“Wycliffe Bible Translators are vital in supporting the life and witness of the worldwide church, so to this end I would like to encourage congregations to support them in any way they can,” said Dr. McNie in a news release from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
On Monday morning 25 January 2016, the Presbyterian Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian McNie, joined us in the Belfast office of Wycliffe Bible Translators UK & Ireland. Ian met five of the staff over tea and scones, then spent most of his time in conversation with the Church Engagement Team – see below.
In a wide ranging conversation, we presented the biblical basis for Bible translation: debated current Scripture access statistics; discussed how together we might address the issue of Bible poverty in today’s world; and answered Ian’s perceptive questions.
As of October 1st 2015, estimates suggest between 165 and 180 million people speaking up to 1,800 languages are understood to ‘likely need Bible translation to begin’
For example from his knowledge of East Africa, he was interested to know whether the Turkana people from the north of Kenya yet have Scripture in their heart language. Having consulted The Ethnologue, we were able to assure him that the Turkana New Testament was completed and published in 1986.
We were also pleased to show him photographs of 22 Presbyterians supported by their home congregations throughout Ireland. They are working in 10 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe engaged in a wide range of Bible translation, linguistics, literacy, Scripture engagement, IT and administrative roles.
Below is the full text of the PCI news release on 28 January 2016
The Presbyterian Moderator, Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian McNie, visited and encouraged those who work in the Belfast branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators UK and Ireland earlier this week.
Wycliffe Bible Translators believe that the Bible is the best way for people to discover and understand who God is. Their vision is that by working with churches, organizations and individuals from across the world, all people will be able to access the Word of God in their own language.
Located in east Belfast, the Moderator had the opportunity to talk with those involved in Bible translation locally. He heard about their work and meeting the staff and volunteers, discovered first hand what it means to translate God’s word into another language.
“I discovered that around 180 million people, speaking at least 1,800 languages, need a Bible in the language they understand best. Without this incredible work taking place those people will never be able to read the story of God’s love for themselves.
“Wycliffe Bible Translators are vital in supporting the life and witness of the worldwide church, so to this end I would like to encourage congregations to support them in any way they can,” said Dr. McNie.
Along with other agencies involved in Bible distribution and Christian broadcasting, Wycliffe Bible Translators play a crucial role in supporting the life and witness of the worldwide church. Of the 6,887 languages in the world today, only 554 have a complete Bible.
As a result, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) has identified Wycliffe Bible Translators as a Specialist Service Agency. This special relationship with PCI recognises the fact that the valuable service Wycliffe is doing is something that no one church or denomination can easily do.
John Hamilton, of Wycliffe Bible Translators in Belfast said, “We had an enjoyable and encouraging time with the Moderator. He already knew a lot about Bible translation, but also confessed that the visit had widened his perspective.
“We told him how much Wycliffe values the partnership with PCI and that together we can work to alleviate the Bible poverty that still exists in the world. Our staff would be delighted to visit congregations to tell them more about Wycliffe’s work and to encourage them in their global mission.”
To find out more about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators visit their website (www.wycliffe.org.uk/) or contact the Belfast office at 028 9073 5854