25 Jan

Off to Nigeria Part 1 – Why Wycliffe?

Why Wycliffe?

We are heading to Nigeria with Wycliffe, but why Wycliffe and not one of the other organisations?

In short – The bible.   We know in our lives just how just important the Bible is.  At different times it is a source of invaluable wisdom, comfort and inspiration.  It is also the best way we know to get to know God better.  I find that the inspiration often comes when we least expect it, but also when we most need it!  The Bible is a lifeline.

In a world of nearly 7 billion people and around 7000 languages we find it a travesty that not everyone has access to scripture.  How are they supposed to find that wisdom, comfort and inspiration.   How are they supposed to get to know God better and live a life that is honouring to him?

We have literally a hundred versions of the Bible in English but there are only 430 completed in other languages.  There are still 2500 translation projects that need starting all over the world.  The work Wycliffe is currently involved in, will impact around 2.5 Billion people.

Wycliffe’s Vision is to see a world where every single person has access to a Bible in the language that best speaks to their heart, sometimes that is called ‘mother tongue’  the most natural language that we understand best.  Why?  well because untill people have it in that language, they simply will not get the full meaning of God’s message of love for them.

Did you know that you probably only know about 80%  all the words in english?  Some people ask why we just don’t teach everyone English, after all everyone use it on the internet these days.  Well, there are 2 problems with that.

1 – it is not the most used language on the web, chinese is.
2 – if we taught them, they would only get to about 40 – 50% of all the english, so much would be missed!

Maybe you haven’t considered the impact of not understanding every word of your Bible.   Take John 3:16 for example:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him, shall never die but have eternal life”

27 words in that version.   So on the basis that you only understood 80% the words there,  you wouldn’t have understanding of the 5 most difficult words in that verse.  What are the 5 hardest words to understand? (you can comment below if you don’t agree with those ones)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever believes in him, shall never die but have eternal life”

If you remove them from the verse, what would you end up with?

“For God so the, that he gave his one and only son, so that whoever in him, shall never die but have life”

You might be able to get the gist, but you would certainly miss the full true meaning behind the verse.  You really need to read it in the language you understand best.

Despite Wycliffe Bible Translators being established in 1942, in the past 10 years there has been a big shift in approach to the global task.  This was prompted by a challenge presented to our organisation at our tri-annual international conference.   It was called “vision 2025”, – to see a Bible translation program begun in every language that needs one by the year 2025.  Here is a short video about that.

Wanting to respond to that challenge, we’re heading to Nigeria!

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