Wycliffe Bible Translators USA’s 75th Anniversary

Celebrating what God has done in Bible translation around the world since 1942.

Sharing Hope Through Bible Translation

It all began in 1917 when William Cameron Townsend (known by friends as “Cam”) went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. When Cam realized that most of the people he was meeting didn’t understand the Bible in Spanish, he knew something had to change. Deep down, Cam thought everyone should be able to read God’s Word in the language of their heart. And it’s that belief that ultimately led him to establish Wycliffe Bible Translators USA.

This year we celebrate 75 years as an organization involved in Bible translation all around the world. Join us in rejoicing over what God has done and is continuing to do as more and more people gain access to the Bible in the languages they understand best!

Child with Bible
Asian village
Women in China

Wycliffe’s History

Follow the journey of Bible translation from how it started to where we are today.

1917

1917

William Cameron Townsend goes to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles.

1931

1931

The Cakchiquel New Testament is completed.

1933

1933

At least 1,000 languages around the world are believed to still be without Scripture.

1934

1934

Summer linguistic courses begin. Later, they would become known as SIL International.

1942

1942

Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is founded.

1955

1955

Another 1,300+ languages are discovered in the Pacific alone. Wycliffe’s job is more than doubled overnight!

1976

1976

The first portable computer is used for linguistic fieldwork.

1982

1982

An estimated 5,000 languages are spoken in the world. Of those, 3,000-3,500 are still without Scripture.

1999

1999

"Vision 2025" is established with a goal of a translation program in progress for every language still needing one by the year 2025.

2001

2001

John and Bonnie Nystrom pioneer cluster translation projects in Papua New Guinea.

2015

2015

Nearly 7,000 languages are spoken around the world. Up to 1,800 languages still likely need Bible translation to begin.

2017

2017

Wycliffe Bible Translators USA celebrates 75 years as an organization.

Today

More than 550 languages have the complete Bible, with an additional 2,400 that have either the New Testament or different books. That totals almost 3,000 languages with some Scripture! But the work is not yet done. There are still an estimated 1,800 languages that likely need Bible translation to begin. And Wycliffe is working faster than ever to help reach them with the life-changing message of the gospel.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. – Isaiah 55:11 (NLT)
Send out the Word