Answered Prayer! Sign Language Bible Complete After 39 Years

Praise God, the wait is finally over for the deaf community in America

Thank you for praying for the deaf community in America to have access to God’s Word. Today we are happy to report that the Bible in American Sign Language (ASL) has finally been completed! This is the first sign language of the 400 unique sign languages in the world to have its own full Bible translation.

Work on the ASL Bible translation began in 1981, when Duane King, a minister in the Independent Christian Church, realized that English was not the heart language of deaf people in America, ASL was. Although a hearing person, King was moved to start a church for the deaf. But many deaf people didn’t attend because they couldn’t understand what was going on. That’s when King decided the Bible needed to be translated into ASL. Together with Deaf Missions a project was started to translate God’s Word for the deaf community in America.

A Team Effort

ASL is not English turned into hand signs, it’s a full language developed by deaf people with a distinct vocabulary and grammar. That’s why translating the Bible into sign language has been an intensive process requiring a skilled group of people.

Deaf Missions began the Bible project with a translation team led by deaf people trained in biblical languages. Other Bible translation agencies- the Deaf Bible Society, DOOR International, Deaf Harbor, American Bible Society, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Seed Company, and Pioneer Bible Translators- provided additional support by helping to train translators, suppling proper equipment, and creating committees to check for accuracy and clarity of the translation.

Thanks to their hard work and dedication and the faithful prayers of partners like you, thousands of deaf people in America can now experience the Bible come alive in their heart language.

Let’s thank God for this wonderful achievement. And let’s pray that the deaf community will experience a deeper, more intense relationship with God through his Word.

Let’s Thank God Together

Father, thank you for overseeing this Bible translation project for 39 years. We pray for the deaf community to have deep encounters with you as they engage your Word in their language. We also pray for spiritual revival in the deaf community.

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Nena Podbury
Nena Podbury

Nena Podbury is a Prayer Mobilization Associate at American Bible Society. Originally from the Bronx, she served in children’s ministry for 12 years doing Sidewalk Sunday School. Nena is married with two children, Noah and Emilia.

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