Q: Why haven’t I heard of Global Bible Initiative? A: Our ministry celebrated 20 years in 2018, but until recently our focus was on completing Bible translations. In the past three years we’ve begun to collaborate with other Bible translation organizations and share our technology expertise. We are currently working very closely with Wycliffe/SIL International, American Bible Society, United Bible Societies and Biblica to leverage the latest technology so we can empower global churches to do Bible translation for themselves.
Q: What does Global Bible Initiative offer? A: Bible translation software, data and training that enables churches to accurately translate the Bible into their own languages. To borrow from home renovation terminology, Bible translation has been a DIFM (do it for me) model. Technology is changing it to a DIY (do it yourself) model. We empower churches by giving them clear visibility into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew and automatically checking their translation as they go, making sure they’ve accurately captured the meaning of the inspired Scripture texts.
Q: What are GBI’s strategies for completing the task? A: We have several --
Multiply the impact of Consultants: Adequate consultant help for all the translation work underway is one of the most urgent needs around the world. There is a shortage of qualified consultants, and sometimes translations are put on hold until a consultant becomes available. We are working on software that will enable consultants to do more projects. Our technology will correct the words or phrases that don’t require human review and help quickly identify the areas that need their attention.
Engage National Churches: Thanks to God’s blessing on the missionaries of the past generation, there are over 37 million Christian churches in the world. Many of them can take responsibility for a Bible translation project. We can see the day when Bible translation goes viral – with churches showing each other how to translate Scripture for themselves.
Give free access and training to native translators: There is currently a shortage of software tools for global Bible translators and the capability to use them. We will offer training and the latest Bible translation tools freely to churches who want to do Bible translation for themselves.
Remove the language barrier by translating Bible translation resources: User interfaces and content have to be translated into the LWC (languages of wider communication) so the bilingual speakers of the minority languages can complete translations in their heart language. We will soon be working with two other international Bible societies to complete the top 100 languages and the necessary resources.
Q: Why empower churches to do Bible translation? A: Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28) makes it clear that He wants us to go into the whole world spreading the Good News of the gospel and teaching those who receive him to follow his commands. This requires Scripture access. In the days of colonialism, missionaries responded to Christ’s Great Commission by taking the lead in teaching and discipling new believers and establishing churches and schools, which were run by the missionaries themselves. As effective as these evangelistic efforts have been, a new approach to missions has emerged. Christian churches and organizations in the U.S. and other developed nations now realize that by empowering local Christians to carry out their vision for ministry, more people could be reached and Scripture can be translated into more languages. As confirmation of this approach, Christianity is now growing faster in Africa, Asia and South America than in the western world. GBI comes alongside local Christians, empowering our brothers and sisters who are members of the local culture and who speak the language to direct the Bible translation process. We serve as enablers, advisors, encouragers and providers, as they conduct this work for God’s Kingdom. We also come alongside churches and other organizations in the United States who are interested in building a relationship with churches in developing nations to assist them in the knowledge transfer required to achieve accurate Bible translation. The mutual benefit of this global partnership becomes quickly apparent. The U.S. churches are inspired by the bold faith and authentic worship of their international brothers and sisters. This method of Bible translation honors the role of the Church and provides a healthy context for the work.
Q: Why does Global Bible Initiative exist? A: Global Bible Initiative harnesses new technology through collaboration with other Bible translation agencies and empowers the Church to do Bible translation for themselves.
Q: What is GBI trying to accomplish? A: To enable the Church to fulfill its God-given stewardship of God’s Word so that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
Q: How do we achieve our mission? A: Global Bible Initiative leverages innovations in computer science, linguistics and Biblical scholarship to provide clear visibility into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew, to automate manual processes, to improve speed and consistency, and to increase accuracy. We collaborate with other Bible translation organizations to help accomplish the goal of ending Bible poverty throughout the world. We freely offer our technology, data, processes and training to the Church through collaborations with sponsoring churches, foundations, Bible translation organizations, and donors…