What Does the Future Hold for Bible Translation and Literacy? — Rev. Dr. Jim Keller (Director of Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada)

LBTCThe following excerpts are from an article written by Dr. Keller in the Messenger (Volume 44, Number 1, Fall 2016):

Scripture translation has been going on around the globe since the time our Lord walked among us, and despite this, more than half of the world’s languages still have no translated scripture.  On the other hand, similar estimates have concluded that as many as 95 percent of the world’s population have access to a Bible in a language they are able to speak or understand. However, more often than not these are languages spoken by conquerors or enemies that locals do not wish to use for political, cultural, or spiritual reasons. At a minimum, such persons do not have access to God’s Word in their mother tongue, or in that translators call their “heart language.” …

Martin Luther, along with many of the sixteenth century reformers, re-engaged with Bible translation as the primary means of promoting permanent growth within the Western Church.  Luther himself produced a German translation of the Scriptures that not only put God’s Word into the hands of the people, but has been credited with giving birth to the modern German language. He recognized that while the Word is powerful in itself, the hearer is benefited most when it is in a ‘digestible’ form, namely the language of the heart. …

Experience in Bible translation has shown us that when the Word of God enters the language and speech of a community, it enters and ultimately shapes their culture as well.  In other words, evangelism is properly dependent upon the presence of the New Testament in the heart language of the local population. The Bible reveals the message of salvation by grace through faith in a manageable and direct form which forgives sin and give eternal life. …

To learn how you can partner with LBTC, visit: Lutheran Bible Translators of Canada. To read, Dr. Keller’s article in its entirety, visit LBTC and request a copy of the Messenger.

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