Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is not only training mother-tongue Bible translators to translate the Scriptures for themselves, but is also providing equipment for Christians to quickly and efficiently print the newly translated Bibles and portions of Scripture for their own language groups.
“Imagine how frustrating it would be to finally receive the tools, technology, and training to translate the Scriptures and then not be able to print Bibles,” says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “Printing Bibles is the final link in the chain of love.”
When a Bible translation project comes to a close, the Scriptures need to be printed and distributed. With the Wycliffe Associates Print On Demand system, the organization installs high-speed, compact printing systems that enable mother-tongue Bible translators to work discreetly, especially in areas where Christians are the targets of intense persecution. Bibles can be printed in small or large quantities on a system that is easily moved from one location to another.
Print On Demand works in conjunction with the Bible translation strategy known as MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation). MAST is a translation method in which teams of mother-tongue translators work collaboratively to translate Scripture portions into their own languages. The translators use an eight-step process of drafting and checking their work.
There are now 816 Bible translation projects underway using the MAST strategy, with over 20 major MAST workshops planned for Africa and Asia. Wycliffe Associates wants to provide a Print On Demand system for each language project and is currently raising funds for the systems, which cost $25,000 each.
Smith says that when a Bible translation is complete and people are holding printed Bibles in their language, “We witness the explosion of gratitude—the absolute elation—again and again.”
To date, Wycliffe Associates has deployed 83 Print On Demand systems in 26 countries.