This theme brings us back to a couple of perennial issues. One of the things which never ceases to amaze me is the way in which people hold to the belief that the King James Version is the only acceptable translation of the Bible. The original translators certainly didn’t believe this, as this excellent post shows. The other recurring issue is the question about appropriate translation of certain family terms in the Scriptures. The World Reformed Fellowship has an interesting article by someone who attended a meeting where translators were discussing this question.
Returning to the normal subject matter of this blog; Wycliffe UK have a couple of excellent posts on the impact of Bible translation among the Hanga people of Ghana. Read this one first, then this one. Mark Woodward posted a fascinating piece about his experiences in Tanzania.
Last month we were excited to be able to host six speakers of the Kibende language, as they took the very first step towards writing their language and later starting to translate the Bible into Kibende. During the week that they spent with us here in Mpanda they managed to collect over a thousand words in their language, which will later be analysed linguistically in order to come up with a writing system that is intuitive and easy for Kibende speakers to read and write.
For us it was encouraging to see this first step in the translation project, and to look ahead in faith to the coming months and years as the Bende hopefully become more and more involved in the work, and start to produce the first portions of Scripture.
The coup in Mali has faded out of the mainstream news in the UK, but the situation there is still very difficult. This piece describes some of the things that Christians in the North of the country are facing.
There is a believer in one of the cities that has been overtaken that had an opportunity to leave the city yesterday. A bus was sent to pick up him and the other believers that he had been shepherding during this time. However, when the bus arrived, he and several other believing men gave up their seats so that more women and children could escape even though they were not believers. They are hoping that another bus will come soon and that the rest of them will be able to leave. I do not know this man personally but I am sure that in spite of all that has happened in the past two weeks he has not ceased to say “Blessed Be Your Name.”
From time to time I’ve commented on some of the problems with missionary approaches which focus on ‘unreached peoples’. This article picks up on a similar theme.
I am full aware of the urgency of reaching the unreached and preaching the Gospel to all creation, (Mark 16:15) but who gets to corner the market on the definition of “unreached?” I suspect, it is the “market place” of Christendom itself. Perhaps it’s the wrong question entirely. The desire to reach the unreached is motivated by the thinking that when all ethnic groups have been reached, then Christ will return. (Mark 24:14) This assumption may be emotionally driven, but I don’t think it’s biblically supported. In fact, I don’t believe this particular verse has anything to do with Christ’s ultimate return at all.
The Beaker Folk have a superb take on the disciple Thomas:
I do like Thomas. He’s the brave one who says “well we may as well go to Jerusalem and die with him”. I say “brave” – “desperate” might be another word; again, “cynical” might be another. But he can reckon up the probabilities of what may happen if they go to Jerusalem – calls it about right, let’s face it – and still figure it’s worth going with it – because if Jesus goes to Jerusalem without them, after all, what have they got left?
He’s the one who effectively says “I’m not saying I don’t believe you – I’m just saying give me the evidence”. And he’s the one who makes the leap that the others couldn’t manage in a week. Imagine that week as he’s thinking – “If I don’t see Jesus, he’s just a dead rabbi. If I do see Jesus – there’s only one thing he can be. If I don’t see Jesus, we just go back to normal. If I do see Jesus – I’m going to have to bow and worship. If I don’t see Jesus, things are still what they seem. If I do see Jesus – there’s something very different about the world, all of a sudden.”
Lastly for this time round is a short video about the work of Street Pastors in my home town. Paul travelled the world preaching the Gospel to Gentiles, but he never lost his affection and concern for his own people, the Jews. I’m no Paul, but it does my heart good to see the love of Christ being shared with ‘my people’. On a linguistic note, who wouldn’t want to work in a city where people have such a wonderful accent? Dave Burke’s blog is a great place to find out more about what God is doing in that part of the world.