By Jennifer Johnson
Deaf Missions, producer of The Bible: American Sign Language Version, recently released this Bible translation for the deaf as a mobile application for smartphones and tablets.
The free app, Deaf Bible.is ASL, was developed by Faith Comes By Hearing, a leading audio Bible ministry based in Albuquerque, NM, using the video content translated and produced by Deaf Missions. The entire New Testament and 22 books of the Old Testament currently translated into American Sign Language (ASL) are included, along with the 2001 English Standard Version text of the whole Bible. The mobile app also features the sign language version of the Jesus movie first released by The Jesus Film Project in 1979 and rereleased with an ASL corner inset by Deaf Missions in 1987.
This app is important because it allows deaf people to experience and understand the Bible in their native language, says Deaf Missions Executive Director Chad Entinger.
“English is often a second language for the deaf,” he says. “Even though they may live in an English-speaking country, they don’t have the early language learning experiences hearing children do and often find it difficult to read proficiently.”
Deaf Missions began the translation project in the early 1980s, and the nonprofit ministry is currently working to translate Psalms.
“We follow a process similar to Wycliffe or Pioneer Bible Translators,” Entinger says. “We begin with the original language to develop a first-draft translation that is video recorded. A number of experts and members of the deaf community give feedback and corrections, we develop further drafts, and then we record the final translation in our studio.”
In 2004, Deaf Missions also released the ASL Bible as MPEG-4 files for download to portable media devices and computer presentation programs such as PowerPoint and Keynote.
Learn more about the new app at http://www.bible.is/ASL.