Skip to content

DECEMBER 23, 2021

Books of Matthew and John Released in German Sign Language

Books of Matthew and John Released in German Sign Language

On December 18, 2021, Brother Dirk Grundmann, a member of the Central Europe Branch Committee, released the first portions of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in German Sign Language. An estimated audience of 800 viewed the release of the Bible books of Matthew and John via video stream.

The German government has recognized German Sign Language as a language only since 2002. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses have provided sign-language interpretation at assemblies and conventions in Germany since the 1960’s. Today, 571 publishers serve in 11 German Sign Language congregations and 21 groups.

A brother interprets the program into sign language at a convention in Munich, Germany, in 1973

This release marks the first time that complete Bible books have been translated into German Sign Language. Previously, publishers only had access to the translation of individual Bible verses for personal study and the ministry.

“Since there was no complete Bible, but only individual verses, it was often difficult to find a Biblical principle or proof,” said one publisher. “Motivating a Bible student to consider something from the Bible each day was also difficult because it was challenging to watch the fragmented verses.”

The German Sign Language translation team records a video in their studio

One translator stated: “To work on the Bible and actually translate Jehovah’s word so that the deaf can build a friendship with him is truly amazing. We are very touched to have the privilege to work on this project.”

We pray that the New World Translation in German Sign Language will help many more meek ones to come to know Jehovah’s way.—Psalm 25:9.