PNG: Supporting Bible Translators


Bible Society Papua New Guinea (BSPNG) is supporting seven Bible translation projects in seven different languages, working with partner agencies who will publish the completed works.

Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) 840 tribal groups are crying out for the Scriptures in their own languages. Literacy surveys indicate a high number of people who are unable to speak English, and therefore are not able to read the Bible in English.

In the past, Bible translation work was often coordinated by foreign missionaries who lived among the people, often for years. Today, community church groups are themselves taking up the task, frequently with no outside support. A number of local language groups have approached the Bible Society for assistance and guidance to carry out translations of the Bible, or portions of the Bible, into their own language.

These groups, frequently church-based, are made up of dedicated souls, but often lack both material and technical resources to effectively carry out the work. Often these groups are in remote areas and working in isolation. They can only be reached by small dinghy or air travel, often in single engine mission planes landing on manually cleared grass airstrips. It is easy for these dedicated souls to lose their focus, and to even give up the work.

The Bible Society can offer technical support, but the simple costs of writing paper and pens, let alone computers or internet connections, are often beyond the means of the local groups.


  • About 85% of the population in PNG live in rural communities which have few or no facilities such as electricity, running water, telecommunications.
  • 840 distinct languages have been identified in PNG

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