Translations needed to complete Digital Bible Library

By December 21, 2012

International (MNN) — Yesterday , we told you how ministries and donors were working together to launch a game-changing Scripture repository called The Digital Bible Library.

Today, we'll spotlight Wycliffe Bible Translators USA and the key role they're playing in making God's Word available to every tribe and in every tongue.

"Rendering the Scriptures so that people can have access to them: that's a really good thing. But what we're really interested in is creating the opportunity for those Scriptures to impact people's lives," says Wycliffe President Bob Creson.

Philanthropist and businessman Mart Green, founder of Mardel Christian and Educational Supply and whose family owns Hobby Lobby, has long held the vision of ministries and donors working side-by-side on a project that will eradicate what he calls "Bible poverty."

"Prior to the formation of Every Tribe Every Nation (ETEN), Bible ministries were often working in silos. While they were making important progress in their individual efforts, it was clear that an opportunity existed for greater collaboration to more rapidly advance their individual efforts," Green explained in a press release.

"The goal of ETEN is to mobilize the necessary leadership and financial resources across our alliance partners so that by 2033, every tribe and every nation in the world has access to God's Word in their heart language."

Since Wycliffe–along with Biblica and American Bible Society–account for 90% of all Bible translations worldwide, they would become key players in making this dream a reality.

"Mart believed that if he could bring us together with donors, we would be able to have a good start toward populating [the Digital Bible Library] with biblical texts," Creson recounts.

The Digital Bible Library is a digital database with the capacity to hold Scripture translations in all of the world's 6,000 languages. It makes God's Word available to ministries and missionaries so they can share the Good News with communities, in a language and format the groups can engage with.

The result, Creson hopes, is life transformation.

He explains, "Studies show that if you can get people into the Word several times during the week, it has tremendous influence over the choices that they make for their lives. Really what we're in this for is changed lives.

"Jesus gave us this Great Commission to go and create disciples, and there are so many new and unique ways now that that can be accomplished."

While that's the end goal of ETEN and its Digital Bible Library, a lot of work remains. Approximately 2,000 languages currently have Bible translations. Creson says that along with putting those existing texts into the library, work has to be done on the remaining languages, too.

"There are just short of 2,000 languages now that still need Bible translations," says Creson. "It's accelerating rapidly in our generation, but they still need to be started; not only started, but finished as well."

Click here to see which areas have the greatest need for Scripture, and here to see how you can help Wycliffe get translation projects finished.

While most of the majority languages were translated by American Bible Society and are already being placed in the Digital Bible Library, Creson says Wycliffe's role is just as essential.

"French, Mandarin, Spanish, English: those all need to be in there, but Mart's vision is to make sure that even minority language communities [get in]," he explains. "And that's really where Wycliffe and the United Bible Societies come into play, because our commitment is to see that every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to hear the Good News of the Gospel."

Pray for perseverance as ministries and donors co-labor to build this massive Digital Bible Library.

"Pray that God would enable us to get translations started in these 1,970 communities that don't have any translation going," Creson requests. "Mostly, what we should pray is that God would continue to use His Word as He always does, to touch people's lives, touch people's hearts — that's a big issue."

Creson says financial resources are also needed to build and sustain the library. Click here to become a financial supporter of this Great Commission effort.

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