Terrorism affects Bible translation

By September 30, 2004

International (MNN) — Bible Translators in the United States are celebrating World Bible Translation Day. It’s an annual event that allows them to highlight Bible translation as an on going need and basic tool in global evangelism.

Wycliffe Associates is a major part of Bible translation in that it provides an avenue for ordinary Christians to use their technical or administrative skills to assist Bible translation.

President of Wycliffe Associates Bruce Smith says the need for Bible translation is great is still great. “Current research indicates that there are 6,819 unique languages spoken in the world today. But, out of that number we’re currently estimating that approximately 2,700 do not have one verse translated in Scripture in their language.” He says in today’s world where Communism and Terrorism threatens Christianity, this work is important. “One of the things that the currently political and religious environment of our world reminds us is that it’s essential for us to get the truth of the Gospel into every language and every culture, because ultimately that is the issue that’s going to transform people’s hearts and mind and lives.”

Unfortunately Smith says terrorism has had a direct impact on Bible translation. “In our specific case, we’ve had literally dozens of translation teams in various parts of the world that have had to be either relocated temporarily or permanently in order to avoid security concerns.” He says even for those who haven’t had to move it’s caused other problems. “We’ve had to increase our contingency planning, back them up with emergency funds, infest in additional security precautions like communications. All of those thing have unfortunately have increased the cost of Bible translation around the world.

Wycliffe Associates is thanking God that the threats abroad haven’t affected recruiting for new workers. Smith says, “We’re in our third or fourth year of explosive growth with that regard. We’re growing at a rate of 60-percent per year, in terms of our global volunteer involvement.” More than 1,200 people are now serving in 27 countries around the world. If that growth continues it’ll be close to 2,000. ”

But, the need for personnel is still great.

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