Date: February 3, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (ANS-FEB 3, 2016) -- In a region where conversion to Christianity is punishable by death, Wycliffe Associates plans to launch 10 new Bible translation projects in the next 30 days.
According to a news release from Wycliffe Associates, the projects will employ the MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) strategy, a breakthrough method of translating the books of the Bible in parallel.
MAST makes it possible for a full team of mother-tongue translators to draft a translation of the complete New Testament in as little as one year.
“Our breakthrough MAST strategy is accelerating Bible translation beyond anything we could have imagined, even a couple of years ago,” said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, speaking in the news release.
He added, “It's not Westerners going into remote areas-it's nationals being equipped to translate God's Word themselves.”
While more new languages can be translated faster than ever before, the risk is great in areas where Christians are targeted for severe persecution.
Wycliffe Associates cannot send trainers in for lengthy periods of time because Christians are hunted down, and vigilantes can sweep into an area without notice.
“Yes, it's dangerous,” Smith said. “But so many people still have never seen God's Word in their own heart language. We don't know how long we have to train national translators before they'll be on the run.”
Violence has forced Bible translators to evacuate their homes. Other translators have had to suspend their translation work due to the persecution.
“They have no one to support them in their work,” Smith said in the release, “because it's dangerous for outsiders.”
Wycliffe Associates is currently raising $400,000 to launch 80 translation projects in volatile areas of the world. The organization plans to launch the first 10 of these 80 projects within the next 30 days.
As part of beginning a new language project, national translators are trained to translate the Scriptures using MAST, which reduces translation time while still producing an accurate translation.
Translators also are equipped with technology that allows them to work discreetly-and even on the run. In addition, they receive digital tools that enhance collaboration, enabling translators to work simultaneously and share information instantly.
“These Christians are crying out for translator training,” says Smith. “Their people long for God's Word in the language of their heart. The MAST strategy will mean a whole new day for them.”
About Wycliffe Associates
Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God's Word in their own language. Last year, 6,279 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 75 countries.
For more information visit www.wycliffeassociates.org
Photo captions: 1) A Wycliffe Bible translator at work. 2) Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.