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Scripture Translation

Translation Technology: Accelerating the Spread of God’s Word

  • by EMDC

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Technology can be a polarizing word. The idea of artificial intelligence or robots can seem exciting to some of us but scary to others. But did you know that technology is playing a critical role in building God’s Kingdom?

Andrew Flemming, vice president of global partnerships engagement for Wycliffe said,

These tools include things like: Starlink satellites, which provide stable internet; Render, which records oral Bible translations; and Chameleon, which enables the Bible to be translated into sign language in persecuted areas.

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How can ChatGPT help in Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement? #1

Should you let chatGPT translate the bible into languages that it hasn’t been available in before?
No, it can help in various ways but AI is a tool that helps rather than replaces humans. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s how ChatGPT answered the question:

“As an AI language model, I am capable of translating text into different languages, including the Bible. However, it is important to note that the translation of the Bible is a sensitive and complex task that requires a deep understanding of the source text, as well as the culture and linguistic nuances of the target language.

While I can accurately translate words and phrases, I am not equipped to provide the necessary contextual and cultural understanding needed for an accurate and meaningful translation of the Bible. Therefore, it is recommended that any translations of the Bible be done by trained human translators who are well-versed in both the source and target languages, as well as the cultural and historical contexts of the Bible.Read More »How can ChatGPT help in Bible Translation and Scripture Engagement? #1

One Matchstick – The Senga Fire

  • by FCBH

“When we work together with our different gifts, we can say, ‘God has accomplished this.'” 
Rev. Katete Jackson Jones, BiLTA, Zambia

One year ago, Faith Comes By Hearing‘s video team set out to capture an incredible story of community transformation through God’s Word in audio. Now, the organization is ready to share that story with the world.

One Matchstick: The Senga Fire, tells the incredible true story of the Senga of Zambia receiving the Bible in their language for the first time in the tribe’s 2,000- year history.

Prior to this monumental breakthrough, no written or oral translation of Scripture existed in the Senga’s mother tongue. For years, interaction with the Bible in any meaningful way required the Senga to learn the languages of neighboring tribes. Though they desired to know and understand the Bible, their tribe was deemed too small to receive a written translation.

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Which kind of translations make more impact? 

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Which kind of translations make more impact?

This is a good question.  It is also a complex issue and more than one set of parameters comes into play. That is, there’s more going on here than “literal vs meaning-based.” Long ago David Landin did research in Bolivia to see which indigenous Bibles were being used there 10 years after completion. Answer: the ones with the hymns in the back. And in those, it was the hymns that were being used, not the translations themselves.

One key factor that has proven true over the years is whether or not the local church leaders (pastors, evangelists, teachers) choose to use a new translation or not. If the local and regional church leaders do not show support for a translation, it will likely fade into obscurity. This is why nowadays many projects begin by contacting local and regional, even national church and denominational leadership in order to hear from them what kind of translation is most desired by them for their people. And continued conversation with these leaders is fostered all along the life of the translation project.

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Scripture In Mission – Three Major Priorities In Eradicating Bible Poverty

Illustration  from TV – Eradicating Bible Poverty@call2all

Scripture In Mission: Three Major Priorities In Eradicating Bible Poverty

The Scripture in Mission Multiplex Resource Team

Written by John Watters, PhD, Chair of the Forum of Bible Agencies International.
This Cape Town 2010 Advance Paper was written by the Scripture in Mission Multiplex Resource Team as an overview of the topic that was discussed at the related session on ‘Scripture in Mission’ at the Cape Town 2010 Congress. 


Peter and Angela are busy with their middle-class lives. Next door, Lucy is a Buddhist from East Asia and her housemate is into New Age religious matters. Mma Echu has no Scriptures in her language, and the chief of her village has built a shrine for his god. Amin is interested in Jesus but is illiterate, while Hussein is deaf.
What do all these people have in common? They suffer from a malady that afflicts billions of people scattered throughout every nation in the world—Bible poverty. But none of them realize it.
What are the signs of Bible poverty? It is present where people are hindered by barriers from having access to the Scriptures in a language they understand well and engaging with them in ways that transform their lives. It cuts across economic levels, social status, religious identity, ethnic groups, and languages. Bible poverty affects regions of religious persecution. It affects the non-literate, the deaf, and the blind. Still others, like the Befang of Cameroon, simply do not have any Scripture in their language. And a host of professionals in cities from Shanghai to Munich to Bogota have no confidence in any truth but their own experience. Barriers to engaging meaningfully with the Scriptures show up everywhere: in urban contexts, in rural contexts, in regions where other major religions dominate, and in the post-modern West. But once we identify these barriers, can we also work to build bridges that enable people to overcome these barriers?
Eight Conditions for Scripture Engagement

Online Scripture Engagement courses

Scripture Engagement: Planning for the Journey 

It’s not enough to translate the Bible. It’s not even enough to distribute the Bible. Our desire is to see real Scripture Engagement: people encountering God’s Word in life-changing ways. A three part series (3 sets of 10 one hour sessions) centred on Wayne Dye’s Eight Conditions for Scripture Engagement (below) will be hosted on early in 2022. These conditions are the ones at the heart of the and  Scripture Engagement courses taught at university.

Each one hour class will have 20 minutes of discussion. Update: Classes are now finished but stay connected for news of when this runs again!

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5 more reasons why Google can’t translate the Bible

Google can do so many things: resolve dinner table arguments, magically change its logo on the daily and even anticipate what question I’m going to ask next.

But one thing Google can’t do is translate the Bible. We’ve already looked at five reasons why it just doesn’t work (see previous blog), and now it’s time to explore even more reasons why Google and other computer programs can’t come close to replacing the work of human translators.

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5 reasons why Google can’t translate the Bible

There are a lot of things I don’t understand: physics, the general logistics behind air traffic control and why I turn down the radio when I’m driving so I can see better.

Another skill my brain has never fully been able to grasp is the ability to learn different languages. It’s always been a challenge; just ask my high school and college French instructors!

Artificial intelligence translation programs like Google Translate are used all over the world to interpret everyday conversations, website content and more. But what you end up with can often sound closer to one of my second grade attempts at writing poetry than intelligible thoughts.

The work of Bible translation is complex, and it requires teams of passionate and talented individuals working through unique scenarios on a daily basis. Don’t just take my word for it, though! Here are five real-life reasons why human translators, not computer programs, are needed for clear, accurate and natural Bible translations.

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