When you picture a team working on a Bible translation, what do you see? Are they sitting at a table tapping away at their computers? While this is an accurate image, that’s not all Bible translators do…
One of our partners, the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT) went to great lengths to ensure their translations were faithful to the original Old Testament texts. Several translators from different language groups had difficulty visualising many events and objects in the book of Exodus, and felt the book was one of myth and fantasy rather than real events. The team decided to take action, and organised a workshop to remedy this.
A group of 20 translators and seven consultants gathered together for 12 days to recreate events and objects from the book of Exodus. They acted out the story of Moses and the burning bush (and discovered that ‘bush’ in this context meant a single plant, rather than a large area of uncultivated land as they had previously thought), baked their own unleavened bread, created a replica of the high priest garments detailed in Exodus, and even constructed a model tabernacle!
This hands-on experience as well as the physical objects gave the translators a better understanding of the book of Exodus and a solid foundation for a good translation. Making things visual and tangible made the Bible understandable and real to the translators.
This story is adapted from an article originally published by our partner GILLBT.