Languages in Britain (and finding Bibles in them)

findabible.org , worldbibles.org , and wycliffe.net are among a number of sites attempting to keep track of over 3200 languages in the world into which some or all of the Bible has been translated.

Here are links to scripture in the 20 most common languages spoken by people living in Britain (part of a longer list from from the http://find.bible which lists thousands of languages and dialects (also may be some duplicate entries by alternate names). The graphic of languages in England and Wales is from the Guardian newspaper based on 2011 census data.

English
Welsh
Polish
Western Panjabi
Urdu
Bengali
Gujarati
Chinese, Hakka
Arabic, Taizzi-Adeni
French
Portuguese
Spanish
Tamil
Turkish
Italian
Somali
Hindi
Lithuanian
Persian, Iranian
Malayalam

Census Language map from the Guardian 2013

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Nativity: Like vs Share

two very different movies
I’m borrowing an idea from Walmart because it seems the retailers often do a better job of promoting their brand than the churches do.

I am (a little bit) interested in which of these movies you prefer but I’m more interested in exploring ways that Christians engage with with and share the true story of Christmas, Easter and all the Bible bits before, between and after those events.

Movies like “The Nativity Story” attempt to retell the Biblical accounts with various degrees of accuracy (recent additions to the Biblical epic like “Noah” and “Exodus: God’s and Kings”, seem less interested in the accuracy).

Before such movies however more simple nativity plays became part of the culture. Again the levels of Biblical accuracy vary but they do provide opportunities to tell the story, and then to discuss the deeper story and it’s meaning.

Which versions of the Nativity have you watched recently? Have you told other people if you liked them?

How have you and your church shared the good news this Christmas in traditional or new and innovative ways?

The Bible is…

How would you finish the sentence?

The Bible is…

So much more than a story book – there are great stories in it, some that will encourage us and some that should make us a little nervous. There are great stories of how God saves people but have any of your children asked? “Mummy why did God kill all those people?”.

So much more than a textbook for moral teaching – there are some great morals but for me as a child Sunday school and school assemblies too easily reduced the living word of God to a set of example for good living. Sometimes we’d have a bible story, sometimes one of Aesops fables.
Why not get together with a few people and explore Bible stories you were taught as kids, to see how they fit together and what bits were missed out in the Sunday school version.

So much more than a reference manual – anyone got a Gideon Bible with the handy section in the front of where to find help when… It’s good, it’s helpful, and sometimes a single verse really can speak into a situation but you need more if you are going to have a living relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit. (The Gideons would agree with that too)

So much more than proof texts – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” but the chapters and verses weren’t in the original, so don’t just grab a single verse. Finish the whole sentence “17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”. And even if it’s helpful to commit some verses to memory read them in context and have a clearer idea what was (and is) being said.
So much more than a thought for the day – do you use Bible reading notes to start your morning, or listen to a thought for the day on the radio. If so great? They can help. But be careful that someone else isn’t doing all the thinking for you.
So what is it?

Here’s what a few others have said about the Bible

“The Bible is as true today as it’s always been” – Ricky Gervais (actually he’s an atheist who doesn’t believe it was ever true.)
“The Bible is the account of God’s action in the world, and his purpose with all creation” – Biblica (publishers of the NIV)
“The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by about 40 authors, in three different languages, on three different continents, over approximately 1600 years.”
“The authors were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors. From all this diversity comes an incredible unity, with common themes woven throughout.”
“Everywhere” – YouVersion (not quite right but they do have over 1000 version in more than 700 languages, accessed on about 150 million devices)

“The Bible is widely considered to be the best selling book of all time” Wikipedia

The Bible is everything God wanted it to be.

The Bible is always true in what God wanted it to say, but we often mishear.

The Bible is God’s blog – a personal insight into who he is.

The Bible is the story of God relating to the world he loves.

The Bible is written for believers. Non-believers will probably look at the readers before they look at the book.

The Bible is “sharper than a two edged sword”

The Bible is meant to be used as a surgeons knife not a dagger

The Bible is the lens through which we are supposed to see the world.

So that’s a few options. Which did you like? How would you finish the sentence?

You can leave your thoughts as a comment here. You can post on facebook or twitter with #TheBibleIs , or you can even have a live face to face conversation with friends.

Kids resources: after the holiday club

kidscard  In North America and a few other places they are called “Vacation Bible Schools”. In Britain they are usually just called “Holiday Clubs” and they can be really great – an opportunity to learn something about God, play some games, make some crafts and often memorise a few verses of Scripture.

Amongst all the other things you send the kids home with why not send them with a few links to some Bible apps.

Here are the links:

You could show case theses apps on your own phone and explain that you read and listen to the Bible regularly.

You could give out a card like this one or design some book marks. (you could also share this card on facebook)

You can download a word document with the cards here  – 1000kidsbiblescontactcards

Also worth a look is is the SuperBook app and website  superbook.cbn.com/app which now includes text and audio from the New Living Translation. (will be asking our son to test this out)SuperBook Bible app

Feel free to come up with something better. Comments welcome.

 

A new shareable app for the World English Bible

web_splash You can download this free app for your Android tablet or phone . (if you haven’t got an Android click here for other links)

Download the Free Bible for Android here (Latest version Sept 14, 2014)

Once downloaded click the file to install it. (You may need to go into settings > security and “allow installation of apps from unknown sources” but you can switch the option off again after installation).

Further improvements to the app will be made before the end of the year so come back and check.

We won’t try and sell you any extra features or ask for any information. You are also free to share copies with friends.

There are many good Bible translations and Bible apps. Some are completely free and others offer extra paid features or encourage you to sign up for reading plans. That’s fair enough. Before phone apps people expected to pay for Bibles and subscribe to reading notes and the people who develop such things deserve to earn a living and feed their families.

This particular app was produced using software developed by Bible translators working in West Africa. (Click here for a slightly technical blog post about the software)

In many places people are beginning to get smart phones but do now always have good internet to download apps. Apps built with this system can be easily (and legally) copied phone to phone. The World English Bible was designed to be free of copyright restrictions. (see the Preface “Pre” listed below the New Testament books) Many other good apps also allow you to download the World English Bible.

This will probably not be the only Bible or the only Bible app you ever use but if you like it we hope you share it with others.

Find a Bible app that works well on your phone and and a translation that speaks clearly to your heart. Use it, and let God speak to you. Share it and let God speak to others.