Do you know of this global partnership that will reach all languages?
The work for making the Bible available in all the different languages of all the people around the world takes a tremendous team effort. The amount of work exceeds the capacity and capability of any one organization or even a few organizations can achieve.
Through a partnership between American Bible Society and United Bible Societies, this Bible translation availability project called “Language.Bible” is working towards the goal of making the Bible available online for every language.
Context for this Global Partnership
One part of accomplishing that goal is getting the Bible translated into all of the languages that people speak; there are about 7,000 languages in all. Did you know that nearly 1,600 languages do not yet have any Bible verses translated for them?
Another part of accomplishing that goal is distributing the Bible, that is, making it possible for people to read the Bible in their own heart language.
Complete Bible translations currently exist in 672 languages. However, the approximately 6 billion people who speak those languages often cannot access Bibles due to the restrictive costs and complications of printing and distributing Bibles.
The Internet opens up a big solution to reach many more people than print alone. Approximately 82 percent of the world has reliable Internet access. Even in the remotest reaches of the globe, people have access to the Internet over shared satellite phones.
Why is a Language.Bible Project Needed?
When you need information, odds are you’re not digging out your encyclopedias or calling up your pastor. You turn to Google. You aren’t alone. Global Internet searches are happening at an unprecedented rate of over 40,000 searches per second.
Although it’s easy to find Scriptures and Bible study resources in English online, it’s not so easy to find Bible content when you speak a different language like Soga (Uganda) or Lisu (China).
“In this time, people are very eager to know about the Bible, about Christianity, about our beliefs,” says Amir Elhamy, Bible Society of Egypt. “People cannot find easily the Bible… It’s not available [or] affordable for them. It’s really, it’s a must for us to have such domains.”
Bible Societies want to give minority language speakers a trusted Bible resource online. The Language.Bible project makes it possible for for Bible Societies to serve people better through clear and memorable web addresses for the Bible in their own language.
“[The language.BIBLE domains are] an exciting opportunity for us as a country, and we shall be able to serve the nation better.” ~ Catherine Nakimera, Bible Society of Uganda.
Sharing God’s Word through Mongol.Bible
When Dr. Bayarjargal Garamtseren was young, he was presented with a challenge: how will the people of Mongolia read God’s Word in their language? He was convicted to help bring a Bible to his people. He wanted to do it the right way, so he spent the following 17 years becoming an expert translator. For all those years, he’s kept his eye on the prize: translating the Bible into Mongolian.
Now, he and his team are releasing some of the first Scriptures they’ve translated into Mongolian—the Psalms. Dr. Garamtseren wants to ensure the text is accurate and understandable, so he has been testing early translations online.
He’s excited for how this ministry can grow and how—using his country’s .BIBLE domains—he can share God’s Word with everyone with Internet access in Mongolia.
How the Language.Bible Project Works
Since the .BIBLE top-level domain was launched by American Bible Society in 2015, this new digital neighborhood on the internet has provided a trusted online source for all things Bible. The mission of .BIBLE is to help Bible-inspired websites bring clarity to their brand and empower Scripture engagement, translation, innovation, and global partnerships so that all people may experience the life-changing message of the Bible.
The Language.Bible global partnership is in the process of establishing domain names that correspond to each and every language spoken within reach of each member society of the United Bible Societies. These language .BIBLE domain names leverage technological advances to spread God’s Word further faster by clearly directing people to the Bible resources in their own language.
The Language.Bible project partnership demonstrates a perfect example of accomplishing all four aspects of the .BIBLE mission, that is, Scripture engagement, translation, innovation, and a global partnership.
How’s it going, this Language.Bible Project?
By the end of 2017, 585 Language.Bible websites for Bible Societies around the world have launched. These Bible websites are providing God’s Word online for 5,752,676,632 native speakers in their own language! The Bible can now speak directly to the hearts of people, in their own language, through their phones connecting to Language.Bible websites.
“Once the person is able to get the Bible on their phone, they will be able to read it anywhere, anytime.” ~ Anne Gichuru, Bible Society of Kenya
These 585 languages represent 10% of the 6,000 total Language.Bible domains. Using this first set as test models, we’re establishing best practices to smooth this process for other Bible Societies and other languages in the future.
- God, open doors for your Word to spread online so more and more people discover hope in you.
- God, give wisdom to the Bible Society leadership teams as they determine the most valuable resources for their communities.
- God, give favor to Bible Societies in countries like Haiti and Bangladesh as they build an Internet presence that points people to your Word.
“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 GNT
Do You Want to Get Involved?
There is much more work to be done and you can support the effort through your prayers and financial partnership. You can get an update on the progress of translation work at Progress.Bible.
And, you can see the status of Bible translation projects for specific languages at illumiNations.Bible—there are 1,600 languages that don’t have any Bible verses translated yet. You can change that.