All Mission Is Bible Translation

The job of a Bible translator is pretty straightforward; they have to take the message of the Bible and make it accessible to speakers of other languages. There are some complexities on the way, but the overall concept is clear; take the Bible and make it understandable to people.

In fact, this is what all mission is about, presenting the message of the Bible, which climaxes in the story of Jesus to people in a way that they can understand. We can present the message in words and we can demonstrate Jesus care for humanity through our actions. However, the connection to the message of the Bible needs to be overt. If we care for people but we don’t make the link to the story of God’s love in Christ, then all we are doing is being nice – it isn’t mission in any meaningful sense.

Our motives and intentions may all be good, but mission isn’t defined by good intentions. Mission involves pointing people to Jesus who is revealed in the Bible and at some point this means using words.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If all we do is tell people a message, but we don’t back this up by loving concern, then we’ve not really translated the message in a meaningful way.