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The State of Missionary Bible Translation

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by John of Japan, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    I'm putting this here instead of the Bible translation forum because I wish it to be informative, not for debate.

    Last week I was at a wonderful Bible translation "Team Meeting" (by invite only, not for wannabes). We had a wonderful time of fellowship and learning. The most informative lecture to me was by a young man working with a people group in a limited access country. He spoke on having a platform for Bible translation. What he meant was that to enter a limited access country for Bible translation work, you must have a legitimate reason or profession. It might be: English teaching, a business start-up, a mountain climbing guide (seriously!), a student there to learn the language and culture (one young man is enrolled in a Buddhist college), a software expert, etc.

    Feel free to contribute posts on what you know or have heard about what is going on in the area of missionary Bible translation.
     
    #1 John of Japan, Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    For our part, my son and I just finished discussing how to put together an MA in Biblical Studies with a concentration in Bible translating. We received permission to go ahead with this two weeks ago, and I'm thrilled. We already have a number of undergrad students and others who are interested.

    Master's degrees in Bible translation are very rare. Usually they are subsumed under linguistics (which often doesn't cover translation theory per se) or cross cultural studies.
     
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  3. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI) has been around since 1973. Here is their website: Home

    In past years they were allowed to give an MA degree, but some years ago Texas passed a law which prevented them from giving degrees. Regardless, they do a good job with basic linguistics and translation theory. A past director, Charles Turner, wrote a pretty good book on translation methodology, Biblical Bible Translating. Turner did a translation in New Guinea in the Sinasina language, so he knew what he was doing.

    I have a caveat here: they only teach 3 weeks of Greek, I learned last week, and their list of courses has no Hebrew. Being a Greek geek, I think they need a full course, and Hebrew besides. This lack keeps them from being equivalent to a normal MA in Biblical Studies.

    Last week I got to hobnob with a couple of their grads who are working on translations in limited access fields, and was very impressed. I had been in conversation with one of these young men previously in an informal setting, and was very impressed. He is developing software for Bible translation efforts. This is not translation software per se, but software which will greatly help committees to keep track of each other and of renderings.
     
    #3 John of Japan, Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    One of the most cutting edge ministries for missionary Bible translation today is WorldView Ministries at: Worldview Ministries

    This fairly new ministry currently has projects in at least six languages, some of which must not be shared on the Internet because they are in restricted access countries. However, another project is an MA program for translators in India, which is most impressive. I could say much more about this great ministry, but I'll just encourage you to check out their website. Awesome!
     
  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Baptist Mid-Mission has a wonderful branch called Bible's International, which aids and supports Bible translation around the world. Their main focus, as I understand it, is providing translation consultants to projects. Here is their website: Bibles International - the Bible Society of Baptist Mid-Missions

    Dr. Glenn Kerr, who recently posted on this forum, is connected with them. I was hoping he would post here about BI, but is extremely busy, I'm sure, and has not done so.

    At any rate, BI is doing a great job, and I highly recommend the ministry. Just browse the website and you'll see.
     
  6. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    An outside the box project I understand BI undertook was the translation of Scripture into the national language of one of former Soviet Central Asian republics. The Soviets had sent Slavs into the area as colonials. A goodly number of which were Evangelical Christian-Baptists. The EC-B's "did what comes naturally" and evangelized their Muslim neighbors. Some of whom got saved. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Cental Asian republics have gone through a process of de-Russification. Which led to a need for Scriptures in the local language. So far, fairly conventional. However, the BI folks met with the local team in Istanbul, Turkey.
     
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