Bible Translation Languages Mission

Why Not Just Teach Them All English?

A one minute forty second answer to a question that I often get asked:

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8 replies on “Why Not Just Teach Them All English?”

I have simpler answer: because English is a naff language which confuses people.

My customers are constantly baffled by the obscene number of English translations of the Bible that are available. We in the English speaking world should hide our faces in shame at the resources and skills that are wasted every day in bringing out yet more English editions of the Bible when there are people who — as you at Wycliffe rightly recognise — don’t have the Bible in their own language.

My advice to my customers? Take a course in Hebrew and Greek and read it in the languages it was written in. If Muslims can do that with the Qur’an, why are Christians so lazy?

Teach a few native language speakers Greek and Hebrew — then let them spread the word and provide their own translations. That’s what’s needed.

Then get them reading Tom Wright and burn the NIV!!

I was with you all the way till you wanted to teach the whole world Greek and Hebrew!

I have been asked that before also – my answer was similar to yours,

Why not teach everyone English?
Because English is not their ‘heart language’ – and in order to understand the Gospel properly, people must hear it in their heart language.

Your answer is true, David. But I think it is really important that we root our mission practice in the character and actions of God, not in the needs of people.

I think maybe we all would be “toast” if we burned a Bible, even the NIV one. Actually, I agree that the NIV is inferior compared to the NASB especially. I truly believe in the work of Wycliffe. So much so that I am offering my volunteer services right now. I am a teacher, artist (fine art and graphic art), photographer (T1i DSLR and equipment) and a carpenter. As I offer myself to do work free for people, it is amazing to me the number of people who do NOT call or e-mail me…Larry Ingle,MFA…………. 817.412.0731 anytime…….Shalom and peace!

Thanks for the offer of help, Larry, as you are based in the USA, it would be good if you could contact the Wycliffe Office there.

I’ve heard a missions pastor once mention that people in (an African nation I cannot recall right now) didn’t need more translations (though there were tribes/groups there without one) because there’s English and they speak English there.

There is a wall of ignorance and anglo-centrism to break through for many folks here in the US to understand how vital translation work is. But, rest assured there are many of us who keep you folks in our prayers, whom we support, and we will continue to promote the necessary work.

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