Bible translation continues despite global challenges

It was encouraging to see that despite the havoc caused by Covid-19, Bible Societies worldwide were still able to complete Scripture translations in 66 languages used by 707 million people over the last year. By God’s grace, many more people were able to access the Word of God in their heart languages.

Among the milestones achieved, were first Scripture translations in 46 languages with a potential reach of 13 million people. Five language groups in Africa could also celebrate receiving a complete Bible in their language.

The sixth complete Bible to be produced was for the deaf community in the United States of America. It was a first worldwide as it was the first Sign Language Bible produced globally. There are approximately 400 sign languages spoken across the world. This new Bible will allow some 408 000 people to experience God speaking to them in their heart language.

First New Testaments were produced in 11 languages used by four million people – two of these published by the Bible Society of Nigeria.

Bible translation work soared to new heights as the number of languages with a complete Bible topped 700 in August 2020.

Last year, Bible Societies published new or revised translations of the Bible in 21 languages. Among those were new translations in two of our official languages: isiZulu (Ibhayibheli Elingcwele: Isihumusho sowe-2020) and Afrikaans (Die Bybel: 2020-vertaling).

At the start of 2021, complete Bibles were available in 704 languages spoken by 5,7 billion people worldwide. A further 825 million people had the New Testament in their heart languages and 450 million had some portions of Scripture.

“As we look back at more than two centuries of Bible Society work and 75 years of working together as United Bible Societies (UBS), we give thanks to God for blessing our common mission of making the Bible available to every-one,” said UBS Director General Michael Perreau. “Each completed Scripture translation makes it possible for more people to access the hope and peace in God’s Word, which is especially needed at this time.”

This post was published on Tuesday 25 May 2021