Why Bible Translation?

December 26, 2019

What would your life be like if you didn’t have the Bible?

Where would you be if you had never heard of Jesus, didn’t know what God is like, and weren’t aware of the hope you have in him? If you knew there were a book with the real words of God, what would you give to read it?

We are passionate about Bible translation because God is passionate about revealing himself to the world–and the Bible is how he shows us himself.

What is the Bible?
The Bible is the revelation of God to humanity, showing us his character, our sinfulness, and his plan for redemption. It’s a message straight from God! 2 Timothy 3 tells us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness….” Jesus himself communicates that the Scriptures bear witness about himself and God the Father: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)

The Apostle John tells us in John 1 that Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and later quotes Jesus explaining that his life was intended to bear witness about the works of God: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:10-11) When receiving a revelation from God about the end days, God tells John to “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)

The Bible is God revealing himself to man.

What is it for?
We know that the Bible is filled with God’s message to us — but what is it there for? Why did God give it to us?

1. For Our Understanding

God wants us to know who he is and who we are. In Genesis, we learn that God created us to be like him: good, pure, and in perfect communion. But the first people rebelled against God, sinned against his commands, and created a permanent rift between the Lord and all humanity. Bringing sin into the world, all people are now born into enmity with God and with each other.

2. For Our Salvation

As we read the word we understand that every man and woman is born a sinner, separated from the Lord, “having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) Where then will we turn? Only God has the words of eternal life! In his Word, we learn that he has sent a way of redemption. He has provided a salvation from our sins, and a way to be made right with God. Those who trust in Jesus Christ for salvation will be given salvation from sin and death. And not only salvation, but eternal life with God in Heaven. This is the good news of Jesus Christ.

3. For Our Sanctification

As sinners are saved and meditate on God’s Word, the Spirit is working within us to make us more like Jesus: “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18) We are being fashioned into a clearer and clearer reflection of God’s character, and this reflection is a message of hope to a dying world.

A Sure Hope
illumiNations is harnessing Bible translation partners from across the globe to translate the Bible into every living language within our generation. This can seem like a daunting task, but we know that it’s worth it because we know that God’s word is our most valuable treasure. We know that where God’s Word is accessible, radical change happens. God promises that his Word will accomplish its purposes:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11)

The hope of salvation revealed to sinners is found in God’s Word. And this hope has brought together organizations, individuals, churches, and Christians from all walks of life–and all across the globe–into unity around this goal.

Are you ready to help us end Bible poverty by 2033? Join millions of other Christians and take the 12 Verse Challenge today.

All verses are in ESV.

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