Bible Translation Day
In 1966 the United States Senate passed a resolution requesting President Johnson to proclaim September 30 as Bible Translation Day. A ceremony was held on that date in the new Senate Office Building in Washington with Senator Fred Harris of Oklahoma presiding.
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the recently published Apache New Testament to Senator Harris and Congressman Ben Reifel of South Dakota. The presentation was made by Mr. Brittain Goode, the Apache who helped Misses Faye Edgerton and Faith Hill with the translation. Speakers included William Cameron Townsend (founder and director of Wycliffe Bible Translators), Congressman Reifel, and Miss Edgerton.
"We are making history. By God's grace and with His help, we are taking part in a tremendous enterprise. The enterprise is Bible translation; the goal is hearts changed by God and disciples equipped to lead others to Christ. But before any translation can be done, before any change comes in a heart, we must overcome physical and language barriers.
"The language barrier is difficult to overcome. But it must be done. The Holy Spirit, speaking through John says, 'After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb' (Rev.7:9 NIV, emphasis added). We believe God has called us to help make this verse come true....
"This is not an impossible task. If it were, God would not have given it to us. But it is difficult. It takes hard work, dedication, perseverance and commitment. Teachers at Wycliffe's schools have helped thousands of students learn translation and literacy principles, but we lack people who are willing to go. Many don't realize how Bible translation is still needed around the world."
The U.S. Congress had an idea. They proclaimed the first Bible Translation Day over 30 years ago, in 1966, and another one a year later. We continue to carry the tradition. Bible Translation Day centers our attention on the unfinished task—the people yet to be reached, the translations yet to be completed. The following pages will help renew emphasis on Bible translation. Read the resolution from Congress proclaiming the first Bible Translation Day observance, held September 30, 1966, speeches by Senator Harris and Congressmen Reifel about Bible translation, and a history of translation and translators.