A Bibleless people group is a language community in need of a Bible translation. They have no known Scripture and no active translation project. They are without access to God's Word in a language that speaks to their heart.
Bibleless people groups are "Bibleless" for a variety of reasons. Many Bibleless people groups are small in number and speak minority languages that are known only within their communities. These small groups have had limited contact from the outside world or little attention from missionary agencies. Other people groups may be significant in size, but are difficult for missionaries to access because of their remote or sensitive locations.
In 1982, Wycliffe formed the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project (BPPP) with the resolute goal to recruit men, women, and children to prayerfully lay the foundation for a translation program to begin in each of the world's Bibleless people groups. We believe the true beginning of a Bible translation is when someone starts praying for it to happen.
BPPP partners have the unique privilege of seeing God answer their faithful prayers. A five-year-old boy prayed each Sunday for the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island. One day, he heard that Wycliffe had assigned missionaries to work among the Rapa Nui. His parents later discovered that the missionaries had become interested in Easter Island around the time their son started praying.
Simple enough for a child and rewarding for those of any age, the Bibleless Peoples Prayer Project draws you into God's love for the people of the world. Will you join us in prayer for those who are still waiting to hear of this great love?
Wycliffe prayer partners receive information by email about a language group and its speakers, a printable how-to-pray bookmark, and periodic emails to encourage them as they pray. As information becomes available, prayer partners also receive specific news about their people group.
We at BPPP will let you know if we receive any updated information about your group. As you commit to prayer, we also commit to updating you about the developments in your project so that you can pray with the most accurate information, for however long it takes. Ultimately, we desire to connect you with Bible translation teams when they start translation work in your group.
The majority of Bibleless people groups are located in Asia, Africa and the Pacific region. However, Bibleless people groups can be found on all six inhabitable continents.
Due to many factors, such as the discovery or extinction of languages, the number of Bibleless people groups is always changing. Currently there are more than 1,600 languages that have a definite or likely translation need. However, the pace of Bible translation is accelerating as never before, and new projects are beginning all the time. God is at work and we believe this is a direct answer to prayer.
Requiring knowledge of another language marginalizes the importance of a person’s heart language and also vastly limits their understanding. The heart language reaches to the inner depths of a person and can best express God's eternal message. It is the language most clearly understood and in which ideas are most clearly expressed by an individual or people group. Scriptures in another language can limit (and often change) a person’s understanding of the gospel.
Yes. When possible, we will send you an update. If, however, your people group is located in an area of the world that is closed to missions, we may not be able to send you the details. We also may not be able to send you the details if the translation project is taken over by a national translator (a translator translating into his or her own mother tongue). Please be patient and persevere in prayer while you wait for your updates. Sometimes God uses years of prayer to open the door to closed communities.
You can choose to pray for your people group as often as you would like. Some people commit to pray every day during their quiet time. Others prayer partners pray weekly when they meet with their small group. Still others pray from time to time as God prompts them.
YES! God says the prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. Ultimately it is God who changes people’s hearts through Bible translation. But we believe that he has called his people to partner with him through praying for the harvest.
Contact us and tell us what area you’re interested in. Depending on what God has laid on your heart, we can either send you information about a Bibleless people group in that area or about a missionary serving there.
NOTE: Due to the sensitivity of our work, we may not be able to give you complete information about some areas of the world.