Can God Use Artificial Intelligence?
June 18, 2024

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. – Romans 11:36, ESV

The words “artificial intelligence” (AI) can provoke confusion, debate, fear, and a whole lot of speculation about our future and who will or won’t be replaced by this growing phenomenon.

Talk of AI human-esque development or AI world takeover can scare the bejeebies out of anyone. Or at minimum, raise a couple of Orwellian goose bumps.

But if Paul’s words found in Romans 11:36 are true, then we can trust that any advancement in machine intelligence can be used for good—for the glory of God and for kingdom expansion. 

AI has no inherent morality, good or bad. This emerging technology in the hands (or minds) of God’s people, can be an instrument of profound good, offering exciting advancements in the field of Bible translation.

Did you just cringe? Well, hold on: No machine or software will be taking the place of the trained and equipped human Bible translator. 

In the hands of qualified people seeking God’s glory, AI can powerfully support the mandate the body of Christ has been working to fulfill for more than 2,000 years. That mandate? The Great Commission. 

With thousands of language groups still without the whole Bible, the New Testament, or even the Gospel in their language, a revolutionary process using artificial intelligence called AiBT (artificial intelligence immersed Bible translation) assists trained Bible translators in translating the words of life into the languages spoken by those who have yet to encounter Scripture in their mother tongue. 

This is the best news ever.

And to help us all better understand how crucial having a Bible in one’s own language is to evangelism and discipleship, read the words spoken by a man who heard the Scripture in his heart language for the first time:

“We read the Bible in English. We heard sermons from the Bible in English. But once we heard [God’s Word] in our own language, we realized that many truths had been hidden from us. Now revelation has come.”

A deep heartfelt connection happens when one hears or reads God speaking in his or her mother tongue. 

Our God is the creator of communication and also thousands of languages. And our God has commissioned us to take His ultimate communication of hope and love (the Bible) to the language groups of the world He created.

And now, AiBT can be one of the tools, if not the tool that opens the door to next-level Bible translation, assisting translators with timely first drafts. AiBT as well offers first-draft Scripture development with little human contact, making this tool ideal for Bible translation work in regions of persecution.

But fear not, beyond this first and often tweaked or rewritten first draft, The Word for the World’s indigenous-driven translation processes of checks and balances will remain acutely human. Using community and exegetical reviews and checks along with human Bible consultant reviews, the translated Scripture passes through the hearts and minds of those who need it most—people.

From Deuteronomy to a doctor’s prescription, AiBT can translate anything into a target language that is found digitally in the source languages. Here is a cursory look at the benefits:

- AiBT is possible with zero corpus in target language 

- AiBT first drafts happen with zero contact (Well, technically. So minimal it rounds off to zero)

- AiBT maintains the purity of the process (mother-tongue centrality, church ownership, and phases of Bible translation)

- AiBT is community centric

- AiBT works in a translator's ordinary laptop 

- AiBT offers easy-to-use interfaces, giving the translator control of the AI modules

- AiBT works with the existing skill set currently found in Bible translation projects

- AiBT can be easily scaled to handle even thousands of languages 

Our Lord tells us that heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will remain forever (Matthew 24:35). This proves His Word (the Bible) is one of the most powerful, sustaining forces in the universe. How can we not share it? How can we not bring words of eternal life to those who have yet to know the truths we hold so dear? With AiBT assistance, this could be our “time such as this” moment—the call to do or use whatever necessary to send the Word into nations. 

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. – Revelation 7:9, ESV

For more information about how The Word for the World invests in communities, equips local Christians and leaders for Bible translation, and builds infrastructure for sustainable translation processes, visit today.

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