Storying is influencing Bible translation

I remember begging Bible translators to translate the Bible in the way this article advocates. So often in the past translation has been done in a way that is best for the translator which usually started with Mark and then did the other three gospels before doing the whole New Testament. However, evangelism usually works best starting with the Old Testament and preparing the way for New Testament. What I wanted was Genesis, Exodus 1-20 and then Luke, Acts as my first priorities. I am excited to see what God is doing during these times.

[The following is a portion of the article from the May-June 2014 issue of Mission Frontiers. Advancing Scripture Access for Discipleship Among Bible-less Oral People
by David Swarr.]

Foundational to making disciples in every people group is enabling access to and engagement with the Word of God in their own language. This awareness has fueled initiatives by some translation agencies to begin translation of the Bible into every language by the year 2025. A high percentage of Bible-less people groups are oral learners, yet the whole Bible in audio is only available in fewer than 130 of the world’s 6800 languages. How are oral communities to be discipled, and how are movements of indigenous fellowships to be sustained among them without access to the whole Bible in a format they understand? In the words of Samuel Chiang, mission history has shown that “no church planting movement has been sustained long term without access to the whole Bible.”

Read the full article here:

The traditional approach in translation has been to begin with a few Bible stories, progressing from there to a gospel, then to the New Testament, and finally the Old Testament. So how does a new fellowship of believers nurture itself while it waits ten or 12 years for the full Bible translation? A new initiative called Bible 3-6-5 aims to provide Bible-less oral peoples the ;bread of life’ daily for a year in audio format thru translation and recording of 365 chronological Bible passages from Genesis to Revelation. This core or golden thread of the Scripture amounts to approximately 20% of the Bible and can be translated and produced in approximately one fifth of the time.

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