(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is ready to begin translation projects in 450 new languages in some of the world’s most isolated regions, including places where Christianity is a crime and the Bible is banned.
“We can now expand national Bible translation into places where there was no hope, in human terms, of ever launching Bible translation,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “God has now opened doors to ‘impossible’ places.”
Wycliffe Associates has met with the leaders of church networks in these regions and introduced them to the collaborative Bible translation methodology called MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation). The organization facilitates MAST workshops, where local Christians translate the Scriptures for their own language groups. They work in teams, where each team member works on an assigned portion of the Scriptures. Each step of the process includes checking the quality and accuracy of their work.
Since the first MAST workshop was held in late 2014, 1,516 Bible translation projects using MAST have been started.
Complementing the MAST methodology is Wycliffe Associates’ Tablets for National Translators initiative, which equips the mother-tongue Bible translators with computer tablets loaded with Bible translation software. To date, Wycliffe Associates has distributed 6,008 Tablets for National Translators in 67 countries.
“They [church leaders] are ready to deploy hundreds of national Bible translators to launch Bible translation in as many as 450 new languages,” Smith said. “These pastors are local. They can function without raising suspicion. Our tablets and software make it possible for them to work quietly, ‘under the radar,’ out of the range of hostile authorities.”
Currently there are 1,200 MAST Bible translation projects underway.
“In a gathering in the Middle East, one language represented (as far as we know) has only one underground church in this language group, with just 13 believers,” Smith said. “Yet this language is spoken by nearly half a million people. They’ve never seen Scripture in their language. Yet now they will.”
About Wycliffe Associates
One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 101 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.