About 3,000 years ago, God reached toward Mount Sinai to inscribe words onto stone tablets with His finger (Exodus 31:18). From that point on, He has been reaching toward humankind with words – living, life-giving words. The church has been actively working for thousands of years to translate God’s Word into every language on earth and with unprecedented unity and by increasing resources and new technology.
Now, the Bible translation movement is accelerating like never before. Every nation, tribe, and tongue receiving God’s Word has become a reality for this generation.
What the Future Holds
There are over 7,000 languages spoken around the world and, although hard to believe, about 3,600 still have little or no access to Scripture. But illumiNations, an alliance of the largest Bible translation organizations in the world, has been formed with a shared commitment to eradicate this Bible poverty. The alliance uniquely combines the perspectives of missiology and philanthropy by bringing together implementers and investors, recognizing these realities as symbiotic. One informs the other; one complements the other. Understood together, these realities can inform effective participation in God’s mission.
IllumiNations advocates for every verse in every language according to the expressed need of the church. However, as a milestone toward this destination, the alliance envisions a day soon when every human heart could experience at least some portion of Scripture in a language that is most personal and intimate to them. This vision is expressed in the alliance’s “All Access Goals” targeted to be accomplished by 2033, 12 short years away.
There are over
languages spoken around the world.
IllumiNations envisions that by 2033, 95 percent of the world’s population will have access to a full Bible, 99.96 percent will have access to a New Testament and 100 percent of the world’s population will have access to at least some portion of Scripture. In the world’s most strategic 100 written languages, at least two viable Bible translations will be available.
And hard to believe, about
still have little or no access to Scripture.
Efficiency of an Alliance
Alliance Bible translation organizations have demonstrated unprecedented unity in driving toward these goals. Working collaboratively, they have reduced duplication and redundancies in the work of Bible translation and accelerated the process of better quality, faster, and less expensive Scripture translation. Together, they have created a shared repository for digital and audio texts, adopted a common framework for the task of Bible translation, and are developing a comprehensive ecosystem of tools and information. This shared commitment to common operating principles, processes, and outcomes, as well as access to common data, now enables shared planning and implementation.
Bible translation efforts will continue to shift and evolve, as translation agencies adapt to changing economic models, unprecedented technological developments, and a rapidly expanding global Church.
In a spirit of generosity, humility, and integrity, illumiNations partners are also working together to raise the funds required for this immense undertaking. Investors are being invited to support the work of Bible translation with united vision. God has raised up some stunningly generous givers to underwrite this vision and to be a part of His plan to transform lives with His Word. These Gospel Patrons are enthusiastically embracing their powerful role in the expanding global community working to eradicate Bible poverty.
IllumiNations exists so all may come to know, through a language they understand best, the gift of salvation Jesus offers to them. The exceptional unity driving the Bible translation movement — 11 collaborating agencies and the broadening involvement of many others — propels us forward. It is an exciting time for the Bible translation movement.
As the road ahead continues to unfold, we find ourselves poised to be able to end Bible poverty across the globe. God’s Word is reaching and transforming people, communities, even whole nations. God will have the ultimate victory, drawing all people unto Him.
“All nations will come to His light.” – Isaiah 60:3