Bible Translation Agencies Unite to Reach Bible-Poor Peoples in the Country

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March 1, 2018

Psalm 147:4 describes that God has decided the number of the stars and calls each one by name. Like how the vast universe and everything within it is known by Him, every people group has also been set to encounter God in His Word at an appointed time, and in the language closest to their hearts. For the Philippines, such a time is drawing near.

 

Bible translation agencies have cooperatively taken up the call to finally end Bible poverty in the country. In a consultative meeting between the Philippine Bible Society (PBS), Summer Institute of Linguistics, Translator’s Association of the Philippines, Ethnos360 (formerly called New Tribes Mission), and Wycliffe Philippines last February 27, a total of 45 minority languages were identified as remaining languages still waiting for their Bible translation.

 

“We will be undertaking Bible translations needed by these remaining languages,” shared PBS General Secretary Dr. Nora Lucero, who was part of the said gathering. “We are organizations in the field working together for this dream, to cover all native languages in our country without a copy of God’s Word,” she added.

 

Eight (8) of the remaining minority languages without Bible translation are Bikol languages which were assigned to PBS. The rest were allocated accordingly among the other agencies.

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In the meeting, the group laid out initial assignments for research and resource-sharing prior to undertaking formal Bible translation work in any language. In the spirit of camaraderie and unity, the group also informally called itself Tambuli, a Filipino word for an indigenous horn used to summon tribes-people for an assembly or to signal a danger or crisis.

 

There are approximately 185 languages in the Philippines — a nation of over 100 million Filipinos — from which, eight are major languages with complete Bible translation: Tagalog, Ilokano, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Pampango, Samarenyo, and Pangasinan. By God’s grace, 140 languages in the country to date already have a full Bible, New Testament, or a Scripture portion translated.

 

“I have seen the beauty and impact of Bible engagement and distribution in small communities, academic circles, and even among church workers. Yet Bible translation remains at the core of these activities — that God’s Word is made known in the heart language of a particular people group,” said PBS Publishing Manager Dr. Edgar Ebojo. He also serves other countries as a Global Translation Adviser for various Bible translation projects. He added, “I am personally encouraged that we are devoting significant resources on this translation venture. It is reaffirming that translation is at the heart of Bible Society work.”

 

Meeting the Scripture need for the remaining 45 minority languages in the Philippines contributes to the global landscape of Bible translation. In 2017, the United Bible Societies (UBS) has published its commitment to provide 1,200 Bible translations by year 2038. UBS is a fellowship of over 140 national Bible Societies operating in over 200 countries and territories, united in the mandate to bring God’s Word to everyone.

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“It is a blessing to be able to support our local churches in need of Bibles and Bible study programs. It is our hope that they not only grow in terms of membership but also have the heart to extend spiritual help to others, just like how they have received help.”

Ptr. Callum TabadaUCCP Cosmopolitan Administrative Pastor (AACP benefactor)

“We are thankful since each individual now has a Bible. Our members will no longer have a hard time reading. Thank you also for the discipleship materials for these will help all in getting to know Jesus and to know how to be a better Christian.”

Ptr. Eric BulanteChurch Pastor, Shepherd's Church in Hills of Zion, Talim Island (AACP beneficiary)

“Philippine Bible Society organizes trainings that really respond to the needs of people who are suffering.
It has well-equipped leaders who facilitate trainings and workshops.
Its mission to reach out to Filipinos using God’s Word is fulfilled through its works.”

Miriam del RosarioExecutive director at The Birthright Educators Foundation

“I praise and thank our Almighty God that, through PBS, I now own a Poimen version of MBB (Magandang Balita Biblia) in the national language of the Philippines – Tagalog.
Knowing Matthew 10:32-33, I read and study the Bible so that I will not be dismayed when the Lord Jesus Christ comes. Life is too short compared with the promise of eternal life in God’s Kingdom.”

Jorge BianesLocal Church Elder at LJOR Unified Commonwealth

I think this is very helpful to every readers. The word of the Lord are the food of our soul which we always need every minute of our life. I dont often read the Bible but everytime i open it, God was always like in front of me and speaking as what is something i'm just needing to hear. He speaks to me and i can feel it. A million thanks to You my Lord.

CrisTin Bocar AtregenioHousewife, Stay-at-home parent

I love the ministry of the Philippine Bible Society in sharing the Word to the world. God bless PBS!

Ganni BanzueloScripture Marketing Officer at Philippine Bible Society