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YouVersion Bible, illumiNations set ambitious goal to provide translations to 95 percent of world by 2033

The YouVersion Bible app team is teaming up with the Bible translation team illumiNations to provide access to scripture to 95 percent of the global population by 2033.

“There’s a lot of languages that are spoken in the world that people may not be aware of how many languages are spoken,” YouVersion founder Bobby Gruenewald said. “It’s well over 6,000 languages. But unfortunately, in spite of the fact that we’ve had the Bible in English for many years, we take it for granted that there are still many people and thousands of languages that actually have no access to Scripture at all, no scripture in their heart language.

“They might speak another language, but it’s not their heart language, the language that they spoke when they were young. And so, we’re definitely excited about being a part of an effort to change that and make that reality different going forward.”

Despite past difficulties, new translation methods and advancing technology paired with the collaborative effort with illumiNations is speeding up the translation process, Gruenewald said. He hopes the new efforts will allow for most of the world to have access to the Bible in their mother tongue in the next decade or so.

“We think it’s possible in most of our lifetimes to be able to see God’s word translated into 100 percent of the languages; to see the New Testament available in 99.96 percent of the languages available; and the entire Bible translated in 95 percent of the languages, which is just really a goal that seemed impossible,” Gruenewald said. “And most people thought it would be at least another 100 or 200 years at the pace that we were going, there’s been a rapid acceleration, and it’s still a lot of work to come, but there’s definitely hope and a sense of that to be possible by 2033.”

YouVersion has translated the Bible into 2,500 languages. The group is also currently translating over 1,700 languages. According to the illumiNations website, the Bible still needs to be translated into about 3,732 languages.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice