The Privilege of Being a Translation Consultant

Posted on Posted in Mixed Nuts

By Norm Weatherhead

In August of 2007, the Papua New Guinea Branch of Pioneer Bible Translators invited me to come over to PNG so that I could attend a six-week course to be trained to become a Bible Translation Consultant.  This was very exciting for me as I had been asking God what He would like me to be doing next in my translation ministry.

Let me explain the importance of this training.  The ultimate goal of everyone in PBT is to get the translated Word of God into the hands of the local people in a language that speaks to their hearts.  First, there must be an initial rough draft of the Scripture portion being worked on.  Then there is a lengthy period of testing and revising.  Finally, a translation consultant is brought in to do one more check on the Scripture portion before it can be published.

The problem is that we see more Scriptures being prepared for the consultant checking phase than there are consultants available to do the actual checking.  There often is backlogged material ready to go forward, so I was eager to get this training so that I could help out.  Though my life had taken many twists and turns, I believed the principle that God does not waste the experiences of our lives if we commit ourselves totally to Him.

Even during the training course I could see how God was able to use all the previous years of my life to help me do a good job as a consultant.  The theological degrees, the linguistic training, the pastoral ministry experiences and life in the village as a translator for five years gave me insights into how to bring God’s Word to life in meaningful ways to people of a different culture and language than mine.  What a privilege it is to serve God in this way.

Norm is a translation consultant based in North America.

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