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2015 Bible Translation Statistics: what they mean and what they don’t November 23, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Bible Translation, Statistics, wycliffe.

The latest Bible translation statistics have been available for a few weeks on www.wycliffe.net/statistics . The progress is exciting, the need is still great. The numbers often don’t quite mean what people think they mean (which is why we encourage people to read the answers to the FAQs listed below).

Apparently Nov 23rd was the International Day of the Bible. I don’t know how many nations marked that in some way but I do know that 2015 has been the first year that when many people groups or nations (see a nice long article The Meaning of Ethne in Matthew 28:19 ) , have had new (or any) portions of the Bible available in their own language. Meanwhile many nations are still waiting for a clear, understandable translation of the Bible into the language they know best.

Here’s my own mash up of the info graphics on the site. (Wycliffe Global Alliance currently has a designer working on an improved version of this graphic)


Click the graphic above to see the fine print a little larger. Read the detailed FAQs on wycliffe.net for more info on the following questions.

  1. Why don’t the numbers add up like I think they should?
  2. What is a scripture portion?
  3. Which will be the 3000th language with Scripture?
  4. Why does your Scripture count differ from the UBS Scripture count?
  5. How are languages defined and counted?
  6. How accurate are your population figures?
  7. How is translation need determined and counted?
  8. Why are some languages with existing Scripture listed as having translation needs? Why would Scripture need to be revised?
  9. Why aren’t all languages without a full Bible listed as needing translation?
  10. What is meant by the term “active language program”?
  11. What is Wycliffe’s approach or methodology toward Bible translation?
  12. Who is involved in Bible Translation?

There are lots of other questions that could be asked and a few that will covered in the coming months.

I’ll close with a few personal questions:

Do you know when was scripture first translated into your language? (and if you are still waiting do you know if translation has begun.)

When were the versions you use translated?

Are you working in, praying for and/or supporting the work of Bible translation?

Have you read anything encouraging or challenging in the Bible today?

Have you encouraged someone else recently with something from the Bible?

Click here to see what people shared on International Day of the Bible at




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