One Letter Makes a Big Difference

There is nothing God wants to say that he cannot say in any language on earth. Wycliffe Bible Translators believe this with all our hearts.

We, along with our partners, are committed to clear, accurate and natural Bible translation. Another way of saying this is that we are committed to biblically-accurate and culturally-relevant translation, ensuring that language communities get God’s love letter as He intended it for them.

Mark and Patti Bean know this. They’ve been working in the highlands of Peru to help six related language communities complete the whole Bible—six Bibles in six languages!

Last year, they completed a workshop to begin checking the proofs prepared for publication in each language. Each of the languages found small edits and corrections to make here and there. Every day these reviewers would meet with Mark to inform him of their tweaks and edits. Pictured here are Yepo and Sumer. The Beans report that it was encouraging to hear them voice amazement using a Quechua equivalent of “awesome!” as they read.

But the reader for one of the languages caught a major change! Instead of Jesus saying, “It would be better to have one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,” one error, just one letter in one word, had Jesus saying, “It would be better to be a buzzard than to have two eyes. . . !” What should have been wiskul accidentally said wiskur.

Accurate translation takes time. If anyone tells you this can be done in two weeks, don’t believe it. Accurate translation of God’s words in His Book ensures these communities that they can claim its promises. His words cause us to prosper and succeed (Joshua 1:8 NLT). They bring life and healing (Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT), insight for living, and are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold . . . sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb (Psalms‬ 19‬:8, 10‬ NLT). They give understanding, are a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path (Psalms‬ 119‬:103-105‬ NLT).

As translation nears completion for these Quechua language communities, they are experiencing what Jeremiah did—the Word of God burning in their hearts like a fire. Like a fire in their bones! It will wear them out trying to hold it in and they won’t be able to do it (Jeremiah‬ 20:9‬ NLT‬‬). It will be awesome!

Story by Bob Creson, President/CEO of Wycliffe Bible Translators USA

Posted in