Press Release: June 13, 2024

Community of Practice

Community of Practice: A New Approach in Bible Translation Training & Education

With Eshinee Veith, Innovation Manager
One of the many benefits of having 60 years of organizational experience in Bible translation is discovering how different types of training approaches can be best used in different contexts.

When the goal of a learning event is for an expert to pass on knowledge, skills or attitudes to novice learners, traditional training approaches, like classes or seminars, can be useful. For much of the work that Lutheran Bible Translators does around the world, the learners are often experts in a variety of ways. That is, in any learning situation, they are bringing a wealth of understanding, experience, and capability that is rooted in their own context.

Better Together

The Lutheran Bible Translators’ community of practice that was formed last fall consisted of both Lutheran Bible Translators partners from six countries and a handful of Lutheran Bible Translators missionaries. The goal of the community of practice was to provide a space for us to explore some key concepts in Bible translation together: translation, community engagement, and multilingualism.

This was done by co-reading and discussing training documents that have been produced in the Bible translation movement during the last few years, both by Lutheran Bible Translators and other Bible translation agencies. Rather than trying to deliver all of the information in a single workshop, the group worked through the TCE, written by Eshinee Veith and Chris Pluger, over a period of five months.

An important benefit of this process was that it allowed Lutheran Bible Translators’ partners to interact directly with each other about what they were reading. This meant that they were hearing from not only the document authors but also their peers on the ground, which added dimensions of relevance and accessibility. The community also gave them an opportunity to build relationships with one another for peer-to-peer support beyond the scope of the co-reading exercise.


This past week, Assistant Bishop Oscar Lema (ELVD Tanzania), community of practice participant, visited Ukara Island to help organize and advisory committee for the Ukara Project.

Some of the church leaders from the Ukara Language Community

Lema visited with 17 local leaders, all of whom supported the translation work, one day and another day he met with 14 church leaders at two different locations. These stakeholders in the Bible translation project will identify representatives from their language community to be part of the advisory committee and they will also identify three more people to join the Oral Bible Storytelling team that will hopefully start in November of this year.

Through the community of practice and the information and support shared during that process, Lema felt equipped to facilitate these important conversations.

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