Bible Translation

What It Takes To Translate the Bible

A picture can tell a thousand words and a good diagram even more…

I love this diagram by my friend Jason Ramasami which comes from the latest Wycliffe magazine, Words for Life. There is so much going on in the picture that I suspect everyone will focus on different bits; but the things that stick out to me are:

  • It is God who is at the centre of everything; breathing life into the work.
  • Despite being sovereign and central to the work, God also responds to the prayers of his people.
  • Clearly, translation isn’t a work for the Lone-Ranger, it takes a big team.

Of course, any diagram like this is only an illustration and can’t cover all of the aspects of translation work. If it were really accurate there would be so many people doing lots of different types of ‘something else’ that you wouldn’t be able to make anything out.

The point of the diagram is to highlight the different ways in which people in the UK can contribute to Bible translation work and it does a brilliant job of that. My one, slight, reservation is that it doesn’t really reflect the leading role mother-tongue speakers in the the translation process – perhaps that’s a subject for another diagram in the future.

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