The World Bible Translation Day enters its 50th year of existence ever since the US Congress established it on September 30, 1966, as a permanent day of the year to honor Bible translations. This day was chosen, as it is the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of Bible translators. He pioneered the first major Bible translation of the world, translating the Word of God from Hebrew to Latin to make what is called the ‘Latin Vulgate’. There are many to be remembered on this auspicious day, including John Wycliffe, who translated the whole Bible into English from the Latin Vulgate and William Tyndale, who was burnt at stake for having translated and published the Word of God into English from the original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. His last words as he was being burnt at stake, “O Lord open the eyes of the King of England,” opened the door of Heaven and decades later the king of England himself brought out the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, which has by far the greatest number of printed books in the world till date. After the martyrdom of William Tyndale, thousands were persecuted and shed their blood, including his disciple and associate, Mathew Rogers, who was also burnt at the stake in front of his wife and eleven children for helping to complete the English translation of the Bible which Tyndale left unfinished. Ironically, a prominent Christian church was behind these outrageous and cruel persecutions against all these Bible translators. These martyrs remain unsung heroes and are seldom remembered by the present day churches. The unfading crowns of these martyrs in heaven can be seen by the so called Christian leaders only when they leave their abode on earth.
It is estimated that there are about 6,819 spoken languages in the world, of which more than 2,700 are yet to have even a verse printed. In this grand total, India has around 447 living languages of which 29 languages have more than one million speakers. According to unofficial estimates, the Word of God has yet to reach more than 375 languages in India .
Ironically, the established Churches of different language groups are neither bothered about their outdated Bible translations nor about the language groups who do not have even a single verse of the Bible in their language. The wealthy Christian churches and Bible making societies are more focused on beautiful buildings, business and educational establishments than to give the Word of God to millions of poor brethren in different language groups. In my personal experience, they neither pioneer the translation of the Word nor do they encourage people who struggle to get the Word to other language groups.
My bitter experience is that Satan used Christian leaders to try and crush my translation of the Modern Malayalam version of the Bible – Vishudha Satya Vedapusthakam. My wife and I both lost our jobs abroad … my children… their education. They tried to keep this Bible out of the Christian bookshops in Kerala. In spite of all the ridicule and discouragement, the Almighty God has carried the Vishudha Satya Vedapusthakam to the hands of hundreds of thousands across the world. Though no awards, rewards or appreciation came from the so-called overseers of God on earth, my testimony on this sacred day of prayer is that, He never let me down and lifted me further up to present His Word to the Paniya, Jennukuruba and Banjara language groups, making the Word of God, the first piece of literature ever presented and printed in their language, since their existence on earth. God enabled me to pioneer the translation of the Bible into the Telugu language, which is the second largest language group in India. And above all, the Lord blessed me to present the Christian Walk Bible, the first ever Study Bible in any language in the world on Fasting Prayer.
God made all these possible without any aid from any Church or Bible making societies, but just by the earnest efforts of my brethren in my fasting prayer ministry across the world, who fast and pray in unison crushing the barriers of churches or congregations, under the banner of “WORD TO WORLD”.
I place my humble prayers at the feet of my Heavenly Father beseeching blessings for all those who have shed their blood and laid down their lives for the translation of Word of God and for everyone engaged even at this very moment in translating the Word to the untouched languages, to carry the Good News to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Praise the Lord!