In addition to addressing the primary issue of spiritual salvation by bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the developing world Bible translation efforts are impacting social justice issues such as literacy, cultural preservation, and health.
Recently I was listening to a panel discussion that included Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor at The Village Church in Highland Village, Texas. His church is on the smaller end of huge with about six thousand people.
Someone asked the panel, "Should we abandon the para-church ministries we're involved in and try to make them a part of the local church?" After some nervous laughter from the crowd, and the panelists, Matt said, "There are certain para-church organizations that the church needs that a church, no matter how big it got or how talented it got would never be able to do... I could get the smartest people we have [in our church of 6,000 people] and we're never going to be able to translate the Bible into some language of a people group."
Steve Moitozo provides an overview of the ministry he and Glenda will be taking part in with Wycliffe Bible Translators.
Ravi Zacharias tells the powerful story of Adoniram Judson, the first American missionary, in this short (7 min) clip.
Reaching the Unreached Wycliffe Bible Translators has been taking the Gospel to some of the world's most isolated people for 70 years.
This Chinese sign illustrates the need for accuracy in translation.
Image provided by engrish.com
The early Puritans had a vision of evangelizing the native people in New England. But God hadn't decided to speak Algonquin yet.
John Elliot, a 26 year old Puritan, emigrated to the New World in 1631. A year after he stepped off the boat he became the pastor of a new church in Roxbury, Massachusetts (just outside of Boston), an area surrounded by about 20 Indian tribes. John decided to devote himself to learning the Algonquin language and over the years he was able to decipher the language and learn the syntax. In 1646 Elliot had enough of a handle on the language that he could preach to the Indians in their own language. He got the Algonquin people to agree to learn the phonetic alphabet and in 1649 he began translating the Bible into the Massachusetts dialect of the Algonquin language.
God started speaking Algonquin in the mid-1600s and when the complete Algonquin Bible was published in 1663 it was not only the first Bible to be printed in the New World it was the first Bible printed in the Western Hemisphere. Elliot went on to publish several other books that he found helpful for applying the Bible to life and by the time John died in 1690 there were numerous Indian churches in the area, some of which had their own Indian pastors.
Now that Papua New Guineas's Angaatiya people have the Scriptures in their own language, they're setting aside their weapons and embracing God's message of love.Thank you to Wycliffe Canada for permission to embed this video. Apple QuickTime is required to view this video. QuickTime can be downloaded for free from Apple's Web site.