Museum of the Bible, Washington D.C.

Some members of TWFTW International Board were hosted on a pre-opening visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. It was incredibly informative and impressive. What a testimony to the preservation of the Bible, it’s history and relevance still today.

The official opening of the museum will open November 14, 2017 with Broadway’s Amazing Grace: The Musical. On visiting the museum, you will be able to see the Bible come to life. From Biblical artifacts to digital presentations to beautifully rendered narratives to informative and engaging exhibitions, the Museum of the Bible will be full of the greatest book ever written and all of its facets.

“The museum in Washington, D.C. will be housed in a 430,000-square-foot building just two blocks from the National Mall and three blocks from the nation’s Capitol, and it will open in the fall of 2017. It will provide guests with an immersive and personalized experience as they explore the history, narrative, and impact of the Bible.

The Museum of the Bible will be an unparalleled experience, using cutting-edge technology to bring the Bible to life. It will span time, space, and cultures, inviting everyone to engage with the Bible. With three permanent sections and space for temporary exhibits, there will always be something new to explore.”

For more information about the Museum of the Bible, visit their website at museumofthebible.org.

Veronique Krüger

Graduation Celebration in Tanzania

On Saturday, September 30th, The Word for the World Tanzania celebrated 9 students graduating with their Diploma in Bible Translation. All 9 students are Bible translators who have completed TWFTW’s training program, and who will now be able to more effectively work on the 6 translation projects of which they are a part!

Training is crucial to our mission of ensuring that all people eventually have access to the complete Bible in their own language! We want to enable people from language communities that do not yet have the Bible in their own language to take responsibility for Bible translation and related activities and to ensure its availability and accessibility.

The DBT (Diploma in Bible Translation) is practical, accessible, and third world-friendly while still adhering to high academic principles. It is a combination of formal lectures, self-study under the guidance of a lecturer, and on–the-job training. Students who have completed the DBT are far more equipped to be Bible translators and consultants!

Learn more about our training program.

Veronique Krüger

Is Bible Translation Necessary?

The first thing you might think when you hear of a Bible translation organization is, “But why? Doesn’t everyone have a Bible in their language already? Or, if they don’t, there must be a Bible available in a language they can understand. Why do we need to support Bible translation?”

Actually, over 4,000 language communities of varying sizes still don’t have a Bible in their language. Some people don’t realize that there are that many languages in the world, let alone so many languages without a Bible! And while it is true that some of the people who speak these Bible-less languages as their mother tongue might have access to a Bible in another language, think about it. Could you understand all the complexities and intricacies of the greatest book ever written if you were reading it in your 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th language?

The need for people to have the Bible in their heart language, a language they know like the backs of their hands, is critical. If you read through our blog, you will see countless stories of people finally coming to a true realization of God’s love and character because they finally gained access to Scripture in their own language.

So: will you help us change history?

Veronique Krüger

The Revival of Kar Culture

The Word for the World’s work of Bible translation is playing a key role in the history of the Kar* people of Southeast Asia. Since TWFTW has been involved and the Kar people have been putting great time and effort into translating the Bible into their own language, their eyes have been opened to the value of their culture’s written stories, folklore, and songs. Every Kar-speaking village is abuzz with talk of Kar literature, vocabulary, and their written language! Their enthusiasm has even resulted in some technological advancements—there is now a Kar Gospel of Mark mobile application, as well as a Facebook page about Kar literature and translation developments. The impact of Bible translation is lasting and far-reaching.

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Food for the Soul

John Kapuku lives in the Matengo-speaking village of Mapei in southern Tanzania. He is 90 years old and has lived alone for a few years now, since his children are grown and his wife died some time ago. When we first met him outside his tiny house, he told us that he had no one to care for him, so we helped him to get food and to clean himself up.

After we helped him, he sat down and spoke with us. We shared with him about God and about the love of Christ, and he was very interested in what we were saying. We decided to give him the Matengo book of Mark, which was completed by TWFTW translators. As we read to Mr. Kapuku from the gospel, he started to smile and his face was full of joy.

“Please, how can I be connected with this Jesus?” he asked us. “This Word of God is speaking with me in my heart.” We prayed with him and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, and then he said that he could see angels in his house, which he had never seen before.

We spent a few more days with him and continued to help him and pray with him. Before we left, he said to us, “Now I believe that Heaven must be a beautiful place.” Eda Lupogo, one of the TWFTW Matengo translators, now cares for Mr. Kapuku and makes sure that he has food to eat and that he stays clean and healthy. We care for him as if he is our father. He has some of the scriptures in his own language that he can read and that feed his soul as food feeds his body.

Veronique Krüger and George Chombo

The Whole Bible for the Gamo People?

Reverend Derese of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus lives in the Gamo-speaking village of Zala, in Ethiopia. He has used an Amharic Bible all his life, despite his mother tongue being Gamo. After The Word for the World completed and distributed the Gamo translation of the New Testament in 2012 (see video), he was able to read scripture in his own language for the first time! Around 1.2 million people in Ethiopia speak Gamo, and now all of them can read the Bible in their own language.

How incredible it is when people can finally have access to the Word of God in their mother tongue!

“I easily understand when I read from the Gamo New Testament, and not only I can understand it, but my people as well. I benefit greatly from this, now that I can read the Bible in my own language and understand the Word of God easily,” Reverend Derese said after receiving the New Testament in Gamo for the first time. A Gamo translation of the Jesus Film has also been produced.

The Gamo Bible translation project started in 2003 in partnership with The Seed Company and churches in the language group area. The four Gamo translators—Andinet Meaza, Arega Adada, Tesfaye Tole, and Teliko Tona—are currently working on getting the complete Gamo Bible ready for publication and audio release. If all goes according to plan, the complete Bible will be sent to publishers in 2018! Our prayer is for speedy typesetting and that the funds will be available to publish and distribute the complete Gamo Bible.

How incredible it is when people can finally have access to the Word of God in their mother tongue!

Veronique Krüger

Impact of Bible Translation

Until Bible translation work began among the Tag* people of India, their language was on the verge of going extinct. The Tag-speaking community is not very large and the language has generally been seen as inferior by speakers of other languages in the area. The Tag people themselves also adopted this viewpoint and were ashamed of their language, but now they have changed their perspective.

Believers in the community are overcome with gratitude to have the Scriptures in their own language. On top of the excitement about having a Tag Bible, the translation project taking place in their community has inspired them to promote and preserve the unique beauty of Tag culture and traditions through the Tag Cultural Society. Bible translation has lasting impact on a community, often in more than one way!

Veronique Krüger

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First Steps in Southeast Asia

In May and June of this year, training took place in Southeast Asia that was the first step on an incredible journey for those with a heart to translate the Bible into their own language! A total of 13 students from 4 different language communities came to the training in order to be the best translators they can be for their projects. That’s 4 language communities that currently do not have the Bible, but thanks to the hard work of these students, that will soon change. All of the students are already working on their projects, but the Diploma in Bible Translation training will greatly improve the quality of their translations, resulting in the best possible Bible for their people.

In a month’s time, the students sat through 132 hours of lectures (amounting to about 6.5 hours per day) in 4 different subjects. It was an intense time, but hugely successful! Tularam Bele, one of the student translators, said, “It was a good time. It was the first time that we have learned the process of Bible translation and the principles of Bible translation. Through them we can do Bible translation work properly.”

We praise God for this time of enriching and learning, and are proud of the students, all of whom made it through this intense month. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue their training in the future, and as they keep working on their translations in the meantime so that their people can also know that God speaks their language.

Launch of the Lambya New Testament in Malawi

A group of around 85,000 people in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania who speak Lambya as their mother tongue have just received the New Testament in their language for the very first time in 2016! Pastors from all denominations are preaching from it in their churches, and believers are reading the Bible in their own language for the first time. What an incredible thing to finally have the Word of God in your heart language!

As for the Old Testament, it is also well underway! 20 books, from Genesis to Proverbs, have already been checked by consultants, and the book of Daniel is currently being checked.

Audio Bibles in Lambya have also been distributed, and they have been so popular that there are no more available! People are so hungry for the Word of God in their heart language and audio Bibles are a wonderful way for the Lambya communities to access scripture. Please pray with us that more audio Bibles can be made available to every single person who wants one!

Sadly, John Kadalinga, who started the Lambya Bible translation project, passed away recently due to medical issues. Although we are greatly saddened by the loss, we know that the work he began was not in vain, and under the guidance of project leader Robert Mulagha, it will be completed. Please continue to pray for all of our translators and their families as they do this incredible work.

The Story of the Bible

We know that Bible translation is important so that everyone can read the Word of God in their mother tongue and know that God speaks their language! But what about after the translation is completed, printed, and distributed? What if the Bible isn’t used as much as it should be?

The Word for the World places great emphasis on “scripture engagement”, which means making sure that people in the language community interact with scripture so often that God’s Word truly penetrates their society! We do this right from the start by recruiting and choosing prospective translators from the community, and by having a committee of representative community members helping to run the project and review the translation. TWFTW also works closely with the local churches.

Sometimes Bible stories are translated and put together in a more digestible form so that the community can have access to them before the complete Bible has been translated. We also partner with other organizations for scripture engagement projects like recording audio versions of the Bible and translating the Jesus film. We will continue to make every effort to ensure that the story of the Bible is told, known by heart, and allowed to permeate society!

By Veronique Krüger