An estimated 5.8 billion people now have all or some of the Holy Bible translated into their first language, and the Bible is now in more than 2,800 different languages, according to a recent announcement by Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.
"Last year, Wycliffe Global Alliance reported that 4.9 billion people could access at least part of the Bible in their first language. This year the number has grown to 5.8 billion," Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe, told The Christian Post. "This represents tremendous progress toward our goal of starting a translation project in every language needing one by 2025."
Creson also told CP that technological advances in areas like translation are "a critical role in speeding up the translation process."
"Software like Adapt It automates some parts of the translation process, dramatically cutting down the time required to produce first drafts in related languages," said Creson.
"We have also adapted a cluster-project model for translating. Rather than developing each translation independently, cluster projects bring similar languages together so translators can share skills and insights with each other."
Wycliffe Global Alliance, which is comprised of over 120 organizations from more than 60 nations including Wycliffe USA, broke the statistics in a press release.
"There are about 7000 languages in active use and at least one book of Scripture exists in almost 2,900 of these languages," noted WGA. "At least 1.3 billion people do not have the full Bible available in their first language. Over 634 million of these have the New Testament; others have portions or at least some level of work begun."
The Wycliffe organization credited efforts like YouVersion's Bible App, Faith Comes by Hearing audio Scriptures and the "JESUS" film in using twenty-first century technology to reach out to remote regions.
"Though there has been astounding progress toward complete global Bible access, there is a lot of work to be done to reach the 1.3 billion people around the world without the full Bible," commented Creson to CP. "God has been faithful in bringing the people and technology required to complete this mission, and we're confident that someone alive today will start the last new Bible translation project."