There are over 500 hundred Bible translations today. As the American Church, we have access to these translations in an instant as even our phones can switch from one translation of the Word to another. With so much accessibility, it is easy to forget the wonder and necessity of having the written Word. We are blessed with an abundance of Biblical access, yet there are so many who are not.
Imagine life without God’s Word. To be without it is to be without the knowledge and hope of His promises, the revelation of His character, and the truths which root us in Christ. The translation of Scripture into native languages is an essential aspect of Christian Missions. As the Church, we must be compelled to see this part of missions fulfilled.
The Necessity Of Bible Translation
Translating the Bible is not just one part of Christian missions, it is vital to all Christian Missions. Romans 10.17 emphasizes this, as Paul says, “faith comes from hearing and hearing through the Word of Christ.” To live out the Great Commission of “making disciples of every nation,” we must make it our aim to bring the Word to those who do not have it that they may grow in faith. Scripture translated is essential for people to understand the Word of Jesus which cultivates faith and brings salvation.
Around 2,000 languages do not have one word of Scripture in their tongue. There is a great imbalance between the languages that have an abundance of translations and languages that have none. Because we have access to that which was translated for us hundreds of years ago, it is our responsibility to bring that to the people who do not yet know the Word of God.
As we the church read and respond to the Great Commission of Matthew 28, we need to understand that a crucial aspect of “making disciples of every nation” is bringing Scripture to them in their tongue that they may read and understand every word and declaration of the Lord.
When we read the Word, we are compelled into a heart of worship. This is the ultimate purpose of our existence, as we have been created to worship the Lord. Revelation 5:7 and 7:9 shows us that one day people from every tribe, tongue, and nation will stand before the throne and worship the Lord. We are invited into God’s plan to bring all peoples before Him in praise. To do this, we must bring the written Word, which compels us to Him, to all people in every language.
How To Join The Mission Of Bible Translation
Not everyone can or desires to be the ones physically translating Scripture, yet everyone can play a part in seeing the Word translated in every tongue.
Here are ways that you can respond to the need and mission.
- Find cross-cultural missionaries to partner with in prayer and financial support. To go, missionaries need to be sent. There is so much significance in someone’s devotion to supporting missionaries that they are equipped to share the Gospel and bring the Word across the nations.
- Pray for every tribe, tongue, and nation to receive the Word of God in their native language that they may know salvation. We are invited by the Lord to partner with Him in prayer. If the deepest desire of God is for all people to come to worship Him by knowing His Word, this should be our deepest desire. If this is our desire, we should aim to be in prayer for it to be fulfilled.
- Read and Respond to Scripture. We have the gift of possessing the Word. Let us never take for granted our ability to know the Lord through Scripture in ever increasing ways. We may be filled with His Word so that we can go and share with the world.
- Share the need. There is a great lack of knowledge about the need for Bible translation. Because Scripture is so easily accessible for us, we can fail to recognize that it is not that way for others. By sharing about this need we may be actively mobilizing others to respond!
The Joy Of Bible Translation
To be able to bring the Word across the nations is an honor and joy! When people encounter the Word of God, their lives and hearts are transformed. If you are a follower of Christ, you have experienced and are experiencing this very thing through the Word coming into your heart and mind. Just as we have received Scripture, we must count it as an honor to share it. There is immense importance in people of every tongue knowing the Word in their language, and we have been given the gift of partnering with God to bring it. As we read, study, and hear the Word, let us consider how we can partake in sharing that which brings life to those who are longing for it.
Ethnos360 Bible Institute is a college wholly devoted to teaching through Scripture with an emphasis on cross- cultural missions and bringing the Word to every language group. Want to learn more? Request your free information packet today!