The Bible Translation Roadmap

An ambitious translation plan

Every journey needs a road map and a Bible translation journey, which is often fraught with pitfalls, is no exception. That’s why the United Bible Societies (UBS), of which Bible Society New Zealand is a member, has launched an ambitious new plan called the Bible Translation Roadmap.

Even though the Bible is now available in more languages and forms than ever before, there are still one billion people who don’t have access to the Bible in their own language!

Therefore, UBS aims to complete 1,200 translations within 20 years making God’s Word accessible to 600 million more people worldwide! The work is already underway. Out of the 1,200 translations, 63 are completed, 277 are in progress and 860 are waiting to start.

The Bible Translation Roadmap will coordinate the work of translation experts and local translators. It will help to sustain the momentum of these translation projects through the many challenges they face, such as those faced by the translators of the Birifor translation project in Burkina Faso.

It’s a project that began in the 1960s when New Zealander, Brian Woodford, went to Burkina Faso to live among the Birifor people. At that time there was no written language and only one or two believers. Brian helped to create an orthography (alphabet) and working with local pastors began translating the New Testament which was published in 1993.

Today, work on the Birifor Old Testament continues amidst many challenges, including computer equipment, transport, security and infrastructure issues, and bereavement and health issues among the translators. It’s thanks to the generosity of supporters like you who have been supporting this project for many years that work on the Birifor Old Testament continues.

The Bible Translation Roadmap will help to support translation projects like this one, navigating them through the many issues and challenges that arise over the lifespan of a project.

As part of this plan, Bible Society New Zealand is currently raising funds to help translation projects in New Zealand, the South Pacific, Thailand and Vietnam, which you can discover more about here.

Our Bible translation projects for 2020