The Five-Percent

The “world languages” of Europe determine to a great extent how theology is done and which questions are posed. With ninety-five percent of the world’s population having access to at least a portion of Scripture translated in a language they understand the five-percent minority remains significantly neglected. This five percent includes over three hundred million people and more than two-thirds of the worlds languages. From a linguistic perspective, these minority-language speakers are the poor. Not only are they generally poor socially, economically and politically, but they are oppressed religiously by the confines of theological reflection that is in languages not their own. Bible translation in these minority languages becomes a means of liberation for these people. “The spectacle of a translated Bible, proceeding as divine oracle in the accents of native speech, being at the same time novel and patriotic, empowered victim and marginal populations”.

James Maxey (2010) Bible Translation as Contextualisation: The Role of Orality, Missiology 38:173 (with a closing quote from Lamin Sanneh).

If you are concerned about the five-percent, then take a look here to see what you can do to help them.

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