Bible still not available in 57 percent of world's languages

by Vanessa Rodriguez |

(amercianbible.org)An annual study commissioned by the American Bible Society revealed less than half of the world's 6,901 languages still do not have a completed Bible translation.

VENTURA, Calif. (Christian Examiner) -- Americans are highly interested in creating global access to the Bible, but largely unaware of how many of the world's languages are without a completed Bible translation according to a new Barna survey released Tuesday evaluating Americans' perception of the Bible's Global reach.

While 98 percent of Americans believe people should have access to the Bible, the research company found 72 percent also mistakenly believed the Bible was available in all of the world's nearly 7,000 actively used first languages.

Strikingly however, less than half of those active languages "have a completed Bible or even a completed Bible portion," and only two in 10 adults recognize there are still languages in the world without a Bible translation.

The mistake is somewhat understandable when considering the broad access to the Scriptures in the United States. Nine in 10 U.S. households report owning at least one Bible, though on average many have four.

In contrast, the survey showed 57 percent of the world's languages did not have a completed Bible translation, 26 percent only have completed segments and 31 percent, or three in 10, active first languages did not have even a translation started in their language.

The reported data was found using two research methods which included telephone interviews conducted in January with 1,010 adults aged 18 and above in the continental United States. Online surveys were also conducted between Feb. 3 and 11 and questioned 1,000 adults 18-years and older from a nationally representative panel.

Researchers indicated the Americans' perception survey was conducted as part of an annual study commissioned by the American Bible Society evaluating the State of the Bible. Sampling errors for the both studies are estimated to be plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.