Every Tribe, Every Nation

When does the Bible as a printed book no longer serve its purpose to inspire people and offer them hope? One answer is when you can’t find the Bible in the language of your choice. Another is when you want the Bible in a non-print format. Now, thanks to the generosity of the Mart Green family of Oklahoma City, the inspiring and life-changing message of the Bible will one day be available in all living languages and in digital formats. 

Every Tribe Every Nation brings together the largest Bible agencies in the world – United Bible Societies, American Bible Society, Biblica, and Wycliffe Bible Translators – which collectively have more than 500 years of translation experience and are involved in 90 percent of all work being done globally. At the heart of Every Tribe Every Nation is the Digital Bible Library, a secure but accessible collection of high-quality translations. From this library, websites and mobile devices can become portals for people to engage with God’s Word and ministry resources for Christian leaders, who can print materials on demand or share video clips in the languages of the people they serve. 

Together with frontline ministries such as Bible Search and YouVersion, the Digital Bible Library allows us to increase accessibility and accelerate distribution of Scripture translations around the globe. This library is the key to opening up ministry opportunities from South America to Asia, where 261 million people have no access to Scripture in their heart language or the language of their homes. By 2015, the Digital Bible Library is expected to hold more than 1, 000 translations, helping reach people who desperately need to hear the Words of Life. 

There are currently some 7,105 living languages in the world, according to one authoritative source called the Ethnologue, only a fraction of which have either a full Bible or any portion of it. One of the project’s first steps is to discern which of the Scripture-less languages should be given priority. If a language has many speakers, it may rank higher than a language that is considered endangered because there are too few speakers. 

The work of translating the Bible into all the 7,105 languages and then converting the translations into software formats will span the next 20 to 25 years. ABS will bring the Nida Institute, its research and service arm, into the project to provide training and capacity building for the many teams and scholars deployed across the project. 

For more information, visit www.everytribeeverynation.org.