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Pray for us, that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, 

just as it did also with you (2Thess 3:1)

What is BTF?

BTF aims to integrate Bible translation with ecclesial missions and theological education.

BTF is not a sending agency, nor a missionary-translator clearinghouse. Rather, we are a FELLOWSHIP of people who are likeminded in our philosophy that Bible translation should be INTEGRATED with church ministries (church planting and strengthening) and theological education (seminaries, church-based, etc., for the training of leaders, pastors, missionaries, counselors, etc.).

BTF is primarily engaged in 3 areas of ministry at the intersection of translation ministry, church ministry and theological education:

First, we advocate for the need for Bible translation. Many Christians simply are unaware of the global needs for translating the full Scriptures into the living languages and dialects of the world, especially where there are Christians who are asking for a full Bible translation in their language or dialect. Many languages still lack the full Scriptures.

Second, we recruit. After advocacy comes recruiting. We present at churches and conferences, at Bible colleges and seminaries, to anyone who will listen. And once you present the need, often people ask, How can I serve? So we constantly find ourselves involved in recruiting. We don’t recruit for any particular agency, but our friends at Propempo can help you with that. Rather, we recruit godly people for the work of Bible translation, and since almost every skill and gift imaginable can be used to support Bible translation, we try to connect the dots between someone’s gifts and skills and the opportunities that exist to promote Bible translation at the intersection of church ministry and theological education.

Third, we network. After advocacy and recruiting, networking to integrate translation ministry is needed. This is why we’re a FELLOWSHIP. We want to grow a network of partners that co-labor in the INTEGRATION of Bible translation, ecclesial missions, and theological education. Our hope is to vet these partners so we can recommend them to others. Sometimes a church wants to financially support someone. Other times a prospective missionary-translator wants to join a team. We’re trying to advocate the historical model of pastor-translators and theologian-translators, or at least teams that include all the necessary skill-sets of linguists, theologians, biblical language scholars, and churchmen.

We praise God for the work He has done in bringing His Word to more than 683 language-groups in the world. While these represent the major language groups, reaching masses of people, there are more than 6,000 languages (with many more thousands of dialects) 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 advocating, recruiting and networking churches to fellowship Together 4 the Bible, by cooperating together in church planting, church strengthening, theological education and Bible translation.

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) advocacy through blog, resources, FAQ and reading list; (2) recruiting; and (3) networking (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.

Partnering with BTF?

BTF is a ministry of Immanuel Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA. If you desire to partner with us financially, you can mail checks to IBC and put “Bible Translation Fellowship” in the memo line. If you want to support a BTF partner, please contact them directly, as we are not a sending agency nor a clearinghouse for others in our network.

The BTF was initiated by its 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 Christians and churches are simply unaware of translation needs and how they can help.

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. The current model of providing exegetical and translation consultants requires more missionary translators (Matt 9.37!) who know the biblical languages, theologians who are churchmen, and pastors who can serve on translation committees and who will be trained in 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 Advisory Board is composed of men who give oversight to BTF, especially in vetting our 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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