Friday, July 11, 2008

Nigerian Bible Translation Trust

A project which has occupied Wendy over the last months is work on a textbook in Advanced Greek for the New Testament. This textbook brings together the materials she has used in teaching New Testament Greek over the years, especially at Unijos. However, an important incentive to get this textbook published for wider use came last fall when one of Wendy's New Testament Greek students, Pastor Sunday, introduced her to Rev. Selbut Longtau, a director and consultant with the Nigeria Bible Translation Trust. He told her that for the last years adequate provision had been made for teaching Hebrew for Bible translators working on the Old Testament, but for some years the courses in New Testament Greek to help those translating the New Testament (with the help of the Greek original) had not been taught for lack of available teaching staff. Would she help in setting up a curriculum for these students? Such a request is difficult to turn down.

Rudy Wiebe and Rob Lillo in front of entrance to the Nigerian Bible Translation Trust

So she checked with our Africa director, Dr. McCain, to be sure that this project would fit in with the goals for the IICS/CSI team in Nigeria, and then consulted with the other CSI/IICS colleagues in Nigeria, who have taught the New Testament Greek: Robert Lillo (of the Gindiri college of education), John Lotzgesell, teaching in Akwanga, Rudy Wiebe in Pankshin and Layne Turner teaching in Gidan Waya. Since they are all competent in NT Greek, we together make up a good team for this project.

Wendy with Rev. Longtau, a NBTT staff member, and our colleagues, Rudy Wiebe and Rob Lillo

We met a number of times over the Christmas break, and then had an important meeting with Rev. Longtau, who told us more about the history of NBTT and its connection with Wycliffe Bible Translators as well as the Summer Institute of Linguistics. The plan was to provide a 12 week program in New Testament Greek for translators, beginning in September of this year. With this in mind, Wendy is preparing her syllabus for Advanced New Testament Greek, and Rudy Wiebe and Rob Lillo are busy adapting the first year textbook, Let's Study New Testament Greek, prepared some years ago by Mary Preus at TCNN.

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