Wycliffe Bible Translators USA announced on Thursday new statistics illustrating the continued dramatic progress in Bible translation efforts around the world. Today, 4.9 billion people can access the Bible in their first language. The Wycliffe Global Alliance reports that there are 2,167 translation projects in progress, while 1,919 languages are waiting for a translation project to begin.
“We are making rapid progress in our goal to have Bible translations in progress in every language still needing one by 2025,” says Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe USA. “These statistics are a clear indicator that we are advancing in the mission God has given us, and I hope they will encourage those who have invested in the Bible translation movement and others who want to join our efforts—our mission is meeting with great success.”
The 1,919 languages that may need Bible translation started represent an estimated 180 million people worldwide. Of these, 1,576 languages—98 million people—have no known Scripture.
“The last translator for the last Bible translation program is alive somewhere in the world today,” Creson says. “We can see the finish line. Our partners and organizations all over the world are dedicated to bringing God’s Word to people in even the most remote parts of the globe.”
The Wycliffe Global Alliance partners with organizations to create access to and engagement with God’s Word. Every Tribe Every Nation created the Digital Bible Library containing more than 600 biblical texts. Many of the Scriptures in the library have been translated in partnership with Wycliffe. Faith Comes by Hearing, in partnership with Wycliffe, has completed audio recordings of Scriptures in more than 800 languages. And the Jesus Film Project, also in partnership with Wycliffe and others, has released the film in 1,200 languages.
“These numbers represent just a few signposts of the remarkable progress being made to bring the Bible to minority languages, many of which struggle to maintain their identity in the shadow of majority culture,” Creson says.
Translation projects lead to better health, economic growth, the acquisition of marketable skills and the preservation of unique cultures via written history. Most importantly, having access to the Bible continues to transform the lives and hearts of countless people around the world.