Good news about the good news: Bible available in languages used by 5.7 billion people

The pace of Bible translation is increasing. Bible Societies have completed Scripture translations for more than a fifth of the world’s population within just five years. Translations in 270 languages used by over 1.7 billion people have been completed since 2015.

154 languages (out of the 270) received the full Bible for the first time during the last five years.

Last year marked a five year high for the number of translations launched in a single year by the UBS Fellowship: 90 languages used by nearly 617 million people.

Translations in 270 languages used by over 1.7 billion people have been completed since 2015.

There are an estimated 7.2 billion “language users” in the world, including sign languages. 5.7Billion have full Bibles,  793 million have New Testaments, and 463 million with “portions” only. That leaves 255 million with no Scripture.

It also means that, altogether, 1.5 billion people are still waiting for the full Bible in their language.

“There is still much to be done,” says Grant Thomson, CEO of Bible Society Australia. “We want to ‘Open The Bible’ to all people everywhere…in their own heart language. As part of the global fellowship of Bible Societies, Bible Society Australia supports the Bible Translation Roadmap which has set an ambitious target of 1,200 translations over the next two decades, making God’s Word accessible to 600 million people who don’t yet have God’s Word in their heart language.

“We are passionately committed, through collaboration with our Bible agency and local Indigenous partners, to push on with the Bible translation work. We are also supporting Bible translation work in the Asia/Pacific region.”

“There is still much to be done,” – Grant Thomson, CEO, Bible Society Australia.

Bible Society has a new look website at biblesociety.org.au – reflecting a determination to press on with translation. For the first time in history, this is a realistic goal in our generation – which gives us the responsibility to get there.

The worldwide stats are encouraging, and reflect the the joy of local Christians. Last year in Myanmar, translator Rev Thang Ngai Om wept as he held the first Bible in his language – Cho Chin. Years of travelling long distances between his home and the translation office and taking great risks in crossing flooded rivers in the rainy season had all been worth it, he said through his tears.

“I have seen the Bible in my lifetime, and it’s my legacy for the next generations,” he added.

The day after the official launch, a number of Cho Chin Christians hiked to the peak of Mount Victoria, the highest mountain in Chin State, taking copies of the Cho Chin Bible to lift high in thanks to God. (pictured at the top of this story.)

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