Sudan (MNN) — A new endeavor from unfoldingWord is building bridges to Bible translation in more than 2,500 languages! Tim*, an unfoldingWord leader, says the Gateway Languages Strategy is a different, yet calculated, approach to Bible translation.
“The traditional approach to Bible translation is to go from English into a minority language. But globally, there seems to be almost a ‘hubbing’ of language-use patterns around certain key languages. There are about 50 of these ‘gateway’ languages,” Tim explains.
“If we can create the resources needed to achieve excellence in Bible translation, and make those (resources) available in these gateway languages, then the entire global Church could have access.”
Put another way, Christians worldwide can take up Bible translation when they have tools and training in a language they understand, leading to new opportunities in minority languages. Watch the video on unfoldingWord’s homepage to learn more.
“Overall, we want to see these resources available in all 50 gateway languages, but our primary focus right now is seven key gateway languages,” Tim says.
Equipping churches in Sudan
A recent workshop equipped Sudanese church leaders. Sudanese Arabic is one of the seven Gateway Languages. Joshua Project reports 80 people groups who speak Sudanese Arabic as a first language, most of whom have no Gospel access. Here’s how you can pray for Sudanese Arabs.
“This first training workshop was focused on getting things started; not the production of content, but on training the trainers of these church networks,” Tim says.
“It’s a very intentional process. We derive that from the biblical pattern in the first century.”
Tim explains that some resources already exist in Sudanese Arabic, “but our specific approach is to equip leaders of church networks in that country with everything they need to achieve excellence in Bible translation. [Then,] minority languages in that country can use Sudanese Arabic as a source text.”
“It’s much more than just getting content translated; it has everything to do with coming alongside leaders of church networks and collaborating to increase the capacity of the church,” Tim says.
“Ultimately, what we’re interested in is not just translations of the Bible, per se. What we’re interested in is the establishment and strengthening of God’s Church in every people.”
Header image depicts a Sudanese Arab man. (Wikimedia Commons)