The Flame New Testament with Genesis was launched and dedicated in late April in a quiet ceremony in West Africa, in the midst of a lockdown situation. The book and app, which has been supported by Wycliffe Bible Translators for the past 13 years, was launched with little fanfare, but still marks a historic moment for the Flame people, who are 99% Muslim.
The lockdown due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic meant it was not possible to hold the large and public event that had been planned to mark the occasion. However, the team responsible for translating the Flame Scriptures felt it was urgently important to make the book and app available now, during the month of Ramadan when Muslims spend extra time in prayer and reflection, rather than wait till a more public event was possible.
James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe explains why this new translation is so significant for the Flame people of West Africa.
For so long it’s been very difficult for these people to actually hear for themselves the good news about Jesus and so now the New Testament and Genesis are now being published and distributed in their communities right now. They can for themselves find out what God is doing and that is tremendously significant at this time when you think of Ramadan and how important it is right now for many Muslims seeking to hear from God that God is speaking to them in their language for the first time in history.
So we really think that right now when the country they’re in is in curfew overnight because of the COVID virus and all the lockdown things are effecting them. Suddenly they have something published for the first time in their language that they can understand available in printed format available in apps that they can read and discover. And so we’re really excited about this and the local Christians are incredibly excited to thank what God might do amongst those people now. It’s just amazing.
About Wycliffe Bible Translators
One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Bible Translators was organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators to accelerate the work of Bible translation. Wycliffe empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Bible Translators is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Wycliffe staff and volunteers are currently accelerating Bible translations in 108 countries. For more information, please visit https://www.wycliffe.org/ in the US, or https://www.wycliffe.org.uk/ in the UK.
- Global News Alliance, ‘Vital’ New Testament Launches in West Africa During Lockdown
- Wycliffe Bible Translators, Official UK Website