SCRIPTURE TRANSLATIONS FOR 723 MILLION PEOPLE COMPLETED BY BIBLE SOCIETIES IN 2022
In 2022, the third consecutive year marked by global disruptions, Bible Societies around the world completed Scripture translations in 81 languages used by 723 million people.
From Brazil to Bangladesh, 57 language groups – a total of 100 million people – received first Scripture translations. New or revised translations were completed in another 25 languages used by over 623 million people. These provide Scripture access to language communities whose needs are no longer met by previous translations.
“The unique and powerful story of UBS has Bible translation at its heart. Our translation teams are at the forefront of our mission as they strive to unlock the transforming power of God’s Word for their communities. It is a laborious task which requires sustained commitment and dedication – truly a ‘labour of love’. May Paul’s words to the Corinthians encourage each one of our translation colleagues to ‘remain firm and steadfast’,” comments Dirk Gevers, UBS Secretary General.
A BIBLE TRANSLATION COMPLETED IN RECORD TIME
The Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) translated the first full Bible into Okun in just five years, breaking its previous translation record – completing the Igala Common Language Bible in 11 years. The Okun ‘language’ is a variant of the Yoruba language. The Iroyin Ayo version is the Yoruba Bible in Common language produced by the Bible Society of Nigeria in 2005. Due to the Okun language’s proximity to Yoruba, the Iroyin Ayo was adopted as the Base Text for the project.
While it stands as a distinct translation, the Okun Bible is in many ways an adaptation of the Iroyin Ayo version of the Yoruba Bible, albeit using Okun nuances. At the dedication service of the Okun Bible which took place in November 2022, BSN President Bishop Dr. Timothy Banwo urged Okun speakers from all walks of life to read the Bible in their language regularly.
OLD MANUSCRIPTS RECEIVE A NEW LEASE OF LIFE
The translation of the Bible into Ge’ez was done around the 4th and 5th centuries and it has been serving Ethiopian Christianity for the last 15 centuries, having a significant impact on the socio-political and scientific history of Ethiopia. The Bible Society of Ethiopia took the initiative to collect the manuscripts from various sources as it was mandated and requested by the Ethiopia Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
In June 2022, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Patriarch, His Holiness Abune Matthias, presided over the dedication of the newly compiled and published Ge’ez Bible and remarked, “It is a new day for Ethiopia. I feel that we have joined the Christians of the 4th and 5th century as they first received the Word in the language that spoke to their heart. Now we have welcomed the Word that our Christians yearned for a long period of time and it is a treasure that has come to our homes.”
His Holiness Patriarch Matthias dedicating the newly published Ge’ez Bible.