It has been a little while since we were last in touch but a lot has happened since then both in terms of our work and in the wider world of Bible translation. One of the glories of translating the Bible is that it is one of relatively few church related activities in which the majority of churches willingly collaborate. It has its challenges, it’s true, but the disparate fragments of Christendom are, on the whole, very wiling to sit down together for the task of translating the Scriptures.
We were reminded of this recently by a communique from UBS that was celebrating an agreement with the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches to collaborate with the UBS in “mutual commitment to continuing relations and collaboration in all aspects of activity related to the Holy Scripture”. This is the culmination of years of diplomacy. The dialogue which produced this agreement began in 1991 but has its roots in the founding of UBS in 1948.
UBS reported: “The agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding, is unique because it is the first agreement of the respective Churches with an organisation that is not another Church. It is also the first time that the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, who are not in communion with one another, have jointly signed a document like this”. deo gracias.
Meanwhile, in what feels a little like another world, the team have been working hard turning ideas into runnable code. It is said that the two biggest threats to successful IT projects are complexity and novelty. Both have the capacity to derail the best plans (can you derail a plan? mmm…) and both are present significantly in our Parse Bot system. Nevertheless progress has been good and we are now close to having a solid test system in place.
Last Sunday the Church began a New Year by looking forward once more to the coming Christ. The prophecies of His coming were read once more and certainty of His return reaffirmed. Yet 1.5 billion people still cannot hear these truths in their own language.