Nationals in Indonesia are Translating the Bible to Reach Historic Milestone for Their Language Group
March 1, 2021 | Orlando, Florida
(Orlando, Florida, USA)— Wycliffe Associates, an international organization that empowers mother-tongue Bible translators and partners with local churches in the advancement of Bible translation, is working with nationals in Indonesia to translate the Bible for a remote language group. It’s the first piece of literature the group will have in their language.
“This isn’t just the first Scripture translation project for this language group; this is the first translation project of any kind for this language group,” says Tim Neu, Interim President of Wycliffe Associates.
With more than 700 languages spoken in Indonesia, numerous language groups in the archipelago nation are without a single verse of the Scriptures in their own language. In fact, many have never seen a Bible in their language.
Wycliffe Associates hopes to begin Bible translation soon for an additional 30 languages in Indonesia spoken by groups who live in hard-to-reach places isolated by heavy jungles and mountainous terrain.
“I look at the 30 language groups waiting and hoping for Bible translation tools, and I don’t see a language on the list that most Americans have ever heard of,” says Neu.
Through its Church Owned Bible Translation, Wycliffe Associates trains native speakers of a language to translate the Scriptures for themselves using a collaborative Bible translation methodology. The organization also provides technology to facilitate the Bible translation, which includes computer tablets loaded with translation software and connectivity tools to access online translation resources and collaborate with other Bible translators.
“Even in the age of COVID, with movement restricted, in areas of intense anti-Christian persecution, and when travel is difficult because of rough terrain or deep poverty, national translators can continue to work together to translate the Scriptures into their own heart language,” says Neu.
Although Indonesia is more than 87 percent Muslim, Neu says that Christianity has begun to gain a foothold in certain areas of the country, making the need for Bible translation even more critical.
“Without God’s Word in their own languages, many are deceived, mixing Christianity with their ancient superstitions” says Neu. “To them, it seems that God doesn’t speak their language. So they lack understanding.”
It takes $19,500 to launch a new Bible translation project, and Wycliffe Associates is currently raising funds to launch translations for the 30 languages in Indonesia.
Wycliffe Associates has Bible translations in progress in 758 languages around the world and has seen the completion of 455 New Testaments.
About Wycliffe Associates
One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Church Owned Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 68 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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