NEW YORK— Jehovah’s Witnesses reached a Bible translation milestone for the year 2020 releasing the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in 33 languages, including the significant accomplishment of the first complete Bible in American Sign Language.
“As far as we know, Jehovah’s Witnesses are the first organization or group of persons to release the complete Bible in ASL. And probably that means it’s the first complete Bible in sign language in the world (and) in the history of mankind,” said Mr. Geoffrey Jackson, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses, about the ASL translation at a release event held in Florida on February 15, 2020.
A primary aim of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ translation efforts is to restore the name of God—Jehovah—to the more than 7,000 places in the Bible where other translators have substituted it with titles such as “Lord”.
Another goal was to make the translation easy to read and readily available to people worldwide free of charge. The New World Translation is available for free download to those who live in the Turks and Caicos Islands in their preferred language on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official website jw.org.
Translation work is carried out by teams of volunteer translators who work in the areas where the target languages are spoken.
The translation, publishing, and printing work of the Witnesses is all supported by voluntary donations. In 2021 Jehovah’s Witnesses plan to release the New World Translation, in whole or in part, in 36 languages marking the greatest number of language releases since their first translation in 1950.