Bible Translation

United Bible Societies, the world’s largest Christian mission organisation, provides fresh, relevant, high quality Bible translations to more of the world’s people than any other organisation.

We are currently working on Bible translations that have the potential to touch and transform the lives of more than 4 billion people. That’s two out of every three people alive on the planet today.

 “If this doesn’t light your fire…your wood is wet….”

This was the enthusiastic response from one viewer after watching the launch of a new Bible translation online. Many viewers were moved to tears by the short film of the arrival of the Kimyal Bible in Indonesia. It serves as a fascinating example of how technology is helping people across the world to learn about the difference a new Bible translation can make to a remote community.

Why don’t you take a look?

Scripture Access Today

Much progress is being made by all Bible agencies and digital technology is helping accelerate both the speed of translation and access to Scripture. So there is much to give thanks for. Yet with only 495 of the world’s 7,105 languages having a Bible, much work still remains to give people access to the whole of God’s Word in their own language.

This graph shows the current state of Bible translation amongst the world’s languages. These figures have been compiled from the 2012 Scripture Language Report plus data relating to other Bible translations that have been published but not yet sent to the archive in Brazil. This data was complete in June 2013.

Scripture Language Report 2012

United Bible Societies has been tasked by other Bible agencies with maintaining a physical archive of all published Scriptures and producing the annual Scripture Language Report. This reports on physical copies registered at one of the official deposit libraries, with the Bible Society of Brazil now taking the lead responsibility for this service. The figures for 2012 record that the complete Bible has now been translated into 484 languages and the New Testament into 1,257 languages.

“There are around 7,000 languages worldwide, therefore a large number of people still don’t have access to the biblical message in the language that speaks to their hearts. Reaching all peoples of the world is our challenge, but we thank God for all that has been achieved so far.”
Erní Seibert, Communications and Social Outreach Secretary, Bible Society of Brazil

*Bibles with Deuterocanon

Digital Bible Library

In 2011, United Bible Societies launched the Digital Bible Library project in partnership with other Bible agencies and with the support of the Every Tribe Every Nation alliance. UBS invites Bible Societies and partner organisations to use the Digital Bible Library to store as many Bible texts as possible, both to provide a secure back-up of translated texts and to create a single point where people can access the Bible for both print and electronic use. As of June 2013, the Digital Bible Library included 445 Bibles, Testaments and Portions. These have the potential to reach 4.3 billion people.

Bible Search

Bible Search is a search engine created by the American Bible Society to take advantage of the growing global access to the internet to give people access to Scripture online wherever they live in the world. Bible Search is a ministry partner of the Digital Bible Library and has 392 versions and 297 languages. The user interface is available in 12 languages.