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Illuminations Alliance: By 2033, The Scriptures Will Be Available in Every Language

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The world's leading Bible translation organizations are teaming up to accomplish a huge goal. They want the scriptures to be available to every single person on earth by the year 2033.

One billion people around the world have never heard God's word in the language they understand best.

"Most people don't realize there's 6,000 unique languages on planet earth today, and of those, 2,000 have adequate scripture, 2,000 somebody's working on and 2,000 nobody's started," said Mart Green, ministry investment officer for Hobby Lobby.

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A decade ago, the top ten Bible translation agencies formed the Illuminations Alliance to end what they call, "Bible poverty." Even with support from five major donors, they learned that translating the scriptures into every language could take more than 100 years. 

"We said, 'Oh no that's too long. We have to have a better sense of urgency,' So it's a faith goal that we think that by 2033, 95 percent of the world will have the Old and New Testament," Green told CBN News.

That's why Illuminations launched the I Want to Know campaign, giving people an opportunity to come alongside by sponsoring the translation of one or more Bible verses. 

"'Where your treasure is, there is your heart also,' so when people start giving to Bible translation, even if it's $34 one time, or many people sign up for $35 a month and keep giving that--then their heart goes there," said Green.

The campaign does more than just get a Bible into the hands of an unreached people group. It lets them read the scriptures in their heart language.  

Walkie, a native speaker of the Yupik language of Alaska, remembers the moment his mother understood the Bible's message for the first time. 

"Before my mother died, I was able to read her Psalm 139 in Yupik," he recalled. "And she said, 'Oh! So that is what it means to us!'" 

Yupik speakers have some of the scriptures in their language but are still waiting for a complete Bible. 

It's not just spoken languages, a major part of the "I Want to Know" campaign is working with the deaf community. According to the Deaf Bible Society, 95 percent of sign languages have no Bible translation at all. 

"We can do this if we collaborate and if we collaborate and all come together we can do this with better quality, faster, and cheaper so that everybody has access to the love letter that God wrote to us," said Green.

The languages have been identified, the translators are in place. Now, it's time to share the Good News.

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About The Author

Caitlin Burke Headshot

Caitlin Burke serves as National Security Correspondent and a general assignment reporter for CBN News. She has also hosted the CBN News original podcast, The Daily Rundown. Some of Caitlin’s recent stories have focused on the national security threat posed by China, America’s military strength, and vulnerabilities in the U.S. power grid. She joined CBN News in July 2010, and over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to cover stories both domestically and abroad. Caitlin began her news career working as a production assistant in Richmond, Virginia, for the NBC affiliate WWBT