The “’YouVersion” Bible app team has reportedly partnered with the Bible translation organization “illumiNations” in an attempt to speed up Bible translation so that 95% of the world's languages would be covered – and more will be able to read the Good News by 2033.
Premier Christian News recently interviewed YouVersion's founder, Bobby Gruenewald, who said that Bible translation work has historically been difficult, resulting in many people across the world being unable to read Scriptures in their native tongue.
"There are so many languages spoken across the globe that many people are unaware," Gruenewald said in the interview.
He explained that there are more than 6000 languages and that, despite the existence of the English Bible, it should not be assumed that many people speaking thousands of other languages should be best deprived of their right to read Scripture in their own tongue.
"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," he said.
Gruenewald said that, despite previous challenges, new translation methods and technological advances, along with the joint effort with illumiNations, are accelerating the translation process. He believes that the new initiatives will enable the majority of the world's population to read the Bible in their native language over the next decade.
While the majority of people believed it would take at least another 100 or 200 years to finish Bible translations in every language spoken on Earth, the YouVersion founder said that at the rate they were progressing, there had been a significant acceleration. While there is still much work to be done, he said that there is certainly hope that it will be possible by 2033.
"We think it's possible in most of our lifetimes here by 2033," he continued."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 whole Bible, the entire Bible, translated in 95 percent of the languages, which is just really a goal that seemed impossible."
To date, YouVersion has reportedly finished translating the Bible into more than 2,500 languages. According to Christian Headlines, the organization is now actively translating the Bible into over 1,700 other languages.
A report published on the illumiNations website estimates that about 3,732 languages still need translation. Additionally, the translation endeavors with YouVersion involve ensuring that every person on the planet has access to at least some part of the Bible. Furthermore, the Bible translation team aims to have 100 of the world's "most strategic languages" published in "two viable translations"
Regarding the group's work during the pandemic, Premier Christian News noted that the YouVersion Bible app had its best year of growth in 2020 - amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The app also had video content that quickly became one of its most popular features.
"We've seen like 500 percent growth year over year," said Gruenewald.