In an effort to translate the Bible so that 95 percent of the global population could have access to the Good News by 2033, the YouVersion Bible app team has partnered with the Bible translation group illumiNations.
In a recent interview with Premier Christian News, YouVersion’s founder Bobby Gruenewald explained that Bible translation efforts have been challenging in the past, leaving many people across the globe without access to Scriptures written in their primary language.
“There’s a lot of languages that are spoken in the world that people may not be aware of how many languages are spoken,” Gruenewald told the outlet. “So, it’s well over 6000 languages. But unfortunately, in spite of the fact that we’ve had the Bible in English, you know, for many years, we take it for granted that there are still many people and thousands of languages that actually have no access to Scripture at all, no scripture in their heart language,” he said.
“They might speak another language, but it’s not their heart language, the language that they spoke when they were young. And so, we’re definitely excited about being a part of an effort to change that and make that reality different going forward,” he added.
Gruenewald pointed out that despite past difficulties, new translation methodologies and advancing technology paired with the collaborative effort with illumiNations is speeding up the translation process. He hopes that the new efforts will allow for most of the world to have access to the Bible in their mother tongue in the next decade or so.
“We think it’s possible in most of our lifetimes here by 2033, to be able to see God’s word translated into 100 percent of the languages; to see the New Testament available in 99.96 percent of the languages available, and the whole Bible, the entire Bible, translated in 95 percent of the languages, which is just really a goal that seemed impossible,” he said. “And most people thought it would be at least another 100 or 200 years at the pace that we were going, but there’s been a rapid acceleration, and it’s still a lot of work to come, but there’s definitely hope and a sense of that to be possible by 2033.”
At present, YouVersion has translated the Bible into 2,500 languages. The group is also currently translating over 1,700 languages.
According to the illumiNations website, the Bible still needs to be translated into about 3,732 languages. The translation efforts with YouVersion also include having 100 percent of the global population have access to at least some portion of the Scripture. Additionally, the Bible translation group hopes to have 100 of the world’s “most strategic languages” available in “two viable translations.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.