For most of history, Bible translation has required a lifetime commitment. In our information age, it is difficult to imagine the discipline and perseverance required by ancient scribes, bent over their desks, transcribing and translating texts with crude pen and paper. The advent of the printing press certainly accelerated Bible printing, but the core task of learning culture and language to translate Scripture still required a lifetime commitment. It is really only in very recent years that the time horizon for accomplishing a New Testament translation has significantly decreased. What used to take 20 to 30 years in some cases is now being accomplished in 6 to 10 years, and some translators are now consulting on translations in dozens of languages in their lifetime!
But what’s the rush? Why strive to speed Bible translation? The simple answer is that eternity is at stake in hundreds of millions of lives.
James 4:14 says, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (NIV). He then goes on to say that because of this, we need to do the good we know to do. One of the blessings of my job is that I get to see thousands of you doing the good you know every day. Your faithful prayers, financial stewardship, and service are making a difference in Bible translation today! In this eInvolved!, you will read about how God’s Word is impacting the Misaje people of Cameroon and the Pinai-Hagahai people of Papua New Guinea. And you’ll see a personal note of thanks from a translator in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea.
All of these things are possible because of your partnership in Bible translation! Thank you for investing your life in the eternal lives of so many others!