First Ever Sign Language Bible Almost Complete

The wait is nearly over for the deaf community in America

There are 400 unique sign languages worldwide. No sign language in the world has its own Bible translation … but we are inching closer and closer to changing this.

A network of Bible Translation agencies has been collaborating to complete the first ever sign language Bible in – American Sign Language (ASL). While the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament are already available in ASL, these agencies are working to translate the full Bible for the Deaf community in America.

Together, they are training translators, supplying proper equipment, and providing better spaces for the translation teams to work. These efforts have accelerated the timeline for completing this sign language translation by 13 years. The original estimated completion date was 2033!

Imagine, we could have an American Sign Language Bible as early as October 2020.

As we near the finish line, we need your prayers

The process for translating the Bible into sign language is quite extensive. It requires trained sign language storytellers to act out Bible portions for video recording. Every recorded translation goes through several rounds of cross-check and consultant check, community review, editing, and revising before the final recording can be made available on DVD, an app or online.

Through your prayers and the faithful support of our partners, the process is nearing completion. Only seven books remain to be translated – Numbers, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Leviticus, 2 Samuel, Deuteronomy, and Ezekiel. Praise God!

We’re asking everyone to continue to pray. The last push often seems to be the hardest. The target date for completion is Fall 2020. And the goal is to engage 575,000 Deaf people in the United States by making this translation available on the Deaf Bible App and in Deaf communities.

3 ways you can pray:

  • Pray for God’s help. Ask God to guide the translation teams to the end. Pray against any challenges that may arise with the final filming, production, or distribution of the ASL Bible.
  • Pray for the deaf community. Pray that every deaf person can receive and experience the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for financial provision. Ask God to continue to supply the necessary funds for filming, studio, and production costs.

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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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