We have celebrated the release of Stage 3 Draft of the New Testament in 12 languages on the 4th of October 2017. For the first time, these language groups will have Scripture in their heart language. These languages were from Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha and Nepal, and have been translated using the Church-Centric Bible Translation methodology, and checked by the local church community who were assisted by local, theologically-trained, bilingual, quality-checkers. We hope to continue with wider community-checking through church networks in these language groups, with the plan of further improving the quality. We also plan to pursue further quality checking in each of these languages in due time.
“When we get this Bible in our hands, God will make GREAT changes in our community!” announced a translator from Rathawi language in Gujarat. In the state of Gujarat, we are working on 13 languages. The few believers from the hill tribes come down to the workshops to translate together. One father grinned ruefully as his daughter and another young brother from his tribe sat next to him. They remembered trying to share the gospel with other members of their clan. “Our people will know that Jesus is not just some TRIBAL deity, only for the valley people. They will hear God speak in OUR language, too!” They know that it is nearly impossible to grow healthy churches without the Bible in their language.
At the last translation workshop in Orissa, translators from 6 local tribes came down from the hills to work on the New Testament in their own languages. The Munda pastor smiled as he remembered the laborious way he had been preaching for so long. “I used to carry a Hindi Bible and an Oriya Bible with me everywhere I preached. Standing in front of the congregation, I’d first read from one, then the other, and then translate verbally into our own language, verse after verse. Now, I’ll be able to preach directly from OUR Bible. And my people will be able to read God’s word for the first time, for themselves!”