Wycliffe Bible Translators is a United States organization dedicated to making a translation of the Bible in every living language in the world, especially for cultures and communities where the Christian influence has hardly reached so far. However, “there is still no full translation of the Bible in any sign language”, the organization’s officials say.
Japan Deaf Evangel Mission (JDEM), a Nippon organization, is trying to change that by creating the first full-text sign language Bible using video-recorded Scriptures.
The organization’s mission, as they describe it, is to “translate the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures into Japanese Sign Language (JSL) and produce them on visual media, placing these Bible tapes for sale in bookstores throughout Japan.”
“We translate, produce and publish the Japanese Sign Language Bible so that deaf people will understand the Bible in their own language, and that their souls will be nourished by God’s word”, the organization states on its website.
The idea for the project began in the early 1990s, and the organization worked at the project since then, translating so far 13 of the Bible’s 66 books into Japanese Sign Language.
The deaf are “virtually an unreached people group,” the international press comments, but ministries are working to change that.