Of Gentile centurions and dirty animals: Lost (and found) in translation, #15; Ariela & Daniel’s school play, “Annie”

BIBLE TRANSLATION UPDATE: Thank you for faithfully praying for us and generously giving financially to support our Bible translation work for Roma in Croatia, Serbia, and beyond.

We’re excited that over the next few days the Arli language team will be making an audio recording of the Gospel of Mark which we recently finished translating. As exciting as it is to see new books of the Bible in text form on the Internet or in print, it is almost more exciting to hear them in an audio recording since some Roma do not read and most of them will probably encounter God’s word in audio format, rather than as text, at least initially. (The picture above is when the Arli team recorded the Gospel of Luke in 2020.)

LOST (AND FOUND) IN TRANSLATION, INSTALLMENT #15: We continue to progress in translating the Acts of the Apostles into the Arli, Gurbet, and Chergash languages, most recently in chapters 10-12. Acts chapter 10 has several translation challenges, especially for unchurched Roma, unfamiliar with the Old Testament. Luke was writing to those who understood the Jewish culture, so he could leave much information implied as there was no need to mention it explicitly. Unfortunately, Roma, who do not have that background, miss much of this.

“Roman officer”, photo (c) bibleplaces.com

For example, 10:1 speaks literally of “a certain man in Caesarea by name Cornelius, a centurion.” These Roma languages do not have a word for “centurion,” so we usually translate it as “captain.” However, when we translate it that way, we risk that our Roma readers will miss a crucial factor in this story. The fact that Cornelius is a Roman and not a Jew is critical to this story since the point hangs on the fact that God is showing Peter that the Gospel is also for non-Jews, like Cornelius. To ensure that that point comes out, we adjusted their draft translation to “a certain man in Caesarea by the name of Cornelius, who was a Roman captain over 100 soldiers.”

As another example, in verse 4 where an angel appears to Cornelius in a vision, the translation draft in one of the languages said, “Your prayers and alms came to God, and he did not forget you.” However, the Greek uses wording that reminds the reader of Leviticus 2, which describes sacrifices offered to God as memorials. Interestingly, Cornelius’ vision takes place at 3 p.m., the time of the afternoon sacrifice in the temple. Cornelius was not a Jew, but he feared God, and his prayers and giving to the poor were just as precious to God as any sacrifice. So the translation is more clear now that we adjusted it to “God has accepted your prayers and your gifts to the poor as sacrifices.”

illustration of Peter’s vision in Acts 10; picture from bibleplaces.com

And when Peter sees a vision with a sheet filled with animals coming down from heaven, he says in verse 10, “I have never eaten anything unclean and pagan.” But our Roma readers, unfamiliar with the OT laws of kosher foods, will think “unclean” means dirty and will not understand the inference. We adjusted the translation drafts so they now say, “I have never eaten anything unclean which our Law forbids.”

Thank you for praying for us as we translate Acts and make every effort to ensure that these translations for Roma will be both accurate and clearly understood.

FAMILY NEWS: These weeks have been busy preparing for the play, “Annie”, at the kids’ school, Might Roots Academy (pictured above and below). Ariela was “Annie”, Daniel was the sound technician, and Pam was the vocals director. They all did a fantastic job.

We’re thankful for a wonderful Mother’s Day celebration with our kids and moms. And we are so proud of Elizabeth as she graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City with her Master of Social Work degree!

Thank you for your love for our family and your faithful prayers and support for the ministry.

Todd & Pamala

154% donated for our trip to Croatia; “of Alpheus” and “of encouragement”: lost (and found) in translation, #14

Yes, you read that correctly! Praise God and thank you for your generous giving. We have received $15,405 of the $10,000 that we need for our trip to Croatia this summer! The extra money will help so much if we have extra expenses on this trip, and whatever is left over we will keep to use for our trip next year since we will also be going in 2024. Thank you so much for your generosity. We are grateful to all of you and so encouraged to see how the Body of Christ works together so faithfully.

village outreach summer 2019

UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: For those of you in the KC area, I will be giving a presentation on global Bible translation at our home church from 10:00-10:45 a.m on Sunday, June 4, and will be preaching on missions at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 11, at CrossWay Bible Church, 701 NW Woods Chapel Rd., Blue Springs, MO. We’d love to have you visit if you are available or you can watch it on www.crosswaybible.org.

LOST (AND FOUND) IN TRANSLATION, INSTALLMENT #14: Few words in the English language can have more meanings than our little word “of”. Other languages do not necessarily have this word, but they have the same thought expressed by noun cases (in this case, the genitive). Because it can be quite vague in translation or be open to so many different interpretations, we often choose to spell out the meaning when we are translating for the Roma. Here are a few recent examples:

Not long ago we finished translating the Gospel of Mark and are currently translating Acts in three Roma languages. In Mark 3:18 (and Acts 1:13) we are given a list of the names of the apostles, one of whom is literally “James of Alpheus.” We didn’t think most Roma would understand “of Alpheus” so we made it more clear by translating it as “James, Alpheus’ son”. Of course, they didn’t have last names in the first century so to distinguish people you were referring to, you needed an extra qualifier, like the name of their father, or what town they were from (e.g., “Jesus of Nazareth”, “Saul of Tarsus”). But it wasn’t always the father who was used to identify someone. In Mark 16:1 , “Mary of James” needed to be translated as “Mary, James’ mother”. And what about when it is being used metaphorically? Acts 4:36 mentions “Barnabas, which means ‘son of encouragement’.” Here “encouragement” is not a name, but a character quality, so for clarity we translated it into the Gurbet language as “Barnabas, which means one who encourages others” and into the Arli language as “Barnabas (which means he was a man who encouraged)”. (Bonus question: What does “of” mean in Mark 11:30, “The baptism of John, was it from heaven…”? It doesn’t mean that John was the one being baptized, but that he was the one doing the baptism. So to be more clear, our translation of Mark 11:30 in the Arli language says, “Who gave John the right to baptize…” (more on this verse in a future installment!)

Thank you for praying for us each day as we translate God’s Word for these three Roma languages. Pray for much wisdom and for the Spirit of God to guide and enable us as we make dozens of these types of decisions in translation daily.


Todd & Pamala

Pam (left) with her sister, Kim (right), and mom, Barbie Hughes (center), on a recent fun mother-daughter outing. It is great to be living nearby.

Our daily prayer calendar for May 2023

For this prayer list formatted as a calendar for printing out, click “Download” below:

May 1 Pray Daniel & Todd will be a blessing at tonight’s men’s book study group at our friends’ home

May 2 Pray for wisdom & empowerment for Todd & the other elders of our church, meeting this evening

May 3 Pray for edification of the believers who attend Todd’s & Pam’s Bible studies at our church tonight

May 4 Praise God for more than enough funds donated for our family ministry trip to Croatia this summer!

May 5 Pray for a wonderful camp out for Pam & Ariela with their American Heritage Girls’ troop tonight

May 6 Pray for Todd to be a blessing to his mom, Geri Price, as he visits her in her nursing home this weekend

May 7 Pray for a wonderful anniversary celebration for our teammates, Sergej & Željka in Croatia

May 8 Praise God for the 4 college students coming to Croatia with us this summer, for good preparation, health & safety

May 9 Pray for the finances needed for each of the 4 college students for their trip to Croatia this summer

May 10 Pray for the Arli, Gurbet & Chergash teams as they edit their translations of Acts, James & the Gospel of John

May 11 Pray for us as a family to grow through our times together reading the Bible & singing

May 12 Pray that many Roma would read or listen to our Roma Bible translations online

May 13 Praise God for Elizabeth graduating today with her Master’s in Social Work from UMKC in Kansas City

May 14 Praise God for the good mothers he has put in our lives. Happy Mother’s Day!

May 15 Pray for special energy for Pam directing singing for “Annie” including extra rehearsals this week

May 16 Pray for Todd & the Arli translators for clarity & accuracy as they translate Acts

May 17 Pray for our kids to learn how to study the Bible through home & church classes

May 18 Praise God for Kirsten’s new job as receptionist at Studio 6 (hotel) working out well

May 19 Pray for Ariela as “Annie” & Daniel running sound at their school play tonight & tomorrow night

May 20 Please pray for good weather for Ariela & Daniel’s play since it is held outside

May 21 Pray for Todd teaching adult Equipping Hour at our church this morning

May 22 Pray for wisdom for Todd as he prepares to consult on the translation drafts of Acts in the Arli, Gurbet & Chergash languages

May 23 Pray for each of our children who need saving faith, for soft hearts & the gift of repentance & faith

May 24 Pray for Todd & the Gurbet translators for clarity & accuracy as they translate Acts

May 25 Pray for Todd & the Chergash translators for clarity & accuracy as they translate Acts

May 26 Pray for Daniel learning to drive & Todd teaching him; for safety & good driving skills

May 27 Today is our 34th anniversary! Pray for us traveling to Oklahoma City this weekend to visit Todd’s mom and sister

May 28 Praise that Pam’s mom, Barbie Hughes (92), is okay after several mini strokes & pray she will not have any more

May 29 Pray that individuals & churches will pledge $309 more per month for our financial support for our missionary work

May 30 Pray for God to prepare hearts of Roma kids in Croatia for their regular clubs & also for this summer’s ministries

May 31 Pray for spiritual preparation & language learning for our kids & 4 college students going to Croatia this summer

67% donated for our trip to Croatia; “in another form”: lost (and found) in translation, installment #13

game day in Roma village, summer 2019
singing songs in Roma village for VBS, summer 2019
craft time for Roma teen day camp, summer 2019

UPCOMING TRIP TO CROATIA: Thank you for your prayers for our upcoming trip to Croatia (June 28-July 12). We have our airline tickets purchased, and since we wrote last month, we have received $6,755 of the $10,000 needed! Praise God and thank you for your kindness. If you would like to give to help us reach the full amount, please see the information about how to give, listed at the bottom of the page. We are so grateful for your support.

And, we now have four wonderful college students from Iowa who will be joining us. One of our supporting churches, Fellowship Bible Church, Oskaloosa, Iowa, has recruited this team to join us and we are very excited that they can be with us. Having more people than just our family means we can do a lot more ministry.

Todd preaching at Graham Union Church, Graham, Missouri

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: We’ve enjoyed recent opportunities to preach and/or give a missions presentation in Columbia, Iowa, Graham, Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri at churches, a prayer meeting, home school classes, and with a seminary student who is a potential future Bible translator whom we had over for lunch. We also have upcoming speaking engagements in Grinnell, Iowa, and Blue Springs, Missouri. If you would like us to come speak about Bible translation and life on the mission field in Eastern Europe to your home group or church group, please let us know.

Pamala (above) and Ariela (below) teaching a home school class about Croatia

TRANSLATION PROGRESS: Bible translation is going well. We are currently translating Acts and are up to chapter 6. Some of the finished translations of Matthew, Mark, Luke, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1-3 John and Jude in three Roma languages are now published electronically online to YouVersion (see the screen shot below). We are so excited about this since it makes these translated books available for the first time to anyone, anywhere in the world. Please pray the Lord will use these translations to draw Roma to Christ, build up the Roma believers and strengthen his church among the Roma in Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Matthew chapter 2 in the Arli language, now available free worldwide in YouVersion and bible.com

LOST (AND FOUND) IN TRANSLATION: Let me close with an illustration from our recent translation work in Mark 16:12. There it says that “Jesus appeared to two of his disciples in another form when they were going to a village.” We wanted to make sure that “in another form” was clear, since in this verse it does not recount the whole story of the appearance to the disciples on their way to Emmaus. He certainly didn’t appear in the form of an animal or a ghost! “Another form” could easily be misunderstood, so for the Chergash language translation we clarified this by translating, “Jesus’ appearance changed and he appeared to two of his disciples when they went to another village”, and in the Gurbet language as “Jesus appeared to two of his disciples when they were going to a village, but he did not look like he did in life.”

Thank you for praying for us as we translate for the Arli, Chergash and Gurbet languages so they can understand God’s Word.

In Christ,

Todd & Pamala

Happy 2nd “Big Friday”; pictures from the FROG ball; Daniel turned 15

Our front yard today
L-R: Ariela (11), Todd, Pamala, Daniel (15), Kirsten (19)

I know that Easter has passed according to our calendar, but in Serbia and parts of Croatia, Easter is this weekend and today is Good Friday, or as they call it, “Big Friday”. It is a joy to celebrate Easter not once but twice!

This week we were translating Peter’s sermon in Acts 2 in the Gurbet (Roma) language, where it says, “But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him. But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip!” (vv. 23b-24) The translators were so excited about how these verses fit so perfectly with their Easter celebrations this week.

Our teammates in Croatia have been teaching the Easter story in the Roma village. It is so exciting to hear that they read the story in the Ludari (Roma) language and had coloring pages with it in their language (pictured above)!

Ariela and I recently attended the FROG Ball hosted by her American Heritage Girls troop (see pictures below). It was a Daddy/Daughter party, but since some of the girls have other significant father figures in their lives, too, it’s called FROG for Fathers, Relatives and Other Guys. Big brothers, uncles and grampas also had fun escorting the girls to the fancy ball.

Daniel turned 15 recently and passed his written driver’s permit test on the first try. I’ll be starting to give him driving lessons this weekend! He’s doing really well with his 3D printing and has come up with some amazing creations (like the vase shown below).

Daniel and Ariela enjoyed going to Silver Dollar City for Young Christians’ Weekend, where they each rode roller coasters for the first time. While they were away, Pamala and I snuck away to a hotel, compliments of our free points, and celebrated our anniversary early!

The Roma Bible translators and I finished checking the Gospel of Mark in three Roma languages (Arli, Chergash and Gurbet) and have started checking their translations of Acts, currently in chapter 4. Thank you for praying for me as I prepare and consult. God was gracious and answered your prayers for strength and efficiency. We were able to surpass the quota of translating 1,875 verses last quarter, finishing over the goal at 2,038 verses.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support for our family and for Bible translation. Please continue to pray for us as we progress through editing the book of Acts verse-by-verse and as our colleagues publish to the Internet (YouVersion) the books which we have finished in all the languages.


Todd & Pamala

Our daily prayer calendar for April 2023

To download the following list of prayer requests formatted as a calendar for printing out, click “download” below:

April 1 Pray for Daniel & Ariela at Silver Dollar City for Young Christians’ Weekend with our church youth group

April 2 Pray Todd can be a blessing to his mom, Geri Price, visiting her at her nursing home in Oklahoma City this weekend

April 3 Pray for more summer teamers to join us this summer in Croatia to help run a week of VBS & teen camp for Roma kids

April 4 Pray for Pam & Ariela’s American Heritage Girls’ group tonight as they prepare a VBS craft project for us to take to Croatia

April 5 Praise God for deep connections, relationship building & encouragement in Todd & Pam’s Wednesday night Bible studies

April 6 Pray for Andy & Lim adjusting back to Croatia after their brief time visiting the States

April 7 Pray for powerful Good Friday services that bring glory to God. Praise Him for sacrificing His only Son for us!

April 8 Pray for daily spiritual nourishment through our family Bible reading & hymn singing in the evenings

April 9 He is risen indeed! Pray that this Easter season many Roma will experience new life in Christ.

April 10 Pray for God to use Todd as an elder in our church, to be a blessing & to feed the sheep of God’s flock

April 11 Pray for Todd & the Arli translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate the early chapters of Acts

April 12 Praise God for singing experience Ariela is gaining at Mighty Roots Academy; pray she can use it for ministry

April 13 Pray for the Arli, Gurbet & Chergash teams as they edit their translations of Acts, James & the Gospel of John

April 14 Pray that many Roma will read & listen to Luke & 50 Bible stories in the 5 Roma languages we have completed

April 15 Pray God will reveal salvation in Jesus to Muslims in former Yugoslavia who are celebrating the fast of Ramadan

April 16 Pray for us traveling to & speaking at Graham Union Church in Graham, MO, this morning

April 17 Pray for wisdom for Todd as he prepares to consult on the translation drafts of Acts in Arli, Gurbet & Chergash languages

April 18 Pray for each of our children who need saving faith, for soft hearts, the gift of faith & submission to the Lord

April 19 Pray for Todd & the Gurbet translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate the early chapters of Acts

April 20 Pray for the needed finances for summer teamers who will go to Croatia with us & to catch a clear missions vision

April 21 Pray for Daniel learning to drive & Todd teaching him; for safety & good driving skills

April 22 Pray for our lunch today with a potential Bible translator, for wisdom for her regarding her future ministry

April 23 Pray for spiritual growth for the youth girls in Sunday school as Pamala teaches today

April 24 Pray for $334 more per month to be pledged for our financial support

April 25 Pray for a biblical world view for our children who know Jesus & that they will serve Him daily

April 26 Praise God for the sound technician skills Daniel is learning; pray they will be useful in ministry

April 27 Pray for Todd & the Chergash translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate book of Acts

April 28 Pray for Todd & Pam preparing for & leading Bible studies on Wednesdays, to edify the Body

April 29 Praise God for Pam’s mom’s (Barbie Hughes) health & bold witness & ability to live on her own

April 30 Pray for Roma Bible translators taking classes in Bible translation & Todd as he prepares to teach a class this Fall

Help send us to Croatia this summer (The Prices Write)

This June 28-July 8, our family (Todd, Pam, Daniel and Ariela) are going to Croatia to help put on a vacation Bible school and teen/tween Bible day camp for Roma in the village near Sisak. This is the village where Pioneers has had ministry for many years and were we have gone with several summer teams over the years. It is where there are many relatives of the Roma who live in the village near where we used to live. The last time we went was before COVID in 2019 and the pictures below are from that year.

singing Bible songs
doing hand crafts
small group time
discussing the Bible story

The cost for the summer outreach is $2,500 per person (of which plane tickets alone are $1,700). For the four of us in our family it will be $10,000. If you would like to donate toward our trip, please see the bottom of this page for ways to give. Thank you so much! It is so nice to have such a wonderful team of prayer partners and financial supporters standing with us!

game time at VBS
day camp craft time

It would be very helpful to have several more people come with us on this trip and there is still time to sign up to join us. Please contact us for more information if you are interested (see contact info below).

acting out Bible stories

Please be in prayer for this summer outreach, that the Lord will use it to spread the Gospel among the Roma, disciple Roma believers and promote the use of the Gospel of Luke and 50 Bible stories we recently translated into their Roma languages.

And please keep praying for wisdom and guidance as we continue translating the rest of the New Testament for three other Roma languages in the region. Thank you!

Todd & Pamala (Daniel, Ariela) Price

“Up to the elbows…” (Lost [and found] in translation, #12); March birthdays; visits with moms

Thank you all for your faithful prayers for us! March is birthday month for us. Elizabeth turned 28 on the 1st and Pamala’s birthday was on the 2nd (see pictures below). Jonathan turns 31 on the 19th and Daniel turns 15 on the 20th. I guess we should just leave the streamers up all month!

We’ve also enjoyed visits with our moms, Barbie Hughes who lives nearby in Belton, MO, and Geri Price, at her nursing home in Oklahoma City, OK. And Ariela (11) had a wonderful time attending the Super Start conference in Tulsa, OK (all pictured below).

Bible translation is going very well. We are up to chapter 14 in the Gospel of Mark, and have been meeting our quota of 187 verses per week combined in the three Roma languages, Arli, Gurbet and Chergash. Pictured below are some of the translators at a recent training event where they took two classes, “Mission and Bible Translation and the History of Bible Translation” and “Approaches to Bible Translation”. They do their assignments in Serbian and I will be grading those assignments for one of the classes.

When consulting on the Arli translation of Mark recently, we decided to make a couple of changes to 7:4. Their draft said “For, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat bread unless they thoroughly wash their hands.” There were two problems in this translation. First, when it says “Pharisees and all the Jews”, it sounds like the Pharisees are not Jews, so we adjusted it to say “For, the Jews and especially the Pharisees”. Secondly, “thoroughly wash their hands” is not accurate. This is a hard phrase to understand, but more than likely means “wash their arms up to the elbow”, so we made that change in the new version.

In Mark 8:38 it says literally “Whoever will be ashamed of me in front of this adulterous and sinful generation…” Most Roma who are not familiar with the Bible would probably take “adulterous” literally here. However, it is not likely that Jesus is only rebuking literal adulterers. In the Old Testament especially, the Lord often spoke of idolatry as spiritual adultery and compared disobedient and unbelieving Israel to adulterers. Jesus is probably echoing this Old Testament usage, so to make that clear we adjusted the draft translation to “Whoever will be ashamed of me in front of this unbelieving and sinful generation.”

And here’s one more example that shows the importance of something as small as a preposition. They had translated Mark 11:1 as “they arrived at the villages of Bethpage and Bethany”, but it is not possible for someone to arrive at two villages at the same time (they are a mile or so apart). So we looked at the Greek more closely and concluded that it is more accurate to say “they arrived near the villages of Bethpage and Bethany.” In other words, they were on the Mount of Olives, somewhere around Bethpage and Bethany. The rest of the story tells how Jesus sent disciples into one of the villages to get the donkey’s foal he would ride up to Jerusalem.

Please pray for wisdom and the Lord’s guidance as we work to finish translating the Gospel of Mark (chapters 14-16) in the coming days.

Thank you for your prayers and faithful financial support!

Todd & Pamala

Our daily prayer calendar for March 2023

To download the prayer list formatted as a calendar for printing out, click the ‘download’ button below:

March 1 Today is Elizabeth’s 28th birthday! Pray the Lord will strengthen her in her studies & at work & in Bible study

March 2 Today is Pam’s birthday! Pray for joy & strength as she serves as mother, missionary, teacher & friend

March 3 Pray for summer teamers to join us this summer in Croatia to help run a week of VBS clubs for Roma kids

March 4 Pray for city approval for us to get solar panels on our house which will save on our electric bills

March 5 Pray for spiritual refreshment each day for us & encouragement through the Scriptures

March 6 Pray for Todd, Daniel & other men from our area meeting tonight for our monthly Bible study at our friend’s house

March 7 Pray for God to use Todd as an elder in our church, to be a blessing & to feed the sheep of God’s flock

March 8 Pray for Todd attending virtual Bible translation conference today through Friday, for good learning & networking

March 9 Pray for Todd & the Chergash translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate the Gospel of Mark & Acts

March 10 Pray for Ariela & friends attending a Christian youth conference in Tulsa, OK, today & tomorrow

March 11 Pray Todd can be a blessing to his mom as he visits her this weekend in Oklahoma City at the nursing home

March 12 Pray for our family for edifying times together in our family Bible reading & worship time

March 13 Pray for teammates Andy, Lim, Sergej & Željka planning for our summer team to Croatia

March 14 Pray for Todd & the Arli translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate the Gospel of Mark & Acts

March 15 Pray for Pam teaching at, & Daniel & Ariela attending, Mighty Roots Academy on Wednesdays

March 16 Pray for the Arli, Gurbet & Chergash teams as they edit their translations of Mark, Acts, James & John

March 17 Pray that many Roma will read & listen to Luke & 50 Bible stories in the 5 Roma languages we have completed

March 18 Pray for each of our children to love God & follow Jesus wholeheartedly, walking in the fear of the Lord

March 19 Today is Jonathan’s 31st birthday. Pray for God to draw him to Himself

March 20 Today is Daniel’s 15th birthday. Pray for continued spiritual growth & joy in serving others

March 21 Pray for wisdom for Todd as he prepares to consult on the translation drafts of Mark & Acts in Arli, Gurbet & Chergash languages

March 22 Pray for Todd & the Gurbet translators for clarity & accuracy as we translate the Gospel of Mark & Acts

March 23 Pray for the needed finances for summer teamers who will go to Croatia with us & that they will catch a deeper missions vision

March 24 Pray for a great camping trip for Daniel with his friends & their dads

March 25 Pray for a wonderful time for Todd & Ariela at the daddy-daughter party this evening with American Heritage Girls

March 26 Pray as Todd speaks at Columbia Baptist Tabernacle, in Chariton, IA, this morning

March 27 Pray for $570 more per month to be pledged for our financial support

March 28 Pray for salvation for each of our loved ones, friends & Roma we know

March 29 Pray for Todd & Pam each leading a Bible study on Wednesday evenings at our church

March 30 Pray for safety & good health for teammates, Andy & Lim, returning to Croatia from Atlanta

March 31 Pray for Daniel & Ariela attending Young Christian Weekend at Silver Dollar City this weekend

But they didn’t have shoelaces… (Lost and Found in Translation: Installment #11)

Roma translators for the Arli and Gurbet languages during a week of training for their classes in Mission and Bible Translation and the History of Bible Translation

TRANSLATION NEWS: Thank you for praying for us in our Bible translation work. This week we are editing the translations of the Gospel of Mark chapters 7-10 in the Arli, Chergash and Gurbet languages.

In order to help get the Bible translated for these Roma people groups even faster, we have been asked to increase our speed. Instead of translating 1,500 verses each quarter (for the combined three languages), the new goal is 1,875 verses each quarter, an increase of 25%. If we can meet that quota, the entire Bible in three languages would get done in 10 years. Please pray for me that I will be able to check 187 verses each week (the total for the three languages combined) and advise the teams in our Zoom meetings. Of course, we always want to go slowly and thoroughly enough to catch any mistakes and to do our utmost to make sure that these translations will be easily understood by future Roma readers and listeners.

picture (c) www.bibleplaces.com

Mark tends to be easier to translate than some of the other New Testament books, but of course there are many challenges as we seek to make sure that the translations will be understandable to the average, unchurched Roma. For example, put yourself in the shoes of a Roma teenager who has not grown up going to church, and ask yourself if you would understand what this statement in Mark 1:4 means: “John the Baptist … preached about a repenting baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” I think this would go right over the heads of most Roma listeners, so we sought to make the meaning more clear by changing this to “John the Baptist … preached that people should turn from their sins and come to God that he forgive them and to be baptized.”

picture (c) www.bibleplaces.com

Sometimes we have to be careful in translation that we don’t use a word for something that did not exist in the time of Jesus. For example, one of the drafts had John saying he was not worthy to untie Jesus’ “shoelaces”. The problem with that translation is that they didn’t have shoelaces in first-century Israel. They wore sandals which were tied onto the feet with leather straps, so we changed this to say he was not worthy to untie the “cords” of his sandals.

And though we don’t use many footnotes, we felt we had to add one in Mark 1:32. Mark makes a specific point to say “When night fell, when the sun set, they brought before him all the sick …” Most Roma will not get the connection, so we explained in a footnote that this was the Sabbath and these Jews did not want to break the law by bringing the sick, so they waited until nightfall which marks the beginning of a new day.

Thanks so much for praying for the Bible translation work. We are so thankful for your partnership!

Todd & Pamala

FAMILY UPDATE: We’ve enjoyed February celebrations (pictured below). Kirsten turned 19 on Valentine’s Day. Pam and I enjoyed celebrating Valentine’s Day. And Ariela and I enjoyed a fun daddy-daughter party.

Kirsten, now 19

Ariela, 11