Thanking Bible Translators for their Life-changing Gift

Honoring Bible translators around the world on International Translation Day

Over 1,600 years ago, a man named St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin. His efforts made Scripture more accessible to his contemporaries. September 30 was named International Translation Day in honor of St. Jerome, the “patron saint of translation.” It serves as a way to recognize translators who dedicate their lives to opening up languages for others to understand.

Translators are gifted knowledge sharers. And when it comes to Scripture, a translator’s role has life-transforming impact. They help remove barriers to God’s Word, making its life-giving message accessible. Their efforts make the words of Habakkuk 2:14 ring true:

“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Opening Access to God’s Word

Today, nearly 1,600 languages out of the approximate 7,000 that exist worldwide don’t have one verse of Scripture available. But praise God, there are thousands of translators working diligently to change that. Watch how these faithful messengers of Scripture use their gifts to bring God’s Word to life for others.

Richard Mukangombe of Zambia helped translate the New Testament into Ila.

The people in his region thought God was only for other languages. But as they read the translated Scriptures in their own language of Ila, they found out this truth: “God can speak in our language as well.”

The Rev. Gode Doke of Northeast India helped translate the New Testament into Galo.

The people told him, “Before we learn from others…but now we are reading ourselves, so we are happy.”

Fanely Phiri Mwale helped with the Nsenga New Testament translation in Zambia.

Her favorite verse is John 3:16: “Because it shows me how much God loves us.”

Iskra helped translate a New Testament study Bible to Ch’ol in Mexico.

Eva, who received a new Bible in Ch’ol, said, “It’s the first time I saw the letters of the Bible in Ch’ol. I’m going to read it at home with my family. And I thank God because my brothers and sisters have the Bible in their hands.”

God Bless our Translators

Today, we honor the work of translators like Richard, Rev. Doke, Fanely, and Iskra. We thank them for taking God’s Word and transforming it into words and expressions that can be understood by others. We ask God’s blessing over them, their families, and the communities they serve. And we pray that as their faithful efforts continue, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Learn more about the ministry of Bible translation at American Bible Society.

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