The role of Scripture In Mission was a special focus at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, Cape Town 2010. The Cape Town Commitment is a statement to follow on from the Lausanne Covenant (1974) and the Manilla Manifesto (1989).
The first part of the Cape Town Commitment, ‘For the Lord we love’, includes a section entitled “We love God’s Word”.
“We affirm that the Bible is the final written word of God, not surpassed by any further revelation, but we also rejoice that the Holy Spirit illumines the minds of God’s people so that the Bible continues to speak God’s truth in fresh ways to people in every culture… We must make the Bible known by all means possible, for its message is for all people on earth. We recommit ourselves, therefore, to the ongoing task of translating, disseminating and teaching the scriptures in every culture and language, including those that are predominantly oral or non-literary.”
In the second part of the Cape Town Commitment, ‘A Call to Action’, there is a section on eradicating Bible poverty and Bible ignorance, calling for Bible translation, Bible teaching and Bible literacy:
“C) Aim to eradicate Bible poverty in the world, for the Bible remains indispensable for evangelism. To do this we must:
- Hasten the translation of the Bible into the languages of peoples who do not yet have any portion of God’s Word in their mother tongue;
- Make the message of the Bible widely available by oral means…
D) Aim to eradicate Bible ignorance in the Church, for the Bible remains indispensable for discipling believers into the likeness of Christ.
- We long to see a fresh conviction, gripping all God’s Church, of the central necessity of Bible teaching for the Church’s growth in ministry, unity and maturity…
- We must promote Bible literacy among the generation that now relates primarily to digital communication rather than books, by encouraging digital methods of studying the scriptures inductively with the depth of inquiry that at present requires paper, pens and pencils.”
Translations of the Cape Town Commitment are available in sixteen languages.