Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A New Bible Translation!

At the end of May, after more than 16 years of work, the Simba Guaraní people received a translation of the Bible that they can read and understand.

John 3:16 in Simba Guaraní
Our coworkers have had an active presence with the Simba since the mid '90s.  As they finished learning the language, they realized that the people needed a relevant translation in their own language.  They began work and last year officially finished, 16 years later!  The translation includes the entire New Testament as well as portions of the Old Testament that are critical to understanding God, humanity, sin, and redemption.  It went to print earlier this year and at the end of last month, they held a dedication conference.

Our missionary team working with the Simba Guaraní

Although the dedication was for the Simba Guaraní believers themselves, I (Nathan) had the privilege to attend as photographer and driver.  The driving role was needed because we took most of the Etnos training students so they could be put to work! More on that in a future post.

 The conference was Friday through Sunday, with the actual dedication ceremony first thing Friday morning.  As you might imagine, it is no easy task to translate Scripture, so Jack and Bill, the two main translators, presented a copy of the new translation to each one of the Simba people that helped them during the process, as a gift to thank them for their service.

Jack and Bill with their translation helpers

Julio dedicating the new translation to God's work in prayer
 Now, it's one thing to have a new book and the ability to read, but studying to understand is a different matter altogether!  After the presentation, Bill walked everyone through the features of the book itself -- table of contents, footnotes, concordance, maps, etc.  The following day, he and his wife Kathleen did an introduction to inductive Bible study and went through several texts to demonstrate the process.
Intro to the inductive Bible study method
The rest of the weekend was spent praising God and studying His Word together, led by Simba church leaders!  It was so exciting to see these men teaching their people.

Of course, the most exciting aspect of it all was seeing so many believers eagerly following along in their new Bibles!

The weekend wrapped up with the Lord's Supper, celebrated together as brothers and sisters -- Simba Guaraní, Bolivian nationals, and foreigners.  What a beautiful foreshadowing of eternity!

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