According to the Wycliffe Bible Translators (www.wycliffe.org/about/statistics), there are over 6,900 languages spoken in the world today. Just over 2,000 of those languages have no part of the Bible translated into them. The total number of people who do not have access to a Bible in their language is estimated to be 350 million.
To be among one of the language communities in the world with access to the entire Biblical text is one of God’s great blessings. Though one can logically deduce from observing the natural world that an infinite God exists (Rom. 1:20; Psa. 19:1-4; Acts 14:17), had the Bible not been translated into modern English, we would miss so much.
We could not stand amazed at the compassion and wisdom of the Almighty as we watch His plan for man’s redemption unfold across the expanse of time. We could not picture Eden’s perfection. We could not stand amazed at the providence of God playing out in the lives of Joseph and Esther. We could not share in the emotions of the psalmists. We could not feel the pain of Jeremiah as he tried in vain to bring Judah to repentance. The wisdom of the Proverbs would be hidden. We could not stand in awe of the prophets and their finely detailed yet minutely fulfilled prophecies. We would know nothing of a quiet, inconspicuous birth in a Bethlehem barn that caused joyous praise to break out among the angels in heaven. We could not benefit from the simple, yet powerful parables of Jesus. We could not weep with Jesus at the graveside of His beloved friend. We could not stand in awe of His miracles. We would know nothing of the wondrous beginning of the church, nor could we marvel at its amazing growth. We could not rejoice with the Ethiopian treasurer who found forgiveness in Christ.
Most importantly, we would know nothing of the matchless love of our Creator in sending His own Son to live on earth as one of us and die to purchase our redemption from sin; and we could not break out in hymns of praise at the discovery of an empty tomb. We would exist without the confident expectation of Heaven’s bliss. How dreary and hopeless our lives would be without the Bible. What a treasure it is!
Are you grateful that you have the Bible in your own language? Or do you take this immeasurable treasure for granted? How often do you lose yourself in reading its dramatic revelation of God’s plan for your redemption? May we all grow so much in our appreciation for the Scriptures that we can truthfully echo these words, “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure” (Psa. 119:162).