Scripture & Language Statistics 2017
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:
- YouVersion celebrated making Scripture available in over 1100 languages.
- Faith Comes by Hearing also has recordings of Scripture in over 1100 languages.
- The JESUS film is available in over 1500 languages.
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.