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Working for the Word - a Bible translation podcast

Working for the Word - a Bible translation podcast

By Andrew Case

It's been said that people don't want to know: 1) how sausages are made, 2) how bibles are translated. In this podcast we bravely talk about the latter, go deep into biblical studies, and seek to treasure and understand the Bible together. It's for people who want to get nerdy about Scripture and for those who want to understand how their translations came to be. Everything from history to Hebrew, we're on a quest to learn more and make beautiful translations of God's Word. We believe the Bible is a unified, God-breathed, God-centered, hope-giving book, sweeter than honey, pointing to Jesus.
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A Paradigm Shift in Acquiring the Biblical Languages part 1 - for Bible Translation & Beyond

Working for the Word - a Bible translation podcastAug 19, 2020

Announcement - why I'll be stepping away from this podcast for a season
Apr 29, 202315:48
Translation News & Lawsuits over the Gospels of Matthew and Luke

Translation News & Lawsuits over the Gospels of Matthew and Luke

MA in Bible Translation from Nida Institute: Seed Company Residency Program:

Wycliffe's convergence program for training consultants:

Word for the World's training programs:

Mekane Yesus Seminary:

SIL Translation CiT Funding Guidelines:

  • Is a current SIL staff member
  • Is already an approved Translation CiT with their OU – have a mentor, a growth plan, and have begun their mentored checking training
  • Is within their last two years of their Translation CiT program – ie, within two years of starting this program they will become approved as a Translation Consultant
  • Have approval to enter this program from their OU Administration (supervisor) and their OU Translation Coordinator
  • Upon becoming a Translation Consultant, they commit to working 0.5 FTE (50%) of their time as a Translation Consultant for at least five years

Authors/ contributors are needed for two Translation Resources projects currently underway - Bamboo TN (Translator's Notes) and KTOT (Key Terms of the Old Testament). If you are interested in working part-time with either of these projects, email Brian Migliazza for further information. Contact Phil King:

Contact Brian Migliazza:

News from Jerusalem about John Mark's lawsuits by Don Lowe. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Apr 13, 202309:26
Interlinears and Learning the Biblical Languages - a conversation with my wife
Apr 08, 202322:42
The Center for NT Restoration with Dr. Alan Bunning - part 2
Apr 01, 202315:21
The Center for NT Restoration with Dr. Alan Bunning - part 1

The Center for NT Restoration with Dr. Alan Bunning - part 1

When people think about starting a translation of the NT, they usually need to decide which Greek text they’re going to use as a source text. Unlike OT translation where everyone defaults to the MT, there are more than one NT source texts to choose from, like the UBS, the Nestle-Aland, the Byzantine text, the Textus-Receptus and others. And some of the modern, popular ones are locked down by copyright. So over the course of the next two episodes I want to introduce you to someone who is innovating in this field, and trying to serve the Church with a transparent critical Greek text that everyone can use without any hindrance.

Alan Bunning received his education in New Testament Greek from the Kensington Theological Academy under the tutelage of Dr. David R. Dilling, and received his D.Litt. degree for his work done in textual criticism. Alan’s primary background is in computer science and after working in the industry for many years, he became a college professor working as an Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems at Ivy Tech Community College and then was a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Purdue University. Alan retired from Purdue University in 2020 and now devotes himself to working full time as the Executive Director for the Center for New Testament Restoration.

Make sure to read the project overview, especially section 2.2. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Mar 25, 202343:01
How Broken Is the Bible Translation Industry? Responding to an Article

How Broken Is the Bible Translation Industry? Responding to an Article

Back in 2021 an article entitled Just How Broken Is the Bible Translation Industry? came out on MinistryWatch. People keep asking me what I think about it. I've waited a long time to let the organizations critiqued in the article have a chance to speak for themselves and respond to the article, but they never did. This episode is my summary and thoughts on the article, and an encouragement to the leaders of the big BT orgs to set the record straight and clarify any misunderstandings that might exist. 

The MAP forum post and responses mentioned.


A note written by me on the forum:

Regarding raising a child: it's a good point, and most people would say that raising children well doesn't cost millions of dollars. In fact, if you introduce too much money into raising a child, you'll probably ruin your child. I wonder if that's the concern in this article. If I went around to churches telling them that I needed to raise 10 million dollars to raise my kid well, I would only raise eyebrows. I think that may be the message coming across to many like the author: that Bible translation is no longer just hard; now it's exorbitantly expensive. I think military spending may be a good analogy here. I learned yesterday that if one toilet gets clogged on the new US aircraft carriers, it costs $400,000 to unclog it. So the question is: should it really cost that much? We all know that BT has a high cost in energy, time, stress, trauma, etc., and that should be expected. But our orgs usually require us to de-emphasize those costs and give a chipper façade to donors. All the donors see is the marketing and begging for high dollar amounts, without understanding where it's going. So it's no wonder people might start to suspect that it's being thrown at ridiculously expensive ways to "unclog toilets."  Is Bible translation spending money for the sake of spending money in some areas? Are they raising money for job security because they don't know what else they would do? As long as donors are ignored and not given clear answers to these questions, we remain suspect and a target to more articles like this one.  In my experience, the big orgs ignore these kinds of articles and leave everyone with question marks, instead of humbly and clearly responding with wisdom and detailed honesty.  I can only pray that leaders take this seriously and actually respond publicly instead of hiding behind silence. I would genuinely welcome any leader to come on my podcast "Working for the Word" and respond to this article. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Mar 17, 202323:22
Introducing Wycliffe Associates - with Tabitha Price

Introducing Wycliffe Associates - with Tabitha Price

Raised in the jungles of Venezuela by missionary parents in a vibrant Christian home, Tabitha Price is well-acquainted with the challenges of Christian ministry. Tabitha married her high school sweetheart, Joel, and together they attended New Tribes Bible college in preparation for missionary service. After that, she earned a bachelor degree from Southwest Bible College and Seminary and spent eight years teaching at international mission schools first in Venezuela and later in Florida. She is a graduate of Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary (Master’s in Ministry), and has completed a doctorate in Executive Leadership.

Tabitha has served with Wycliffe Associates since 2009 in a variety of ministries. She was privileged to be part of the first MAST translation event and has since taught translation principals and theory to hundreds of translators in countries all over the world. Today Tabitha serves as the Vice President of Translation Services leading teams who are training our partners in church owned Bible translation.

Tabitha and her husband Joel have three children, Marshall, Jaden and Roman. They call Central Florida home. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Mar 10, 202354:54
What the AI Bot ChatGPT Knows about Bible Translation
Mar 03, 202337:25
Audio Project Manager for OBT - with Nathan Payne

Audio Project Manager for OBT - with Nathan Payne

Now that we’ve learned more about internalization from Katie Frost, it’s time to talk about a new tool that recently came out for actually doing oral Bible translation projects. It’s called Audio Project Manager, and it’s a free program that anyone can download and start working with right away. Nathan Payne is going to walk us through what the software does and how it can be leveraged for oral projects. 

I’ve worked with Render for a while now and it still has a lot of drawbacks. One of the biggest ones is that it’s not freely available, and you have to jump through a ton of hoops to get access to it. The interface has a lot of annoying quirks, especially for consultants, and it has very little flexibility. This is where Audio Project Manager comes in to give people a better option with much more flexibility and freedom.

Nathan Payne who is going to help us understand the software, was born in Peru to missionary Bible translators who worked in the jungle with the Asheninka people. He met his wife, Katy, in high school, and attended Texas A&M university where he studied chemical engineering. He and his wife later studied linguistics after feeling called to Bible translation. After some fieldwork, he moved into a training and consulting role for storying projects. A few years later he became the SIL Americas Area Storying and Orality Coordinator. And in 2020 became the SIL Oral Translation Services coordinator, giving direction to the organization’s involvement in Storying, OBT and other oral strategies. He currently serves as director of the Oral English Bible Translation (Spoken English Bible) and Oral Exegetical Tools project. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Feb 25, 202330:11
Internalization & Oral Bible Translation with Katie Frost
Feb 18, 202341:11
News, New Resources, and Key Terms of the OT
Feb 11, 202322:34
The Forgotten Preface - respecting and learning from the KJV translators - with Josh Barzon
Feb 03, 202352:55
Who Is the Actual Author of Scripture? - Copy.Church with Jon part 2

Who Is the Actual Author of Scripture? - Copy.Church with Jon part 2

We continue and conclude the interview with Jon, the creator of

Before we get into the rest of the interview I want to make a few comments. As I have more conversations with people around the world about the issue of freely giving gospel ministry and the stance that I hold that ministry should be supported, not sold, I’ve run into a few common threads. The first is that people–even world-class intelligent scholars, have no biblical arguments for disagreeing with me. Everyone has pragmatic or emotional arguments, but so far no one has any biblical arguments. And this, I suspect, is perhaps because there are none. We’re letting our thinking about selling ministry be driven by the world rather than Scripture.

Second, when people hear me talk about these things, many seem unable to listen to what I’m saying. They assume that what I’m saying is that all people who engage in ministry should never receive money and should be dying of poverty. So let me say again: I believe gospel ministry should be supported, not sold. It’s a very simple distinction that for some reason people often refuse to hear, and then assume something totally irrelevant to the discussion.

Third, I’d like to suggest that it’s not a very serious argument to simply dismiss the example of Jesus and Paul as irrelevant and non-prescriptive to the believers today. This is another thing I’ve run into. If you want to say that Jesus’ command to freely give in Matthew 10 has zero implications for present day ministry, you have to give some serious reasons for why that’s a serious hermeneutic. And if you are still convinced that Jesus and Paul’s examples have no bearing on your life and the church today, I’d encourage you to at least figure out where in Scripture we find guardrails for money and ministry. If there are no guardrails in the Bible regarding these things, then we have no answer to the prosperity preachers. It’s important to be able to show why it’s unbiblical to sell prayers for people or charge money for admission to a church worship service. Obviously there are no direct commands in Scripture regarding these things, so you would have to base these convictions off biblical principles. I would strongly suggest that it would be pretty sad and disgraceful if we as the Church end up with no way to scripturally condemn the selling of prayers or the selling of baptism, for example. If we can’t condemn such basic abuses, then we are not actually paying attention to the very fabric and spirit of God’s Word. Yet this is precisely where everyone I have talked to so far who disagrees with a biblical prohibition of selling ministry ends up. That is, they are unable to tell me from Scripture why it’s not ok to charge someone money for a baptism. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Jan 26, 202344:40
How Much Do You Really Know about Bible Translation Licenses? - Copy.Church with Jon part 1

How Much Do You Really Know about Bible Translation Licenses? - Copy.Church with Jon part 1

We’ve talked about copyright on this podcast already, but we still haven’t taken a meticulous look at the way mainstream Bible translations are licensed, what the specific limitations are, and how different translations compare to each other in this area. This episode will be a real eye-opener for many of you, so make sure you’re sitting down. We’re going to be talking to the creator of a website called, which seeks to point people to the simple truth that it’s wrong to limit access to the Word of God. He’s been thinking about and studying these things for years, and I think what he has to say is extremely important. 

Jon is the founder of Gracious Tech, a mission-focused app development ministry. He first got interested in missions while travelling in South-East Asia and realizing the dire need for the gospel there. He promptly committed his life to mission work and completed an MDiv in preparation. While he initially thought he'd be putting his IT skills to the side, he soon realized how advantageous it would be to have apps for sharing the Gospel and aiding mission work.

During his first term of mission overseas, he worked on an app for sharing Bible stories using plain Scripture. It was almost finished when he realized the licenses of almost all Bible translations don't permit sharing plain scripture, and instead must be accompanied by other commentary. Not knowing much about copyright or how to go about seeking permission, the project was put on hold for many years.

Jon later founded Gracious Tech and now commits most of his time to developing apps for mission. He currently lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and two young daughters.

Please consider helping spread Jon's website | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Jan 13, 202349:56
What Do You Need to Become a Bible Translation Consultant?
Dec 27, 202236:08
How to Evaluate Language Vitality with Scott Smith
Dec 22, 202201:06:56
Neil & Jane Nellis - the Zapotec NT is completed - part 2
Dec 07, 202245:35
Neil & Jane Nellis - Pioneer Translators in Mexico - part 1
Nov 21, 202250:50
Fish in Your Ear, The Bible in India, Translation News, & More

Fish in Your Ear, The Bible in India, Translation News, & More

Before we continue with the series on my family in Bible translation, I wanted to bring a few things to your attention, recommend some things, and share some BT general news.

First, on my website I’ve added a resource page for people interested in finding out more about translation or who want to grow as a consultant in training, etc. It’s still a work in progress, and I’m sure some of you will have recommendations of things that would be helpful to add to it, including things I’ve mentioned in the past on this podcast and forgot to include. If you do, feel free to email me at And if you’ve been following this podcast for a while, you’ll know that I’m especially interested in free, open access resources. What I’m doing with this page is providing a curated list of things I personally have read and recommend for your professional development or if you just have a casual interest in BT.  Obviously there are many more works on BT out there, and many more tools, but I personally don’t find all of them useful or helpful. So go ahead and check it out and see if there’s anything on there that looks interesting. I hope it can serve the BT movement.

Links mentioned:

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the meaning of everything

Internalization: A Key Ingredient in Achieving Naturalness in an Oral Translation

My series in Spanish on the textual criticism of the Old Testament

Interview on the Bible in India

Bible Translation Training and Development Community of Practice

Quality in Translation Exploratory Symposium

Multilingual Assessment Tool

November News on MAP | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Nov 07, 202226:27
Translation Challenges & Perseverance - with Daniel Case - part 2
Oct 31, 202242:36
Cuba, Vietnam, Medical Missions, and Bible Translation - with Daniel Case - part 1
Oct 22, 202201:16:58
Bible Translation, WWII, and Fidel Castro - an interview with Edward Case
Oct 09, 202235:14
Oral Bible Translation Training - with Allen Pierce
Sep 25, 202201:06:50
How to Translate Hebrew Poetry Step by Step - a basic guide
Sep 03, 202225:48
Translation Service Providers - thinking outside the box with Jane Schoen
Aug 16, 202225:18
Are We Being Strategic in Ending Bible Poverty? - towards a dorean reformation

Are We Being Strategic in Ending Bible Poverty? - towards a dorean reformation

Does the Bible translation movement need a Dorean reformation? Do our organizations reflect a sense of urgency to eradicate Bible poverty to the point of casting off anything that hinders so that we can all run the race towards helping the Bibleless without friction or obstacles? Do they reflect the radical generosity of the heart of Jesus shown in the very Bible they are trying to get into the hands of every tribe and every nation? Or do they reflect the petty spirit of the world, grasping at pennies when they have already been generously provided for by the sacrificial offerings of God’s people? Donors give, expecting nothing in return. Shouldn’t those receiving the donations do the same at a minimum? 

As I’ve said many times before, the goal of this podcast is to become more like the man of Psalm 1. The more you immerse yourself in the scriptures, the more you want to bear fruit like a tree planted by streams of water. Part of the fruit of what I want to see come from this podcast is that of greater movement towards God's word in all of our practices within Bible translation. To see more and more people take a stand with conviction on certain issues within the Bible translation movement, and not compromise just because a lot of people are doing it or there's a lot of money involved. The more you immerse yourself in Scripture like the man of Psalm 1, the more you realize how much it has to say about money. Jesus had more to say about money than heaven and hell and love combined. So I hope you'll forgive me for doing just one more podcast along these lines, to make a call for deeper thinking in this area, greater conviction, repentance, and ethical consistency.

If you haven’t listened to the previous two episodes with Conley Owens, this episode won’t have enough context to make sense, so go ahead and make sure to listen to those episodes before you continue with this one.

Read The Dorean Principle for free.

Some of the websites mentioned:

A big thanks to Sarah Owens for lending her voice to the beginning of this episode. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Jul 27, 202241:32
The Dorean Principle & Bible Translation - with Conley Owens

The Dorean Principle & Bible Translation - with Conley Owens

Last episode we introduced the idea of "the dorean principle," which is explained in Conley Owens’ free book. We left the interview wondering how this applies to Bible translations and manuscripts, so we’re back to finish the conversation and apply Jesus’ principle of freely giving to those issues. We’ll also discuss how the concept of intellectual property is unbiblical, goes against natural law, and more.


Join the facebook group to show your support.

Against Intellectual Property

Read Frame's and Poythress's blog posts along these lines here and here.

David Clines' paper on the brokenness of current biblical academic publishing infrastructure. | my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Jul 13, 202254:60
One of the Most Important Books of the Last Hundred Years - with Conley Owens
Jul 01, 202245:54
The Ethnologue & Why It's Important for BT - with Dr. Dave Eberhard
Jun 22, 202241:45
Update, Deep Work, and Attention to Detail
Jun 11, 202214:04
The Bible in Arabic - part 11 - how should BT orgs handle controversy?
May 22, 202234:26
The Bible in Arabic - part 10 - underlying assumptions for BT with Dr. Aaron Shryock
May 07, 202253:33
The Bible in Arabic - part 9 - an interview with Georges Houssney
Apr 24, 202237:12
The Bible in Arabic - part 8 - The WEA's review of Wycliffe/SIL's best practices regarding divine familial terms
Apr 19, 202244:45
The Bible in Arabic - part 7 - D.A. Carson on "Jesus the Son of God"
Apr 10, 202250:44
The Bible in Arabic - part 6 - an overview of the "divine familial terms" controversy
Apr 03, 202232:37
The Bible in Arabic - part 5 - challenges & Insider Movements
Mar 27, 202250:08
The Bible in Arabic - part 4 - Smith & Van Dyck's legacy and later translations
Mar 20, 202225:12
The Bible in Arabic - part 3 - Smith & Van Dyck's translation
Mar 01, 202226:03
The Bible in Arabic - part 2 - the world that gave birth to the most influential Arabic Bible
Feb 21, 202230:52
The Bible in Arabic - part 1
Feb 06, 202236:52
Introducing FOBAI & Their Standards - The Forum of Bible Agencies International

Introducing FOBAI & Their Standards - The Forum of Bible Agencies International

Founded back in 1990, the Forum of Bible Agencies International was born out of a need for understanding and partnership between organizations working in Bible translation. According to their website, they are a nonprofit made up of 40 members working together to maximize worldwide access and impact of God's Word in a trusted community of like-minded peers. Obviously this is a huge player in the world of BT, so let’s dive in and learn more about it.

Translation Standards 

Consultant Standards

my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Jan 29, 202234:01
The Psalms: Layer by Layer - with Katie Frost and Dr. Elizabeth Robar
Jan 22, 202247:08
Augustine the Septuagint-onlyist vs Jerome
Jan 07, 202235:39
God's Idea of Success in Bible Translation

God's Idea of Success in Bible Translation

Recently Justin Taylor shared some quotes from three different men that reflect on a biblical view of success in ministry. Those three men are Mark Driscoll, Francis Schaeffer, and J.I. Packer. I wanted to share this in light of Bible translation, which can often be measured by numbers. Its success is often judged based on the quantity of output: how many NTs were finished this year, how many complete bibles, how many copies have been sold or used, how many people have been impacted or saved as a result of Bible translations, etc. Whether we’re a massive organization like Wycliffe or a single person working out in the middle of nowhere, there’s always a temptation towards ambition, and to evaluate whether or not we are successful by the world’s wisdom and by leaning on our own understanding. Although the following quotes have to do with churches and pastoring, I’d like to suggest that we ask ourselves as we listen: how can we guard our hearts in this regard when it comes to the world of Bible translation?

Justin Taylor's article

Liberating Ministry from Success Syndrome

my books | twitter | music | Hebrew | academic articles | facebook | contact | download all episodes for offline

Dec 30, 202109:36
A Review of "The Art of Bible Translation" - with Mark Ward
Dec 24, 202117:13
Warriors & Aramaisms - checking 2 Samuel part 4
Dec 17, 202136:23
Translating Satan in Job - in defense of the traditional view with Ken Berding
Dec 13, 202114:43
You Wanna Build Me a House? - checking 2 Samuel part 3
Dec 04, 202120:37
God's Steadfast Love, or David's? - with Peter Gentry
Nov 19, 202150:14