A Birmingham woman grateful for the ASL Bible

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – A member of Birmingham’s deaf-blind community shares his experience studying the ASL Bible.

In March 2020, in response to the growing threat of COVID-19, Jehovah’s Witnesses suspended all in-person congregational gatherings, replacing them with virtual meetings held via video conferencing apps.

“God holds life sacred, and so do we,” Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, said of the organization’s decision. “The value of life transcends even the value of Christians coming together.”

Elizabeth Griffin is a member of the Birmingham Sign Language Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “When I first met Jehovah’s Witnesses, they didn’t have an ASL Bible,” Griffin said. β€œI didn’t really understand their message. Later, when the Witnesses had parts of the Bible translated into ASL, they showed me the scripture at Psalm 83:18 and I saw that God’s name is Jehovah. This scripture touched my heart and inspired me to want to know more.

In 2020, the translation of the entire New World Translation of the Bible into ASL was completed. It is the first complete translation of the Bible in sign language in the world.

Today, Bible study materials are available in Braille, as well as 100 sign languages, on the official Witness website, jw.org.

β€œI like to do Bible research and compare scripture,” Griffin said. β€œWhen I look at the Bible in ASL, I think about what it teaches me about Jehovah God, and I ponder the Bible’s promises for the near future. It gives me hope and makes me happy.

Griffin said she adapted by using her videophone to share Bible verses and words of encouragement with other deaf people.

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