Translating the Bible Using Skype

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The Romani translation project in Slovakia is one of our most unique! The three translators do not all live close to one another, and the majority of the translation is done over Skype. Working together in a group like this would never have been possible if not for technology and the opportunities it offers.

The Word for the World in Slovakia has also recently released 2 new mobile applications that make the Romani Bible accessible to everyone who has a cellphone. For the first time in history, through these apps, 17 books of the Old Testament are being published in Romani. What an amazing blessing for the Romani people!

The work of translating the Bible into Romani is going strong and is 71% complete, with the complete New Testament released in 2014.

To find the apps on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, search for “E Biblia andre Romani chib”.

 

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Generations of Blessing

“When you receive the blessing of God in your life, you want to know the purpose of God in it,” says 75 year-old Mathias Kusigara, a Zigua-speaking man from Chogoali village, Tanzania. “Two years ago, when I received the Zigua New Testament, I was shocked.

“When I started to read, it was flowing in my heart. For the first time, peace and truth entered into my heart, and my marriage too. Me and my wife, we started reading together and sharing with neighbors and grandchildren. We continued praying to God in our villages.

“Many people have a thirst for God’s Word. But through the Zigua New Testament, my heart has opened to know that if you want to know God’s plan for your life, you must read His Word in your language. This is the only way can see the truth.

“I continued praying, asking God about His mercy to receive His complete Word in my language.

Then I had a dream about Bible Translation, and I saw that many people will come and join to contribute to this work all over the world.

“As you can see, I am poor, but in my dream I was one of the people contributing to help this work to be continued. So my wife and I have saved for a while so that we can contribute to the translators and have the whole Bible be completed.”

“This blessing,” Mathias says, “is for generations.”

Story and photos by George Chombo.

Every Tribe and Nation

Do you remember learning how diamonds came to be?

“…that combination of high temperature and high pressure is what's necessary to grow diamond crystals in the Earth.” (Smithsonian Mag)

Only under intense pressure is it possible to create these highly-prized gemstones. Similarly, when we as believers are placed in an environment that is hostile to our faith in Christ, incredible things can happen.

In Southeast Asia, most of which is hostile to Christians, The Word for the World translators are working in nearly 70 different projects to translate the Bible into their own languages.

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Under extreme circumstances, the work of Bible translation is exploding and expanding almost faster than we can report it. And yet this is happening in an area so dangerous that we can’t even use the real names of the languages or translators, or their work could be compromised.

The people are hungry for Jesus. And precious followers of Christ are working hard in the midst of persecution and adversity to make sure their people know his words, his love, and his gift of salvation. By God’s grace, the Word will reach every corner of the earth, to every tribe and every nation. Amen.

Photo of a rice terrace by Jason Cooper.

 

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Does Jesus Speak My Language?

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“Does Jesus speak my language? How can I speak to him if he doesn’t understand me?”

It’s hard for us to imagine that there are people in the world who feel this way. But if you’ve gone your whole life without a Bible in your own language, you may not even know that Jesus exists, let alone that he desires to speak with each and every one of us!

You can help.

The Word for the World is currently involved in over 130 languages, working to translate the entire Bible. Even better, we are empowering the people who don’t have a Bible yet to translate it into their own language — thus ensuring a natural, clear, and accurate translation that will be accepted by the community.

Here is how you can help to end Bible poverty!

  1. Learn: Sign up for our e-newsletter. We would also love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube!

  2. Pray: Your prayers are invaluable and necessary. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive prayer and praise updates.

  3. Give: Click here to support a translation project or the work of Bible translation as a whole.

  4. Volunteer: Consider volunteering with The Word for the World! We need people to train translators, train consultants, handle IT concerns, and much more. If you feel called to the work of Bible translation, please contact us and we will get in touch with you.

What will your legacy be?

The Bible transforms hearts and lives of people!

In the Sagasa Village, Tanzania, the Nguu people have come to realize the importance of the Bible in their heart language. It has brought new meaning to the lives of the people in their village -even the unborn children - as they understand the message of hope and love the Bible brings!

Sharing the word of God in the evening with Bible discussions and fellowship has become an important part of their lives. The Nguu Bible brought them freedom and a new sense of purpose!

The Nguu speaking people received the Nguu New Testament a few years back, but they are still yearning to have the whole Bible in their own language. 39% of the Old Testament is already complete. With your support they will soon have the whole Bible in their own language!

Why translate the Old Testament?

Show me a tall building without a solid foundation. Show me a house with no roof where the rain will not come pouring in. Show me a house with a roof, but no walls or foundation. This is the picture of an incomplete Bible. The complete Bible has the Pentateuch as foundation, the rest of the Old Testament as the walls and the New Testament as the roof — they are inter-dependent.

How can anybody think of the Bible as complete without the Old Testament? It would be like living a life with no recollection of the past, total amnesia with no points of reference. Jesus Himself frequently quotes Scripture from the Old Testament. Omitting the Old Testament is equal to denying Jesus being Jewish. Denying Him His part in the Trinity. Denying the history of God’s plan for man’s redemption.

The old Testament exposes with brutal honesty man’s inadequacy and sinfulness against God’s omnipotence and covenant love. The two Testaments form a unity bound by God’s love and should never be separated. If we do not have the Old Testament, we would never know the great treasure we have received in the New.

Henrietta Mears said: “The New is in the Old contained. The Old is in the New explained. The New is in the Old latent. The Old is in the New patent.”

Let us not be arrogant in deciding what God should and should not have left out of His revealed word to us. Let us enjoy and learn whatever we can from what he Has given.

Let us then proceed to translate the complete Bible for everyone in the language God gave them.

A purpose-filled life

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Nel Claassen is a consultant working with the TWFTW.

She was introduced to the concept of Bible translation while studying theology. She did a specialized course in Bible translation after completing her theological studies.

TWFTW is a Bible translation organization that works only in languages in which the Bible has not been translated. The organization empowers indigenous speakers to translate God's Word into their own language. "Who is able to speak a language better than a person born into it?"

According to Nel, this method is more effective, time-wise as well as money-wise. "A lot of money is saved because it is not necessary to accommodate a foreign missionary family at great cost. Expatriates also have to spend many years learning to speak the language. It takes a trained team of indigenous speakers 3 years to translate the New Testament, and 8 years for the Old Testament."

Nel also spent considerable time in Israel studying Biblical Hebrew. She consults teams translating the Old Testament.

Her many travels to different places have not always been as idyllic. She lost her only child, a son of 20, while she was working in the Comoros. "So many of us on the mission field have suffered severe personal losses. Therefore, I maintain, if the Lord does not call you to be a missionary - do not go!”

Nel recently returned from four weeks of consultation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She says that to her, the greatest privilege is working with God's Word, the greatest gift is the Pentateuch, and working on Genesis is always a revelation.

Even though successful, it was a stressful time, as both her mom and niece were ill during this time. Communication was problematic, which made Nel feel as if she was constantly stumbling through the dark.

While in Ethiopia, she worked with three new teams: Borna, Yemsa and Basketo. She was blessed with two assistants to help her. The Yemsa team completed consultation on Genesis. The Basketo completed Ruth, Obadiah, Esther and Jonah.

Nel is thankful for all the support she receives - through prayer or financially!

In 1 Samuel 30:24 and 25 King David laid down the principle that all share in the spoils of battle. We are in this together! Grace and peace to all.

Nel Claassen, TWFTW Consultant

 

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With God, anything is possible!

Continual training of translators form a crucial part of Bible translation. In some areas in Ethiopia, the trainers encounter many difficult situations. The roads, infrastructure and poor weather conditions can make it difficult to reach translation teams.

The knowledge that God is the provider, and that He makes a way where there seems to be none, keeps the dedicated members of the TWFTW focused on the goal of eradicating Bible poverty in Ethiopia. Therefore, they press forward to complete the task set before them.

In Ethiopia, TWFTW is currently busy with 23 translation projects. That is 23 language groups that are yearning to have the Bible in their heart language for the first time! We are so thankful that the Maale Bible was recently completed, launched and distributed!

Please continue your support through prayer!

“…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19