04/07/2018

Remember your first Bible?

Most Christians in Australia can remember their first Bible, but millions in less affluent countries are still dreaming of theirs.
Can you imagine being a believer without having access to the word of God?

Maria from South Sudan says she waited so long, that “I thought I would die without seeing or touching a Bible.”

Too many Christians like Maria have grown up or become Christians by hearing the gospel and Bible stories but have never seen or owned a Bible in their own language. In many cases, it’s because the Scriptures are yet to be translated into their language. For others, poverty, isolation and persecution have prevented them from owning a Bible.

Can you imagine the joy when one of these believers receives their first Bible?

God’s word is the most precious gift you’ll ever give!

With Bible Society’s help, Maria and more than ninety thousand others from her people group now have a Bible available in their own language. The hysteria created by the Bible delivery earlier this year could have rivalled a World Cup final!

The pilot who made the delivery in South Sudan knelt on the airstrip praying and weeping with joy after unloading the boxes of Bibles. As the Scriptures in their own language was presented, women, men and children danced, sang and cheered unashamedly.
Romans 15:13 sums it up perfectly: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”.

It’s a reality that almost 210 million people worldwide remain without even a single Scripture verse translated into their heart language. Bible Societies and their translation partners are currently working on more than 400 projects around the world. This “First Bibles” Appeal will bring us closer to the day when everyone can access the full Bible in the language of their heart. All information at biblesociety.org.au/first-bible

Fast Facts:

  • In 2017, Bible Societies assisted in the completion of Scripture translations in 49 languages spoken by more than 580 million people.
  • 2017 was a ‘first’ for 20 languages, spoken by over 14 million people. Seven communities received the very first full Bible in their language, four received their first New Testament and nine communities received their first, or additional, portions of Scripture.
  • Languages change and develop over time. That’s why Bible Societies are also committed to revising existing translations or providing new translations when requested. It gives new generations the chance to meaningfully engage with Scripture. In 2017, this resulted in 26 new translations and revisions, plus nine study editions, with the potential to reach more than 566 million people.

To arrange interviews with Bible Society’s Chief Operating Officer Melissa Lipsett, please contact:
[email protected].au