Directions in Bible Translation: A Threefold Commitment to Increasing Global Capacity

The Wycliffe Global Alliance Board passed a motion in November 2017 that will guide efforts to help Alliance Organizations in three key areas where there has been expressed (and observed) need in Bible translation worldwide. The Alliance Board has directed Alliance leadership to encourage and support the following:

  1. Developing adequate translation training processes and curricula appropriate for varied and changing contexts
  2. Expanding opportunities for the preparation and accreditation of translation consultants
  3. Establishing sustainable processes for translation of the whole Bible.

The need for increased capacity in training and consultant help

Two of the biggest bottlenecks in the global Bible translation movement are inadequate access to translation training programs, and insufficient numbers of translation consultants to work with translation teams. Alliance Organisations around the world have expressed the need to develop: 1) additional Bible translation curricula and training processes, and 2) additional opportunities for consultant preparation and accreditation. A number of Alliance Organisations are already involved in one or both areas. Others, however, have asked for help in order to develop translation training curricula and consultant accreditation in their own contexts.

Currently around 50% of all Alliance organisations are actively involved in leading approximately 1,000 Bible translation projects. That represents about 39% of all translation projects worldwide. The Alliance has the opportunity to enhance both training capacity and consultant capacity globally.

By making a commitment to assist Alliance Organizations in establishing more Bible translation training resources and consultant preparation processes, the Alliance recognizes the importance of the Participation Stream “Training in Bible Translation Roles.” This commitment also highlights the desire Alliance Organizations have to work in partnership with others to develop means of training and accreditation that are appropriate for each context.

The whole Bible for God’s people

Another high priority expressed by churches, language communities, and partner organisations is the desire to have translations of the whole Bible – to translate not only the New Testament, but the Old Testament as well. Language groups desire to reach their communities and enrich their churches with a whole-Bible-based gospel, a gospel that is centered in the entire written revelation of God to his people. The Alliance is committed to encouraging the establishment of sustainable efforts to help language communities achieve this goal.

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