The Bible Project videos reaching millions with help of YouTube and crowdfunding

The Bible in different languages 

The Bible Project ventured out into the Spanish market just this year and already surpassed 200,000 subscribers on YouTube.

"I don't think we ever thought this many people would be engaging and finding the videos helpful. There is such a lack of great resources that are free for people around the world. Spanish was the first language we kicked off,” said McDonald. 

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With over 100 videos already done in Spanish, each video is localized featuring Spanish artists. The Bible Project doesn’t simply do voice-overs for their international video either, they select local people to share the video content in their native tongue. 

"We actually re-animate, redraw, through local indigenous folks that are doing the art and are doing all the voiceover. We do full translation. It's full-on,” McDonald disclosed. “It takes a while but we end up with a product that really feels like it was built for that context and for that people group.”

The Bible Project also has videos in Hungarian, Polish, Cantonese, French, German, Russian, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Mandarin which are all at different stages. 

“Some of the newer ones, we've only got 15 or 20 videos done, but those are all YouTube channels that people can access right away in their countries and in their context,” he noted.

The goal is to have videos in 54 languages in the next seven years, with each video fully localized.

The Bible Project regularly supports organizations and churches who wish to integrate their videos into sermons and teachings. The crowdfunding has made it possible for McDonald to travel and assist in doing so. 

Worship & Creative Pastor Jeffrey Abyad of Capital Life Church, Arlington, Virginia, said his church community joined a YouVersion Bible reading plan for a year that incorporated The Bible Project videos. 

“We loved it. The visuals are such an illuminating way to look at scripture, and the theological depth of concepts distilled into such an interesting and easily understandable format have been invaluable,” Abyad admired. 

“It has re-energized my hunger for the word in a whole new way. I’m very grateful for the Bible Project — their passion for God’s word and their creativity and dedication to sharing their insightful content with the world free of charge,” he supported.

North Point Ministries Pastor Andy Stanley in Atlanta, and Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, have both been known to use the project in their ministries. Celebration Church has fully integrated The Bible Project into their services. They play a video every Sunday in front of their entire gathering as well as in their kids and youth groups. 

Nonprofit organizations such as Cru, Young Life, Alpha, Prison Fellowship, and Bible Study Fellowship further integrate the teaching videos.  

Because it's done on YouTube and focuses solely on scripture and biblical history, the project allows for multiple denominations to use the video. The Bible Project avoids partnerships with ministries or organizations to avoid mis-associations. The outreach tool encourages everyone to use their videos as long as the content remains free and they use YouTube links.

"If you're on YouTube, the way that YouTube works is I can put a Beyonce video on my Facebook from YouTube, it doesn't mean that I know Beyonce or am partnered with Beyonce,” McDonald reasoned. “That's allowed us to stay very ecumenical in our approach to serve the big C church, whether it's Pentecostal, Protestant, Catholic, or whatever.”

"The goal is to help people! We're the Bible project, not the theology project. We're just talking about what the Bible is saying, in that context for that moment.

"The foundation that we'll lay down will be extremely helpful for you and your church, and then if you take it a little bit further, that's up to you as a shepherd, as a pastor, to shepherd your people in that way,” he said.

The video does not subscribe to a particular Bible translation as Mackey is fluent in Hebrew and studies from the word from that translation, then explains it in English.  

The ultimate goal for them would be to turn the corner on the Bible Christianity side of things, and really move the needle in people being able to actually read the Bible with confidence, McDonald concluded. 

"Jesus taught from the Bible all the time. So if it was important to Him, in His ministry, to teach from texts that were a thousand, 1,500, 2,000 years old, then I think it's got to be important to us,” he concluded. “At the end of all of this, if we have people go, 'I love to read the Bible. I get excited about it, It's crazy, It's weird, It's interesting, but I dive into it,' that would be a huge win."

Check out The Bible Project on YouTube. For more information visit the website.

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