Earlier this year, The Seed Company (the “parent” of Team OneVerse) had an 8 week program for home schooled students to learn about Bible translation. It was an amazing opportunity for kids (and me!) to learn more about translation. Plus, it’s really nice to learn about something very complicated from the angle a kid can understand!
Week One shared the story of Cam Townsend, an early Bible translator.
Cam Townsend—Pioneer in Bible translation
Let’s take a step back into history—to about the time the first automobiles were being built in the United States. In 1917 a young man named Cam Townsend from California heard God tell him to go to a country called Guatemala and sell Spanish Bibles.
In Guatemala City, Cam met many new friends as he sold lots of Spanish Bibles. But Cam began to think about those people who lived beyond the city, high in the mountains. They needed God’s Word too!
Not long after he arrived in the mountains, he met an Indian who knew a little Spanish. Cam reached into his backpack and offered him a Spanish Bible. But the man would have none of it. “If your God is so great, why can’t he speak my language?” he asked, pointedly.
Cam took a step back. He had never thought of it that way before. Was it fair that some could understand God’s message while others could not? Cam asked God about what he could do to help his friend. “Translate the Bible—that’s what I’ll do!” thought Cam.
So Cam helped translate the Bible into his friend’s language called Cakchiquel. But God had an even bigger plan. So in 1934, Cam started Wycliffe Bible Translators. He left a powerful legacy as people began to catch the vision of translating the Bible into every language on earth!
Bible translation today
Today, around the globe, translators are still translating the Bible into the last languages. The Seed Company, which is a part of Wycliffe Bible Translators, is leading translation projects in over 300 languages right now!
Imagine for a moment you’re living in the Eastern Mediterranean and you speak Aramaic. You’re in church, but you’re frustrated because you can’t understand what’s being read from the Bible. Why? Because the teacher is using an Aramaic language that’s 1,600 years old! It seems like a foreign language.
So what should we do? Today The Seed Company is partnering with Aramaic translators who are translating the Bible into modern day Aramaic, so people can truly understand God’s message.
Or say you’re living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You and your family prepare a special place to hide in case raiders come to your village and set fire to your home. Yet even in a difficult place like this, today translators who speak the Ubangi language are translating the Bible for their people—for the very first time!
Or imagine now that you’re living in the Mantive area of Southeast Asia, where you could be beat up or mocked for being a Christian. How do you react? Mantive Christians are asking this question. They need the Bible to tell them. Today, Mantive translators are working to make sure their people get God’s Word—and quickly.