Undefined
Summer 2021, Newsletter on the Kalmyk project

Nina, a field tester in the Kalmyk Bible translation project, is one of the earliest local workers to get involved in IBT activities in Russia. She started her work with IBT in 1992 and has continued to the present day. When I asked her how she began working on Bible translation and whether she was chosen for this task because she was a language scholar or a Christian believer, she at first could not answer my question. It seemed that the exact reason was still a mystery to Nina herself. We started unravelling the tangle of that period of her life together.

Spring 2021 Newsletter on the Kabardian project

These words were pronounced in connection with a study tour to Israel of a group of IBT translators several years ago. This thought was expressed by our Kabardian translator and summarize his experience of the trip: “No doubt, that tour was one of the greatest in my life. We got an opportunity to see all the places mentioned in the historical books of the Bible. What a magnificent experience it was!

December 3, 2020

As I looked through the Tabasaran-Russian dictionary developed by Selina (a pseudonym), a Tabasaran linguist, a thought flashed through mind: “It must feel odd you to pray to God in Russian, where the word ad ‘hell’ sounds the same as the word ad ‘glory’ in your mother tongue.” Selina is the field-tester and local co-ordinator in IBT’s Tabasaran Bible translation project, and I also knew that she is a Christian believer. However, when I voiced my guess that she probably uses Tabasaran, and not Russian, in her church, she laughed merrily at my total ignorance. “Do you really think that there are so many Christians among my people that we could have opened a Tabasaran church?” she shrugged. “There are just two Christians on our translation team: the translator and myself. The rest of the team members are Muslims, as are the absolute majority of Tabasarans. Of course we have to attend a Russian-language church.”

 

October 2020

IBT has published a special English-language book dedicated to its silver anniversary of being a fullfledged Russian organization. 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.

 

Autumn 2020 Newsletter

During the covid-19 quarantine, it was impossible to hold in-person training seminars, so IBT’s planned seminar on translating two of the Minor Prophets was conducted as a webinar. The texts of Habakkuk and Malachi make up only a small part of the full Bible, only 7 chapters in all. Let us mentally project ourselves into this webinar. Specifically, you and I are taking part in a discussion focused on an even smaller fragment – a single Biblical verse, Malachi 2:2. We see this text through a Zoom-conference window. The selected verse is not particularly difficult exegetically. But it turns out to be quite complex in terms of different perceptions of the same concepts held by different cultures.

Here is Mal 2:2 in the Revised Standard Version: “If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.” What is a “blessing”? And a “curse”? When using these words today...