Bible translation leaps forward in Brazil

By September 18, 2023

Brazil (MNN) – Without a full Bible in their heart language many live and die without the truth of the Gospel. Of the 293 languages in Brazil about 51 do not have any Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates works with local translators to help provide full Bibles to those groups.

Steve Martin with Wycliffe Associates explains that their team is actively working on several projects in Brazil. About two years ago they finished a Brazilian Portuguese Bible. While a Portuguese Bible existed previously, it had a copyright that meant it couldn’t be reproduced to help with additional translations.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Wycliffe Associates’ Bible propelled translation work for the team since it allowed them to use that base translation for other similar languages in Brazil. Because of that Martin shares, “This year, in Brazil, we’ve been able to start two projects. In January, we started an Old Testament project. Then in February, we started a New Testament translation project.”

Deaf Owned Translations

Unfortunately, there are many languages that will not be able to use the base language so easily. For instance, Deaf communities with and without sign languages remain as some of the hardest to reach groups. However, Wycliffe Associates is excited to have several Deaf projects in Brazil.

“One of those is a DOT Project. DOT for Wycliffe Associates stands for Deaf Owned Translation. We’re currently working with a Deaf group of people – a language group – with their own New Testament. Then we have three New Testaments that we’re working with, and two Old Testament projects that we’re engaged in.”

In addition to those projects Wycliffe Associates has a program called SUN: Symbolic Universal Notations. Martin says, “It’s a language that Wycliffe Associates created for people who don’t have a language. We’ll be going in to Brazil in September of this year and having our largest ever SUN conference workshop. [We will be] teaching the population of Deaf and Deafblind this language that will reach up to 9 million people who don’t have a way of knowing who Jesus Christ is.”

Translation Finish Line

They rejoice to see projects coming to completion. Martin shares that as they begin more and more translations in unreached languages, they can finally see the finish line. Fewer and fewer translations need to be started. It’s feeling realistic to actually get to all the language groups and see a partial fulfillment of the Great Commission in Brazil.

“At the end of the day, Bible translation is not about translating God’s word,” Martin asserts. “At the end of the day, Bible translation is about people knowing that Jesus Christ came, lived, died, resurrected, so that they could have life eternal, and know him personally.”

Currently Wycliffe Associates is involved in 778 Bible translation projects. They need support to continue their work among the least reached. Consider donating toward projects in Latin America or toward the DOT project specifically to help bring Gospel truth to the ends of the earth.


Header Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash