International (MNN) — Translators finished the world’s first whole Bible in any sign language in September. Spearheaded by Deaf Missions, the American Sign Language Version (ASLV) took nearly 40 years.
“Because [American Sign Language] is so influential in the world, our desire was to see two source versions that could be used by other teams; potentially [for] multiple translations,” he explains.
“American Sign Language has connections to several other sign languages, both in North America, as well as western Africa, and even parts of Asia.”
Sign language Bible translation is a growing field, but resources are still minimal. With full Scripture now available in American Sign Language, teams working on translations with linguistic similarities can significantly accelerate their work.
Deafness is a unique disability in that it creates a new language group. There are approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide and at least 350 different sign languages. “90% of those sign languages don’t have any published Scripture at all,” Myers notes.
“English has, I believe, over 100 different versions of Bible translation.”
Consider how you can help DOOR get God’s Word into more sign languages. Find ways to give here.
“Even if it’s just a small donation, we would love for you to come alongside new translation work,” Myers says.
“DOOR right now is involved in 10 active sign language translations, and we’ll be bringing two more onboard in the next year; one of them in South Asia and one of them in Madagascar.”
Header image courtesy of DOOR International.