Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that translates Bibles into multiple languages worldwide, set a new record after producing more Bible translations in 2020 than in any given year.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Tim Neu, interim president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, noted that for some national Bible translators, Bible translation “has actually accelerated” instead of slowed down, The Christian Post reports.
“I’ve been humbled to see how believers in difficult areas, some in places of intense persecution and real danger, have been absolutely unwavering in their dedication to the cause,” Neu said in a statement published by Wycliffe Associates.
The organization, which has been working since 1967 to translate Bibles into every language, managed to complete translations of the Old Testament in 8 languages. Additionally, the New Testament was translated into 141 languages.
At the present time, Wycliffe has 773 Bible translations in progress and has acquired requests from 273 language groups in need of launching more translations of God’s Word in 2021. Typically, it takes $19,500 to create a Bible translation in a new language.
In reaction to the pandemic, Wycliffe Associates utilized a technological approach in accelerating Bible translation, such as encouraging other-tongue translators to partake in virtual translation events while collaborating during the translation and checking process.
“COVID lockdowns kept Bible translators home,” Neu said, “but our online Bible translation system enabled many to continue their work together.”
Last year, the organization released a New Testament Translation for the blind and deaf, believing that it can reach about 56 million people with zero access to the Gospel.
The translation is a notation known as the SUN (Symbolic Universal Notation), as it symbolizes the words found in the Scripture, “to provide a pathway to Christ for millions of deaf and blind people who have no other way of effectively communicating with the world.”
“Basically, what we have done is taken the New Testament and broken it down into the main concepts of each of the verses and each of the chapters. For each concept, we have created a symbol,” SUN Program Director Lori Jenkins told The Christian Post at the time.
According to Wycliffe Associates, The SUN is also supposed to be a means of education because an estimated 70 million people are born deaf worldwide and around “80 percent of them can’t communicate in their local sign language.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.