Imagine you had never heard of Noah’s Ark, Joseph’s many-colored coat, Moses and Pharaoh, or David and Goliath. You could not call on their inspiration and encouragement, because your language did not have those stories. You could not call on Jesus for salvation, because you did not know that he was the fulfillment of all those Bible stories. Your parents had never even heard of the Bible.

Then one day a friend pulls out his phone and plays those Bible stories with pictures flashing across the screen. You are intrigued. “Where did you get these stories? Are there any more?”

“They’re called Open Bible Stories,” he says. “Want to hear the rest?” 


unfoldingWord’s Open Bible Stories comprises 50 key Bible stories, from creation to Revelation, chosen for evangelism and discipleship, provided freely for translation and multimedia sharing in any language. unfoldingWord uses Open Bible Stories to serve the church and as a translation-skills primer for full Bible translation, but the power of the Gateway Language strategy doesn’t stop with Open Bible Stories.

Imagine again, as a church planter in a minority language group, that you could not take your house church through the Apostle Paul’s careful instructions about church life in the book of Titus. How would you teach them? What would be the authority for your teaching?

Then one day a fellow believer shares a copy of Titus in your mother tongue. 

“I helped translate this, using a set of translation resources in the national language with amazing software,” he says. “It’s as accurate as can be, thoroughly aligned with the Greek New Testament.” 

Like the smooth stones in David’s sling, big impacts can come in small packages. In Church-Centric Bible Translation, we call them book packages. Your friend has just shared how he used the Titus book package in the Gateway Language to translate Titus into this heart language. 

A Gateway Language is most often a national language spoken by millions of people that is used to serve the Bibleless languages in that region as an excellent tool for their Bible translation. . 

unfoldingWord’s book packages are a highly accurate and reliable way to produce every book of the Bible in a minority language. Each finished book package becomes the gateway to a nearby Bibleless language. The process begins with a book package created in English by unfoldingWord. It ends with four high-quality, high-value digital resources never before available to minority-language translators via the Gateway Language they understand. Those four resources include an easy-to-understand Bible text, a literal Bible text that helps them see the form of the original Greek, a comprehensive lexicon, and a Bible translator’s guide.

Each finished Open Bible Story represents a rigorous process too. Once completed, including audio versions, each OBS is a powerful evangelistic and teaching tool for church planters, pastors, and teachers.

One book of the New Testament used to take godly, dedicated missionary translators years, even a whole decade, to produce. Using the Gateway Languages strategy, church-centric Bible translators in South Asia are now making New Testament books available to 30 million people in their nation in a matter of months rather than years.

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Stories From the Field

  • Trust God and Get Going

    • September 11, 2023

    “God, this is your journey, your work. Please help us get out of here.” Let’s imagine that your family and close friends have a passing acquaintance with the message of Jesus, and some might even be b...

  • Critical Tools for Courageous Translators

    • August 03, 2023

    The global demand for Bible translation far exceeds the capacity of existing Bible translation agencies. Doing translation in dangerous places makes it doubly difficult. That’s why members of the illu...

  • Meesha's Story

    • July 03, 2023

    In the Republic of Iran, for the church to be planted, discipled, and grown, more than 60 people groups need a Bible translation in their own language. May was Iran’s bloodiest month in the last five...

  • UKRAINE: Bomb Shelter Bible Translation

    • July 03, 2023

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  • All 27 New Testament Book Packages Complete

    • August 08, 2023

    It used to take western experts at least 20 years to translate the New Testament into a Bible-less language. Now, every bilingual church-planting network has access to the open-license English tools t...

  • Making God's Word Accessible to Ordinary People

    • September 11, 2023

    Sofia Ivanov speaks on the impact of unfoldingWord’s Bible Translation tools  Editor’s Note: Sofia Ivanov* is a project manager for unfoldingWord’s Eurasian Whole Bible, Whole Nation partner. Her thou...

  • Saved While Escaping

    • October 02, 2023

    “I was a terrible husband for the first fifteen years of our marriage. Every weekend, I would get drunk, abuse my wife, and ridicule her. We mistreated each other terribly,” said Siroos. “But God amaz...

  • Man on the Run

    • July 03, 2023

    Asim* serves on the Bible translation audio-video team for unfoldingWord’s Whole Bible, Whole Nation partner in Sudan. They use Bible translation as part of their church-planting strategy for 133 unre...

  • Ten Times Faster

    • March 14, 2023

    Imagine you are ordering a new internet connection or cable TV or maybe something new from Amazon and you get the message saying, “Your town is too remote and we can’t serve your area at this time. We...

  • Meet Amy & Priscilla

    • March 14, 2023

    unfoldingWord operates as a catalyst for the Church-Centric Bible Translation movement. We collaborate as part of the body of Christ to develop and implement strategies and unrestricted biblical resou...

  • Jeremiah and the Occult King

    • May 04, 2023

    When Jeremiah* first heard that his Chadian church-planting network needed his help translating unfoldingWord® Open Bible Stories (OBS), he was skeptical. “I thought Bible stories were for children, l...

  • The Exponential Journey

    • April 10, 2023

    Khartoum, Sudan, April 2021. I was sitting in a small hotel conference room with the leaders of Greater Reach Alliance and half a dozen representatives of unreached Sudanese people groups. We were ta...

  • Chad's Unreached Receive the Gospel with Joy!

    • June 05, 2023

    “Giving Jesus to any human being is the best gift you can give to that person. Only the gospel can change the ugliness of man,” says Jeremiah,* one of the Chadian leaders of CCGP,* unfoldingWord’s chu...

  • Iran: Bibles in every language


    • Escape from Kharkiv

      • June 13, 2022

      BAM! A rocket penetrates a building, shattering windows and shaking foundations. Clatter! Bomb debris splatters cars, building façades, and adjacent roofs. Bang-Bang-Bang! The jackhammer staccato of A...

    • Innovation in Bible Translation

      • March 13, 2023

      unfoldingWord catalyzes innovation in Bible translation. Your gifts and prayers are enabling remarkable new developments! One of those is happening in a state in Asia. It began with translationCore. ...

    • Breakthrough in Chad

      • July 04, 2022

      Three churches were birthed when a local chieftain, who formerly combined Islam and the occult, came to Christ. In the another community, new believers were baptized, and two new churches were planted...

    • OVERCOMING the ODDS for 300,000 PEOPLE

      • April 06, 2022

      The challenge Pastor Manish was facing seemed insurmountable. His 300,000-member South Asian mountain people group desperately needs Scripture in the language they understand best. Pastor Manish, an e...

    • Ruska Roma celebrate first Scripture in their language

      • September 20, 2021

      EASTERN UKRAINE — To Stephen K., holding a Ruska Roma translation of 3 John means more than a chance to celebrate with his Roma friends. It’s the answer to 10 years of prayer.  In April, a team of fou...

    • Escape from Kharkiv

      • June 28, 2022

      BAM! A rocket penetrates a building, shattering windows and shaking foundations. Clatter! Bomb debris splatters cars, building façades, and adjacent roofs. Bang-Bang-Bang! The jackhammer staccato of A...