HONG KONG- The Hong Kong Wycliffe Bible Translators has celebrated its 20th Anniversary last Saturday, Asia-Pacific Area Director of Wycliffe International Takashi Fukuda traveled to Hong Kong for the Thanksgiving Service.
Fukuda spoke about the challenge of Bible translation during the service. The spread of the Gospel was first started along the coastal area, and advanced to the inner land and now, it is further propagated the ethnic minorities. Therefore, the greatest challenge for the spread of the word of God today is the difference in cultural background of different people across the world, Fukuda said. Long time ago, western missionaries all shared similar cultural background, while nowadays missionaries from different parts of the world must learn how to embrace each other in order to co-work together.
Looking back the history of Bible translation, the number of languages available for the Bible has increased 10 times from 1900 to 2000. Among the 2000 versions available by 2000, Wycliffe International has contributed for 1600 of that.
"The associated partner of Wycliffe Bible Translators- The SIL International, has done very well in terms of translations. However, about how to establish good relationship with local organizations and churches is still a big challenge faced by SIL," Fukuda said.
Meanwhile, the total number of spoken languages in the world is 6912. The native language version of the Bible is not available for 2286 languages, Wycliffe Bible Translators is now working on 1941 languages. The long-term vision for Wycliffe Bible Translators is that the translation for all languages will be started by 2025.
Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism General Secretary Rev. Morley Lee was presented at the thanksgiving service.
The Hong Kong Wycliffe Bible Translators was incorporated on July 1, 2006, formerly known as the Wycliffe Bible Translators (Hong Kong Regional Committee). Staff members are sent overseas to support the ministries of bible translation, education, research & development, administration as well as human resources management, serving different races and tribes and local churches whenever they go.
In the past decade, the Hong Kong Wycliffe Bible Translators has shown excellent progress. In July 2001, it has published the first Thai New Testament which was translated by staff from Hong Kong.
[Editor’s note: Claudia Cheng in San Francisco has translated this article.]