Davar Partners Asks ‘How Shall They Hear?’

AUSTIN, TX – Davar Partners International is an oral Bible organization working with other like-minded partners. Their goal is to enable every oral learner in the world to have access to the Word of God in a language close to their hearts and in a form they can understand. They want to accomplish this by the year 2035.

Davar Partners International goal is to enable every oral learner in the world to have access to the Word of God in their own language
Photo by Sharon Tate Soberon, Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The task is monumental, but never has the technology been so readily available to make achieving that goal possible.

There are more than 7,300 languages actively spoken around the world.

Yet, there are fewer than 700 languages in which a complete Bible is available. Full Audio Bibles are available in fewer than 100 languages.

This is astonishing considering the fact that “80% of the people around the world exist in an oral paradigm.” We often refer to those people as “illiterate.” In other words, they cannot read or write in their own language – or any other.

Missionaries have had to struggle with this problem for centuries. Some have devoted much of, if not their entire, lives to translate the Bible into the language of the people to whom they were called. Other visionaries founded ministries dedicated to translating Bible texts into the languages of the unreached.

Translation is a long and arduous task, especially when trying to communicate the most important message in the world accurately and within the scope of the various native languages.

In many instances, when it is said that “scriptures are available” in certain heart languages, the phrase within the quotation marks is a marketing euphemism for the New Testament, the Gospel of John, or an even smaller portions of the Bible. That is not an indictment. It is simply a fact. It is far better to get some select portions of scripture into the hands of unreached indigenous people than to wait for the entire Bible to become available.

Even when a translated version of the Bible becomes available where it was not previously, missionaries face another major problem. Since the people generally are, as mentioned earlier, illiterate, they must also be taught how to read and write in their own language. In fact. The International Missions Board has noted that

“Recent research found that missionaries who used oral [non-print] communication strategies with oral people groups planted more than 4 times as many churches as those who did not.”

The leaders at Davar Partners International have not only recognized this “heartbreaking dilemma at the core of Bible distribution,” but they have also spent the past decade mobilizing to engage the latest audio and solar technologies with already-translated heart-language versions of the Bible.

Davar Partners has created an audio library that includes scriptures in 60 different languages thus far. Thirty of those library items include the complete Bible. Regardless, Davar . . . aims to make all audio content available for free and wide distribution through our many international ministry partners.

To that end,

  • Audio Bibles and associated resources cannot be sold or distributed for commercial purposes or financial gain.
  • Audio Bibles and associated resources cannot be altered in any way.
  • Audio Bibles and associated resources cannot be used to create derivative products.

Many audio Bible versions are available on the Audibible® that is distributed by Davar’s partner in South Africa, Kivah. They describe the Audibible as “a solar-powered, rechargeable, hand-held audio player in a robust package about the size of a mobile phone, capable of playing back thousands of hours of high-quality audio content. It’s easy to use, and visually impaired friendly, the controls allow users to navigate verses, chapters, and books at their convenience.”

Through the Lord’s direction, deep concern to reach the lost, and the use of 21st-century technologies, one of the greatest obstacles faced by missionaries to foreign countries may soon become of a problem of the past.

And, by the way, there is an Audibible app available to download to your personal digital communication devices.


Read more news on Bible Translation and World Missions on Missions Box.


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