The first Bible Society was established in 1804. The main aim of the organisation was to propagate the Christian Bible. These Bible Societies expanded rapidly at the end of the 18th century as a result of the establishment of various Missionary Societies. The most important of the Bible Societies was the British and Foreign Bible Society that produced biblical texts in 700 languages and dialects. This organisation also managed to distributed over 550 million copies of the Bible to people all over the world.
The United Bible Societies was established in 1946 to improve cooperation between the various societies. It now has a worldwide fellowship of over 130 Bible Societies. By 2002 the bible in complete or partial form was available in 2,303 languages.