Wow! First Bibles in 700 Languages
For the first time in history, a full Bible has been translated into 700 languages
In August 2020, the number of languages with full Bible translations hit 700 for the first time. We celebrate that more than 5.7 billion people—or around 80 percent of the global population—now have the full Bible in their heart language. At this milestone moment, we thank God for the promise He makes in Isaiah 55:11—that as His Word goes forth, it will accomplish His purposes.
Bible translation has been rapidly accelerating over the past few decades—thanks to both advances in translation technology and an unprecedented level of partnership among Bible translation agencies. According to progress.bible, the comprehensive website for global Bible translation measurement and reporting, the number of languages with the full Bible has nearly doubled in the past 30 years—moving from 351 in 1990 to 700 in 2020.
American Bible Society CEO Robert Briggs says, “We at American Bible Society are celebrating this ministry milestone that 700 people groups now have access to the Bible. We are grateful to God, our ministry partners, and the financial partners whose generosity makes this Kingdom work possible.”
Even as COVID-19 has battered our global economy, Bible translation has pushed on. Financial partners have stood in the gap. Translators have met over video conferencing platforms like Zoom. Bible translation agencies have published more and more Scriptures online, giving people groups quicker access to God’s Word in their heart language.
Thanks to the generosity of our partners, American Bible Society has been at the forefront of this Bible translation mission—funding translations in 328 languages in the past 4 years alone. “We are committed to ensuring every person is able to read or listen to the Word of God in their heart language,” says Briggs.
The lion’s share of global Bible translation work is completed by local translators working through American Bible Society’s fellowship of United Bible Societies. United Bible Societies—active in more than 240 countries and territories—is the world’s largest translator, publisher, and distributor of the Bible. In fact, nearly 75 percent of the world’s full Bible translations have been completed by United Bible Societies.
Although the full Bible has now been translated into 700 languages, our work is far from over. We are pressing ahead to bring the life-changing message of God’s Word to an additional 1.5 billion people who have no Scripture in their language.
American Bible Society—in partnership with United Bible Societies and other translation agencies in the illumiNations alliance—is working to translate Scripture into 100 percent of the world’s living languages by 2033. Lord willing, this ambitious plan will make God’s Word available to those yearning to learn about Jesus through the Bible—like, for example, the Banyala ba Ndombi people of Kenya.
Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.
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