It was all going so well. They were making great progress – clear communication facilitating cooperation, innovation, and achievement. As they worked together it soon became obvious that nothing they planned would fail.
So they set out to build a city. And with it, a tower that would reach to the heavens. They knew that this would establish them, solidifying their fame, power, and glory.
But then something happened: the Lord came down. He saw what they were doing. And He took action. As a result, their language was confused.
That moment at the foot of the Tower of Babel changed everything. People were scattered across the face of the earth. And worse still, they now spoke a multitude of languages. Communication and understanding became not just difficult but impossible.
Fast forward several thousand years. Tasked with the mission of making disciples of all nations, we face a daunting challenge: how to communicate God’s Word in all the world’s languages so everyone can hear and understand His invitation to salvation and eternal life. The answer has taken the form of diligent and time-consuming Bible translation work.
But even when the Bible is successfully translated, getting it to those who hunger for it, who most need the Life-giving message of Scripture – especially those in remote areas and closed countries – has been tough.
In 2008, God did something spectacular. He helped us overcome the debacle of the Tower of Babel by inspiring Bobby Gruenewald and Life.Church of Edmund, Oklahoma to create and launch an app called YouVersion.
The idea for YouVersion first came to Gruenwald while he was sitting in Chicago O’Hare International Airport in 2006.
“I was asking the right questions in the airport that day,” Gruenwald told the Oklahoman. “The question was, could we be at that moment in history where, if we could just leverage or develop the right technology, we could really change or transform how this generation engages in the Bible? Could we be at one of those Gutenberg-type moments?”
The app that Gruenwald envisioned was made available on the opening day of the iTunes store. And it quickly began to take off. Ten years later, YouVersion has been installed on over 320 million unique devices. It now offers more than 1,738 translations of the Bible in 1,134 languages.
What makes YouVersion so powerful is that it makes God’s Word available to people all over the world. There is no fee and the translations can be accessed instantly on a computer, tablet, cell phone, or other mobile device. YouVersion is transporting the Bible across borders, into distant lands, past political and religious barriers, shining the light of the Word into the darkest, most oppressed places on earth.
Biblica’s NIV was one of the first translations on YouVersion. We continue to partner closely with YouVersion to provide dozens of foreign language translations. We are also developing and contributing to a growing number of reading plans.
“Ultimately, our goal is to see a generation that becomes the most Bible-engaged generation in history,” says Gruenewald. “So we really feel there are hundreds of millions if not billions of devices that we want to see the Bible on. Not just see it on – we hope to see people really using it. We want to see people using the Bible in their everyday lives.”
Join us in getting God’s Word to those who so desperately need the saving message of Christ. Your gift will help us complete translation projects, share more translations and reading plans on YouVersion, and provide the Bible to more people in languages they can understand.
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