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2020 best year ever for Bible translators

by Tola Mbakwe

An international Bible translation organisation has said 2020 proved to be their most productive year yet. Wycliffe Associates said it completed more Bible translations in 2020 than in any other single year.

New Testament translations were completed in 141 languages and eight more languages now have completed translations of the Old Testament.

Tim Neu, interim president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates said: “Instead of slowing down because of Covid-19, for some national Bible translators, translation has actually accelerated.

“I’ve been humbled to see how believers in difficult areas, some in places of intense persecution and real danger, have been absolutely unwavering in their dedication to the cause.”

The organisation, which began in 1967, sets up new translation projects through workshops that teach local translators Bible translation methodology to accelerate Bible translation. The process trains mother-tongue Bible translators to work together to translate the scriptures for their language communities.

Last year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Wycliffe Associates launched a web-based approach that enables local translators to participate remotely in a virtual Bible translation event and collaborate throughout the translation and checking process.

“Covid lockdowns kept Bible translators home, but our online Bible translation system enabled many to continue their work together,” Neu said.

The charity said it costs $19,500 to launch a Bible translation in a new language. Currently. Wycliffe Associates has 773 Bible translations in progress and has received requests from 273 language groups seeking help with launching Bible translations this year.

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