Press Release: Lutheran Bible Translators Signs Working Agreement with United Bible Societies
Concordia, Missouri September 18, 2023 – Lutheran Bible Translators Signs Working Agreement with United Bible Societies
On August 21, 2023, Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT) and United Bible Societies (UBS) signed a working agreement for shared Bible translation consultancy services. This signing renewed a March 2022 agreement, but LBT and UBS have been in a relationship for several decades. United Bible Societies is the largest Bible clearing house/publisher in the world and maintains relationships with over 140 agencies around the globe. United Bible Societies defines itself, “We’re a world-wide network of Bible Societies operating in over 240 countries and territories to make sure that everyone who wants to can access and engage with the Bible.” Lutheran Bible Translators appreciates how each individual Bible society integrates with the local churches to engage the community in Bible translation work.
In the early 1990s, UBS and LBT were part of founding the Forum of Bible Agencies International (FOBAI). This ongoing partnership arranges meetings where LBT, UBS, and other organizations meet to coordinate translation work and training. United Bible Societies then provides technical advice, consultants, and training to help Bible translators do their work with quality and consistency.
In the late 1990s and into the early 2000s, LBT Missionaries Rev. Larry Johnson and Rev. Dale Federwitz served as honorary translation advisors by UBS translation department invitation. Recently, Executive Director Rich Rudowske has further developed the relationship with UBS, so LBT consultants earn credentials internally that both organizations review. After approval, consultants can be invited to consult on Bible Society projects with greater ease. Rudowske elaborated, “This partnership makes translation consultants interchangeable between the United Bible Societies and Lutheran Bible Translators, thus giving greater flexibility for all of us to get God’s Word published and in the community’s hands much faster.” The working agreement indicates that LBT will provide consultation and support for various Bible Society-led translation projects, and UBS will grant LBT access to all UBS systems relevant to the consultancy work. Financial responsibility will be communicated and shared between LBT and project Bible societies.
“This partnership makes translation consultants interchangeable between the United Bible Societies and Lutheran Bible Translators, thus giving greater flexibility for all of us to get God’s Word published and in the community’s hands much faster.”
— Rev. Dr. Rich Rudowske, Executive Director + CEO for Lutheran Bible Translators
Alexander M. Schweitzer, UBS Executive Director of Bible Ministry, said of the agreement, “Partnerships in Bible translation are needed more than ever. Yet, when it comes to concrete collaboration between agencies, differences in principles, translation ethos, and quality often pose obstacles. The fact that we recently extended the working agreement between LBT and UBS on collaboration in Bible translation by sharing translation consultants is therefore a real reason to rejoice! It proves that our two organisations are very close in our approach to Bible translation and can build on a long-term good working relationship. We are grateful for this gift of joining hands and pursuing together the beautiful mission of making God’s Word available.”
Lutheran Bible Translators invites you to join the celebration by praying for God to use this partnership to bear much fruit for His glory!