A good return for the labour
By Belinda Fox | Wycliffe Today – March 2019 |
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for the labour. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NIV)
Bible translation is a complex, multifaceted endeavour. It involves not only developing the technical skills required to draft and revise accurately, but also things like planning a translation program, creating an orthography, preparing for typesetting and printing, and making completed Scripture available through apps, audio recordings, songs and websites.
Imagine the work and resources it takes to equip a translation team with all of these skills! That is what makes South Asia’s national training strategy such an effective one.
Over a period of just six months last year, workshops were held in South Asia covering key aspects of Bible translation mentioned above. The beauty of this approach is that translators from dozens of different language groups were able to benefit from the training provided.
A translator who participated for the first time in a three-week workshop with six language teams to draft the “5 Ts” (1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus) said:
“We are very new believers with less than 10 believers in our community. The fellowship we received here was beyond what we had ever imagined. Moreover, we have been equipped well enough to continue the translation in other less difficult books.”
For one language team that took part in an orality workshop, this was the first time somebody from the community had ever travelled outside their language area. “It was the hand of God that brought these brothers from the community”, one participant said. “By the end of the workshop, they were able to understand various biblical concepts and commit their lives to the creator of their souls.”
These workshops make good use of the time, personnel and training resources available so that language teams are well-equipped to carry on their task. Yet perhaps even more valuable is the atmosphere of collaboration, inspiration and camaraderie that builds vision and keeps teams running towards their end goal.