Every new Bible translation needs a source text, an accurate and easily understandable translation to work from.
Nearly every people group in the world has some bilingual speakers in one of 44 known “Gateway Languages” (GLs). These 44 each open the gates for access to many, often hundreds of, local languages and dialects.
Unfolding Word (UW), of Orlando, FL is helping develop a high-quality Bible in each of the 44.
It is almost unbelievable, that in spite of the translation efforts of the past century, there are no open-licensed, easily-understood Bibles in Latin American Spanish. Just one, would give access to 552 local languages including 120 unreached people groups. The Word of God remains locked to them. I’ll explain that better next week and you won’t like the reason for it.
Nor is one available in either Portugal-based or Brazilian Portuguese. Or in any of their 517 local languages in seven countries on two continents. This covers thousands of churches who don’t have God’s Word in their heart language. Imagine that!
Several of the 44 GLs are already completed, and UW is helping church networks in about 1/3 of those remaining. It is a monumental task! Next week’s blog will include some incredibly encouraging news on this front, and some disheartening information.
UW has facilitated two English translations. The Literal Text (ult) and the Simplified Text (ust) are aligned with the original Hebrew and Greek and are source texts for where English is known to some in a people group. Enjoy them freely! UW is also developing discipleship resources in the Gateway Languages to help the Church train leaders and disciple the believers.
God is fast-tracking the Bible translation effort. There are still nearly 3,000 people groups who don’t have His Word in their heart language, but they are now being entered at the rate of hundreds per year. Maybe 500 in 2020 through various ministries, if funds are available. You can help open the gates for the Gospel into hundreds of people groups.
The needs and opportunities are great – even as we Americans lovingly caress our treasure that is laid-up for earthly pleasure and supposed security. How does that correlate with the Luke 19:12-27 Parable of the Minas? Gateway Languages are an incredible way for you to multiply your Mina.
Ken Stoltzfus, Kidron, OH
Aug. 7, 2020
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