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Genesis Now Available in American Sign Language

THE deaf waved their hands to applaud the thrilling announcement: “You will be pleased to know that translation of selected Bible books from the Hebrew Scriptures [Old Testament] is under way. The [video] recording of the book of Genesis is completed!

That announcement was made during the last talk at recent conventions that were held by Jehovah’s Witnesses and presented in American Sign Language (ASL).

In 2005, Jehovah’s Witnesses began translating the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures into ASL, starting with the book of Matthew. By 2010, all 27 books of what is commonly referred to as the New Testament had been completed in ASL.

In addition, Jehovah’s Witnesses have translated portions of the Bible into five other sign languages.

Why all this work? Jehovah’s Witnesses recognize that the printed page is based on a spoken language that many of the deaf have never heard. An accurate, clear, and natural translation of the Bible into sign language allows a greater number of deaf people to understand the content and to form a close personal relationship with God. How has this Bible translation been received?

When the book of Matthew was released a few years ago,” said a young deaf man, “I felt this was evidence that Jehovah God was confirming his love for me personally, and the release of Genesis has added to those feelings. He is making sure that I can get to know him.

One deaf woman expressed her feelings this way: “The signing is so clear and full of expression! I have fallen in love with the Bible. I have come to see that Jehovah wants me to read his Word in context, verse by verse, so that I can come to a more complete understanding of him. This clarity touches my heart and enables me to express my feelings more intimately to him in prayer.