It all began in 1917 when William Cameron Townsend (known by friends as “Cam”) went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles. When most of the people he met didn’t understand the Bible in Spanish, Cam knew something had to change. He believed everyone should be able to read God’s Word in the language of their heart. And that belief led him to establish Wycliffe Bible Translators.
To celebrate our 75th anniversary, we put together this inspirational video featuring words Cam Townsend spoke in 1981. While our view of the world and our approach to Bible translation have evolved since that time, one thing remains unchanged — our steadfast commitment to reach every person with God’s Word in a language they can clearly understand.
"Till All Have Heard" takes a look at what God has done over Wycliffe's 75 years as an organization. Decade by decade, see how Wycliffe has pioneered new territory in missions: from single women working in translation projects, to the development of aviation and radio services, to the emerging influence of mother-tongue translators and more.Purchase Now
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.
Less than 700 of the world’s 7,000+ languages have the complete Bible. There are about 2,750 languages that have either the New Testament or different books. That's a combined total of more than 3,300 languages with some Scripture. But the work isn’t done yet! It’s estimated there are at least 2,000 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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