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Oklahoma philanthropist helps launch digital Bible library

Mart Green, Oklahoma City philanthropist and Mardel CEO, has helped launch Every Tribe Every Nation, a ministry alliance that has created The Digital Bible Library, which is making Bible translations available in hundreds of languages across the globe.
by Carla Hinton Published: January 14, 2013
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Creson said the three Bible ministries that are part of the collaborative effort represent about 90 percent of the Bible translations around the world. He said there are about 6,900 languages in the world today. Creson said through the hard work and dedication of missionaries and Bible translators around the globe, less than 2,000 languages have yet to be the focus of a Bible translation effort, according to October 2012 statistics. Creson said he envisions a day in the next dozen years that the Bible will be translated in those languages and those translations will be part of the cutting-edge Digital Bible Library.

Green said he envisioned a one-stop-shop where organizations like Edmond-based LifeChurch.tv, with its popular YouVersion mobile Bible application, could access many Bible translations at one time. Green said Bible translations are available for a fee that varies according to what the ministry is purchasing.

‘Cardholders'

He said the digital library saves time for innovators like YouVersion's creators and thus frees them up to come up with other creative ways to engage people in Scripture. Green said YouVersion is now one of the Digital Bible Library's first “cardholders.” Another early benefactor of the digital library is BibleSearch (bibles.org), which draws most of its 235 translations from the library for free display on its website.

Green said since 1998, when he watched a man weep over a Bible that had been translated in his “heart language” or primary language, his commitment to Bible translation efforts has increased significantly.

He and Creson said they are talking to potential donors who can help propel the digital library project forward through their donations.

“Ultimately, this will be a world class first-of-its-kind,” Creson said. “As Christian believers, we believe in John 3:16. We believe everyone has a right to hear that story and hear it in their heart language and allow it to sink in.”

Green echoed Creson's words, saying that his ultimate goal is to make the Bible more accessible so that people have an opportunity to glean its sacred pages for wisdom and guidance.

“I love for people to read God's word because when they do, I believe it transforms their lives,” he said.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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