Bringing the Bible to the Unreached

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A conversation with Dr. John Chestnut, President and CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Ed Stetzer: When we look to the pages of scripture, it appears that God has a very particular desire to be worshiped in the tongues of many different peoples—as a matter of fact, He desires to be worshiped in every tongue, and in every nation…

Wycliffe Bible Translators is literally working on making that Revelation 7 vision a reality. Today, I am broadcasting from the Discovery Center at the headquarters of Wycliffe with Dr. John Chestnut, the President and CEO.

We talk about the importance of having scripture in people’s own languages. I know my initial thought, and I’m sure the thought of many others, is that we should just teach people English, or the major language, and then give people those Bibles.

Why take all of the time to develop a Bible in another language, instead of just teaching them a new language and telling them about Jesus?

Dr. John Chestnut: That’s a great question. A lot of people don’t realize today, and I was one of those people not too many years ago, that there are over 7,000 languages in the world today. And still, in 2020, there are around 2,000 language communities that do not have any form of God’s Word in their language yet. It’s estimated that about 1.5 billion people do not have access to all of scripture in a language that they can understand. So you’d think because of travel, because of globalization and such, we do have more and more people that know more than one language. Multilingualism is more of the norm, rather than just speaking one language.

But when you think about it, even if someone can understand another language to about 75-80% competency, they still might miss important details. For example, think of a passage like John 3:16. …

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