Deaf communities use more than 400 sign languages, but not a single one has a full Bible. Only a few dozen have any Scripture at all. Furthermore, ministries estimate that less than one-percent of the world’s 70 million Deaf people know Christ.
With such great need and so few Deaf Christians, who will do the work of sign language Bible translation?
Deaf Bible Society’s Mike Brabo says DBS works with Deaf believers worldwide to answer this question. “We make contact with Deaf Christians in a specific country to determine their interest, their vision [and] passion, and how we can come alongside them in the task of reaching their country with the Gospel,” he says, explaining how the process begins.
“As these conversations and the relationships develop, we then begin discussing establishing a sign language Bible translation in their native language.”
Why can’t Deaf just read the Bible?
Spiritual transformation is nearly impossible without God’s Word in a language the Deaf can understand. Reading a traditional print Bible can be difficult because it’s a written version of a spoken language.
English, for example, is both a spoken and written language. Many U.S. Deaf can read an English print Bible. However, that print Bible doesn’t provide the same “heart level” connection and understanding as Scripture in American Sign Language.
Signed languages are the first – or, “heart” – languages of Deaf communities worldwide. To get God’s Word into more sign languages, Deaf Bible Society helps Deaf believers form Bible translation teams.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth