Words for Life is Wycliffe Bible Translators’ regular magazine. In the Summer 2011 issue Eddie Arthur tackles the subject of ‘The Radical Result of Bible Translation’. In a short but insightful article he somehow manages to address a whole range of issues, including: the scary nature of giving someone a Bible; mission and coercion; the Bible and politics; language development and dignity; marginalisation, empowerment and identity.
Here’s some of the text of the article to give you a flavour. You can view the whole thing here: Words for Life – Summer 2011
Far from destroying dignity and oppressing them, Bible translation and language development work helps to give people a new sense of their value before God and amongst the nations. Bilingual education programmes give people a sense of value for their own languages and culture while providing them with a bridge to the wider world through the use of national and international languages. For many marginalised groups, who may well be ignored by their national governments, a language and translation programme may represent the only hope for education and development in their area. The work of Wycliffe Bible Translators and its partner organisations isn’t some sort of luxury; it is a vital part of bringing education, development and a sense of identity to some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people.
It is hard for English speakers to understand what it is like to belong to a people group whose language is continually ignored or discriminated against, or to have a language so obscure that even God doesn’t seem to speak it.
Eddie has much more to say on these and other important topics, as our MA in Bible and Mission students discover when he comes to Redcliffe to teach half of the module, ‘Bible Engagement in Intercultural Contexts’.
Check out his blog as well.