Posted in Uncategorized

Greatest Need in Bible Translation

I saw on Twitter that someone used Google Translate to translate the words to Smash Mouth’s song “All Star” into Aramaic and then back into English. These were the results: It is funny to read because you can kind of get a taste for what the original said, but it sounds so bad. It’s English, but it’s not. Well, there is a reason that we don’t use Google Translate for Bible translation. For one thing, there is no Kwakum option on Google. But mainly because computers can’t do translation. You need people for that. The Difficulty of Translation At some…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Oral Bible Storying Video

[VIDEO] Kwakum Bible Translation: Step 2a: Drafting

The first step in Bible translation is Exegesis, which leads to a front translation. The second step is called Drafting. In this stage we work to understand the text as a group, then develop the first draft of the text in Kwakum. Over the next four videos we will be describing the process of drafting. In this video, I talk to Koo (one of our translators) about the first part of the process of drafting: understanding the text. The most important concept here is: “You cannot translate a text that you do not understand.”

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions God’s Work in Cameroon Newsletter

[NEWSLETTER] Progress!

This has been a crazy year, and it has been a while since we updated you. I am glad to let you know that we have seen some great progress!  In the area of Bible translation, you probably know that we have decided to work on Old Testament Bible Storying. We started working on some stories at the end of last year. Then, we went through the process of translator selection, choosing seven men and one woman to work on the project. We had a training time, working through topics such as: basic translation principles, how to deal with unknown…

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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

How NOT to Choose a Career

When I was a kid, many people told me I could pursue any career I wanted. I went through a number of desired careers including (but not limited to): comedian, doctor, and insurance salesman. In high school, a career counselor looked me in the eye and said: “Ignore all that stuff. You have limits, you can’t just do anything you want. You need to figure out what you are capable of doing and pursue that. But if you can find something that you love to do, you will never work a day in your life.” I like this advice for…

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Posted in Bible Translation Video

[VIDEO] The First Step of Bible Translation: Exegesis

We thought we would do a video series on the various steps behind the Kwakum Bible translation project. We are still new at this and learning a lot along the way and yet we thought we would share what we have been doing thus far. Throughout the series, you’ll be hearing from our 8 Kwakum colleagues as well as Dave and I. (Also, you’ll notice a woman sleeping in our translation center…She is a blind woman that lives in our village who likes to come just listen as we translate…and sometime she sleeps too.)

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Posted in Bible Translation Encouragements and Exhortations

4 Steps to Pursue Diversity in Bible Interpretation

One day, near the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus was approached by a Roman centurion. Jesus had already been doing some shocking things; just a few verses before he touched a man with leprosy, healing him. So, maybe his disciples were growing accustomed to his “different” methods. Maybe his offer to heal the Roman’s servant would not have seemed so strange. They may have been surprised to hear that the centurion believed that Jesus could heal from a distance, but I suspect what surprised them the most was when Jesus replied to him: “Truly I tell you, I have…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

A Case for Diversity in Bible Interpretation

I would like to make a claim at the outset of this post: proper biblical interpretation requires diversity. Specifically, we need to study the Bible with people different from us in order to best understand the meaning of the text. This claim is not unique to me and when I have heard it in the past, I have brushed it aside. My reasons for rejecting such a conclusion were: 1) as a believer, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth (John 16:13), and 2) I believe in the perspicuity (or clarity) of Scripture. By…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions Literacy

3 Literacy Surprises

On Saturday we finished our first Kwakum literacy course (we have worked through the material with some people, but this was the first official class). We went to a village called Sibita every weekend for 4 weeks. The group varied between 4 adults to 20 adults, depending on the week. We explicitly said this class was for adults, but there were always 10-20 kids there too. The kids participated and learned probably more quickly than the adults. Being that it was our first official literacy class, there were some things that surprised me. Here are three: 1. No Abstract Categories…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions VBS Video

[VIDEO] Can We Come to Your VBS?

We have the exciting opportunity to participate in VBS at Grace Church Frisco this summer. How? Well, they are doing VBS completely virtually, online. They are using the curriculum Incredible Race by Answers in Genesis. The main theme throughout is the story of the tower of Babel, which works pretty well with our jobs as Bible translators. So we recorded five short videos talking about ministry here and relating it to the Babel story. I was thinking, if Grace Church Frisco is doing VBS this year, maybe other churches are too. And maybe even if churches are not able to…

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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

3 Ways to Apply Grace to Missionaries

Stacey and I are reading a new parenting book called Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, by Paul David Tripp. This particular parenting book is not super practical. Tripp does not lay down step-by-step instructions for how to deal with each and every situation. Instead, he guides Christian parents with Gospel principles, and shows how those principles should affect the way that we parent. The second chapter in the book is entitled ‘Grace’ and hits at the heart of a major problem with my Christianity. Here is a specific quote that I think explains the point…

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