Glimpses of the Glassy Sea
October 2020

IBT has published a special English-language book dedicated to our silver anniversary of being a full-fledged Russian organization (IBT was officially registered in the Russian Federation in 1995, though our founder Borislav Arapovich operated the organization primarily out of Stockholm since 1973.)

The present volume is a compilation of IBT newsletters dealing with our various Bible translation projects, written by IBT staff member Tanya Prokhorova over the course of the past decade based on her interviews with project workers. The golden thread that runs through all of these newsletters is Tanya’s focus on the human face of IBT. It is not only about producing a good translation of the Bible into many languages (although this is undoubtedly a key part of the process), but about serving people – many people, different people, from a large variety of backgrounds, who happen to speak many different languages. In other words, the final goal of our work is human-centric, not book-centric. And this translation work is not only done for people, but by people – once again, many people, different people, from a large variety of backgrounds.

The book of Revelation presents us with the beautiful image of God’s heavenly throne standing next to “something like a sea of glass, like crystal” (4:6). Next to the throne and this glassy sea is “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language” (7:9), all worshiping God. This powerful glimpse into the inner workings of heaven is also a reminder to IBT staff of why we do our work.

We hope that this anniversary volume will give our readers an additional vantage point from which to better appreciate the complexity of Bible translation in our part of the world, as well as the personal sacrifice that is part and parcel of all successful translation projects.