On an island country of East Asia, God led a Japanese Bible translation team to look beyond their work and into the faces of their brothers and sisters who had yet to know the Savior.
Traditional Bible translation work follows structured guidelines, biblical standards, and checkpoints to ensure accuracy. Since sign language Bible translation captures a person signing the Scriptures on camera, even more checkpoints are necessary, such as local Deaf people reviewing the drafted video passages for clarity and naturalness.
The translation team prepared two biblical narrative passages in Japanese Sign Language for the local Deaf community to review. They were eager to hear the feedback on the video drafted passages.
On the big screen, fluid movements and expressions, one sign unfolding into the next, revealed the biblical story of a baby born without a place to lay his head, following another passage about the deep compassion of a Man healing a lowly blind beggar.
As the translation team intently listened to the community, they realized some of the verses could be improved for those who had never experienced God’s Word before. The team had chosen signs and expressions for the translated passages but relied heavily upon Christian jargon that was only well known to church members.
This is the excitement of translating God’s Word into sign language!
With full dependence on the Spirit’s guidance and even more enthusiasm and clarity, the team exclaimed, “God’s Word in sign language is for every Deaf person in Japan and not only reserved for believers!”
Their passion for all Deaf Japanese to experience the hope of salvation and the joy of the Lord gave them the desire to persevere toward excellence, so that all may come to know Him!
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent…“Philippians 1: 9-10 (NIV)