For the Deaf, By the Deaf
On June 5, DeafGo is launching the first version of the Bible made for the Deaf, by the Deaf. The DeafGo Bible app will feature 200 Bible stories communicated in American Sign Language. By September, there will be 400 stories, and by December, there will be a total of 600 stories in ASL.
Dwight Rogers, a graduate of the Deaf Theological Center, explains why this is so important:
While I was a student at Brentwood’s Deaf Theological Center, I had teachers who told stories in our language. They signed hundreds of Bible stories and passages for me. I was also introduced to a gallery of relatable iconic art. You see, the Deaf navigate life visually and prefer to have icons for every story and passage in the Bible. At the Deaf Theological Center, I had access to the school’s visual translation of the Bible. I could easily internalize the visual layout of the Bible’s stories. After I graduated, my family and I moved to India to serve as missionaries to the Deaf, but we no longer had access to Scripture in the Deaf heart language.
What’s Your Heart Language?
The reality is that many Deaf people do not have access to God’s Word. What many hearing people may not realize is American Sign Language is very different from the English language. It’s a visual language with its own unique syntax.
That’s why it’s crucial for the Deaf to have God’s Word available in their own heart language.
The Gospel Made Accessible
For this project, Bible consultants worked hand in hand with graphic artists to prepare the perfect icons to communicate Scripture accurately and clearly. A team made up of Deaf men and women filmed Bible stories in ASL. They continue to film stories so that by the time the project is completed, the Deaf will have a story-based translation of the Bible. Within the translation there are 30 story sets covering 12 key doctrines.
Aric Randolph, pastor of the Deaf Church, shares:
I am thrilled to announce that Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church is offering God’s Word in the language of the Deaf. The DeafGo Bible App allows a user to view Bible stories in four unique ways: chronologically, topically, doctrinally, or devotionally.
The app is designed without any words, with a user interface that’s driven entirely by icons. This format is easily accessible and understood by the Deaf.
Brentwood Baptist Church has the unique opportunity to pray for, support, and watch God at work among the Deaf here in Middle Tennessee and around the world.