Wycliffe Bible Translators
The hope found in the Bible is needed now more than ever. Yet 2,000 languages still lack it. Wycliffe is an international Christian ministry that translates Scripture and teaches literacy, bringing life transformation to communities worldwide.
Around the world, millions are living without the Bible in their language; many of them eagerly waiting for access to the transforming message of the gospel.
For more than 75 years, Wycliffe Bible Translators USA and its partner organizations have been developing communities worldwide through Bible translation, language development and education. Today there are approximately 2,000 languages that still need translation work to begin.
Wycliffe’s mission to “serve with the global body of Christ to advance Bible translation and work together so people can encounter God through his Word” stems from this need and a vision to see “people from every language to understand the Bible and be transformed.”
You can help impact communities all around the world to acquire the life-changing gift of God’s Word.
Additionally, many languages are still unwritten, and their speakers struggle with issues stemming from illiteracy—such as poverty, sickness, social injustice and spiritual hunger. Wycliffe is teaching literacy worldwide.
Wycliffe USA was founded in 1942 by William Cameron Townsend with the purpose of translating the Bible into languages that still need the Scriptures. Wycliffe’s ultimate goal is to have God’s Word accessible to all people in every language group worldwide. Wycliffe USA specifically supports Bible translation projects around the world by offering opportunities for involvement through prayer, serving, financial partnerships and vision sharing.
Wycliffe is also a part of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, an international association of organizations consisting of over 100 organizations from more than 60 nations with the common goal of helping people around the world gain access to God’s Word by translating Scripture in their mother tongue language. When you give to Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, you invest in not just our work but the work of our partner organizations as well. Together we work toward Scripture-related goals, as well as producing thousands of resources in areas such as language development, community development, translation and Scripture engagement.
Language Development: Language development is about developing skills and resources to use a language in new ways. Many of the languages Wycliffe works with have never been written down – they have only been spoken. Language development may include designing or standardizing a writing system. It could mean compiling dictionaries or producing reading materials.
Community Development: The entire process of translating Scripture helps communities advance in multiple ways – particularly through literacy. In many language programs, literacy work goes side-by-side with Bible translation. Reading, writing and basic math are important skills that can help people run a small business, educate their children, obtain better healthcare, take part in government and preserve local culture and history for future generations. Wycliffe field personnel often work alongside local community members to develop literacy materials and establish literacy as a sustainable community value.
Translation: Once resources are sufficiently developed, translation begins. The translation team decides which portion of the Bible to translate first, based on what the local church and language community wants and needs. Often, local residents assist in the process and may take project leadership, when skills are strong enough.
Scripture Engagement: Printing and distributing is only part of the job. People must be able to access and engage with Scripture in a format they can appreciate and understand. For those who read, that can be a print publication. But often, other media are more effective and appropriate to a local context. In some cultures, oral telling of translated Bible stories may be the most effective means of communication. Handheld solar devices and smartphones can play recordings of translated Scripture.
For increasing numbers of languages, smartphones can access written, audio and/or video versions. Increasingly, Wycliffe-sponsored translations of Scripture portions are shared on websites such as Scriptureearth.org which offers Scripture in many languages. Another website is YouVersion.com that has more than 2,000 versions of the Bible in more than 1,300 different languages. More than 400 million installations of the YouVersion app have been made, across every country on earth, showing that this is a viable way to share Scripture translations.
There are roughly 7,000 languages used in the world. About 2,000 do not have one sentence of the Bible, representing many millions of speakers.
Wycliffe’s work provides access to the life-changing gospel and wisdom of the Bible. In many communities, adults and children are encouraged to learn to read, write and do basic math. Wycliffe trains literacy workers, promotes literacy programs, develops Scripture engagement strategies, and provides trauma healing workshops.
Wycliffe translation teams also translate other educational materials, including health education materials, into minority languages. Community development and education, resulting from translation and language development, leads to improved health of a community and better employment opportunities that provide increased resources for families.
At the core of our mission, Wycliffe believes that the Word of God transforms lives when it is translated into a language that people understand. We want all people to have access to Scripture, so they can know the love and peace of God and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. When they can use the Bible in their everyday lives, they can experience that life transformation for themselves.
Learn more about the difference this makes:
Wycliffe built our current strategy around partnering with the local church, as well as with local communities. Our goal is to start translation projects that build up communities and cultures. Through Wycliffe Bible translation projects, each community can be transformed holistically – spiritually, physically, mentally and socially – as they develop and use their language and apply truths from the Bible.
Wycliffe Bible Translators is a member of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, and cooperates with many Bible translation organizations around the world. Wycliffe USAis one of the largest Bible translation organizations.
Along with our locally-based partnerships, Wycliffe works closely with many other international ministries to provide translations for their global work. Some of these ministries include Faith Comes By Hearing, Jesus Film and YouVersion.
In 2018, the 1000th New Testament, completed with the engagement of Wycliffe USA and SIL International, a primary strategic partner, was dedicated for the Keliko language of South Sudan. Learn more about this remarkable translation, completed at times in refugee camps, through our publication and video.
Wycliffe and partner organizations of the Wycliffe Global Alliance are currently working on hundreds of language programs around the world. These communities have also benefited from increased literacy and education, and tools that equip pastors to serve their churches.
Wycliffe-sponsored literacy classes provide important tools for life change. They can offer women and girls the first opportunity to receive an education in cultures that hold them back. Literacy opens doors of opportunity for people around the world. Learn about the potent impact of literacy in this video, Marcelina’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvGFjoqSVUQ
Wycliffe and partners also sponsor effective trauma healing programs in diverse parts of the world that have experienced war or great loss. The textbook used is Healing the Wounds of Trauma, a book based on mental health principles and Scripture. The chapters cover topics like, “If God loves us, why do we suffer?” and “How can the wounds of our hearts be healed?”
Wycliffe is a charter member of the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA). This council ensures that Christ-centered organizations maintain the highest standards of financial stewardship. Find out more about our ECFA membership at ecfa.org.
Wycliffe Bible Translators has also achieved Platinum Participant status, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. GuideStar compares nonprofits in an easy, transparent way to help people research where to make donations. Platinum Participant status demonstrates that the nonprofit organization focuses on measuring progress and results, clearly showing the difference donors are making throughout the world. For more information on GuideStar, visit guidestar.org. To view the GuideStar profile for Wycliffe Bible Translators or Wycliffe Foundation, visit guidestar.org/search.
Wycliffe is an eligible charity in the 2020 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) with the pledge number of CFC #11737. All donations made through the Combined Federal Campaign are distributed through Wycliffe’s Worldwide Projects Fund which supports Bible translation projects in need. It’s designed to connect donors with the most urgent needs of Bible translation — those that haven’t been met by specific donations. Gifts given through this fund help ensure that projects will not have to slow down or stop due to lack of funding. Visit wycliffe.org/cfc to learn more.
Call 800-WYCLIFFE or visit wycliffe.org to explore ways to give and specific uses for your gifts.
Learn more about giving options here: wycliffe.org/donate