YouVersion Bible app: more on translations milestone
There’s more to say about the recent YouVersion Bible app milestone being celebrated this week by LifeChurch.tv and the app’s creator Bobby Gruenewald.
Today’s story in The Oklahoman shares some basic information about the fact that the free Bible app has now expanded to include more than 1,000 translations of the Bible — in more than 700 languages.
For instance, the story explains that the Bible app’s 1,000th version is the first digital translation of the New Testament into Hdi (pronunced huh-DEE), a language predominantly spoken in the West African nation of Cameroon.
However, here are more interesting facts on the subject:
— Leaders with Wycliffe Bible Translators said since 1987, they collaborated with Cameroonians to learn and analyze the dialect as they composed the first Hdi edition of the Bible.
— That first Hdi edition of the Bible was published and distributed in print in 2013.
“To see this labor of love now go digital with YouVersion is incredible as we see the potential to reach the nearly 45,000 Hdi speakers in Cameroon and nearby Nigeria,” Bob Creson, president and CEO of Wycliffe USA, said in a news release distributed Monday.
— Gruenewald said the translation milestone is only possible through Bible translators around the world and LifeChurch.tv’s numerous partnerships and relationships with more than 100 publishers, Bible societies and organizations.
— The process of translating the Bible can take anywhere between 10 to 40 years in some cases, Gruenewald said, and often, missionaries and translators spend their entire careers focusing on this endeavor.
— In the past, these translators and the people with whom they hoped to share a new Bible translation had to wait for many years for a Bible edition to be printed in that particular version. However, Gruenewald said in this digital age, he and the Bible app staff can make each book of the Bible available on the app almost immediately after it has been translated.
“Within days, sometimes within minutes, translators can review their translation” and it is included as part of the Bible app as soon as they give the OK, Gruenewald said.
YouVersion leaders and Bible translation groups said the app is proof that the world has indeed changed since the first handwritten English-translation of the Bible was published in 1380.
“Within two weeks of completion, in the villages we serve, people can access the text on their cell phones. What a blessing!” Lois Gourley of SIL International, said in a news release. SIL International is a Christian nonprofit dedicted to studying, developing and documenting languages, especially lesser-known ones.
Gruenewald said he’s still amazed at the incredibly broad scope the multiple Bible translations represent for the Bible app and the millions who use it.
“If you were to try to create a library with all those translations, it would be impractical. With new technology, we are actually able to give you that all in one app,” Gruenewald said.
“It creates a tool that has infinite possibilities.”