Wycliffe Bible Translators are celebrating as they announce that the Bible has now been fully translated into 700 languages.
They hailed newly translated Bibles in Mexico, Malawi and Nigeria as “a new milestone” in its mission to enable all people “to read or hear God’s word in their language”.
The Bible translation agency estimates 5.7 billion people could potentially access the complete Old and New Testaments “in the language they understand best”, while translation work is still under way in a further 2,617 languages.
“We are so happy that we now have the complete Bible”, said one participant at the launch event of the Bible in the Huichol language in Mexico in July.
In Malawi the Lomwe people celebrated the publication of the Ellomwe Bible with Senior Chief Nazombe declaring: “I am grateful to God that I can witness this in my lifetime.”
We are so happy that we now have the complete Bible
James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, says: “This is such exciting news, and represents the tremendous work that Bible translators are doing across the world.
“Every time we hear of the Bible being translated into another language, we know that means that for the first time the people in that language group can fully access the complete picture of God’s story.”
I am grateful to God that I can witness this in my lifetime
Professor of Linguistics Matthias Gerner has documented the “explosive growth” of worldwide Bible translation since the beginning of the twentieth century, primarily accomplished through technological innovation.
In 2016 he explained: “The number of languages into which Scriptures have been translated quintupled in the last hundred years, numbering 2,850 in 2013, compared with 572 in 1914.”
Gerner cautiously predicted that by 2031 the Bible will have been translated into every native language.