The Role of a Consultant
February 25, 2021

In the simplest of terms, the Bible translation that The Word for the World does is made possible by these three pillars.

  1. The Financial pillar: Supporters like you who help fund the projects.
  2. The Community pillar: The people who have the most ownership over the project, the people doing the translation work, and ultimately who the translation is for.
  3. Last but not least is the Technical pillar: Including but not limited to The Word for the World training the translators, The Word for the World's consultants, etc.

A Bible translation consultant (like Manie van den Heever, pictured above with our Ethiopian staff) is an expert in either Biblical Hebrew or Greek, or both. They are also well versed in the historical context in which scripture was written. Most importantly, they must have a deep respect for the culture they are working in and not let their own bias get in the way.For example, what do they do when the language they are consulting on doesn't have a word for love? Or what if the culture/language doesn't keep track of time with a clock, but by events, such as bees keeping their hive cool during the hottest part of the day? A consultant can't make up a word for love in a language that doesn't already have one. They can't stop the community from telling time by events and make them all learn how to read a clock. They have to be creative and find a way to help the translators develop a translation that is both accurate to scripture and acceptable to the community.As you can imagine, this is an incredibly daunting but fascinating task! It takes years of education and a compassionate character to be able to do.There is a great need for Bible translation consultants. If you are reading this, and it sounds like something you might be interested in, please send Manie van den Heever an email. He is The Word for the World's Director of Consultant Development.

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