Bible translation continues to expand

Bible translation continues to expand

By Logos Post News Desk

According to the latest report released last week by the United Bible Societies, translations of the Bible continue to grow. In 2016, 61 languages spoken by over 428 million people now have access to the full Bible in their native tongue. Additionally, 30 communities around the world have their first access to the Scripture: 

  • 17 communities now have their very first Bible.
  • 6 more have a New Testament.
  • 7 communities have their first, or additional, portions of Scripture.

Because languages are constantly developing, Bible Societies are committed to revising existing translations and providing new translations, to help as many people as possible engage with the message of the Bible today. In 2016, this resulted in a further 28 new translations and revisions plus 3 study editions with the potential to reach over 333 million people.

Status of Bible translation at the end of 2016

The full Bible is now available in 648 languages spoken by nearly 5.16 billion people and a further 1,432 languages spoken by 657 million people have a New Testament. This leaves 434 million people with only some portions of the Bible and a further 253 million people with no Scripture translated in their language at all.

Sign Languages

Sign Languages are the first or 'heart' language for 70 million Deaf worldwide and there are over 400 unique sign languages. There are over 400 unique Sign Languages and yet the New Testament is only available in American Sign Language.

  • Japan completed Leviticus 1-14 and Luke 1-6.
  • Lithuania, Hungary and Thailand the teams continued releasing parts of Mark's Gospel.
  • Cuba made progress with the first 11 chapters of Luke.
  • Mexico published the DVD of John's Epistles.

Scriptures in Braille

285 million people are estimated to be visually impaired worldwide, of whom 40 million are blind. A Braille Bible usually consists of more than 40 bulky volumes, making the ranscription and production a significant undertaking. To date only 44 languages have a full Bible in Braille.

In 2016, new Braille portions were made available in

  • Spanish (Dios Habla Hoy),
  • German,
  • Kirundi.

Electronic Scripture Access Growth Continues

The Digital Bible Library® (DBL) is central to the strategy to make the Bible as widely and easily accessible as possible. At end of 2016, the DBL now contains 1,474 Bibles, Testaments and portions in 1,134 languages. These languages are spoken by over 5.2 billion people. Significant progress was made last year in adding audio Scriptures, so there are now 403 audio Scriptures in 345 different languages.

The DBL is owned and maintained by United Bible Societies in partnership with other Bible agencies and with the support of the Every Tribe Every Nation alliance. It makes the Bible accessible by providing Scripture texts to the public through partners such as BibleSearch and YouVersion.

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