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!
Follow the journey of Bible translation from how it started to where we are today.
William Cameron Townsend goes to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles.
The Cakchiquel New Testament is completed.
At least 1,000 languages around the world are believed to still be without Scripture.
Summer linguistic courses begin. Later, they would become known as SIL International.
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA is founded.
Another 1,300+ languages are discovered in the Pacific alone. Wycliffe’s job is more than doubled overnight!
The first portable computer is used for linguistic fieldwork.
An estimated 5,000 languages are spoken in the world. Of those, 3,000-3,500 are still without Scripture.
"Vision 2025" is established with a goal of a translation program in progress for every language still needing one by the year 2025.
John and Bonnie Nystrom pioneer cluster translation projects in Papua New Guinea.
Nearly 7,000 languages are spoken around the world. Up to 1,800 languages still likely need Bible translation to begin.
Wycliffe Bible Translators USA celebrates 75 years as an organization.
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.
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