The concept of “Church-centric Bible Translation” is an important one to understand in 21st century missiology. It refers to the aspect of establishing the Church in sound doctrine that includes equipping the Church to translate and maintain their own translations of the Bible in every language. Early attempts to document this transition of the Church as merely “consumers” of Bible translations to both “producers/consumers” of their own Bible translations described a model that reflected a limited perspective of the process, that of transitions in Bible translation itself through time. While some aspects of this model may be helpful, the model itself was simplistic in that it failed to address essential ecclesiological, translational, and strategic issues. Instead of attempting to provide a single, lengthy document to address all of these issues, they are addressed individually in various whitepapers.
The Gateway Languages Strategy
The objective of the Gateway Languages Strategy is to equip the global Church with the content, tools and training materials needed for translation of the Bible and creation of culturally-relevant, theologically-sound biblical resources in every language needed by the global Church. It does so by providing these resources in English under open licenses and then collaborating with Church networks worldwide to translate them into the ~50 Languages of Wider Communication that cover 100% of the global Church through patterns of multilingualism (the Gateway Languages). In this way, every element of the Church in each people group is provided with essential biblical resources in a language they understand and that they have the legal freedom to use for Bible translation and creation of other biblical resources in their own languages.