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 511 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 2013 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 May 2014.
Progress in 2013
In 2013 Bible Societies assisted in the completion of translations in 18 languages with the potential to impact over 15 million people. This was ‘a first’ for ten languages! Seven of these ten languages now have a full Bible, one has a New Testament and two have new portions. The remaining eight languages into which translations were completed in 2013 received new translations or revisions to help communicate God’s Word in a way that is more easily understood for people today.
100 Bibles in 1000 days
Hundreds of millions of people still don’t have access to a full Bible in their own language. And many people are waiting for new translations or revisions so they don’t have to struggle to understand translations that are decades, even centuries, old.
In 2013 United Bible Societies identified 100 full Bibles that could be completed by the end of 2015. These included 43 First translations, 27 New translations and 30 Revisions. By May 2014 over half of these have completed the translation stage with 15 published and a further 43 in pre-production or printing.
Scripture Language Report 2013
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 Bible libraries, with the Bible Society of Brazil now taking the lead responsibility for this service. The figures for 2013 record that the complete Bible has now been translated into 491 languages and the New Testament into 1,257 languages.
“We are delighted that our Bible Library received seven first complete Bibles and seven first New Testaments in 2013. We pray that these new Scriptures will have a lasting spiritual impact in the lives of individuals and communities alike.
Erní Seibert, Communications and Social Outreach Secretary, Bible Society of Brazil
*Bibles with Deuterocanon included within the 491 Bibles total – this appears as a subcategory only
The Digital Bible Library™
In 2011 United Bible Societies (UBS) launched The Digital Bible Library™ project in partnership with other Bible Agencies and with the support of the Every Tribe Every Nation alliance. As of May 2014 The Digital Bible Library™ includes 800 Bibles, Testaments and portions in 636 languages.
Bible Search is a search engine created by American Bible Society to take advantage of the growing global access to the internet to give people access to Scripture online. Bible Search now has 582 versions in 466 languages.