Mark’s Gospel in Arabic Sign Language

A Joint Project of the Anglican Church in Egypt and the Coptic Orthodox Church

This September, the translation of the Gospel of Mark into Arabic Sign Language was completed. There currently is a community of three million deaf people in Egypt who understand Egyptian Sign Language. Egyptian Sign Language is also understood by the deaf of other Middle Eastern countries. This project, however, is the first and only one of its kind in the Arab world.

The translation project has taken place over the last four years. The process begun with first discussing and properly understanding the text of the Bible. Then, together, the speaking and the deaf created a translation of the scripture, making sure that it could be signed in a way that the deaf could understand. After that, the translated gospel was sent to other deaf abroad in order to ensure that the language transferred the proper meaning. Finally, the translation was evaluated, and modified as needed. Much of the work was performed by the deaf, keeping in line with the vision of the deaf discipling the deaf.

The translation was a joint project between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church. Six church leaders worked together to complete the project, including Deacon Clement, the first deaf deacon in the first deaf Anglican church.

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