What is the “therefore” there for? Who’s got talents? (Lost [and found] in translation; installment #8)

We’ve recently had the privilege of speaking at a few of the churches which support our ministry financially. It has been a joy to catch up with those we haven’t seen for several years, be able to preach the Word, and give an in-person update on our family and the progress of our Bible translation work. If you would like us to speak at your church or Bible study group, please contact us. We’re happy to share what God is doing among the Roma (Gypsies) of former Yugoslavia through the ministry of Bible translation.

On these trips there are sometimes unexpected little treats that come up. One was that we were able to tour the factory where Steinway pianos are rebuilt, in Walker, IA, run by one of our prayer partners. Here are Ariela (11) and Daniel (14) with the owner when he gave us a special tour.

On one of the trips we were able to visit Todd’s mom (pictured above) at her nursing home in Oklahoma City. We were grateful that she was very perky and we had some wonderful interaction. Recently, though, she tested positive for COVID so had to move to isolation and Todd wasn’t able to go down to visit her.

The Bible translation work is progressing very well. So far this quarter we have checked and approved 1,031 verses in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 10-20, in three Roma languages (Arli, Chergash, and Gurbet) during our 18 consultation sessions over Zoom. (Pictured above is Goran of the Gurbet translation team). Pray that we can reach our quota of finishing 1,500 verses this quarter (by the end of September).

hoard of Roman coins from 54-160 AD © http://www.bibleplaces.com

Little words are often significant. Not long ago, we translated the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23-35). It begins with a word that can mean “therefore” or “for this reason”. But what that means is not at all clear at first glance; what is the “therefore” there for?

If you look at the context, you see that this is what Jesus said immediately after telling Peter he should forgive, not 7 times, but 77 times. And then he gives the reason by telling a story. It would be better to translate this little word as “Here is why:” or “This is why”. Why should Peter forgive that much? Here’s why: our heavenly Father forgives us a nearly uncountable number of times as can be illustrated by the story Jesus tells.

The story goes on to explain that one debtor owed the king “10,000 talents”. The word “talent” here does not mean a skill or ability; it is a transliteration of a Greek word meaning a measure of weight (probably 60-70 pounds). This is a huge amount of money, but if we translate it as “talents”, the Roma will not understand. So our translators rendered it as “10,000 bags of gold”, which will communicate the enormity of the sum to Roma listeners.

These examples of “therefore” and “talents” are some of the things we look for when we do a final check of the translations to make sure that they are accurate, clear and natural in the Roma languages.

Thank you so much for your prayers and financial support!

Todd & Pamala Price (Kirsten, Daniel & Ariela)

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