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Will the World's First Deaf Bible Come from Japan?

Possibly. But at current pace, project could take decades to complete.

Wycliffe Bible Translators is known for dispatching translators to remote locations in order to help indigenous people groups hear the gospel in their native languages. But what about those who cannot hear?

"There is still no full translation of the Bible in any sign language," reports Wycliffe. Yet the Japan Deaf Evangel Mission (JDEM) aims to change that, creating the world's only full-text sign language Bible using video-recorded Scriptures.

According to JDEM, the mission of its ViBi project is to "translate the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and produce them on visual media, placing these Bible tapes for sale in bookstores throughout Japan."

The idea for the project began in the early 1990s, and work by the ViBi team has been ongoing since then. Wycliffe reports that the ViBi team currently has translated 13 of the Bible's 66 books into JSL. But things could pick up–allowing JDEM to complete the translation as soon as 2023–if the project receives adequate funds.

CT previously reported how the deaf are "virtually an unreached people group," yet ministries are working hard to remedy this.

CT's next issue includes a special section looking at Japan's rising interest in Christianity and how Christian ministry is changing in the country. Subscribe now to have it sent to you when it comes out.

Related Topics:Asia
Posted:June 18, 2013 at 12:46PM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

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