How is the Bible translated?
At Wycliffe Bible translators we know first hand how the Bible is translated. Wycliffe exists because 1 in 5 people don’t have the Bible in their language. We work with partners around the world, in places like Indonesia and Chad, to bring the word of God to people for the first time ever. So we know first hand about the challenges and joys of Bible translation.
The Bible is a long, complex book written in a different time and culture. Producing an accurate translation in another language is a tall order not to be taken lightly! For this reason, a full Bible translation takes time to do well.
Before even starting on translation, foundations need to be laid. Bible translation teams need to raise local awareness and support, find and train the right people to be translators – and in many cases, create and test a written form of the language. Building a foundation of local involvement and ownership, as well as developing a written form of the language, in partnership with the people group, is vital. Without this preparatory work, a translation can end up gathering dust on a shelf, or even be rejected completely.
Once the team has started translation work, they proceed through the stages of drafting and checking, redrafting and rechecking, for each of the 66 books of the Bible.
What’s the aim of Bible translation?
The aim of Bible translation is that the word of God gets into people’s lives and hearts. That means the work does not end with translation. The work of equipping people to use the Bible in their language happens alongside translation work, and continues after the translation is complete and launched.