Bible translators take a non-traditional approach to work in Ethiopia.

By December 13, 2004

Ethiopia (MNN)–Over one million Gofa, Gamo and Dawro people of Ethiopia do not yet have any Scriptures in their mother tongue.

The Seed Company’s President, Roy Peterson says they mean to address that need, but are taking a different approach to traditional Bible translation. “We’re looking at finding mother tongue speakers from these people groups that have never had the Scriptures before in their language, and equipping them to be the Bible translator, rather than sending translators from other countries.”

The current shortage of translation consultants is a major factor that could hinder worldwide progress in Bible translation. Therefore, the training of nationals as consultants is crucial to the ongoing work of Bible translation in Ethiopia.

The goal is to complete this cluster project in 2008. In the initial 36 months, Peterson says, Seed Company teams are helping nationals create an alphabet, because most of the languages have never been in writing before.

The next step, Peterson explains is “…transferring the tools and capacity for them to do translations of scripture, specifically the book of Luke, the JESUS film script, and in some cultures, it’s pretty important to do some Old Testament portions from the book of Genesis.”

The Seed Company and its partners will assist in the practical organization of the project, helping to assisting with communications, transferring funds, and most importantly, providing training and technical help to the translators.

The local churches have already participated in the selection of the translators and will select reviewers to help in the tasks of checking and testing the translations.

Continue to pray for those involved in this massive project, as well as for the funding to come in to support it.

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