Saturday, March 26, 2011
Bible Translator Killed in Jerusalem
You may have seen that the Englishwoman, Mary Gardner (see photo), who was killed in the Jerusalem bus bomb blast this week, was a Bible translator. She was a humble working member of the Wycliffe Bible Translators network, one of the biggest translation organisations in the world. For more about them in previous posts, enter Wycliffe in the Search box at the head of the right-hand column.
It was a tragic case of being in the wrong place, for she was far from her usual habitat, Togo in West Africa. There she had translated the New Testament into the local Ifé language.
She hadn't gone to Jerusalem just to visit the Holy Land, though a firsthand acquaintance with Palestine is certainly useful background material for a Bible translator. Bible translators need to be Expert Translators. The Wycliffe translators usually arrive on the job as Native Translators who are well acquainted with the model of religious translation that the Bible provides in English but have some gaps in their training to fill in. In Mary's case, she'd gone to Jerusalem, like St Jerome many centuries earlier, to learn Hebrew in preparation for translating the Old Testament.
Requiescat in pace.
Conal Urquhart and Caroline Davies. Jerusalem bomb victim was British bible translator studying Hebrew. Guardian Unlimited, March 24, 2011.
Image: Wycliffe Bible Translators.