Bible Translation Statistics

As we cel­e­brate the mile­stone of trans­lated Scrip­ture in more than 3300 lan­guages, we cel­e­brate that God is ac­com­plish­ing His mis­sion through His power and through part­ner­ship. More mis­sion or­gan­i­sa­tions, churches and Chris­t­ian com­mu­ni­ties are be­com­ing in­volved in the min­istry of Bible translation.

At least 1.5 bil­lion peo­ple do not have the full Bible avail­able in their first lan­guage. Over 652 mil­lion of these have the New Tes­ta­ment; oth­ers have por­tions or at least some level of trans­la­tion or prepara­tory work begun.

There is known ac­tive trans­la­tion and/or lin­guis­tic de­vel­op­ment hap­pen­ing in 2584 lan­guages across more than 170 countries.

As of 1 Oc­to­ber 2017, over 114 million people, speaking 1636 languages, are likely to need some form of Bible translation to begin.

To­day ap­prox­i­mately 100 or­gan­i­sa­tions from more than 60 na­tions form the Wycliffe Global Al­liance. By pro­vid­ing staff, funds, train­ing, trans­la­tion and sup­port ser­vices, Al­liance or­gan­i­sa­tions are cur­rently in­volved in at least 2125 of the 2584 languages known to have active work.

Wycliffe Global Al­liance or­gan­i­sa­tions and per­son­nel have been in­volved in the trans­la­tion of Bibles and New Tes­ta­ments in more than 950 lan­guages. At least one of the Bible’s 66 books has been pub­lished in an ad­di­tional 600 lan­guages. Many other lan­guages have other ini­tial por­tions published.

Work­ing in com­mu­nity part­ner­ships, Al­liance per­son­nel not only as­sist in Scrip­ture-re­lated goals but also help pro­duce thou­sands of re­sources for lit­er­acy, ed­u­ca­tion, health and other com­mu­nity-based ob­jec­tives along­side Scripture.

An ever in­creas­ing num­ber of Scrip­ture prod­ucts are now in dig­i­tal for­mats as text, au­dio and video. These are of­ten avail­able on web­sites, so­cial me­dia or through a va­ri­ety of phone apps, as well as in for­mats that can be eas­ily shared phone-to-phone in places with lim­ited internet.

Also in 2017:

There are many ad­di­tional part­ner­ships and new ini­tia­tives con­tribut­ing to the growth of Bible trans­la­tion move­ments and the dis­tri­b­u­tion and use of God’s Word.

We re­port pre­cise num­bers on what we know but we fre­quently hear of new work and of trans­la­tions pre­vi­ously un­counted, mean­ing these num­bers con­tinue to fluc­tu­ate. Ad­di­tion­ally, we do not have a fig­ure for the num­ber of peo­ple who have prayed or given fi­nan­cially so that oth­ers might give their time and some­times their lives to this work. More im­por­tantly, we can­not count how many lives have been pos­i­tively af­fected as a re­sult of Bible trans­la­tion. We speak on be­half of mil­lions of lives across the world when we say, “Thank you!”

Sta­tis­tics are rarely as sim­ple as the num­bers im­ply.  Please read the FAQ sheet before quot­ing these figures. Wycliffe Global Al­liance pre­sen­ta­tions of Scrip­ture and Lan­guage Sta­tis­tics are com­piled from data provided through Progress.Bible by Wycliffe Organisations, SIL International, United Bible Societies and many other partners. Data is current as of Oct 1 2017. Population data is based on available information about first language speakers in SIL’s Ethnologue.

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From Copyright © 2017 Wycliffe Global Alliance

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In the beginning was the Word

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