Bible Translators to End Bible Poverty by 2033

Ten of the world’s leading Bible translation agencies launched an ambitious campaign—making Scripture available in every language by 2033.

The “I Want to Know” campaign aims to “make God’s Word accessible to all people by 2033.” Spearheaded by the alliance of Bible translation partners called IllumiNations, the project offers people the opportunity to help in this gargantuan endeavor, reports Uganda Christian News.

IllumiNations revealed that more than 1 billion people in the world do not have access to the Bible in their native language. In addition, 3,800 language communities do not have a complete Bible, and more than 2,000 of those languages do not have a single verse of the Bible translated yet. The Deaf Bible Society disclosed that 95% of sign languages have no Bible translation at all.

The translators are in place, the strategy is in place, and with support from Christians across the US and around the world, we can help every single person on earth access Scripture in the language they understand best. —Bill McKendry, I Want to Know creative director

“Can you imagine not having the Bible in English, or your native language?” asked Mart Green, Ministry Investment Officer at Hobby Lobby and a supporter of IllumiNations. “One billion people still don’t know what God’s Word has to say to them. We can help fulfill the Great Commission and eradicate ‘Bible poverty’ in this generation.”

Walkie, a native speaker of the Yupik language of Alaska, shared his experience upon learning the Bible’s message the first time. He said before his mother died she was able to read Psalm 139 in their native tongue. “And she said, ‘Oh! So that is what it means to us!”

Another testimony from Hodan showed the importance of having access to Scripture in sign language. She said all her knowledge about faith came from another person signing to her. Hodan wanted a translated Bible so she, among other people who communicate in Quebec Sign Language, have more opportunity to read and learn about the Bible.

Individuals and churches can join the campaign. Over 200 pages of various languages are still in need of a translated Bible and IllumiNations welcomes all help from people. For only $35, participants in the initiative can sponsor “one Bible verse translated in a language awaiting God’s Word.”  The creators also encourage the public to create awareness about the campaign by posting the Bible verse they “want the world to know” in their social media accounts with the hashtag #IWTKBible.

“I would love for people to know about this and to be celebrating…this first in all of human history opportunity that His Word would be available for all people and every living language across planet earth,” said Biblica’s CEO Geof Morin.

Bill McKendry, campaign creative director, said, “The translators are in place, the strategy is in place, and with support from Christians across the US and around the world, we can help every single person on earth access Scripture in the language they understand best.”

The “I Want to Know” campaign hopes that “95% of the world’s population will have access to a full Bible, 99.96% will have access to a New Testament and 100% will have access to at least some portion of Scripture in 12 years.”

IllumiNations includes the American Bible Society, Biblica, Deaf Bible Society, Lutheran Bible Translators, Seed Company, SIL International, United Bible Societies, The Word for the World, Pioneer Bible Translators and Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.

Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@onechristianvoice.com.