Pray for us, that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified,
just as it did also with you (2 Th 3:1)
What is BTF?
We praise God for the work He has done in bringing His Word to more than 531 language-groups in the world. While these represent the major language groups, reaching masses of people, there are more than 6,400 languages still needing a full Bible. Additionally, many of the languages which have a full Bible are in need of revision. Who will do the revisions? Languages are changing rapidly and translators must equip national believers to minister the Word by training churchmen who will translate, teach, read, and counsel the Word in the local churches of those language groups.
At its core, the Bible Translation Fellowship (BTF) is simply a mechanism for (1) educating and (2) encouraging believers and churches to cooperate, partner, and fellowship Together 4 the Bible, church planting, and theological education.
Too often, people have engaged in one of these ministries without integration with the other two. We hope to encourage the re-integration of these three ministries by finding Partners who seek to integrate their translation work with church planting and theological education.
The BTF website exists to provide educational information to individual Christians and local churches, for the purpose of provoking others to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24) in the work of Bible translation. This includes providing theological education to equip national churches with the skills necessary for Bible translation and building healthy Word-centered churches. It also includes the actual translation of the living and powerful Word of God into the languages of the world which lack a full Bible translation. We also seek to provide encouragement as to how more churches can fellowship/participate in the work of Bible translation, church planting and theological education.
We hope this website will be a source of: (1) education through blog, resources, FAQ and reading list; (2) encouragement; and (3) opportunity (see “Fellowship” links for participation, joining the Fellowship, Together 4 the Bible, and our Partners) for you to co-labor in providing the remaining languages and peoples of the world with God’s Word, healthy churches, and theological training for the next generation of pastors, scholars, authors, and translators. If you already support a church plant somewhere, connect with one of our Partners so they can work together in Bible translation.
Why the BTF?
The BTF exists for two reasons: (1) to educate and encourage Christians and churches about needs in Bible translation work, and (2) to provide the opportunity to co-labor in Bible translation, church planting and theological education. BTF provides a list of Bible translation projects and the people who work on them (see Partners), for the sake of participating together in the progress of the Gospel through the spreading of the Word in local churches around the world.
At this point, we are not a non-profit fund, and therefore simply maintain a list of people and opportunities which churches can support directly. This frees BTF to build relationships and not have to manage a fund. It also gives churches more freedom to choose people and projects they want to support and co-labor with.
The BTF was initiated by the founder in 2014, after more than 10 years of field research, missionary interviews in more than 30 countries, correspondence with translator-missionaries, discussions with many professors in North American and international seminaries, discussions with JAARS and SIL personnel, and the pursuit of multiple graduate degrees in the triad of Bible translation (BT) disciplines (see FAQ).
During these 10 plus years, the founder has discovered that most of the Christians, local churches, and professors he interacted with were unaware of the current needs in global BT work. Additionally, there are many misconceptions about the work of BT and roles and opportunities to support the work.
The goal of this website is not only to encourage churches to support Bible translation work but also to inform future missionaries to consider training and service in one of the triad disciplines of Bible translation. SIL/Wycliffe provides an excellent avenue for both training and sending linguistically trained translators to the field. However, the SIL/Wycliffe model of translation also depends upon other disciplines in the BT triad, such as exegetical consultants who know the biblical languages, theologians who are churchmen, and local pastors who can provide initial feedback on translation options as well as the use of the Word in the life of their local churches.
BTF finds its niche in pointing churches to support those who work diligently to involve the local church in BT work. Local churches in resource-rich countries have unprecedented opportunities to train and send qualified missionaries to serve in training up local pastors, theologians and translators in the Global South. These national pastors and theologians need training to be able to not only translate the scriptures, but also faithfully handle the Word in the life of their local congregation.
Who is BTF?
The founder of BTF is the Chairman of the Advisory Board, but is anonymous on this website for the purpose of protection on the mission field.
The Advisory Board is composed of men who give oversight to BTF and make contributions to the website. They also oversee the acceptance of new Partners. Whether as missionary-minded pastors and theologians, or as translation practitioners, these men bring a wealth of wisdom to the cause of re-integrating Bible translation, church planting and the training of pastors and translators working in the triad of Bible translation disciplines.
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