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Who is Wycliffe

Sharing Hope Through Bible Translation

Wycliffe’s History

It all began in 1917 when William Cameron Townsend (known by friends as “Cam”) went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. When Cam realized that most of the people he was meeting didn’t understand the Bible in Spanish, he knew something had to change. Deep down, Cam thought everyone should be able to read God’s Word in the language of their heart. And it’s that belief that ultimately led him to establish Wycliffe Bible Translators.

William Cameron Townsend goes to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles.

1917

The Cakchiquel New Testament is completed.

1931

At least 1,000 languages around the world are believed to still be without Scripture.

1933

Summer linguistic courses begin. Later, they would become known as SIL International.

1934

Another 1,300+ languages are discovered in the Pacific alone. Wycliffe’s job is more than doubled overnight!

1955

The first portable computer is used for linguistic fieldwork.

1976

An estimated 5,000 languages are spoken in the world. Of those, 3,000-3,500 are still without Scripture.

1982

"Vision 2025" is established with a goal of a translation program in progress for every language still needing one by the year 2025.

1999

John and Bonnie Nystrom pioneer cluster translation projects in Papua New Guinea.

2001

Nearly 7,000 languages are spoken around the world. Up to 1,800 languages still likely need Bible translation to begin.

2015

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