Did you know there are at least 1,860 languages without a single verse of Scripture? This sobering fact translates into hundreds of millions of people who are deeply loved by God, but don’t have an easy way to learn that life-changing truth.
A chance for more people to know and understand the Gospel in the language they know best motivates Bible translators to work, sometimes for decades, translating God’s Word. Often, finishing one project leads these heroes to beginning another in a nearby or related language that still needs Scripture.
It’s not always as straightforward as just learning the target language really well. In many oral cultures, the Bible is the first book ever written in a particular tongue, so translators also have to build an entire alphabet and writing system from scratch before they can begin the actual translation process.
In the past, a single New Testament might have been the life’s work of a Bible translator, taking anywhere from 15 to 30 years to complete. Thankfully, our amazing God has worked through technology, innovation, communication, and cooperation to bring about an unprecedented acceleration in the rate of Scripture translation over the past two decades.
In fact, this increase has resulted in more than 1,000 New Testaments and another 1,000+ portions that are available to record right now! With around half the world’s population unable to read, it is crucial that we continue to work with strategic and creative translation partners that share our vision to get God’s Word to the world.
Images 1 & 2: Bible translation teams working on projects in West Africa & Southeast Asia.