For some 300,000 Japanese Deaf people, Japanese Bibles are written in a foreign language they have to study arduously to learn. Their first language – the language of their hearts – is Japanese Sign Language (JSL). JSL is a visual language more different from Japanese than English is from Greek or Hebrew.
ViBi (“Video Bible”) is a Deaf-led, Japan-based organization founded in 1993 with the vision of providing the Deaf communities of Japan a way to access the Living Word in their heart language – Japanese Sign Language (JSL).
Donors from the U.S. kicked off the early stages of the project and allowed the very first team to translate Scripture from Greek and Hebrew texts into JSL in a video format, delivering it for the first time to Deaf churches as well as the community at large.
With the help of donors both overseas and in Japan, we have built the project from a few people recording videos in borrowed rooms into a fully functioning team with exegetical researchers, full-time and part-time translators, translation consultants, technical staff, administrative staff, and more.
We publish on Youtube and we still produce a limited number of DVDs for distribution to members of the community who are less familiar with technology. We also have an app where the JSL translation can be viewed from mobile devices, and our translation also appears on the app made by one of our partners, DeafBible.