Teaching English will help complete Bible translation

By May 23, 2011

USA (MNN) — Translating the Bible into the heart language of people around the world is vital to seeing the Great Commission completed. With the advent of technology, the process of completing a translation project is considerably shorter. However, it could get even shorter if translators receive training in English. That's right, English.

President of Wycliffe Associates Bruce Smith says, "English is the trade language of Bible translation. That's basically the easy way to describe it."

While there are many international Bible translators doing that work, many don't understand English, says Smith. "Many of the texts, many of the resources, many of the training materials — all of the those sorts of things — have primarily been done in English. So in order to make these accessible to international teams, we have been invited to provide them English Language training."

Smith continues, "One of the things we're trying to do is put this training into the virtual environment on the internet and test English language training via the internet, so that these international teams can access the training wherever they are, any time of the day or night."

How soon will this happen? "My team has a mandate to actually test this sometime this fiscal year, so within the next three months."

The next step is to actually put seminary-level Bible translation training on-line. Smith says, "People don't have to stop their jobs, go to seminary for four years, and then start Bible translation five years from now. They can start tomorrow. They can get the training they need. They can begin the drafting process. All of these things are being facilitated by internet connectivity now."

Smith believes this could help them accomplish the Vision 2025 goal, which is to see all of the languages of the world have Bible translations started by 2025.

Prayer is needed. "Pray that the tests go well and that we will have some breakthroughs with people interested in doing their training in a new way, rather than the traditional way."

If you'd like more information about Wycliffe Associates and how you can get involved in their ministry, click here.

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