Q1: List of Languages without a Bible Translation
A friend is looking for a list of people groups without a bible. I know there is a list somewhere, wasn't sure if it is published openly:
Friend #1: (There is a mission agency) that sells a printed version that is laminated. It is rolled up and when unrolled goes like 100 ft. I used it in a few churches to explain the need and it was pretty powerful when the list started at the pulpit and went out the back door!
Friend #2: And from what I've learned since being here, it would blow your mind how many existing translations are complete garbage, but that's another story...
Q2: "Bad" Translations and Tribal Churches
How could there be garbage translations if all are checked by translation boards?
Friend #2: The main issue is that some translators focus only on linguistics and fail to understand the culture underlying the language. This can cause very poor translation choices to the point of making it severely inaccurate. For instance, if there isn't a clear word for "believe" the translator goes with a similar word that means "obey", instead of a phrase like "to think it is true". It seems easy to have the word that is close enough, but that one choice makes the entire translation heretical because instead of "belief" being God's standard for righteousness, it becomes "obeying."
Q3: Translations vs Churches
I assume if there's a translation, there's a church, or a small number of believers. Is that accurate?
Friend #2: Some organizations only do translations. That means no teaching, therefore, no church. I also know of one situation where the 4 translation helpers are the only people out of 20,000 who can even read their translation because there are no literacy classes. I'm a firm believer that a church without a translation is doomed to either die out or become heretical, and a translation without a church or the ability to read it is doomed to be a doorstop or fire starter.
Where to go from here?
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