Where there is no Bible, there is no lasting ministry.
The Bible is the unchanging source of the Gospel message.
No Bible, no ministry message.
Even our practical witness is powerless apart from the Bible.
Salvation comes by faith through the hearing of the word of Christ.
No Bible, no saving ministry.
The Bible is how we know God.
The Bible is how we know how to live as believers.
The Bible is the sole authority for our doctrine and practice.
No Bible, no edifying ministry
The Bible is God's self-authenticating, living, powerful, love story as well as His witness for righteous judgment.
The Bible, with the work of God's Spirit, changes lives.
No Bible, no supernatural, objective revelation.
The Bible is central to the life and teaching of the church (both local and universal).
The Bible is core to our personal and corporate worship.
No Bible, no church planting, no church life, no corporate ministry.
The Bible teaches us that God uses the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and our personal proclamation of truth (from the Bible) to save people, edify saints, and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We must have, know, use, read, study, teach, preach, proclaim, obey, and value our Bibles, if we are to evangelize fellow-sinners, edify fellow-saints, and exalt Jesus Christ.
So, Bible translation into the local language is foundational to effective, long-term ministry. While trade language or near dialect translations are helpful in initial ministry at entry into a new people group, the evidence is overwhelming that "heart language," first-language Scripture translation is the most effective communication with the hearers. Comprehension, "ownership" (God speaks MY language), acceptance in the community, and usefulness all are notably higher in the hearers' original language. People need to be able to hear and read the Bible in their own language.
In today's context, when Bible translation and the Bible itself is embattled by forces desiring to water down or marginalize its message, accuracy, and timelessness, a group of Bible translation leaders has forged the Arlington Statement for Bible Translation. This historic statement clarifies translation principles that guard and guide translation to be contextualized yet accurate, dynamic yet faithful to the original, vernacular yet respectful of key Bible terms and doctrines.
I recommend you read the FAQs document first, in order to help you better understand the rationale and dynamic which frames the need for the Arlington Statement. Then read the Statement itself.
Lastly, ask yourself and your church if you have a priority for supporting Bible translation which utilize these principles.
David C. MeadeDavid is the founder and General Director of Propempo International. He has over forty years' experience in church planting, pioneering field ministry among UPGs, and leadership both on the field and in non-profit organizations. He is local-church-oriented, serving as missions pastor/elder for over twenty years. He loves teaching and mentoring church leaders and missionaries preparing for service in the tough places of the world.
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