To become a best-selling book, the Bible needs a native speaker to edit it.
Several thousand languages have New Testaments in print. Many are great translations, others, well… they need a native speaker to edit them to help them communicate more clearly.
The Tyndale translation process is designed for languages that have had the New Testament for twenty or more years, and where at least some of the church leaders have formal Bible school or seminary training.
The problem: The best way to improve the accuracy of God’s Word in a language is to revise and reprint. William Tyndale was not the first person to translate the Bible to English. When the King of England bought and burned his first printing, Tyndale was excited because he had the opportunity to revise to improve his own work and to reprint.
Unfortunately, the method used today for Bible translation and publication by nearly all Bible translation agencies, and applied to minority languages, is to use one of their outside consultants to approve each verse that needs even a slight change. This means that every change must be accompanied by a back translation of the entire verse from the minority language into a majority language first. This process:
- Doubles the time and money it takes to translate a Bible!
- Focuses the work outward, outside the community, creating even more dependence on outsiders.
- Makes the book more of a foreigner.
- Leaves more mistakes in the text because the minority people don’t have the ownership or control of quality checking.
- Leaves nearly insurmountable barriers for revision and improvement.
Our solution: We believe that both the translation process and approval of Scriptures are superb ways to deliver discipleship training to Christian leaders in these smaller, minority people groups. Many of these leaders now have some Bible school training. We train them and require two church leaders, preferably from different denominations, to carefully check each verse and to approve their own Scriptures for printing. Because they are fluent speakers of their own language, our experience has shown that these church leaders catch hundreds of mistakes that highly trained outside Bible Translation Consultants miss because they overuse the back translation method and do not know the language
This method, also known as the Vernacular to English (VE) or Back to English (BTE) method (translating a minority language back into English to check for approval), is used to check the minority language for accuracy, clarity, and naturalness. These Bible Translation consultants check in a majority language, not in the actual minority language, and then ask a series of time-consuming questions to see if their conclusions from the majority text are also in the minority text. Our Tyndale process removes the time-consuming and often inaccurate VE or BTE process empowers and excites small language communities, and gives their church leaders more training they need and desire.
We have found that these leaders, in turn, encourage and facilitate their people to tithe what they are able to give to the project, again creating a healthier church. Please prayerfully consider giving where your offering will be used to train these Christian pastors to approve their own Scriptures for printing, and to help with village revision equipment and printing expenses. We do this by sponsoring and training church leaders in teams of two to four people to carefully approve the translated Scriptures for publication and republication on behalf of the language community. We use applicable Forum of Bible Agency methods to train these church leaders.
Translation Practice Recommendations by Tyndale Bible Translators:
We discourage the use of the NIV 2011 edition at any stage of the Scripture translation process due to the choice by the NIV 2011 revision translators to use gender neutral language where the original languages give a specific gender.
We encourage Tyndale translation teams to use the original languages (Greek and Hebrew) as much as possible, and to also use the New American Standard (NASB) or the English Standard Version (ESV) during exegetical translation checks.
We believe it is heresy to attempt to appease Muslims by removing or changing the Father and the Son relationship in the Bible by translating Jesus as just a prophet or “sent one” (messenger). The Father-Son relationship is a core teaching of God’s Word, the Bible. We agree with WEA guidelines on this important translation issue.