Amid sectarian violence, Bible translation moves forward in Nigeria

By July 4, 2012

Nigeria (MNN) — "Violence
continues to escalate in Nigeria and across Africa, and we don't have much time
before some locations could close to Westerners," says Bruce Smith, president
and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. "Together, we can use today's advancements in
technology to translate God's Word more efficiently and safely."

population of more than 170 million is comprised of approximately 50%
Muslims and 40% Christians, with the remaining population following
other religions or traditional beliefs.

Nigerian Christians have been the target of terrorist attacks. On June 3, a
suicide bomber killed 12 worshippers at a church in northern Nigeria, and
another 15 worshippers were killed in April when they were attacked by gunmen
in the city of Kano in northern Nigeria. In February and March, suicide bombers
struck churches in Jos, killing a total of 5 people and wounding 38.

The technology
that Wycliffe Associates provides to Bible translators makes it possible for
translation work to continue, despite the violence.

While English is
the official language of Nigeria, half of Nigerians cannot speak it. There are
more than 500 languages in the country, spoken by 250 people groups. And
currently, more than 300 languages are without any Scripture.

"It is not the
time to give up," says Smith. "Rather, we must stand with them and pursue Bible
translation efforts with an even greater urgency."

The organization
provides Bible translation workers with translation acceleration kits that
consist of a portable netbook computer, a satellite communication terminal, a
solar panel, a battery, and a power supply. These kits will reduce, by years,
the time it takes to complete a Bible translation and allow Bible translators
to communicate in real time with translation consultants located hundreds, even
thousands, of miles away.

Associates also supports Bible translation efforts in Nigeria and through
Africa by involving volunteers in service opportunities to fill key needs for
translation teams, by raising financial support for ongoing ministries there,
by establishing training centers, and by training national translators.

Associates involves people in accelerating the work of Bible translation
through their time, talents, and treasure. Because millions of people around
the world are still waiting to read the Scriptures in the language of their
heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as they can to translate every
verse of the Bible into every tongue to change every heart. The organization partners
with nationals, mother tongue translators, staff, volunteers, and supporters to
direct and fund these efforts, as well as provide logistics, networking, and
technical support. Through a growing global network, Wycliffe Associates is
striving to overcome local limitations of time and resources to achieve the
goal of beginning the translation of God's Word in every remaining language
that needs it by 2025.


Leave a Reply