Free Internet Bibles and Bible Stories for Gospel Outreach around the World

Judith Kuster (New Ulm, Minnesota USA)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Judith Maginnis Kuster, Professor (em.) of Communication Disorders (Speech Therapy) at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota, holds graduate degrees in both Communication Disorders and Counseling. For eighteen years she hosted an annual online conference for International Stuttering Awareness Day, drawing participants from more than 150 nations. She continues receiving conference invitations to lecture on (free) internet resources in her field. She and husband Tom have nine children and 12 grandchildren, and are co-hosts of this Online Conference.
This paper will introduce a few of the freely-available treasures online. Almost all can be downloaded and provide opportunities for Gospel outreach. The focus here will be on Bibles and Bible stories for both adults and children, some in multiple languages. The internet is vast and constantly changing; this paper provides only a sampling of what is currently available, and some of the resources may vanish and new ones appear in the future. You are invited to suggest other appropriate resources in the discussions attached to this presentation. Resources deemed inappropriate to the mission of the Christ in Media Institute may be deleted.

It is probably unnecessary to have permission from anyone to use online materials that are not copyrighted; however, if you use the materials you should credit the individual who created them. If you are uncertain of copyright issues, it is always a good idea to ask. If you intend to put the material on your own website, you should ask permission.

Online Bibles

Text and Audio Bibles

There are several sources of online Bibles, but this presentation will feature primarily, one of the projects of Faith Comes By Hearing. But I will mention another valuable site, that provides several similar options. provides free access to "the world's largest Bible language library." It's purpose is to provide "a vast library of Bible translations to bring God's church together making disciples from every nation, tribe, language, and people with the tools and technology of today." Originally launched in 2010 with 218 languages, the site as of this writing features the Bible in 1182 languages. "From mobile apps and MP3s to podcasts and Proclaimers, our mission is to provide people everywhere with free access to God's Word in every translated language."

Text Bibles - In some languages the Bibles are "text only" and must be read using an Internet connection. The catalog of text versions in different languages notes whether you can read online on your computer or whether it is also accessible through a free mobile APP, available at the Apple Store or Google Play for all smart phone devices and tablets. At this writing the APP is available in Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, and Russian. Many of the text Bibles are also available as "high quality, dramatized audio [Bibles] in hundreds of languages." Put on ear phones and listen any time, any place you have an Internet connection.

Audio Bibles - Besides Bibles which can be listened to online with Internet access, provides audio Bibles that, once downloaded, no longer need Internet access. These can be transferred to smart phone devices and tablets, directly from one phone to another or by installing a micro-SD chip. Currently available are portions of the Bible in some languages and entire Bibles in other languages as an Audio Bible in multiple styles, translations and/or dialects. The 954 audio languages cover a range from A (Acateco - Guatemala) to Z (Zulgo - Cameroon). Open the language link to determine if there is an audio version available. The website states that there are still "at least 1860 languages without a single verse of Scripture." Teams of volunteers are working to resolve that problem. You can download the audio Bibles through the site

The Deaf Bible

A special resource available through the website is the Deaf Bible, which features Bible video recordings in 18 sign languages [American (SLS and SLV), Burundian, Columbian, Ethiopian, French, Ghanaian, Indian (Andhra Pradseh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu), Japanese, Kenyan, Malaysian, Myanmar (Yangon), Nigerian, Spanish (Catalan), Tanzanian, and Ugandan] - with more languages coming soon. Scroll down on the flag in the top left of the Deaf Bible website to access the various languages.

Visual Bibles

The Visual Bible project was actually two separate projects to provide video illustrations of verbatim readings of the New Testament. (My information about the project is from Wikipedia). DVDs can be ordered online as a complete set or as individual books, but individual books are also freely-available online and can be downloaded from YouTube. (I use VideoDownloadHelper and the web browser Firefox).

The first project used the New International Version (NIV) word for word in the English version, and vernacular Bibles in versions which were dubbed in Spanish, Cantonese and Mandarin and included

The second Visual Bible project included

Bible stories

Many of the Bible stories listed here have not been thoroughly vetted so should be checked for decision theology or links to outside websites. They are however, valuable resources and many are examples of what we could be doing ourselves.

Movies and Movie Clips

The WELS Films

As of March 2016, the following films, produced by BT Media and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, were available from Northwestern Publishing House. These movies (DVDs) are available for sale singly ($14.50 for single copies) and in large quantities (100 for $200 plus postage). Two of the films, Come Follow Me (Spanish) and My Son My Savior (Spanish), are currently on the Academia Cristo website available in Spanish to either view online or download free of charge.

  • Road to Emmaus (in English, Spanish, French, Urdu, Nepali, Cantonese, and Mandarin and soon Arabic) is described as follows: "This thirty minute video tells the story of Jesus' walk with two disciples on the road to Emmaus the afternoon of Easter Sunday. During the walk Jesus explained why it was necessary for him to suffer and rise from the dead. The dialog therefore explains the doctrines of redemption and justification by faith alone."

  • Come Follow Me (in English, Spanish, Urdu, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Hmong and soon Haitian Creole, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Tagaong and German (subtitling) is described as follows: "Come Follow me depicts what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus. The movie recounts the experience of the apostle Peter - his misunderstanding, denial, doubts, and fears. The answer for Peter is Jesus, who through his death and resurrection assures his disciple of forgiveness. The way for Peter to be a follower of Jesus is found in the power and promises of Jesus' Word - the same way as it is for us."

  • My Son, My Savior (2015, in English and Spanish) is described as follows: "Get to know Jesus from the unique perspective of the woman privileged to call him son! This all-new film depicts the Messiah's coming, life, and ministry from the viewpoint of his mother, Mary. As you watch Mary experiencing Jesus' saving mission firsthand and pondering his role as both her son and Savior, you'll be reminded that he is truly your Savior too."

Other video Bible stories - movies online

Jesus (128 minutes) is the complete 1979 film based on the Gospel of Luke and narrates the life of Jesus. With an internet connection it can be watched online, or downloaded to your computer to watch later without an internet connection. It is in English as well as dubbed in over 1300 world languages (from A-hmao to Zuni). There are also 61 video clips (28 seconds to 4 minutes long) featuring important sections of the film which can be downloaded and easily installed on cell phones to show as conversation starters and then transferred to other phones. Once installed on a phone, no further internet access is needed to play them. (See conference session on "Spreading the Gospel Phone to Phone.")

The entire Jesus Story and other films are also available in English (as well as other languages for some of the films — Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Urdu, and more) when accessed with an APP available free from Apple's App Store or Google Play. When viewing the films through the APP, you are accessing the Internet.

More films are offered on the Jesus Film Media Site. They can be viewed online, and most can be downloaded to view off-line. Several of the films contain parts edited from the Jesus film and are available in several languages. Direct URLs are included and the online descriptions are quoted below.

The Story of Jesus for Children (1999) was "interwoven into an edited version of the original film 'Jesus' and released in 2000" (). It is 62 minutes long and available in many languages to watch online or download. The film is described online: "In the first century, a group of children meet together to talk about what they've seen and heard about Jesus. Some believe Jesus is the Son of God. But others think Jesus may just be tricking the people. The children follow Jesus around, witness His miracles, and listen to Him teach. Jesus raises a girl from the dead, calls imperfect people like tax collectors to follow Him, teaches everyone to be kind and gracious to each other, and lets a woman wash His feet with tears. He teaches in parables no one really understands, calms a raging storm, gives sight to the blind, and helps those who no one sees as worth helping. He shows the children an amazing, powerful, and kind way to live. Benjamin and Sarah talk to the children watching their story about Jesus and what it means to believe who He is and accept Him as their Savior."

Rivka "is the compelling story of a first-century community experiencing the joys and sorrows that life brings. Their story demonstrates how our loving God through His Word and Holy Spirit gives us strength for the present and hope for the future. This 12-part series is designed to help women (and men) grow in their relationship with God." A direct link to the list of the 12 Episodes (each 18-27 minutes long) is available.

Magdalene Collection (58 Minutes), "the compelling film portraying Jesus' tender regard for women, is being met with incredible response around the world. Magdalena is inspiring women everywhere to realize and reclaim the purpose they were always intended know Jesus, and with loving hearts and a gentle touch make Him known. This collection includes the 1-hour version of Magdalena as well as the original 82 minute director's cut. A series of short clips (2-5 minutes) with thought-provoking questions help viewers delve deeper into God's Word to discover hope for their lives."

Walking with Jesus (Africa). 5 episodes in English from 16-29 minutes long "is a mini-series designed to have new followers of Jesus grow in their relationship with Christ. The mini-series depicts common African life scenarios, modeling committed Christian discipleship. "Walking With Jesus" strengthens the African church by grounding new followers in their faith and equipping them to become fruitful members of the body of Christ."

Struggle and Triumph from Athletes in Action (34 minutes). In English with some of the athletes telling their story in their own language over English subtitles. The film is divided into six smaller sections and is described as follows: "From the grueling hours of training and repetition to the glory of the winner's podium, to be an Olympian is to experience all the hard work with no guarantee of reward. Yet it has been said that 'the important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well.' Struggle and Triumph follows the journeys of an American sprinter/bobsledder, a Kenyan marathoner, a Chinese speed skater, and a Brazilian swimmer as they share their stories of struggle and triumph in the Olympic spotlight."

Following Jesus (India) (5 Episodes, 17-20 minutes long) In English and ten languages spoken in India, "Following Jesus is a mini series designed to ground followers of Jesus in their faith and equip them to be fruitful members of Christ's body. Using storytelling techniques and incorporating images and clips from the JESUS film, "Following JESUS" teaches biblical principles and demonstrates how to live as a follower of Christ."

My Last Day (9 minutes) - a very graphic, animated story of the thief on the cross. Described online: "a prisoner watches as Jesus gets flogged in Pilate's courtyard. He remembers Jesus' teaching and wonders why they're hurting an innocent man. Horrified, he remembers his own crime. The crowds in the courtyard scream for Jesus to be crucified. The thief, another man, and Jesus are loaded with the beams for their crosses and march to Golgotha. They arrive and nails are driven through their wrists. Each man is hung on a cross, their feet nailed to a wooden shelf.Our thief claims Jesus is the Messiah and asks that Jesus remember him. Jesus promises him they will be in paradise together that day. A dark storm overwhelms the hill and Jesus dies. The thief passes away with a gasp and sees Jesus in a beautiful place."

Conversation Starters 26 short films, 1-16 minutes long, some only in English, others in additional languages, "to take the conversation deeper with 'old friends and new.' We've included questions with each film to help you get started. Our goal is to help you discover a person's story through the theme of the films. As you listen to their story, you can share your own and connect the viewer to the person of Christ."

. also links to the Jesus film as described above, and also to clips from other films about Jesus.

Son of God (2014) 4 clips
The Bible Series from - 6 clips
Lumo Series - 34 clips

The Beginner's Bible on YouTube has free animated Bible stories for young children based on a best selling book of the same name by Zondervan, "an international Christian media and publishing company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.. . . [and] . . . a founding member of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association." YouTube videos can be downloaded and shared. The videos are typically about 25 minutes long, colorful and appealing. Since there are at times some differences from the actual Bible stories, preview the videos to determine if you want to use them.

The Kolo World App provides access to audio and video content in over 1,200 world languages. It is available free from iTunes (Mac) and Google Play (Android) and "allows both oral and literate people of the world to find their heart languages and listen to or view available audio Bibles, JESUS Films, and related content. Playlists can then be created and shared for study or outreach." The site says that materials "can either be viewed and listened to by live streaming, or downloaded to the smartphone to build a personal LIBRARY for off-line viewing. CAUTION: be sure that free data services or a cost effective data plan is in place from your network provider to minimize charges."

Indigitube describes itself as "a platform for viewing and downloading videos and animations that share the gospel message in hundreds of different languages." The goal is "to produce and distribute an indigenous evangelistic audio-visual tool for every one of the Least Evangelizied Mega Peoples by the year 2020, so that all can clearly see and understand the gospel message and embrace it as their own." Several downloadable Short Films are in a variety oflanguages from various cultures. Three have English subtitles and are linked below. They have a Christian message and reflect a cultural perspective. Viewing them can be valuable not only for sharing, but to see how such films are made.

  • The Dream (Pak Dtai) (19:11 minutes) Southern Thai language with English subtitles, an illustration of witnessing about Jesus
  • The Final Prodigal (4:14 minutes) Hindi language film with English subtitles, a modernized version of the parable of the prodigal son with an appropriate message at the end.
  • Reflection (Reflecksi) (23:25 minutes) Indonesian language film with English subtitles, has decision theology at the end, but before that a good story reflecting how a just substitute died in a sinner's place.
  • There are several animated films on IndigiTube. Here is one example: The Prophets' Story in the Tatar Language (9:12 minutes) features several animated Old Testament stories (the first sin, Cain and Abel, Noah and the flood, Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac halted, Moses parting the Red Sea, The Passover, Sodom and Gomorrah - in all of them the figure of a lamb often appears), followed by New Testament examples of the fulfillment of the prophets' story from the birth of Christ through the resurrection. No English, but the story is very clear. (Also available with Korean subtitles and in several other languages).

Entertaining movies

Here are a few examples of entertaining movies, including some big Hollywood-type productions that aspire to be "epics," freely available on YouTube. Those drawn from the Bible often contain inaccuracies and imaginative (and sometimes lurid) additions to the simple biblical stories. However, they might draw the attention of some people to the real stories.

Two additional full-length freely-available Christian films worth listing here
  • Martin Luther (1953), the good old much viewed black and white film with Niall MacGinnis. This film was shown every year at Reformation to the upper grades at the school I attended (Madison Lutheran). There are more full-length Luther films and documentaries listed on YouTube, but I can recommend this one.
  • The Hiding Place (1975) in English with Romanien subtitles. Wikipedia describes this as "a film based on the autobiographical book of the same name by Corrie ten Boom recounting her and her family's experiences before and during their imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust in World War II." YouTube also has the entire The Hiding Place book read aloud in 15 video segments.

Other Online Bible Stories

  • "The Story of Jesus" audiodrama can be downloaded and listened to in a variety of languages in MP3 format. It is made available through The Jesus Film Project.

    A True Story (for ESL) is an extensive collection of freely-available short Bible stories (89 Old Testament and 43 New Testament) written in easy, simplified English for conversational English classes with accompanying questions and PDFs of pictures that can be used to retell the story. The stories were originally written by Gary and Evelyn Harthcock and the illustrations compiled by Debbie Corley who wrote, "The materials are available to be used by anyone with a heart for sharing God's Word with people learning to speak the English language. You are free to print them and use them as God leads without any special permission or cost to you. May He get all the glory!!" (personal correspondence, Oct. 2015) At least two ELS/WELS congregations are using these materials.

    unfoldingWord "is a collaborative project launched by Distant Shores Media in 2013 and currently managed in partnership with Wycliffe Associates and Roma Bible Society." Their vision is "to see every people group with adequate biblical content, without restrictions, in every one of their languages." unfoldingWord provides access through an Android App or an Apple App.

    50 key stories of the Bible from Creation to Revelation for evangelism and discipleship, in text, audio, and video, on any mobile phone, in MANY languages are available. Open the site to find a table with a number of languages, and a code indicating progress in preparing the stories in each language. Click on English and you will see a list of the 50 stories and can download the audio (only) by clicking the sound icon on the right. At the top of this page click "view low resolution" to open the slide show versions. A screen with the Creation Story appears. To find the list of all 50 slide show stories, there is a white arrow to the left of the screen. Click it and the list appears. Choose the one you want to see and use the BLUE arrow at the right to advance to the next pictures. Also under the heading "All Open Bible Stories" if you click the film icon on the right, you will DOWNLOAD all of the audio/visual versions (mp4) free. I opened "low resolution" and downloaded a huge "zip" icon which extracted into a large folder full of files. They are not named according to the story, but are all numbered and narrated slide show videos, nicely done. You can rename the files. These were created with free Bible illustrations from Sweet Publishing which can also be downloaded to create your own illustrated lessons, stories, flash cards, or PowerPoints.
    Story of the Farmer

    Sweet Publishing Illustrations

    Bible Storyteller comes from Gavin Owen from England who created freely-available audios of several Bible stories he told to over 10,000 children. His website states, "You are welcome to use my stories in your work provided that you do not use them for financial gain and that, wherever possible, you credit me as the author of the work. If you want to share one of my stories with someone else, please send them a link to my web site. If you would like to redistribute my stories, please get in touch to request my consent." In personal correspondence with Owen, he said, "There's nothing to stop people from downloading audio and video from my web site - right-clicking over the audio or video player will usually give a 'save as' option in the pop-up menu and I've done nothing to block that." I was also able to download each audio recording on my computer by opening the site in Firefox and using the free Firefox add-on "Downloadhelper." If you have a podcast app installed on your device, you can download the audio stories and listen to them when you are offline using iTunes/iOS, Android/Google Play, Windows Phone or manually import an RSS feed into your podcast app. KIDZ by Faith Comes by Hearing is a highly-rated free app in English for ages 6-8 that includes stories, games, and an armory. Designed for iPhone and iPad, it requires iOS 4.3 or later. The app currently contains the following illustrated stories, with more to be added soon: Birth of Jesus, Jesus is Baptized, A Feast for 5000, Jesus Heals Blind Man, Jesus Enters Jerusalem, Crucifixion, and An Empty Tomb. The online description states, in part: "While listening to the Bible, your child can play games to earn their Armor of God, as they increase their knowledge of Scripture. Play 'Find the Crosses' or build a puzzle to achieve the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, or the belt of truth. Earn the breastplate of righteousness with other games such as Color Pages and Memory Verses. Your child can also record their own voice to share a story, memory verse or a color page through email. Imagine your child staying in touch with family and friends as they share the Word of God! Using beautifully illustrated stories, your child will enjoy learning the Bible!"

    The Bible App for Kids is "a free Bible experience" for kids ages 6-8. It currently includes 13 episodes in a touch-activated animated storybook, colorful illustrations with touch-activated animation, games and activities that help kids remember what they learn combined with kid-friendly navigation. It is available in English, Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Turkish, for viewing on Android, and on Macintosh iPhone, iPad, and Ipod touch, and on Kindle. Companion resources for parents include coloring pages, videos, and adventure books with memory verses, coloring activities and questions, which may or may not be used. The videos are 18-25 minutes long with the actual story (about two minutes or so long) starting someplace between 4-5 minutes into the video. You can download the video and extract the short story using the Download Manager trim option if you want.

    Sermons4Kids has several Powerpoint presentations of Bible stories that can be used or easily adapted.

    Christian Preschool Printables has many one cut books (minibooks). Use the step by step tutorial on how to fold and cut to create 8-page booklets. The site has four pages, each with several beautifully-done "minibooks" of Bible Stories and Bible lessons and an additional 3 pages of minibooks for memory verses which can be printed in color or black and white. Have children practice telling the Bible story to share with their friends and family.

    Free Bible Story Coloring Pages to Download

    Bible Printables is a single site that includes many Old and New Testament pictures. Read or tell the Bible story and download the free coloring pictures for children to color and retell the story to their friends and families.

    Many other coloring page sites are on the Internet. Doing an image search (Bible story coloring pages) on your favorite web browser will uncover many examples including these:

    Free online text devotions, magazines, streamed church services and archived sermons

    Many organizations and congregations provide free email or text messaging devotions and magazines, as well as streamed services and archived sermons, which can be picked up on cell phones. These are good resources to use yourself or to recommend to others as they continue their own Christian journey. A few good examples are below.

  • Free Email or Text Daily Devotions
  • Free Magazine
  • Streamed Services and Archived Sermons. The ELS lists the URLs of their churches streaming services, or offering video, audio, or print sermons, as well as the Bethany Lutheran College "Chapelcast.". The WELS links to archived audio, archived video, closed caption archived video, congregations in iTunes, and live streamed services. Below are four examples of free streamed or archived worship services.
    • Faith Lutheran Church (WELS, Sherpsburg, GA) - Mark Parsons' "Bread for Beggars" has a repository of archived sermons by Pastor Jonathan Schroeder sorted into seasonal categories.
    • Peace Lutheran (ELS, North Mankato, MN), Pastor Timothy Hartwig, Vicar Matthew Behmer - streams the Sunday morning service live, and also archives sermons and the entire service.
    • Abiding Shepherd (ELS, Cottage Grove, WI) has recent and archived sermons from their pastors, Nathan Krause and Nathanael Abrahamson.
    • Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel (WELS) serving the University of Wisconsin-Madison community and more - live stream and archived services, Campus Pastor Thomas Trapp.

    One final resource to explore

    International Christian Resources The Christian materials online are endless - and growing. There is no way for me to evaluate the materials on this site since they are all in various languages. However those serving individuals around the world may find some helpful resources here. The Jeus film appears frequently, as well as some music videos using Jeus film clips as visuals. Someone is working very hard to maintain and update this resource! If materials are vetted for appropriate content and doctrine, I see no reason for us to "reinvent the wheel." Enjoy exploring.

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  • Discussion

    Jas 28 days ago
    Great resources! Thank you for sharing.
    Judy Kuster 27 days ago
    Thank you for the kind comments, Jas. I don't expect a lot of questions about this paper (although questions are welcome), but I hope readers will know of additional freely-available online resources they can suggest or that they are developing themselves. I'm considering developing a website that can be updated with more helpful suggestions than are reflected here. I know there are more - this paper is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Tom (and time) just put limits on what I submitted here.
    Jim Radloff 27 days ago
    No questions. Just appreciate sooo much all of the information. How long will this site be available?
    Judy Kuster 27 days ago
    Well, maybe one question;-) The site will be available Indefinitely. You will only be able to post questions and comments for the three weeks the conference is open, but the entire conference will remain archived and accessible at the same URL ( and will also be linked on Christ in Media (
    Kalyan Gallapalli 26 days ago
    Thank you for the information about online resources. As you commented, I am sure it would be nice to have a regularly updated website to host such information.
    Judy Kuster 26 days ago
    Thanks for checking in, Kalyan! The exciting part of many of the resources mentioned is that they can be freely loaded on cell phones (see Tom Kuster's paper) and easily transferred phone to phone without having to go online to access the internet. Once they are on a phone, it acts like a little computer storing materials and can be shared. The little, inexpensive MicroSD chips that can be installed, make it possible to load entire movies, the whole Bible, audio Bibles in several languages and much more on one chip. Amazing what God has provided as a new way to "go into the world."
    Dan Kroll 23 days ago
    There's a lot of material here I will soon be able to use in the classroom as we will be beginning pastoral studies (5 year program) here in Cameroon. the material with some biblical inaccuracies might be particularly helpful to teach our men to listen and watch critically. I won't have wifi on campus - will have to look at downloading, etc. thanks, Judy!!
    Judy Kuster 23 days ago
    Interesting comment, Dan. I was a bit concerned recommending some of the resources without thorough "vetting" each one. I found one resource with a multitude of very colorful and nicely done Bible stories that I decided I couldn't add because of some pretty obvious difference in doctrine. But your comment about using some of the materials to teach your students to listen and watch critically was very insightful! On a personal note, I met your father at a funeral in Madison last week and enjoyed a Cameroonian dinner with your sons a couple weeks ago in New Ulm. What a small world!
    Rachel Kerkow 23 days ago
    Thank you so much for this great resource! I am excited to use it and hope to pass it on to our members.
    Judy Kuster 23 days ago
    I appreciate your kind comment, Rachel. I know you will adapt some of these resources in creative ways. You were a blessing to our church in North Mankato, and I'm sure are a blessing where you are now.
    Tom Kuster 23 days ago
    Bibles are basic; getting them to people is a fundamental evangelism task. Audio Bibles are especially basic for the 12% of men and 20% of women world-wide who cannot read (and many more who do not read). We are grateful that provides audio New Testaments (and in some languages complete audio Bibles) in more than 1200 languages. But much work remains. According to the Wycliff people, at least 1.3 billion people don't have the full Bible in their own language. 7,000 languages are in the world, but only 2888 have even just some Scripture. Only 531 languages have the complete Bible. Wycliff is inviting people with technology skills to their "8 Weeks of Code" summer internship project in Florida. Sounds to me like an exciting learning and helping opportunity. For details copy and paste this URL:
    Tom Kuster 23 days ago
    Let me add the brief description of the Wycliff program this summer: "8 Weeks of Code is a summer internship mission program, for software developers, programmers, and designers, ages 18 to 25, to build software and mobile Android apps for Bible translation."
    Judy Kuster 22 days ago
    Sounds like an exciting opportunity and a job that can last a lifetime to get audio Bibles and text Bibles "to every nation." Over the years when I was teaching phonetics for communication disorders majors, I always mentioned a couple from St. Cloud, MN who were Wycliff Bible translators. I had one student who told me that was going to be his goal after graduating and wondered what other courses would be helpful. I also had one non-major who registered for the phonetics class BECAUSE she planned to work with Wycliff. It is good to get the word out about such opportunities. Thanks for posting.
    ERNST WENDLAND 22 days ago
    This is a most informative website--thanks for putting all these resources together!
    One question: Has the subject of translation come up in your various panels--or the type of English that we need to use in order to communicate more effectively in a non-mother-tongue-speaking environment? I have discovered over the years that much of the Christian/biblical material that we "publish" on the "world-wide-web" are either very difficult to understand, or liable to be misunderstood because of the western idiomatic style of English that is being used. This is a huge problem also for translators who wish to convert these English materials into their own language. If they do not understand the original English text correctly, you can imagine what results in the vernacular!
    Judy Kuster 22 days ago
    Ernst, I was so happy to see a post from you and glad you were able to get into the conference from Zambia! Thanks for the kind words.

    And about your question – it is a VERY important and interesting point to me about translation of Christian material. One thing I like about audio Bibles is that they attempt to put the Bible in the “heart language” of the listener – the language they grew up with from childhood. I can relate to that personally with Bible translations even in new English translations and also with “updating” the words in hymns I learned as a child when I was promised that all the memorization I did throughout Christian schools would remain with me all of my life (they have) and I would use them even when my eyes were no longer able to see well enough to read the print in the hymnbooks. The last prayers I had with my dying mother were the words of the Lord’s prayer we used to recite every night together when I was a child and the 23rd Psalm we both learned by heart as children. I was at a funeral last week of a man who was a POW in a prison camp in Vietnam for nearly six years. In isolation for many of those years, he had his own church services with the Bible passages and hymns he had memorized as a child. After he was released, the tradition at his ELS church was that he recited the KJV version of Luke 2 every Christmas – the same version I also know by heart. Changing those words is very difficult for me. So are the changes of words (and sometimes familiar tunes) in various hymn books. I often learned a different version of entire hymns we sing in church on Sunday. If I know the hymn, I still sing the version that is in my heart. I love the new hymns in the hymnbooks, and enjoy singing the words written on the page. I don’t even mind (in fact I appreciate) attempts to use inclusive language. But I do not love the often arbitrary changes that were made in the old familiar hymns.

    Your comment about the idiomatic language we speak is also very important, but so is an understanding of the idiomatic language of what we are translating the Bible into. I remember learning pages of German idioms in high school German class and also have learned some of the idioms in other language as well. The written Chinese language is very idiomatic. For example the characters for “crisis” combine the two symbols for “danger” and “opportunity.” The characters for the verb to listen has a much deeper meaning than the English verb. In Chinese, it combines characters for “you,” “ear,” “undivided attention,” “eyes,” and “heart.”

    A real understanding and love for language is necessary for translating the Bible into the language of another culture.