The Changing Face of Bible Translation

In this edition of Living Words we focus on the changing face of Bible translation. This is extremely relevant and topical. Like every individual, community and organisation we are facing change at an unprecedented rate.

Words like these are often followed by sighs and negative feelings. However, not all change is negative and disheartening. Often positive, uplifting results and experience can follow.

Wycliffe New Zealand has been experiencing a large amount of change in recent years and, in particular, change in the context of the Bible translation movement. Some very exciting developments are changing the face of Bible translation and in the following pages you will read about a few of these and their impact on our own Wycliffe members.

Brazilian Deeper Bible class, 2018

Brazilian Deeper Bible class, 2018

Wycliffe New Zealand is one of around 100 organisations in the Wycliffe Global Alliance. Both the Alliance and Wycliffe New Zealand have recognised anew (a) the responsibility we have to speak into the future of the Bible translation movement, specifically in terms of translating both the Old and New Testaments and (b) that this is an integral part of the mission of God. It is no longer satisfactory to think that a translated New Testament is adequate for minority language groups today. These language groups have as much right to a complete Bible as we or any other major language might have.

In 2016, as part of the Wycliffe Global Alliance, we recommitted ourselves to Vision 2025, which states: “We embrace the goal of starting a translation project in every language that needs one by the year 2025.”

This has led us to rethink the way we train people for the Bible translation movement. We are participating with training partners to offer new courses that are better suited to today’s Bible translation realities. Some of this is new territory for us, and we would ask for your prayers as we continue to respond to the rapid changes in the world today, and to be at the forefront of the changing face of Bible translation.

It is my prayer that as you read about these exciting trends and the changing face of Bible translation you, too, will be excited about the future and what God is doing through His word and in His world.

Serving together for the Bible-less peoples,

Robert Lovatt,
Executive Director


Return to Living Words March 2018


John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word

Verse for today

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.