A clear goal – and an urgent mission
We believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, and that it is for all people everywhere speaking all languages. Currently, however, at least 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible available in their first language. Wycliffe Bible Translators exists to enable all peoples to engage with the Bible in a language that speaks to their heart.
Since Wycliffe was founded, huge progress has been made, and more people than ever before can know God in their language. Even so, too many people don't have access to the Bible in the language that speaks to them best.
How are we working to change this? Backed by financial and prayer support, specially trained personnel seek to make God’s word available to all who need it. We do this by partnering with language communities, investing in three vital aspects to make it possible for all peoples to discover the Bible for themselves in their own language: Bible translation, Bible use and literacy.
We work to make the Bible available in languages all over the world.
For a previously unwritten language, this means researching the structure of the language and designing the orthography and alphabet before anything else. Once a writing system has been developed and people are happy with it, teams move on to actual Bible translation.
The books of the Bible are translated very carefully, often starting with the Luke's Gospel. Specially trained personnel work with local people to produce a clear, accurate, natural-sounding final product that will allow God's word to be clearly understood.
Each book is reviewed and re-reviewed, checked and re-checked before printing. For primarily oral cultures, audio Scriptures are often produced, sometimes alongside or instead of written versions. A full Bible translation can take many years to complete. Prayer and financial partners for this work are vital.
Showing people how to use the Bible is an important part of our vision.
Printing or recording the Bible in a community’s language is only the start of the story. We want people to be transformed by God’s word. This is why we work with individuals and communities as they access, engage with, understand and apply God’s word to their daily lives.
People can't read the Bible for themselves unless they can read. In turn, teaching people to read unlocks new opportunities for people groups who have been limited by a lack of literacy.
Literacy is essential to a variety of everyday tasks such as telling time, reading medicine bottles, or writing emails and letters. Literacy can also open doors to running a business or higher education, and will ultimately bring about large-scale community change.
With a well-designed writing system, adults who have never read before can be taught to read their mother tongue confidently within six months to a year, depending on the language. This allows churches to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God's word as they read it for themselves.