Rvwang New Testament Translation Project


Profile of the Rvwang People



  • The majority are in the extreme North of Myanmar, on the China border
  • There are also a few in China, India, and Thailand
  • The Rvwang are very isolated. They are primarily an agricultural community and have little to no technology available.

Language Family:

  • Sino-Tibetan


  • 63,000


  • They consider themselves Christian


  • 30-60%
  • Not taught in primary school

Existing Bible Translations:

  • A complete Bible was published in 1986; however it is not literal translation and not easy to read nor understandable.

Project Progress:

  • Primer is completed
  • All four Old Testament storybooks are translated
  • They are working on back translations and are beginning the New Testament translation process





The Rvwang people were originally evangelized by Baptist missionaries in the early 1900s. In 1985, BI made contact with the Rvwang people through the ministry of Baptist Mid-Missions’ missionary James Garlow. Dr. Henry and Anne Osborne worked on Rvwang literacy along with Miss Clarissa Barton, and a literacy primer was published in 1991. The project remained dormant for over ten years as a result of other Rvwang groups attempting their own literacy efforts.


BI again was put in contact with the Rvwang people through the efforts of Dr. Timothy Mang in 2002. The Baptist Church and Church of Christ associations requested additional literacy materials and a new translation to replace the paraphrased Rvwang Bible, which was deemed inadequate. In 2012 BI formally adopted the Rvwang Bible translation project and in 2013 formally agreed to produce a Writers’ Handbook as requested.


The Rvwang are a different language family from what BI has worked with in the past and could be the platform for additional translation projects. The Writers’ Handbook will aid both in the development of their writing as well as help to produce a higher quality translation and literacy materials in a shorter time. It will also empower the Rvwang believers to write gospel literature for themselves in the future.

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