Monday, 27 August 2007

10 Reasons Why I'm Thankful For The God-Breathed Bible

1. The Bible awakens faith, the source of all obedience.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

2. The Bible frees from sin.
You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8:32)

3. The Bible frees from Satan.
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

4. The Bible sanctifies.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

5. The Bible frees from corruption and empowers godliness.
His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

6. The Bible serves love.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment. (Philippians 1:9)
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

7. The Bible saves.
Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)
Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. (Acts 20:26)
[They will] perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:10)

8. The Bible gives joy.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

9. The Bible reveals the Lord.
And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord. (1 Samuel 3:21)

10. Therefore, the Bible is the foundation of my happy home and life and ministry and hope of eternity with God.

© Desiring God

Why We Believe the Bible 1&2

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

More Challenges

Earlier on this week, I encountered two additional challenges to translating the Bible into Jamaican. The first relates to the fact that Jamaican is mainly an oral language; the second is a reminder of the fact that many persons have difficulties reading English – let alone Jamaican! I believe the person who raised these concerns has got the good of the Jamaican people in mind, and I do respect his/her opinion. However I offer the following quick responses.

1. Re Patois being an oral language. EVERY LANGUAGE YOU CAN THINK OF STARTED OUT ONLY IN SPOKEN FORM. Our beloved Jamaican/Patois is no exception to the laws of linguistic development. Caribbean creoles have been around for about 400. In comparison with most of the world’s languages, this is very young. Did you know that the Bible has had a remarkable/considerable influence on development of the German language, modern Hebrew, English and a host of other languages?!

My employer, Wycliffe Bible Translators, has translated the Bible into many languages which were only oral. (Many more are being done, and are yet to be done.) Wycliffe missionary linguists write down these languages with what is called the International Phonetic Alphabet. This alphabet has got a symbol for every sound possible to human beings. Using this alphabet, our missionaries work alongside local people and develop an alphabet for each unwritten language, analyse the grammar, produce primers and teach the speakers to read their own language! A lot of this work has already been done on our Jamaican language. In fact, Jamaican/Patois is one of the most studied Creole languages in the world! Bible translation no easy, however, it’s exciting stuff!

2. Re problems reading. The simple (??? Perhaps an overstatement!) problem is that Jamaicans are not being taught in their native tongue but in a language which is foreign to them; hence the crisis in our present educational system. English is not the natural (mother tongue), primary language of Jamaica; it should be taught as a separate language. Linguists believe that cognitive and linguistic skills are best acquired and developed in one’s “heart language.” It’s much easier then for the acquired skills to be transferred to the 2nd language systematically. I believe our present system is walking back ways! People have probs reading English because the present system is deficient.

A recent study, conducted by the Department of Linguistics, UWI, Mona, has revealed that nearly 80% of Jamaicans felt that Jamaican/Patois is a separate language and that nearly 70 % agreed that it should be made official alongside English! 71% of the population would like to have bilingual schools!

Much more could be said, but it’s good to leave room for discussion.

If you’ve got time (?), perhaps you would like to read the following online:
1. The Importance of Mother Tongue-Based Schooling for Educational Quality
2. Language Attitude Survey of Jamaica – Data Analysis and Summary of Results
3. Language Rights, Justice and the Constitution (Pt 1)
4. Language Rights, Justice and the Constitution (Pt 2) – I’ll get the link for this one asap.
5. Jamaican Creole Morphology & Syntax