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Wycliffe Associates Helping Mother-Tongue Translators Print Bibles Where Churches and Christians Are in Hiding

3 min read

 April, 2017

(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation is using technology to keep Bible translators safe as they both translate and print the Scriptures for their own language groups.

In areas of the world where the church and Christians are in hiding due to intense persecution, Wycliffe Associates provides compact, high-speed, digital printing systems that can be easily hidden in a safe location.

Mother-tongue Bible translators in these areas have been secretly asking for the printing systems, called Print On Demand (POD), which enable them to publish small portions of the Scriptures or an entire Bible discreetly and securely. A few, or many, copies of the Scriptures can then be distributed to churches.

“The moment they finish their work—even just a portion of Scripture—it goes on the printer,” said Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Those translators will head home with the Scriptures in hand, ready to share with their people.”

Wycliffe Associates’ creation of MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) workshops has generated an increasing demand for the printed Scriptures. MAST, a collaborative, rapid-translation method first piloted by Wycliffe Associates in 2014, drastically reduces translation time. Bible translations that once took 25 to 30 years to complete are now being reduced to a matter of weeks and months. At the first MAST workshop piloted in late 2014, a team of 13 mother-tongue translators drafted half of the New Testament over a two-week period.

“Churches worldwide are clamoring for Bibles, New Testaments, even individual books of the Bible, whatever they can get their hands on, to share with their people,” Smith said. “Our Print On Demand systems can answer the call and meet the need.”

Currently 30 translation groups worldwide need a POD system, which cost $15,000 each. In addition to helping Bible translators in areas where the church is in hiding, POD systems are helping Bible translators in language groups from remote, desolate areas of the world with no printing facilities for hundreds of miles. The systems also make the printed Scriptures accessible to those living in areas of deep poverty where it would be impossible for local Christians to cover the cost of printing Bibles through traditional methods.

“The wonderful truth is, Bible translation is now being launched in more new languages than at any moment in human history,” said Smith. “These translations will move at amazing speed. With MAST, the work will be done in short order. We’ve seen it happen.”

Wycliffe Associates plans to launch 400 new Bible translations in 2017. Last year, the organization launched 315 new translation projects and assisted in 58 New Testament completions using MAST


About Wycliffe Associates

One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.

Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with supporting national Bible translators in the areas of technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Last year, 7,097 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 76 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.

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