I read a blog post today from a guy named Adam Ford. His work is frequently funny, sometimes pointed, and more often than not, thought provoking. Today’s work was no different. In it, he rightly acknowledges the role that William Tyndale played in bringing God’s word to a specific language group, despite intense and life-ending opposition, nearly 500 years ago. If you’re not familiar with the impact of his life on the Bible(s) you read today, please find out more about him–and those who’s work led the way for his own–as soon as you can.
I praise God that direct, unfettered, and immediate access to God’s word in my heart language has been a reality for me and my ancestors going back all the way to the 1600s. And I thank Him for men (and women) like William Tyndale and John Wycliffe. But that blog post made me wonder what people might be saying about the Bible another 100, 200, or 300 years from now–who might whole language groups thank God for when that time comes?
Maybe they’ll say something like, “Thank God for William Cameron Townsend.” Or maybe, “Thank God for Wycliffe Bible Translators.” Or, maybe some, like the Kapingamarangi, will be thanking God for specific individuals–people like the Daams–who have spent the better part of their careers working toward the goal of facilitating the translation of God’s word into languages without it.
While we were at training in North Carolina in October, we came across the New Testaments you see above. I managed to make a photo of the 400th and 500th New Testaments that Wycliffe-affiliated translation teams completed, but there are many more. As of last year, translation organizations associated with the Wycliffe Global Alliance had completed more than 850 New Testaments.
In the 73 years since the foundation of Wycliffe, that’s an average of more than 11 New Testaments per year. We are so excited that we have the privilege of serving in an organization like Wycliffe, with such an amazing legacy of facilitating access to God’s word. And in our jobs, we get to share these stories with you and the whole Church around the globe.
Regardless of who it is that we’re thanking God for–either now or in the future–it’s our Heavenly Father who made all this possible. It is Him, as He works to reconcile a broken world to Himself, who is making it possible for billions of people to have access to His word in their heart language. It’s Him who works through organizations like Wycliffe Bible Translators to bring His word to the last and the least who are still waiting for heart-language scripture access.