Leading Towards the Broader World of Bible Translation

Spring 2020

Members of the Bible Translation in Ethiopia.
Reported by Lutheran Bible Translators staff Dr. Jim Kaiser in Ethiopia & Rev. Dr. Berhanu Ofgaa, Director of Ethiopia Program Representatives from 21 Bible translation projects of the largest Lutheran church body in the world – Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) – gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They were joined by local coordinators, advisors, and consultants. With 88 unique languages in Ethiopia, many language communities have no access to Scripture in their own languages. This special event was the first comprehensive Bible translation conference convened by the EECMY and representatives from all 21 EECMY projects assembled. This conference marked the beginning of the process to bring all the EECMY translation projects together under one central administration in the church’s Department for Mission and Theology. Previously, most of the projects had been isolated and not consistently managed and supported. The top leadership of both the EECMY and Lutheran Bible Translators addressed the conference. The EECMY president, Rev. Yonas Yigezu, and the EECMY general secretary, Rev. Dr. Teshome Amenu, explained how Bible translation is vital to the work of the church in evangelism and preaching. The head of the Department for Mission and Theology, Rev. Dr. Lalissa Daniel, spoke of the EECMY experience in vernacular Bible translation, the languages commonly spoken by the people. The work of Bible translation is tied to the very beginning of the EECMY. It goes back to 1899, when two freed slaves, Hika (Onesimos) Nesib and Aster Ganno, finished translating the Bible into their own Oromo language, the largest language in Ethiopia. This helped spark the growth of the church among the Oromo people.

“The New [administrative] structure will help the work of Bible translation to be more efficient and effective.” (Dr. Jim Kaiser, Lutheran Bible Translators consultant)

Lutheran Bible Translators executive director, Dr. Mike Rodewald, shared about the world of Bible translation outside of Ethiopia. He helped participants to see how their work is a part of a much broader picture. Much time was devoted to hearing from those representing the projects. The participants shared good things happening in their work and talked about the struggles they face. The teams from language communities where most of the people are Muslim had the greatest challenges. Small groups discussed the issues and possible solutions, such as how to meaningfully involve their language communities in the translation project. This was the first time many of the participants heard about the broader world of Bible translation outside of their own project. They were encouraged to learn what is happening in other places and challenged to pray for their fellow translators. There were many requests for this meeting to be held annually so that they could continue to learn from each other and encourage each other. For more information go to https://lbt.org/project/ethiopia-partnership/

They All Serve

Working with the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

Following the Cause

Pastor Matlhaope understands the impact of Scripture in his native Shekgalagari language. 

Financials, Prayers & Birthdays

Celebrating the Word of God Here and Now!

Dedications of lectionary series om Vute & Kwanja-Ndung languages in Camerron West Africa

Messenger Spring 2020

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If you would like to see Messenger as a printable PDF, click on this link to get the PDF: Messenger Spring 2020

Dr. Mike Rodewald,
Editor Barbara Beermann, Editorial Management
The Messenger is the official quarterly periodical of
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Executive Director: Dr. Mike Rodewald