The Wycliffe Global Alliance and Bible Translation Movements

In September 2012 Kirk Franklin, Executive Director of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, published his thesis for his MA in Theology, entitled The Wycliffe Global Alliance – From a U.S. Based International Mission to a Global Movement for Bible Translation.

Franklin says in the introduction to this series adapted from the thesis, “The goal of my research, now presented in this series of articles, was to identify the implications for the Wycliffe Global Alliance in respect to the church’s demographic shift from the West to the global South and East. My underlying assumption was that the organization must transform itself from an international mission agency to a global alliance that participates in, and takes greater leadership in, movements for Bible translation.

“Underpinning this research is a missiological and theological framework that helps determine how the Wycliffe Global Alliance might realize its overall vision …. With Christianity’s centre of gravity moving away from its Western roots, this study recommends changes to the strategy and structure of the Alliance.”

The 18 articles included in this collection deal with major topics such as the missio Dei, missiological and historical foundations of Bible translation, mission strategy, and mission agency leadership.

View and download a PDF of the full thesis.

  • Introduction: The Wycliffe Global Alliance and Bible Translation Movements
    Introducing a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis. The overall purpose of Franklin’s research “…was to identify the implications for the Wycliffe Global Alliance in respect to the Church’s demographic shift from the West to the global South and East.”
  • Beginning of a Movement
    Wycliffe Bible Translators started in 1942 as a resourcing organization for the Summer Institute of Linguistics (now called SIL International). While these two organizations had a common beginning, the last two decades have fundamentally redefined both organizations, but especially Wycliffe. Part two in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • Emergence of Wycliffe International
    The history of Wycliffe Bible Translators International (WBTI) emerging out of a surge in the formation of new Wycliffe organizations in Asia starting in the 1970s. Part three in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • Re-emergence: the Wycliffe Global Alliance
    This article focuses on the history of Wycliffe Bible Translators International (WBTI) becoming Wycliffe Global Alliance in the context of the development of Bible translation. Part four in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • Translation and Contextualization
    This article discusses the important theological issues that are associated with Bible translation. Of particular interest is contextualization, which is concerned with the relationship between the Christian faith and various cultures. Part five in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • Translation and Theology
    Throughout history missionary activity has included the use of the vernacular. The particular language was not a means to an end but was “endowed with divine significance, so that [it] may substitute completely for the language of revelation” (Lamin Sanneh). Part six in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • The Impact of Vernacular Translations
    The Scriptures in the vernacular enable people to understand spiritual truths about God and his will for them. Through access to the sacred text, individuals and the Christian community can take responsibility for their growth and nurture. Part seven in a series of articles adapted from Wycliffe Global Alliance Executive Director Kirk Franklin’s Master’s thesis.
  • Missiological Foundations: Jesus
    This article explores the influence of Jesus’ teaching and practice on contemporary practices of mission agencies.
  • Missiological Foundations: Pentecost and Paul
    This article looks into the influence of the events of Pentecost and the Jerusalem Council, as well as the life and teachings of Paul, on contemporary practices of mission agencies.
  • Missiological Foundations: Historical Perspectives on Bible Translation
    The translatability of the gospel is the key to appreciate why the translation of the Bible into the languages of the world is important in the missio Dei.
  • Missiological Foundations: Global Shifts
    The shift of the centre of influence of the Church to the Global South and East has many implications for strategy development within mission agencies.
  • Missiological Foundations: Factors Affecting Mission Fulfilment
    The Wycliffe Global Alliance does not operate in a vacuum. It is positively or adversely affected by trends in the Church and the world, through influences of globalization, and other factors.
  • Missiological Foundations: The Missio Dei and Vision 2025
    Different parts of the church have been reviewing their interpretation of the missio Dei. It follows that this should impact how the Wycliffe Global Alliance interprets the accomplishment of Vision 2025 within the context of the missio Dei.
  • Leadership Foundations: The Changing Nature of Leadership
    An examination of leadership principles, including cultural influences that affect how organizations like the Wycliffe Global Alliance are led.
  • Leadership Foundations: The Changing Global Context
    Cross-cultural leadership should integrate intercultural thinking, which involves interdependency, supporting one another, and seeking unity through inclusion.
  • Leadership Foundations: Leadership Development in the Wycliffe Global Alliance
    Because the structure of the Wycliffe Global Alliance is similar to a global organization of organizations, the Alliance has distinct leadership development requirements that are unlike the majority of mission agencies.
  • Conclusions and Recommendations
    An overview and summary of the main points from all articles in the series, followed by recommendations for how the Wycliffe Global Alliance should continue to engage the Church and the missio Dei with respect to the issues raised.
  • References
    A bibliography of works cited throughout Kirk Franklin’s MA thesis and the 17 articles adapted from it.

07/2020 Brazil, Indonesia

The Story of Kennya

“You Have to Talk to My Father” As a young Brazilian woman, Kennya...

Read more

07/2020 Europe

Wycliffe Netherlands Celebrates 50th Anniversary

On Saturday 27 June, Wycliffe Netherlands held an online event to ...

Read more

06/2020 Europe

A Roma Village Transformed

  By Jurek Marcol In 2017, the Biblical Missionary Association (...

Read more