Did you know that 42% of the world’s 724 Bibles that have been translated, were published since the year 2000?

The pace of Bible translation is increasing. And it’s not just the number of Bible translations being completed that is increasing rapidly, but the number of new ones that are starting. A record number of 367 language projects started last year – that’s a rate of one a day.

But why is the pace quickening?

God is using three main pillars to build this acceleration of the work of Bible translation on:

More technology

‘Computers really help us a lot,’ says Edoh, a translator with the Ifè team in Togo. Access to computers – and generators that enable computers to work in places with unreliable electricity – give translation teams the essential equipment they need to progress.

Cutting-edge translation software is also making a huge difference in the quality and pace of translation. This software enables translators to compare their work side by side with other translations and with the original languages the Bible was written in. And increased connectivity means that people working in different places – and even across different continents – can now work together using this software in real time.

The development of technology that translation teams can draw on continues to develop rapidly. Wycliffe people like Mark Woodward, who is from Wiltshire, are serving as part of teams developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology using data science to help with the translation checking process. ‘We think AI can be a tool that can make things better and more efficient for Bible translators,’ Mark explains. ‘It could be a similar revolution within the work of Bible translation to when translation teams started to use computers.’

Graph of progress in Bible translation since 1800

More people

People are the backbone of Bible translation. Over the last few decades there has been a huge investment in training local people to translate the Bible – and to lead the work of translation in their countries and communities.

Now that many of those people have gone on to train others, it means that there has been huge growth in the number of people working to translate the Bible around the world. And that means a big jump in the amount of ongoing translation happening each and every day.

Two Ilchamus women enjoy reading the Ilchamus New Testament in Kenya for the first time. Two Ilchamus women enjoy reading the Ilchamus New Testament in Kenya for the first time

More funding

While most of the work of translation is now being done by local people, the majority of the funding that enables translation to happen comes from the generosity of people like you.

Your love for others, expressed through your giving, means that we have been able to invest more in people to translate the Bible, and in developing more technology to help those people work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

‘The ultimate aim of everyone who is part of Bible translation is that people can access the Bible,’ Mark Woodward notes. The role you play through your giving is being used by God to make a huge difference in the number of people who will be able to know Jesus through the Bible in the coming years.

Your giving will enable the pace of Bible translation to increase even faster

Story by: Alfred Thompson

Date: 13/01/2023

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