The American Sign Language Version of the Bible (ASLV) is finally complete! Deaf Missions’ founder Duane King began the project in 1982 to break down the language barrier Deaf people often face when it comes to the Bible, asking “Why can’t Deaf people have the Bible in their heart language?” After 22 years, the New Testament was completed in 2004. With increased funding and vastly improved technology, Deaf Missions was able to accelerate their translation process in 2017. And today, the entire Bible has been translated into ASL and is available to watch on Deaf Missions’ website and Deaf Missions video app – for free!
This project was primarily translated by Deaf people, for Deaf people. It featured 53 different translators. One translator, Renca Dunn, says “Words (in English) cannot explain the depth of the Bible to Deaf people. This is where sign language comes in. No, there will never be perfection in any language translation… but the ASLV provides a connection to Deaf people with sign language. When I see the Bible in sign language, I finally feel that God does get me…God signs my sign language.” Chad Entinger, CEO of Deaf Missions, sees the tremendous impact this translation will have saying, “With the ASL Bible readily available and easily accessible on Deaf Missions’ website and app, Deaf people are being given more opportunities than ever before to receive God’s Word.” In addition to offering the ASLV free on their website and app, Deaf Missions plans to download the ASLV on to 2000 USB drives and distribute them to Deaf pastors, Deaf prisoners, older Deaf people and to others who request one to use with a smart TV. Each USB drive costs $13 and they have the potential to reach more than 10,000 Deaf people – many of whom have never seen the Gospel in ASL before!
The ASLV is the first-ever complete Bible translated into sign language. It will be used as a source text for other Bible translations – more than 400 different sign languages exist around the world.