On Wednesday, Wycliffe Bible Translators celebrated the publishing of about 15 Bibles! Some were New Testaments, some were several books of the Bible, but one was the entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament: The American Sign Language Bible!
For the first time, those who speak this language have a Bible that speaks to their heart! Many people don’t realize that the deaf need their own language. The order of their words and syntax is different than English.
We’re so excited to have been a part of this translation.
Click here for an activity that you can do with your children using American Sign Language. And then celebrate with us that between 250,000 and 500,000 people can now understand the message that God has for them: He loves them and sent his very own Son to die for them!!
It was only in the last decade that I was made aware that there was a need for Bible Translations for the deaf. I always thought that deaf people could just read any book and understand it. Why do they need their own Bible?
My ignorance might be shared with others but it was still a subject I knew nothing about! And why would I? I’m not deaf nor do I know anyone who is nor can I speak Sign Language. In fact, when I write “sign language” I’m referring to the American Sign Language, just one of up to 300 different sign languages used around the world.
Sign languages and spoken languages have completely different syntaxes. The way that we order words in spoken languages differs from the way that words and phrases are ordered in sign languages. And spoken languages are phonetic, relying on connections between text and sound. “For Deaf people … they need something that’s visual. … As hearing people read, there’s a connection between text and sound. For us as Deaf people, we cannot hear and we’re never going to have that connection between the sound and the text. … Visually seeing the hand movement in sign language is very important for us.”
I encourage you to click this link and read the whole article. It was fascinating to see how challenging it is to get the translation right!
Would you pray now for those doing this important work?
We were blessed to get away for nearly a week to the TN and NC mountains. We stayed in a place that gave a good price for missionaries and pastors to rest at. Rest we did. Lots of reading, short hikes, and drives on winding roads just talking was so good for us. We feel ready to return to work and serve our Wycliffe Bible Translation members once again.