Bible Translation Day

The United States Senate requested that President Lyndon Johnson declare September 30, 1966 to be Bible Translation Day.  Another Bible Translation Day was held in 1967 and the tradition has been carried on by Wycliffe Bible Translators.  For more information about Bible Translation Day visit this page.

In keeping with the festivities, I will be reflecting on Bible translation today.  My passion for Bible translation flows from the necessity and importance of the undertaking.  My life has been transformed by God’s Word, and I want to do my part to help the Bible become available to every person in the world in their heart language, the language they know best.  The organization at the forefront of the worldwide Bible translation effort is Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Much of the information in this article comes from the Wycliffe website.

There are approximately 7,000 languages spoken in the world today.  Of those languages, approximately 1,800 do not have a Bible translation project started.  Those languages represent 180 million people.  Some of those speakers are Christians who are struggling to grow spiritually without the opportunity to read God’s Word in their own language.  Many others do not yet have any knowledge of Jesus Christ.

With each passing day, people around the world die without having had the opportunity to hear God’s plan of salvation in their own language.  The staggering need for Bible translation has prompted Wycliffe to adopt Vision 2025.  Vision 2025 is a plan to see Bible translation begun in every language that still needs it by the year 2025.  Wycliffe is seeking to accomplish Vision 2025 through their Last Languages Campaign.  The Last Languages Campaign seeks to raise the funds that are needed for this thrust to complete the worldwide Bible translation effort.

Of the approximately 7,000 languages in the world today, approximately 550 have access to the entire Bible.  That means that only about 13% of the world’s languages have the entire Bible.  1,300 languages have the entire New Testament.  I am prompted to reflect on Revelation 5:9, which says “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (ESV, emphasis mine).  Since Jesus died for every tribe, language, people, and nation, we should seek to give them the opportunity to hear about Him.  Sharing God’s Word with the world is both a staggering responsibility and an incredible privilege.

 

http://www.wycliffe.org/About/Statistics.aspx

 

A number of other organizations that are committed to Bible translation:

All-Nations Bible Translation

Evangel Bible Translators

Pioneer Bible Translators

 

A Bible Study Method

It has been a blessing for me to teach a Biblical interpretation class here at Elnora Bible Institute.  The basic method of Bible study that I teach involves three steps: 1) Observation; 2) Interpretation; and 3) Application.

Psalm 119, a lengthy poem written in praise of God’s Word, mentions those three aspects of Bible study.

We must ask for God’s help in observing Scripture: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18, ESV)

We must ask for God’s help in interpreting Scripture: “Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!” (Psalm 119:12, ESV)

We must ask for God’s help in applying Scripture: “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!” (Psalm 119:5, ESV)

 

Dare to Think

Dare to think, tho’ bigots frown;
Dare in words your thoughts express,
Dare to rise, though oft cast down;
Dare the wronged and scorned to bless.

Dare from custom to depart;
Dare the priceless pearl possess;
Dare to wear it next your heart;
Dare, when sinners curse, to bless.

Dare forsake what you deem wrong;
Dare to walk in wisdom’s way;
Dare to give where gifts belong;
Dare God’s precepts to obey.

Do what conscience says is right;
Do what reason says is best;
Do with willing mind and heart;
Do your duty and be blest.

(Hymn # 427 in the 1901 Brethren Hymnal)

These Inward Trails

I asked the Lord that I might grow,
In faith, in love, in every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek more earnestly His face.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this He made me feel,
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell,
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed,
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

“Lord, why is this?” I tremblingly cried,
“Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?”
“Tis in this way,” the Lord replied,
“I answer prayer for grace and faith.”

“These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st seek thy all in Me.”

(Written by John Newton)