As part of my preparation for attending Cape Town 2010 I’ve been reading the advance papers. The latest is The Oral Story Bible: A Breakthrough Strategy in Rapid Engagement Among Unreached People Groups by Ron Green. Below are a few highlights and then my comments:
Today, nearly one-third of the earth’s languages still await the first verse of Scripture in their own language. Hundreds of languages have just a few chapters available to them.
My favourite paragraph was:
In a world of specialization, it’s easy for us to look to those who are called to be translators to own that task for the whole world. However, if we believe that Scripture access could be an important step in world evangelization, could this be a burden that all believers should carry together? Our desire would be to encourage, honor, pray for, resource and join hands with those gifted servants who are already engaged in Scripture translation. Research shows us that there are 2,252 language groups with a population of 350 million people who have no Scripture in their language. There are hundreds more languages with just a few chapters of Scripture. There are millions who presently have no access to Old Testament passages that can be essential to building bridges of understanding about Jesus, especially among Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims.
I was staggered to read the over 2000 language groups don’t have God’s word in their langauge – that’s huge. Our aim has to be that every group regardless of size, levels of literacy, or their geographic or political context is able to access scripture.
I liked Ron’s description of small teams living in a local community and the process of engaging the people and how they can establish stories, then an oral tradition, then a written translation.
I still can’t get my head round the fact that over 350 million people still don’t have a word of the bible in their langauge.