An alliance of the world's leading Bible translation organizations announced the launch of its social and digital media campaign last week to make God's Word available to people in every language on Earth over the next 12 years.
Spearheaded by illumiNations, the "I Want to Know" (IWTK) campaign provides individuals the opportunity to sponsor one or more Bible verses in partnership with 3,800 language communities around the globe that do not have access to a complete Bible in their native tongue. Well over half of those languages (more than 2,000) are currently without even a single translated Bible verse.
Mart Green – board chair for Hobby Lobby and ministry investment officer for the Green family business – is one of the translation movement's top supporters. He's excited to spread the light of God's Word to get approximately 14% of the world out of spiritual darkness.
"Can you imagine not having the Bible in English or your native language?" Green ponders in a recent press release. "One billion people still don't know what God's Word has to say to them. We can help fulfill the Great Commission and eradicate 'Bible poverty' in this generation."
On the campaign's website, those waiting for access to the complete Bible in their native language – such a Walkie, who is a native speaker of Alaska's Yupik language – share encouraging testimonies of how scripture has changed lives.
"Before my mother died, I was able to read her Psalm 139 in Yupik, and she said, 'Oh! So that is what it means to us!'" Walkie shared with illumiNations.
In addition to sponsoring the translation of a Bible verse, Christians are encouraged to use the hashtag "#IWTKBible" and post the Bible verse on social media that they "want the world to know."
Within a dozen years, illumiNations is slated to reach its "All Access Goals" – meaning that every person on the planet should be able to read the Bible or hear it being read in his or her native language, says IWTK campaign creative director Bill McKendry.
"The translators are in place, the strategy is in place – and with support from Christians across the U.S. and around the world, we can help every single person on Earth access scripture in the language they understand best," McKendry explains.
The campaign contends that by its conclusion, virtually every soul on Earth will be left without excuse. "[Approximately] 95% of the world's population will have access to a full Bible, 99.96% will have access to a New Testament and 100% will have access to at least some portion of scripture," illumiNations anticipates.
Hobby Lobby, the Green family-owned arts and crafts company, has helped fund illumiNations' collective-impact alliance consisting of ten Bible translation partner organizations: American Bible Society, Wycliffe Bible Translators USA, United Bible Societies, Biblica, Pioneer Bible Translators, Deaf Bible Society, Lutheran Bible Translators, The Word for the World, Seed Company and SIL International.
"The goal of translating the Bible into every language for all people has been a 'Goliath' of biblical proportions for generations," Green says. "But now we're on the brink of a giant slingshot; every person can have at least a portion of the Bible in their own language within the next 12 years."