Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Missional Focus: {Day 9} Wycliffe Bible Translators

I'm excited about doing this post today. My family have a long history with Wycliffe. One of my Uncles and Aunts have spent more than 30 years serving with Wycliffe in a number of countries in the Pacific region including Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. In recent years they have been based back home here in Australia serving from the national centre in Melbourne in a number of leadership roles.

Wycliffe is about translating the Bible into every language in the world, while serving the communities that members are partnering with to make the translation possible.

In English speaking countries we can so very easily take for granted the fact that we can read, let alone walk into any bookstore and buy a Bible (and in English we have hundreds of different translations and paraphrases to choose from). Most of us would have several Bibles lying around the house or filling up bookshelves. I counted about a dozen in our house without even thinking hard about it!

I don't really think that we can comprehend just what it is like to hold the Bible for the very first time in your own native tongue.

Scripture tells us that Jesus is God's Word made flesh (John 1), so giving people the ability to access The Word in their native tongue is the best possible gift they could be given.

In the words of my uncle David
"The total scope of Bible translation is much more than just translating a text. It is helping people to be discipled in a language they understand best. It is facilitating access to the Word of God, which has everything in it that everyone needs for salvation and growth in the knowledge of God.
These things are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life. John 20:31
To have the truth and not proclaim it, or make it accessible to others, is to deny it."
(quote found here)

There are some fantastic statistics on Bible translation that can be found at both the Australian and the US Wycliffe websites. I have held a copy of the New Testament in one of Papua New Guinea's languages (I think it was Pidgin) and I have seen a number of the first printed copies of the Bible in languages from all around the globe. This is a truly important ministry. Please visit the websites and pray about becoming involved in some way.

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