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Project Explanation.md 5.9KB

PROJECT EXPLANATION

An Invitation to Serve and to Invest for Eternity

Would you like to be part of a team that could literally impact hundreds of languages and thousands of people around the world? As part of our effort to provide Bible translations and Bible study reference materials of the highest quality, we are embarking on an exciting journey of producing a Study Bible, Bible commentary series, Greek New Testament, Hebrew/Aramaic Lexicon, Hebrew grammar, Aramaic grammar, Greek lexicon and Greek grammar to be translated into scores of languages around the world. These resources will be openly licensed and free for all to use. In order to write and develop these tools we are seeking a large number of volunteers. We are looking for mature Christians with a love for God's Word who will help us write these biblical reference materials.

There are still thousands of languages around the world which lack a Bible translation. An essential step in Bible translation is making every effort to ensure that the translation is faithful to the original Greek of the New Testament and Hebrew and Aramaic of the Old Testament. Also, tools such as a Study Bible and Bible commentary are ideal in helping Bible readers, students and pastors to better understand God's Word and communicate it to others. Because of copyright and licensing restrictions, these resources are not available to most of the developing world. We are writing these new materials and making them free and open so they can be translated into various languages around the world to provide God's Word and Bible study reference tools to as many people as possible around the world, in cooperation with the global Church.

The Need

Free public domain resources such as Strong's Greek and Hebrew dictionaries or Matthew Henry's commentary are familiar to those looking for free Bible study resources online. Unfortunately, because most of these tools were written before the 20th century, they are of limited worth to serious students of the Bible. Advances in biblical scholarship, linguistics, archaeology, and literary studies make public domain resources such as Strong's seem out of date.

On the other end of the spectrum are the latest exegetical reference works which do reflect current scholarship and are of exceptional quality. These works are copyrighted and very expensive. For most of the developing, non-native English-speaking world, these resources are not accessible, both due to cost and the complexity of the language in which they are written.

What is lacking is something in the middle, between these two ends of the spectrum, which would be:

  • Up-to-date regarding linguistics and biblical scholarship,
  • Affordable to those in the developing world (preferably free),
  • Written in easily understood English to facilitate translation into other languages, and
  • Released under a license that allows them to be freely distributed and responsibly translated.

Our Contribution

We are seeking to provide a forum in which tools for biblical exegesis can be developed and published online and as an integral part of Bible translation software. We desire to produce high quality materials, and we hope to tap into the vast community of scholars, pastors, and students and committed lay people who desire to serve the global church in this way. If you are interested in joining this community, please contact us and let us know of your interest. For detailed explanations of our approach to meeting this need, please see the following:

Volunteer Collaboration

To create exegetical tools we rely on volunteers who are doing it for the love of God's Word and his church. We are looking for pastors, professors, students and mature lay people who are willing to volunteer their time and intellectual energies to the project. Depending on the project there may be educational requirements to ensure quality. A managing editorial team will supervise the work of all projects.

Quality and Usability

We want our resources to be a quality option that is usable by the global church. This means that we want to draw from relatively recent sources. While being very careful neither to commit plagiarism nor to steal from the established tools, we will work hard to make sure that they are trustworthy and produced with reference to up-to-date sources. It also means that the tools we produce need to be usable by translators, so part of the editorial process is limiting the use of idioms or difficult language, in order to encourage translation.

Freedom of Use

Our desire is to serve the global church, and in many parts of the globe Christians do not have deep financial resources. Our tools are made available free of charge and in a way that permits free distribution and modification using a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA). This means that anyone can take what we produce and translate it, modify it, and redistribute it without having to ask permission as long as certain basic conditions are met. The tools can be used for electronic resources (such as with SWORD or e-Sword), websites, translationStudio, or in print.

Fidelity to God's Word

While we welcome collaboration, we want to ensure that our work is consistent with sound doctrine (see our Statement of Faith.) We hope many contributors with convictions similar to our own will find their way to our projects and volunteer, and we reserve the right to edit contributions which stray from the historic evangelical beliefs found in our Statement of Faith.