Joint Effort Aims to Get Bible in All Languages

OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) – Mart Green has a vision that everyone in the world will have the Bible in their own heart language in the next 12 years.

Green, founder and CEO of Mardel Christian & Education, a chain of 37 stores in seven U.S. states, is helping lead a Bible translation project featuring a variety of organizations with the goal of translating the Bible into all known languages by the year 2033.

Mart Green

The translation effort, called illumiNations, includes a partnership among 10 of the largest Bible translation organizations in the world, including Wycliffe Bible Translators, American Bible Society, Pioneer Bible Translators and Deaf Bible Society.

Green, son of Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green, also serves as the ministry investment officer for Hobby Lobby.

The goal of the illumiNations alliance is to eliminate “Bible poverty,” or not having Scripture in a language one can read and understand.

The group estimates there are 3,800 language communities that do not have a completed Bible in their language, and 2,000 of these groups do not even have one verse of Scripture in their language. The number of people worldwide who do not have a Bible in their language is estimated to be more than 1 billion.

Green said the ministry of Bible translation has been on his heart for a long time after a “life-defining moment” more than 20 years ago. During a trip to Central America, he witnessed a man become overwhelmed with emotion after receiving a personal copy of a completed Bible in his own language that had taken more than 40 years to translate.

After previously being unsure about whether the ministry of Bible translation was worth the time, money and effort it involved, Green said his outlook on the ministry changed in that moment.

“The Holy Spirit prompted me with a question in my heart, ‘Why don’t you tell this man he’s not a good return on investment,’” he said.

“I then started to think what kind of return on investment am I to God? I’ve grown up in a Christian family and work with a Christian organization, but I didn’t read the Bible on any kind of consistent basis. But on that day I made a vow that I would get up every morning and read the Bible as well as continue to invest in translation projects. I went from focusing on a practical return on investment to looking at the eternal return on investment.”

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Source: Baptist Press

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