Amazing Advances in Bible Translation for Arabic Dialects

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – We are living in the age of the most significant technological advances in human history. It almost feels like everything in our lives is changing. Yet, there is one thing that never changes, and that is God’s Word, the Bible. Regardless of what else may change, the Word of God stands forever. So What Makes Bible Translation So Difficult?

The challenge has always been finding ways to get copies of the Bible to those who have never read it. That is not so easily accomplished. In addition to physical and political obstacles that make Bible distribution difficult, we must find ways to provide copies in each person’s heart language.

This problem is prevalent worldwide, even within language groups. Mandarin and Cantonese are each Chinese, but some people speak in other dialects such as Gan, Hakka, Min, Wu, and Xiang.

Biblica has released its basic Arabic Bible translation. Biblica partners are working in two separate groups to translate into 94 different Arabic dialects.
Arabic Bible displayed at Bardo National Museum, Tunisia Photo by Sami Mlouhi, Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The South Asian subcontinent is replete with different languages and multiple dialects across the language families of Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and others. There are 461 languages spoken in India alone.

The situation with Arabic is virtually the same. There are nine primary dialect groups in the Arabic language, each with their own particular sets of dialects.

How Biblica Is Changing the Face and Pace of Bible Translation

Biblica, formerly known as the International Bible Society, has introduced an innovation in Bible accessibility that may be the most important since Gutenberg started printing Bibles in the 15th century.

“By releasing complete Biblical texts for free under Creative Commons licensing, the traditional Bible licensing, publishing, and distribution pipeline can be completely replaced with a much faster, more efficient vehicle.”

Biblica’s goal is, and always has been, to provide the Bible in the languages and dialects that people understand.

To help achieve their objective more efficiently and effectively, Biblica has released its basic Arabic Bible under a Creative Commons digital license. Using the provided Arabic source text, Biblica partners are working in two separate groups to translate the Bible into 94 distinctly different Arabic dialects.

Every necessary precaution is being taken to ensure that the translations are both accurate and easily understood.

Nonetheless, Biblica is asking Christians to cover the project in prayer because the task is still monumental, and some of the cooperating translators are in “very difficult, dark, and dangerous situations.”

Technology can be used for evil or for good. Pray that the Lord will bless Biblica and its translation partners by making this effort the most “exponential growth and acceleration of the translation of minority languages” the world has ever seen.


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