The international translation work of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) has seen considerable success over 2013, according to its latest newsletter.
During the six months to December 2013, TBS published the Gospel of John in Armenian, Catalan and Nepali. Over the next 12-18 months, it is also on course to complete entire Bibles in Farsi, Norwegian and Romanian, along with New Testaments in Mongolian, Shona, Spanish and Thadou.
The TBS is also working on an Amharic and Chinese Gospel of John (the latter will be web-only) and a French Gospel according to Matthew.
Philip Hopkins, editorial director of the TBS, said there was also definite progress on projects in many languages, from Eastern Armenian to Maltese and to Waray-Waray (Philippines).
However, he was sad to note that some language projects have come to a ‘premature’ end, such as Bangala (Bangladesh/India).
He said, ‘Nothing has progressed in terms of gathering a team of people who could undertake the work of producing a more faithful edition of the Bangala Scriptures. This item will therefore come off the list, if there are no further developments in the meantime’.
Lisu and Waray-Waray
Mr Hopkins asked for prayer for a translation project among the Lisu people in Burma (Myanmar). He said, ‘Recently, representatives of the Dutch Mission, who have committed to working with us to evaluate the Lisu Bible, made a visit to China in connection with their work in Lisuland. However, in the providence of God, they were not able to find someone to help with this evaluation.
‘Prayer is sought that further efforts to find someone to help will be successful and that evaluations on the three different editions of the Lisu Bible will be carried out before too long, particularly since we have a completed digital text available of the original TBS Bible’.
There were many things for which to thank God, however, including the work among the Waray-Waray speakers in the Philippines. According to Mr Hopkins, this is one of ten officially recognised languages in the Philippines and spoken throughout the islands. A census in 2000 recorded about 2.6m speakers of Waray-Waray.
Mr Hopkins said, ‘The main region where this people group live was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan and for a few days there was great concern that the co-translator of our main contact was among the dead and injured. Thankfully, he was found to be alive and well’.
The Waray-Waray translation is undergoing cross-checking and a refinement of the expressions, and will be submitted shortly to TBS for evaluation.