Brazilian Sign Language Bible Translation -- Translated Entirely by the Deaf

Serving in:

  • Brazil

Ministry focus:

  • Brazilian Sign Language Bible Translation
with image description Since 2020
Brazilian Sign Language Bible Translation

Paul and Linda Fahnestock are New International missionaries and members of a team dedicated to the translation of the first sign language Bible in Libras, Brazilian sign language. There are 2.6 million Deaf women, men, girls and boys in Brazil and less than 2% know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!  A group of Brazilian Deaf Christians are using an accelerated methodology, Deaf Owned Translation (DOT) developed by Wycliffe Associates, to translate the first Bible in Libras, Brazilian sign language, translated entirely by the Deaf. 

On April 23, 2019, the Libras, Brazilian sign language, Bible translation project changed from a movement to a credible, organized project in Brazil. The organizing coordinators of the Deaf Owned Translation Brazil (DOT Brazil) project signed a cooperative agreement with UniEvangélica University in the city of Anápolis, Brazil. On that day, the movement became a legally recognized Brazilian organization under the administrative umbrella of one of the largest Christian universities in Brazil.

With the February 2020 arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, the DOT Brazil coordination team quickly evaluated how the translation could continue when the teams could not meet physically. A plan was developed to proceed with translation teams meeting virtually. The idea was embraced by the Deaf translators, and five translation teams are now working a minimum of 12 hours per week using the program Zoom. This new virtual format is working successfully. The Gospel of John was released on the internet on September 25, 2020 and 1 Corinthians was released on February 24, 2021. The Gospel of Matthew and Philemon have also been published. Before publication on the internet, all translation working drafts are checked for theological integrity and correct grammar by a DOT Brazil validation team consisting of Deaf translators, hearing interpreters, theologians and grammar experts. The goal of DOT Brazil is to release 50% of the New Testament in 2021!

The photo to the right is the announcement of the September 23, 2021 relaease of the DOT Libras Bible app for iOS and Android phones and tablets. All the published books of the Libras Bible and the glossary, containing more than 200 new biblical signs, is now available without cost to the Brazilian Deaf community.

Paul and Linda invite you to pray for and to contribute financially to this project and help the Deaf of Brazil to have access to God’s message of love and salvation in Jesus Christ. Your partnership is a great encouragement to the Deaf of Brazil.

If you would like to know more about the project and how you can become involved, click on the Contact tab above on this page and send a message to Paul and Linda.

Click on the photo below to watch a 4-minute video about the translation project.

Contact Brazilian Sign Language Bible Translation

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