First Bible available in ASL connects deaf and hard of hearing community through worship

ASL Bible
Posted at 4:14 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 09:38:06-04

It took 15 years and 100 volunteers to produce the world’s first complete American Sign Language (ASL) Bible translation video for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Millions have already downloaded individual chapters of videos. This historic milestone allows the deaf and hard of hearing community to practice their faith like they never have before.

Roughly 232,000 Idahoans are deaf and hard of hearing. Many can read, but due to hearing loss, they can't hear the way certain words are emphasized with our tone and inflection to provide meaning.

ASL Bible

The Jehovah's Witness community says the world's first complete bible is now available in American Sign Language and has brought more members of the ASL community together in congregations.

“It was very clear that the reaction to it was finally for the deaf community. they were able to take control of their own spirituality,” U.S. Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses Robert Hendriks said. “For the first time, we had those who were ASL community, our deaf brothers and sisters taking, a lead in congregations because now the language...there was an understanding.”

Around the United States, there are about 2,500 Jehovah's Witnesses who are deaf and hard of hearing and this translation has allowed them to take part in worship.

“It built our faith as an organization and in our community, our ASL community, it has built their faith as well,” Hendriks said.

The ASL bible has 850,000 full downloads, and 2.6 million have downloaded at least a portion of the Bible.

“This is more than just about Jehovah's Witnesses. It’s about the deaf community around the world accessing God's word in their own language,” Hendriks said.

For more information or to download this version, click here.