WORD MINISTRIES Principles & Procedures (.pdf document)

Current Translation Projects

Assembling a Translation Team

ABWE Bible Translation Department

Principles & Procedures for Bible Translation (word document)

Mandated Procedure for Translation of non-Scripture Materials by ABWE personnel (.pdf document)

Information About Preparing Simple English Translation Bases:
A Brief Manual
Wycliffe's Easy English Website

Contact Word Translation

Vicki Ivester, Ministry Coordinator ivester@abwe.cc

Dr. Lynn Silvernale, Translation Coordinator lynns@abwe.org

Dr. Vladimir Dervishi, Translation Consultant vdervishi@albanianbible.com

Miss Heidi Davis, Translation Consultant DuoDavis@aol.com

Dr. Michael Pasquale, Linguistics Consultant and ESL Coordinator Michael_Pasquale@cornerstone.ed



Translation is re-telling, as exactly as possible, the meaning of the original message in a way that listeners or readers of the receptor (target) language can understand. A good translation is accurate, clear and natural; it has no omissions, additions nor changes.

More than 380 million people today have no Scriptures available to them in their mother tongue. The need of these millions is one of the reasons that the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism has initiated WORD Ministries, a world-wide translation, literacy and ESL outreach effort. WORD's purpose is to promote effective translation, literacy and ESL programs on ABWE fields around the world, as a vital part of church-planting efforts. WORD projects include not only Bible translation but also literature and recordings for evangelism and discipleship. By putting effective tools of evangelism, discipleship and leadership-training into the hands of missionaries and national believers around the world, strong local churches can be planted, where well-trained leaders and believers are grounded in the Word of God and where evangelism and discipleship are carried out with fervor.

WORD Ministries translation projects include:
  • Scriptures
  • tracts
  • SS lessons
  • correspondence courses
  • Bible studies and other discipleship lessons
  • songbooks
  • posters
  • leadership training materials
  • cassettes, videos, etc.


Materials, writen and oral, produced in the mother-tongue (native language) of those we are striving to reach are essential. Truth communicated through one's mother tongue speaks to the heart in a way nothing else can.

Read the testimony of Rupon, a Buddhist tribal man living in an Asian nation:
"I grew up in a small village in the hills, surrounded by tribal warfare. Althought C is my mother tongue and the language we spoke in our home, in school I learned to read and write the national language, B. I did well in school and eventually I left my village to attend university in the city. I earned my Bachelor's and Master's degrees at university, but something was missing from my life. I attended church services, where all preaching and teaching were done in B (the national language) and I read from the B Bible. I was fluent in B; all my years of education had been accomplished in that language, but it was not the language of my heart. I had heard the Gospel message many times, but it was not until I heard the Gospel in my mother tongue, C, that I truly understood in my heart and was saved."

Translation ministries support church planting efforts by:
  • reaching peole in a language they truly understand
  • reaching people in their own homes through literature and audio-visual materials (cassettes, films, filmstrips, videos)
  • providing evangelistic tools
  • providing discipleship tools
  • providing leadership training tools
  • providing materials that will remain long after missionaries are gone
  • Providing believers with a firm foundation in God's Word to form strong members and strong churches.

Recommended Reading List and Resources

Bible Works (computer program for Bible translation)
Translator's Workplace (computer program) (SIL)
Translating the Word of God by Beekman and Callow
Translate to Communicate: A Guide for Translators by Massoud
Meaning-Based Translation by Mildred Larson (SIL)
A Manual for Strategic Planning and Review for Language Programs by Bendor-Samuel and Bendor-Samuel (SIL)
How to Learn an Unwritten Language by Sarah Gudschinsky
Bible Translation by Katherine Barnwell (SIL)
Introduction to Semantics and Translation by Katherine Barnwell (SIL)
Semantic Analysis (SIL)
Greek-English lexicon of NT by Lowe and Nida
UBS Translator's Helps
SST materials by Ellis Diebler (SIL)
Theological Wordbook of the OT
Arndt-Gingrich lexicon

Training in translation can be obtained from:
  • New Tribes Mission
  • SIL (Wycliffe Bible Translators)
    Bob Jones University offering these degree programs:
  • Master of Arts in Bible Translantion
  • Specialist in Bible Translation


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