serve him well as he helps lead [ABS] into our third century of ministry."

CT reported how ABS fired its previous president, Doug Birdsall, weeks before his inauguration, citing "significant differences" over how to get more people reading the Bible. In response, Tim Keller and other evangelical leaders publicly defended the former Lausanne director, writing to ABS that they were "perplexed and grieved" (ABS defended its decision).

Peterson attended Roger Williams College and earned a master's degree from Azusa Pacific University. Taylor University recognized him with an honorary doctorate in Bible translation.

"American Bible Society's history and influence in the world of all-things Bible cannot be overstated," said Peterson. "I am looking forward to joining this dynamic organization, especially within this historic moment for Bible mission."

CT previously noted how the world's three largest Bible translators—ABS, Wycliffe, and Biblica—joined forces (thanks to Hobby Lobby money) to "catapult Bible ministry into a new digital age."

CT has examined how ABS's assessment of America's most Bible-minded cities (sorry, Colorado Springs) compares to other rankings, and noted how, according to ABS, the Bible gained 6 million new antagonists in 2012. ABS's effort to create a .bible domain for websites was one of Gleanings most-read posts of 2013.

CT regularly reports on Bible translation, including the recent seizure of "Allah" Bibles in Malaysia, as well as Wycliffe Bible Translators, including whether new guidelines will solve Wycliffe's translation controversy over ministry to Muslims.

CT also recently noted how countries that are bad for Christians are good for Bible distribution.