By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (ANS) — Newly released statistics from Wycliffe Bible Translators — the world's largest Bible translation organization — confirm that significant progress has been made toward making Scripture available to all languages.
For the first time, 55 million people worldwide have portions of Scripture in their own language(1). However,193 million people are still without access to the Bible's Christmas story(2).
The survey results, released in a media advisory obtained by ANS, show that while some 95 percent of all Americans will celebrate Christmas(3) this year, 193 million people(4) worldwide — representing 2,251 languages(5) — will again have no access to the original Christmas story in a language that is meaningful to them.
"Wycliffe is not only using, but developing cutting-edge technology that-when combined with tried-and-true language development techniques-is accelerating the pace of Bible translation," said Bob Creson, president of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA. "These statistics reflect millions of people who, for the first time, have some access to Scripture in the language they understand best."
Wycliffe Bible Translators is the world's largest Bible translation organization.
Since it's founding, Wycliffe has been involved in more than half of all Scripture translations: 721 New Testament and Bible translations impacting more than 80 million people.
Wycliffe USA is one of over 70 affiliated Wycliffe organizations around the world that are assisting the Church in making disciples of all nations through Bible translation.
Wycliffe's worldwide Bible translation work — and the language development that is a foundational element of each translation — affects the efforts of countless other Christian ministries, relief organizations, governments and more. Its reach can be seen through improved literacy rates, health care, government relations and advocacy programs. Visit www.DeMossNewsPond.com/Wycliffe or www.Wycliffe.org .
Bible Translation by the Numbers:
74: The average number of new Bible translation projects started each year (2000-2007)-an increase from an average of 25 per year in the 1990s(6)
One new translation launched every five days: Today's translation rate(7)
As of 2007: 2,251 Languages still without a translation of the Bible (no translation work has been started)(8)
As of 2000: 3,000 Languages were without a translation of the Bible (no translation work had been started)(9)
6.5 Billion: World Population(10)
6,912: Languages spoken in the World(11) (311 languages spoken in the U.S.)(12)
(1) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(2) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(3) 2005 Fox News Poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation
(4) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(5) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(6) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(7) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(8) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(9) 2007 Wycliffe Bible Translators
(10) U.S. Census Bureau
(11) Ethnologue, 15th edition 2005
(12) U.S. Census Bureau
Additional stats are available at www.DeMossNewsPond.com/Wycliffe/presskit/2007Statistics.htm