Look upon the Fields
By Steve Combs
It seems fitting to begin our blog posts with an overview of the translation needs of the World, so that you may intelligently pray for us, the ministry, and for laborers to join the harvest. Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35). If we are to "look on the fields," it is necessary to look at the state of the Bible translation ministry as it is today. The following statistics are from the International Mission Board and Wycliffe Bible Translators (2014-2016).
People Group Statistics:
World Population: About 7 Billion
Ethno-linguistic People Groups: Over 11,000 (as measured by countries in which they reside. See the article "What Are Unreached People Groups?")
Unreached People Groups: 6,793
Population of Unreached People Groups: 4,208,580,655
Last Frontier People Groups: 4,730
Population Last Frontier: 867,577,905
"Last Frontier" is defined as: 1) less than 2% of the population is born again and 2) there has been NO active church planting in the last two years (so far as is generally known).
Many of these people groups also do not have a Bible or even a New Testament. Some have a few verses and some have active translation projects underway. Othesr simply have NOTHING!
The Bible Translation Statistics are as follows:
Total Languages of the World: over 7,100
Active Languages in Use by Mother-Tongue Speakers: 6,887
Languages With Whole Bible: 554
Languages with Only New Testament: 1,333
Languages with Portions: 1,045
Languages with Projects Underway: 2,267
Languages with NO KNOWN Scripture: 3,955
"Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).
Most of the Blog entries are by Steve Zeinner, General Director and Steve Combs, Asst. Director