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God’s Word Now Available to Speakers of 2,403 Languages

By Wolfgang Polzer

Friday, February 17, 2006

READING (ANS) -- Scripture translation is making progress. In 2005, a further four language groups received the full Bible in their mother tongue for the first time. This brings the number of languages in which the complete Old and New Testament exists to 426.

The latest Scripture Language Report published by the United Bible Societies in Reading, England, also reveals that the New Testament was made available for the first time in a further 39 languages, making a total of 1,115.

You are the light of the worldAlong with the 826 languages in which Bible portions exist, at least some part of God’s Word is now available to speakers of 2,403 languages.

Some of the new translations will bring the Bible to relatively large communities. Gulmancema, for example, is spoken in West Africa by approximately 600,000 people in Burkina Faso and a further 200,000 in Benin, Togo and Niger.

But also the 10,000 residents of Santa Isabel in the Solomon Islands may rejoice in the new translation of the Bible into their mother tongue, Cheke Holo.

The task of translating the “Book of Books” is by no means finished. Experts estimate that there are around 6,500 languages in all. So there are still more than 4,000 translations to complete.

Wolfgang Polzer (55), is senior news editor of the Evangelical News Agency idea, Wetzlar (Germany), which he joined in 1981. In all, he has spent 29 years in Christian media. Wolfgang can be contacted by e-mail at:

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