<<ability to read and write>>

It is reckoned 84% of adults 15 yrs and older in the world can read and write a simple statement besides doing simple arithmetic calculations. Through literacy, knowledge is gleaned, understanding is expanded and advancement in every field of life is made possible by acquiring knowledge and information that is becoming more plentiful in most countries and languages. Literacy, using means such as computers, is rapidly advancing, opening up vast avenues of resources.

Those who are illiterate are severely disadvantaged in their worldview, with their prospects apart from manual work, being severely limited. While such people may have good head knowledge regarding their present surroundings and living they are largely ignorant of ‘civilised’ life as it is called. As Christians, we should be abreast of events taking place in the world, and have a grasp of matters so we can interact with those in society.

Literacy is also vital to be able to read the Bible, hence the establishment of many schools by missionaries. This has often been preceded by what is called Bible translation; the painstaking linguistic exercise of learning a tribal language, and the developing of a written system to produce printed material, especially the Bible, so these people can understand in their own language the requirement that God calls mankind to repent of our rebellion against Him and call out for mercy. "How can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching [sharing the Word of God] to them? (Rom 10:14).

Of the over 7,000 total known languages in the world, the full Bible is available in around 750, with portions in another 3,000 languages. 

See also: ignorance, information, knowledge, languages.