How many Bible translators were active on October 2, 2018?

We know there are a lot of translations going on because we meet many translators in the various countries where we do training. Speaking at churches, we often share the global statistics on Bible translation that Wycliffe releases each year. The numbers currently show:

2,630 languages with active Bible translation projects
2,185 languages with no work in progress and a definite need for Scriptures.

Then suddenly, this year, the numbers came alive for us! It all started a little over a year ago with a major release of Paratext – the translation software for an estimated 95% of Bible translations being done today. With users all over the world, we knew it was being put to great use, we just didn’t know where or on what languages. So, for this new release we had a new strategy: Let’s require our users to supply accurate information about the language the translation is for, and how much they intend to translate. The New Testament? A whole Bible? Selected books? In this way we would have an accurate picture of which languages were being worked on, where, and by what organizations. You can imagine how difficult it has been to obtain this information in the past. There are over 250 different organizations translating the Bible globally, from A (ACATBA) to Z (Zimbabwe Bible Society)!

The result of our Bible translation registry has resulted in live statistics, showing 6,015 active users of the software reporting in (as of October 2), and half as many translation projects! One of my (Doug’s) responsibilities is to manage the database where these translations are registered. Some projects are classified and their existence is only known to a few trusted persons in the system. The majority, however, are happy to share their information with other Bible translation organizations because it avoids duplication of work. Imagine spending years translating Scripture into a language, only to find out that a team in the neighboring region has just completed the New Testament in the same language.  This scenario has happened before and would happen again—but for the new registration system that informs these organizations of what one another is doing. These aren't cold statistics, they are living proof of global Bible translation! Isn't it amazing what God is doing?


Sunday, September 30 was Bible Translation Day. Did you notice? #WhyBible is an annual, global conversation about why the Bible matters in our daily lives. What couldn't be better than to mark a day on our calendars for engaging with God's Word?!?

Love Extended

On September 28, our Higby family tree sprouted another branch with the birth of Isaac Feye to Kaitlyn and Henry! Isaac arrived before Doug's upcoming European meetings, so we were able to spend time with him together for the first time.

Since 2016 our modus operandi was maintaining a home office in the US and travelling for workshops and conferences. That meant spending 50% in Michigan and 50% squatting in makeshift offices around the world. For the upcoming season, Doug will be traveling solo to his events, while P.J. works out of our home office in Michigan. Shorter trips, but more frequent. That being said, as Fall is a mission emphasis time of the year, please let us know how we can engage with your churches to promote Bible translation.

Your prayers and support continue to enable us to be involved in the technology behind the Bible translation movement. As we continue to see new translations get registered, it gives us an awesome glimpse of the work that is currently underway to make God’s Message known all over the world. And it is humbling to think of the small role that we get to play in this global collaboration of God’s church.

Partners in the Gospel, (Phil 1:5)

Doug & P.J. Higby


Prayer & Praise

  • Pray for the translators and consultants who work with Paratext to provide the scriptures around the world.
  • Pray for safe travels for Doug as he continues to travel for his role in language technology.
  • Pray for the team on the ground that is working to promote the audio Fulfulde New Testament.
  • Praise God for little Isaac who's joined our family. Pray that this new family settles into a good routine quickly!
  • Praise God for a home base and worldwide offices where we can work and supporters who provide faithfully for our needs.
Your gifts enable the Higbys' continued ministry with Wycliffe.
  • By check
    • Payable to: "Wycliffe Bible Translators"
      with the memo: "Doug & Priscilla Higby"
      Mail to: Wycliffe Bible Translators, P.O. Box 628200, Orlando FL 32862-8200

Doug & Priscilla Higby are missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Doug is the International Coordinator for Language Technology Use, and Priscilla is serving as E-Pub Manager with SIL International.

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Mailing address:
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Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Phone: (616) 808-8129, 808-1126
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