Having the possibility to read the Bible in your own understandable language is the most important aspect of the Bible mission. The WBP believe that through providing the Word of God in the heart language of people the BSs will help them encounter the message of Christ and be touched by it and transformed in their lives. The WBP trusts that the Word of God brings peace and reconciliation among people and nations.
Because of the history of the West Balkans, living under communist regimes, atheist propaganda has been and sometimes still remains a very powerful influence. This has produced a situation where people are not interested in the Bible. Furthermore the Church itself did not have the resources to translate and produce a good and understandable Bible translated from the original languages. In our daily meetings with different believers and church leaders we have found that there is a great need for a good and understandable Bible text. Most of the Bible translations that are being used by believers and by churches are quite far from the modern spoken languages.
This is why Bible translation remains one of the key areas for the WBP. All five BSs have developed multiyear translation projects. Some of the translations will be published by the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019. The aim is to provide the Churches with a translation in contemporary language that will better support their efforts to share the Gospel and to encourage people to read from the Bible.
The WBP is also putting a lot of effort into translating and preparing Bibles for special audiences such as the Roma people and other small ethnic groups in different countries, and as well for Deaf and Visually Impaired people.
One of the biggest encouragements that the BSs had related to the translation projects was directly from Pope Francis. During his visit in Albania, he organized a meeting with all the religious leaders of Albania and he decided to invite the representative of the Bible Society of Albania to congratulate the organization for the good work of translating the Bible in Albanian with an inter-confessional team. Pope Francis then stated his appreciation for the ministry that all the BSs of the UBS are currently doing all over the world.
- Romani New Testament translation (Serbia) – will be finished in 2019
- Children’s Bible in Romani language (Serbia)
- OT translation in Serbian (Serbia) – will be finished in 2019
- Life with Jesus (Slovenia) – will be finished in 2021
- Revision of the Prekmurian New Testament & Psalms (Slovenia) – will be finished in 2018
- Contemporary translation of the Bible in Macedonian (Macedonia) – New Testament will be finished in 2020 and in 2021 will start the translation of the Old Testament
- The Bible in Sign Language (Macedonia) – will be finished in 2019
- New Croatian Bible (Croatia) – will be finished in 2022
- Bosnian Bible (Croatia) – will continue also after 2022
- Albanian Inter-confessional Old Testament Translation Së Bashku (Albania) – will be finished in 2018
- Free and Dynamic translation of the Bible in Albanian + Evangelistic project (Albania) – will be finished in 2022
- ESV Bible Study translation and publication (Albania) – will be finished in 2020
- Translation of the Septuagint into Albanian for the Orthodox Church (Albania) – will be finished in 2022
- The Gospel for the Roma community (Albania)
At the end of 2022 all five BSs will have the opportunity to serve their nations with new contemporary translations as well as translations for special audiences marginalized by society. This will be one of our main achievements not only in terms of our particular mission field but also giving a great heritage to our nations. Eventually these new contemporary translations will strengthen the position of the BSs in each country increasing the income from sales and the impact of our projects in the Christian community. The translation process in itself is a driving force for the work of the Bible Society since it requires input from different people and, sharing the translation with church leaders of all traditions and Bible readers. It is helping the Bible Societies to be more in contact with the churches. The translation projects are the most important ones for the BSs of the WBP because they provide the Word of God for the believers. In some cases, they are providing the only platform where Christians from different church traditions are working together.