‘JESUS’ FILM REACHES MILLIONS

Baptist Press

A group of kids in South Asia watch a version of the "JESUS" film adapted for children. Since the film was first released in 1979, it has been reworked and adapted many times for different audiences in addition to being translated into 1,500 languages.

A group of kids in South Asia watch a version of the “JESUS” film adapted for children. Since the film was first released in 1979, it has been reworked and adapted many times for different audiences in addition to being translated into 1,500 languages.

ORLANDO — The “Jesus” film will be translated into its 1,500th language this month.

Josh Newell, the Jesus Film Project’s director of marketing and communications, told Baptist Press that the latest translation — into Daasanach, a language spoken by an ethnic group inhabiting parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sudan — is part of the project’s initiative to reach the world’s remaining 865 language groups that have 50,000 or more speakers.

It’s a “big milestone,” Newell said — “a celebration of a partnership from Bible translators to church planters to individuals who use it throughout the world to reach people from far-flung corners to city high rises.”

Multiply those partnerships across 1,500 languages and 37 years, and “you just have to sit back and say, ‘God, You’re so amazing,’ ” he said.

The “Jesus” film, based on the gospel of Luke, was initiated by the late Bill Bright, cofounder of Campus Crusade for Christ, who had a vision to show the film in every country.

About 2,000 theaters in the United States first aired the movie in 1979, and it wasn’t long before the Jesus Film Project began to translate it into other languages.

Since then, the film has been used to make 7.5 billion gospel presentations in 230 countries, with more than 490 million people indicating a decision for Christ after viewing it.

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