Faithfulness and Naturalness in Mission

April 23, 2015
Bible Translation

What can we learn about community and mission from a Bible translator?

Bryan Harmelink is the Global Consultant for Bible Translation and Collaboration for Wycliffe Global Alliance. Whenever he is in town and available, I have him speak in my Community and Mission class on Bible translation. What does Bible translation have to do with encouraging students to develop a more missional lifestyle in the context of Christian community? Understanding translation can help us understand something about the end and the means of continuing Jesus’ mission.

Bryan defines translation as follows:

Translation is retelling, as exactly as possible, the meaning of the original message in a way that is natural in the language into which the translation is being made.

You see that there are two key aspects to translation – faithfulness and naturalness. We need to retell “as exactly as possible” yet “in a way that is natural” to the listener or reader.

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