Bible and Mission: The Tangible Sign
English speakers take it for granted that they can read the Bible (in anyone of a dozen translation) in their own language. But, just think about it, Jesus spoke Aramaic, his disciples wrote his words down in Greek – but we can read it in English! The fact that the Bible can be translated shows that God is interested in us and wants to communicate with us. When you hold a translated Bible in your hand you are holding a tangible demonstration of God’s desire to communicate with you. I wrote something about this a while ago.
As Christ came to the world, so his people spread out across the globe spreading the Good News of a God who translated himself so that we could understand him. The centre of this Good News is the creation of indigenous redeemed communities expressing the Gospel manifold cultures and all adding together to create a symphony of praise to our God. The translation of the Scriptures lies at the very heart of this. Translation is not simply a way to convey the message: translation is the message.
This also explains the need to make sure every people group on the planet can read God’s word in their own language.
This is a part of a series of posts on the Bible and Mission. There is one more post to come, but it will probably need to wait till I get back home and have access to some books.