How long does it take to translate the Bible?
The time investment is different for every project. Historically, translating the Bible for an unreached people group has taken between 12-25 years. Some of the factors which dictate the amount of time one spends translating are:
- Does the language group have a written alphabet?
- Are there any speakers in this language group who have had a primary or secondary education?
- How accessible is the field (politically, geographically and educationally)?
- Is there an existing church in this language group which is highly motivated to see the Word of God translated in their language?
The missionary must recognize our success is not measured in accomplishments as much as it is measured in obedience and faithfulness. We must also recognize that the processes of translation, literacy training, and bringing newly translated Scripture into use are powerfully transformative. We may never know this side of eternity how God was at work in our ministry. Our job is to be faithful and trust God with the outcomes.