Tanzania (MNN) — Today about 200 million people do not have the Bible in their own language. The goal of Bible translators is to see the Bible accessible to all people in the language they understand best. That's also the goal of organizations like The Seed Company, a daughter organization to Wycliffe Bible Translators.
The Seed Company wants to accomplish this by using national Christians to do the work.
The Seed Company's Jonathan Kern says they're making progress. "The Seed Company is currently working in over 300 languages concurrently so that the mother tongue translators can translate Scriptures."
One of the newest languages is the Lughulu in Tanzania. Kern says this is an historic translation project. Typically when they approve a project, it's only a portion of the Bible. "The Lughulu, we have approved them to go forward to translate the entire Bible, Genesis through Revelation. They've got a great mother tongue translation team. There are tremendous scholars who are coming alongside them to help. There's a lot of stability, so we've approved the project to go forward."
Kern says the team has some pretty ambitious plans. "This project will be complete in 2014. They're leveraging some technology to do adaptation for the first rough draft from some related languages, and so they're able to move forward much quicker."
The Seed Company is depending on average people like you and me to help fund the project. It can be done through their OneVerse.org campaign. "Each month we're going to gift $26. That will give them the funds to translate the Scriptures. Then each month, I can see what verse I helped translate in my correspondence from the translation project."
It's going to cost about $800,000 to complete the translation project. Kern says that's about $1 per Lughulu speaker.
With the Seed Company's "Gift A Verse" program, you can help translate a verse in the name of someone you love. Kern says to get involved, just buy a card at OneVerse.org. "With each card purchased, we mail it to you; there is a verse that is assigned to that card with the specific people group, and so whoever you gift that card to, they can go to OneVerse.org/myverse, type in the code, and see the people group and the verse that this gift represents."
Kern says once this translation is complete, "Evangelism and discipleship is going to be huge because they're going to be able to understand the Gospel message in their own language very clearly."
While many Lughulu are already Christians, Kern says this project is being done simultaneously with 11 other languages. "Some of those languages are unreached — very small Christian populations.
So, they are coming alongside these other groups and helping them get the Scriptures in their own languages as well."
That will allow some unreached people groups to hear the Gospel for the first time.