Can you imagine not having a Bible to read? Think about all you have learned from your Bible and how its message has transformed your life.
Since you are reading this in English, you are one of the very blessed! I mean, you have the choice of reading the Bible in over one hundred different English versions. The English Bible can be read from your computer, your phone, your E-reader or from a book. You can have a pocket Bible, a large print Bible, a study Bible, or a parallel Bible.
You can even listen to your Bible on the go. Think about the scores of Bible study helps written in the English language. You really are among the blessed of the world.
So imagine not having a Bible to read. I don’t mean you just haven’t purchased a Bible, No! I mean the Bible has not even been translated into the language you speak.
What would your life be like with no Bible to read, no Bible to listen to, and no Bible helps to explain or give understanding?
This is a reality for millions of people today.
Approximately 7000 languages are spoken in the world today. Only about 8% of those languages have the entire Bible.
Many language groups have portions of the Bible, but translation has not yet started in nearly 1800 languages.
This means that almost 200 million people cannot read the Bible in their own language.
Since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” how will these people hear and believe the message?
How can they become disciples of One whom they do not know?
Read the following article to learn more about the importance of translating the Scriptures.
“God Speaks My Language!”
Does God know English? We may not stop to think about it, but yes, He does! Even though the Bible was primarily written in Hebrew and Greek, we understand that God can still speak to us through His Word translated into English. We pray to God in English, and He speaks to our hearts in return.
Many people do not know that God speaks their language. To them, God feels distant, a foreigner to their culture. When Scripture is first translated into a new language, native speakers often express what they truly grasp for the first time: “God speaks my language!” A God who communicates in their heart language no longer seems like a foreigner, but is someone they can learn to know and trust.
Most people in the world, including many who speak minority languages without the Scriptures, speak a second language. For instance, many of the Mixtec people of Mexico also speak some Spanish. So why invest years in a Mixtec translation when they can read a Spanish Bible?
In reality, although many of the Mixtec can speak Spanish, Spanish is not their heart language. Heart language, or mother tongue, is the language we grow up speaking in our homes, and in which we most naturally think, dream, and build relationships.
Consider what it would be like if God's communication with you through His Word came through a second language. What if you could never read the Bible in English? What if your God was a God of another language? How would this affect your relationship with and understanding of Him?
The Scripture in Their Heart Language
English speakers have been able to read the Bible in their heart language for five hundred years. We may hardly realize the blessing we have because of the toil of men who gave their lives to translating the Bible into English.
But shouldn't God's Word be made available in the heart language of every person? We know that God speaks every language. If nearly eighteen hundred language groups have not even one verse of Scripture, what would He have us do?
All-Nations Bible Translation has been established as an answer to that question, an opportunity for Anabaptist people to participate in responding to this need.
Join us in praying that the Lord will send laborers to these fields, and that millions more will know the God who speaks their language.