Bible & Mission Bible Translation Humour

Bible and Mission Links 20

For those who follow these things, I have changed the sea bird photograph that I’m using for this series. There is no significance behind the change or my choice of photo, but I though I’d mention it.

Over the last few weeks Antony Billington has been blogging up a storm and has linked to lots of good resources including:

Bible Translation

There have been a few recent blog posts setting out reasons why Bible translation is important for the Church.

The Seed Company blog has a good article setting out a justification for Bible translation. Itbuilds on the work of Lamin Sanneh and Andrew Walls. Regular readers of Kouya Chronicle will have seen much of this before, but as a summary of some current thinking it is worth a look:

Joel Hoffman has written a fascinating little post on the problem of translating directions in the Bible. Who would have imagined that a simple word like ‘south’ could be so problematic?

There are lots of blog posts written about theories and models of Bible translation, most of which are not written by translators – and it shows. As a general rule, if anyone writes something along these lines “there are two main theories of Bible translation; dynamic equivalence and formal equivalence”, they almost certainly don’t know what they are talking about! If you want to get a good overview of the various ideas about Bible translation and you would like to place them in some sort of context, this article would be a good place to start. (HT katadrew)

Nathan has written an excellent article on the problem of choosing the best Bible translation in English.

 This is unacceptable. The English language has plenty of translations to choose from. There shouldn’t be the thought of another translation project in our language until we cut the number of languages with no Bibles in half! And even then it probably wouldn’t be necessary to start another English language translation project. It’s amazing that the KJV has lasted so long with its thees and thous. People still use the KJV as their translation of choice. If the KJV could last so long, couldn’t our modern translations like the NIV or the HCSB tide us over for a while so that we can get as many resources over to these other countries that have nothing?

This piece asks some hard questions, while finishing on a heart warming note:

I had a professor once who is from the Miso people, who live in a remote part of northeast India.  He told us how, when he was a child, missionaries came to his village.  The Miso people had no written language.  The missionaries reduced the Miso language to writing, in part motivated by a desire to produce Miso-language Bibles.  They also established a school, the first his village had ever had.  Thanks to those missionaries my professor went on ultimately to get a Ph.D. from Princeton.  He told us that the most amazing thing he discovered when he came to America was the pervasive negative impression of Christians.  All he had ever known of Christians was goodness, love and self-sacrifice.

Missionary Life

Picking up on the previous link, my friend Ed Lauber has a fascinating story about some of the challenges he faced as a missionary in West Africa. Mark has some provocative thoughts on the current economic crisis which are informed by his experience of living in Africa:

As European news is filled with dread about the economic situation on a daily basis, I wonder if in fact the crisis is more a crisis of belief in an economic system, a paradigm where the golden rule is that we all act selfishly in the belief that this will bring prosperity and happiness to all. A system where we who are rich just look after ourselves, getting richer while at the same time believing that our greed is actually helping the poor too. A system where we feel we have the right to ever-increasing wealth, turning a blind eye to those who don’t seem to be benefiting in the same way that we are.

The Gospel Coalition challenges to consider cancelling our short term mission trips, while Nathan gives seven good reasons to support missionaries (if you need a missionary to support, you could always start with us!).
Meanwhile, Jamie has some brilliant observations on the subject of being a missionary:

We’ve watched our friends meet other missionaries and noticed that sometimes when they hear that word, something weird happens. We’ve seen couples who are simply living together suddenly become husband and wife, foul mouthed jocks suddenly wax eloquent, beer aficionados become teetotalers for the moment, and raunchy stories about what happened last Friday night get tabled for another time.

In my experience, it seems the only people who feel excited to cross paths with a missionary are other missionaries, and people who feel a religious kinship with missionaries.


Recently, I was amused see someone on twitter talking about the differences between Africa and Europe, when their whole experience of Africa was one trip to Nairobi. Africa is a huge and highly diverse continent and to think that you know about it after one trip to Nairobi is a bit like assuming that you know about Europe on the basis of one visit to Copenhagen. In a similar vein, this short article tries to get to grips with ‘African theology’. It’s a good place to start, but it is no more than a start!

The Bible and Mission Blog points us to an excellent resource from Chris Wright and there is an excellent piece from an Australian journal on heart language worship in multi-cultural contexts.

Brian has posted lots of good and thoughtful stuff over the past few weeks. There is too much for me to link to everything, so just head over to his blog and have a read.

For those interested in witness and ministry among Muslims, there is an absolutely excellent, and very challenging paper in the latest edition of IJFM.

You cannot carry the gospel to the Muslim world today without having a clear and well-articulated opinion on the Palestinian tragedy, on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and on US global military involvement and its offensive neo-colonial support for autocratic regimes and dictators to guard its own economic interests.

Lastly, I’ve not linked to a cartoon by Dave Walker for a while, but this one is well worth a look!

This cartoon by Dave Walker originally appeared in the Church Times.

This post is more than a year old. It is quite possible that any links to other websites, pictures or media content will no longer be valid. Things change on the web and it is impossible for us to keep up to date with everything.

3 replies on “Bible and Mission Links 20”

Glad to see that it is getting around – though modesty should forbid me to say that he said nothing that hasn’t been said on Kouya Chronicle numerous times over the years!

Thanks for the link to the African Theology Countdown. You are right that it is “no more than a start”! We are always looking for deeper content to help people get a grip on different understandings and for African theologians to express their perspective.


Michael Shepherd

Comments are closed.