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.

The Word of God is Life

“There is power in our language,” says Marco Peter. “Now I can say that Jesus is Lord in my life.”

Marco is a Pogoro-speaking man in a small village in Tanzania. When he heard people from The Word for the World reading the Pogoro New Testament to some of the teenagers in the village, he went to them and said:

“I was listening when you told the young people about Jesus and read to them. Please, tell me how I can read the Bible too?”

The translation project leader, John Kahonga, offered to read with him. When Marco heard the words of Jesus in his mother tongue, he said, “There is power in our language that can lead me to say that Jesus is Lord in my life. I have complained a lot to God, but now that I hear Him speaking in my language, I believe God loves me and has a very good plan with me. He is the only way.”

Marco gave his life to the Lord that day because he heard the Word of God in his heart language. The Word of God is life!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo and Spencer Erasto.

An Ordinary Weekend

Around 2,000 years ago, history was forever changed. Heaven broke open and released all of God’s love, mercy, power, freedom, and grace. The veil that hid His face from us was torn, and since then we have lived in close communion with the King of Kings, where before only a select few could be in His presence or hear His voice.

When history was changed, so were our stories. Jesus’s resurrection day was our resurrection day, too.

But there are many who may as well be living 2,000 years ago. The Light of Christ has not broken through into their hearts and lives - not because they’ve heard the Gospel and rejected it, but because they don’t know that this man called Jesus has broken their chains. They’ve never read his words or felt his love transform their entire being.

For them, this is just an ordinary weekend.

But you can help to change their stories, just as your story has been changed. You can help to bring the Light into their darkness. You can help them to know: Jesus loves you and he speaks your language.

Will you help make history?



Veronique Krüger

 

Connect with The Word For The World

Please, I Need Jesus

The Word of God continues to penetrate the hearts of many people when they hear or read it in their mother tongue, and they are changed by it.

In December, I took a trip with the Pogoro project leader, John Kahonga, to visit the Pogoro people in some of the villages of Tanzania. We ended up speaking with some of the youth in one particular village, telling them about God and answering their questions (some of which were very difficult!).

Then I told John to read them the Bible in Pogoro. Before we read to them, I showed them the Bible and said, “This is Jesus for you. When you read this today, you will see Him.”

John started reading. The Pogoro language has a very sweet, genuine sound. As they heard the words, the young people said, “What you said isn’t a joke, this is real!” One of them stood up and was almost crying.

“Please,” he said, “I need Jesus.” I asked him what had happened to make him say this, and he replied, “I don’t know, it is difficult to say. In my heart I know I need Jesus.” Five others also stood up and said, “What we have heard from you today has touched our hearts. Please help us to follow Jesus.”

We prayed with them and they all gave their hearts to Christ. Since we left, they have been keeping in contact with the Pogoro translators and have been going to church regularly.

Glory be to God!

Story and photos supplied by George Chombo.

Immanuel, Glorious Light!

Two thousand years ago, God came to our world in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true Word of God, who brought light into the darkness - the truth about God, salvation for all who believe in Him, and access to the power of God to overcome every obstacle we face. At this time of the year we celebrate his birth with great joy. We sing with enthusiasm “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”

By God’s grace we have a permanent record of the dealings of God with and on behalf of people, in the Bible. Although the Bible is not the Word of God in the same manner as Jesus Christ is, we nevertheless experience God speaking to us through Scripture. Someone said ”Jesus Christ comes to me from the pages of the Bible.”

As we celebrate Jesus Christ during this season, He is ready to meet each one of us where we are. May we recognise Him and may our love for Him grow.

Véroni Krüger

International President

Jesus Speaks Soli!

This Saturday, April 28th, the Soli people in Chongwe, Zambia will be receiving the New Testament in their own language for the first time! Through difficult circumstances these Soli translators endured it. Limited office space, sickness, deaths of friends and reviewers, and old computers are only some of the trials and challenges they faced while working on the translation. However, the team has faithfully sought after God in the face of these troubles, and have found the peace and strength needed to carry on. Together with reviewers, consultants, and partners, we are all looking forward to when the Soli people will hold the New Testament in their heart language! Audio Bibles will also be distributed so that everyone will have access to the Word of God in Soli.

When crowds were first able to see and hear the Jesus film in Soli, many were awestruck, saying, “Jesus speaks my language!” Now, with the entire New Testament available, Jesus’ powerful and oft enigmatic words can be heard and understood in new and amazing ways! Yes, Jesus speaks Soli and now the New Testament messages of truth, love, and light are available for the Soli people to understand clearly—in their own language.

Easter in Your Heart Language

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As Easter approaches, Christians all over the world are getting ready to reflect on Jesus’ death on the cross and celebrate His resurrection. For most, this means gathering together with family, going to church, reading the story of His sacrifice and His victory, and being reminded of God’s infinite love and grace for us.

What if you couldn’t read this story in your heart language? Would you really and truly understand what it meant for Jesus to die for our sins and rise again, thereby making sure that we could have a relationship with God? Probably not. You would have to rely on what other people explained to you, and your understanding of God would be based on secondhand information.

There are 4,000 language communities that will not be able to read the story of how God saved us this Easter. As you celebrate with your family and loved ones, please keep these people in your hearts and in your prayers. And as you partner with us, we will continue to do the work of Bible translation so that one day, every believer will be able to read the story of our salvation in their heart language.