In a great ordeal of affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality (2 Cor 8:2)
Only 554 languages (of 7,000) have full Bible translation.
Existing translations need revisions.
Let’s co-labor for God’s Word in His church!
If we believe God’s Word is inspired and inerrant, profitable and sufficient for Christians, why are there still so many languages without the Bible? A recent survey revealed that 72% of Americans think the Bible is available in all the world’s languages. In reality, only 554 languages have a full Bible translation.
Together 4 the Bible is a “fellowship campaign” of the Bible Translation Fellowship. We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your joy (2 Cor 8:2). The heart of the Bible Translation Fellowship beats around churches co-laboring together to support Bible translation, church planting, and theological education for equipping the next generation of pastors, authors, scholars, translators, counselors and disciplers of the Word.
How will the Word run rapidly and be glorified throughout the world (2Th. 3:1), unless we fellowship (i.e. co-labor and partner) together? Will you partner with others to support Bible translation as integrated with church planting and theological education? God is gathering people from every tribe and language for His glory, so come share the joy!
We start by praising God that the Bible has been translated into more than 554 languages! Thankfully, these are the major languages of the world, such that the majority of peoples on the earth have access to the Bible, or portions of it, in a language they can at least partially comprehend.
We also praise God that evangelicals are increasingly working together in ministry, to sharpen, encourage and help one another. We’ve seen this most clearly since 2006, with the Together for the Gospel conferences (www.t4g.org), and all the great partnerships that have come about from various conferences and partnerships like this.
Here at BTF, we want to encourage that evangelicals come Together 4 the Bible. We are (1) educating churches on translation needs and trends, and (2) encouraging you to be involved in bringing God’s living Word to His global church.
There is much work to be done to ensure that the 6,400+ minority languages of the world receive the Word of God. More than 513 million people, speaking 3,955 languages, have NO portion of the Word of God in their language. In fact, only 531 languages have a full Bible and 1,329 a NT. While many people in the world know multiple languages, they know them at different levels of competency and for different purposes. It is imperative that we equip local churches ministering in the minority languages on the frontiers of the mission field with quality translations of the Bible, both Old Testament and New Testament, for “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2Tim 3:16-17, NASB).
Let’s come Together 4 the Bible! Let’s partner with Bible translators who are integrating their work with church planting and theological education, so the next generation of pastors, scholars, authors, disciplers, and translators would be equipped to not only translate but accurately handle the precious and powerful Word of God in the ministry of the local church.
Paul exhorts the Corinthians to give by boasting that the Macedonian churches gave beyond their means, even begging Paul earnestly for the favor of partnering together in caring for the physical needs of the Jerusalem church during a famine (2 Cor 8). Since the Word of God is more important than food (Matt 4:4; Job 23:12), how much more ought we to contribute to the spiritual famine that is pervasive in a world of 7,000 languages, where more than 6,400 do not have a full Bible and only 1,333 have a New Testament?
Praise God that many churches are co-laboring to plant churches! Yet, we are missing two crucial ingredients in seeing healthy churches and church networks established: (1) Bible translation, integrated with (2) theological education. Whether through discipleship in the church, cf. 2Tim 2:2, or through parachurch schools, seminaries, and training institutions, theological education has long been a defining mark of healthy churches networking together to plant healthy churches. While theological education is also on the minds of many churches, Bible translation seems regularly ignored. Let’s work together to support those who integrate church planting, theological education and Bible translation in missions.
BTF’s Partner List is composed of ministries and missionaries that work faithfully in the triad of Bible translation disciplines. We recommend these to you as you consider the privilege of partnership in the progress of the Gospel and the glory of the Word in the local church. If you already support translators, great! If you already support pastors on the mission field, train and equip them to serve as exegetical consultants on their local Bible translation committee.
Rather than BTF collecting funds, we prefer to find faithful ministries working to unite Bible translation with church planting and theological education. Once someone is approved as a Partner, we list them on our Partner page so you can support them directly. We also like this model because it allows local churches the freedom to partner according to their theological convictions, while still encouraging Bible translation work.
If you’d like to co-labor Together 4 the Bible:
- Start praying (with others and in public gatherings of Christians!) for Bible translation work,
- Talk with your church leadership about supporting translation work,
- Consider co-laboring with one of our Partners,
- Join our quarterly newsletter list, and
- Spread the word about BTF through your social media.
For more information on ways to come Together 4 the Bible, contact us at: fellowship[at]bibletranslationfellowship[dot]org.
We praise God for your partnership in the progress of the gospel through church planting, theological education and Bible translation!
Sign up here for our newsletters.