On translating 1 and 2 Timothy….”this truth came straight to my stomach”

by mendibpng

During the past three translation workshops, the men have been drafting, checking and revising 1 and 2 Timothy. This is the first set of pastoral epistles that they have translated. What I heard over and over from the translators was how Paul’s words to Timothy grabbed their hearts when they began to translate it into their own languages. I wish I could convey the excitement that went around the room as the men told me how translating these epistles have encouraged them. Verses like:

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:15 NIV)


The advice that Paul gives Timothy is to stand strong and do this work. This letter he wrote to Timothy but it feels like he wrote it to me. If I want to be a leader, I need to be good in the eyes of others. I must be a good teacher, a good example. If I’m a teacher who doesn’t live right, then people won’t support me [in my translation work]. But my community will support me if I am a good example and a good leader.  This truth came straight to my stomach. When Paul advised Timothy, Paul advised me. (Jack, Barupu translator, pictured above)


Acts and Luke were the first books we translated. They are full of good stories. But now, there were some things we weren’t clear about and now we’re benefiting from the teaching of 1Timothy. There’s a lot of good advice in this book. It’s a good thing because I want to be a good leader. People have picked me to be a leader, and I want to keep the good challenge in this true talk. (Clement, Pou translator, pictured above)


4 Comments to “On translating 1 and 2 Timothy….”this truth came straight to my stomach””

  1. Ben and Mandy, Cherish these days of more first fruits of Scripture translation into the heart language of God’s children.
    There are so many supportive tasks you and the kids do to get you all to this peak of purpose, according to The Call on your family’s life. Celebrate! Celebrate the life of God in His Word. You have given your lives to The Life of God by His Word. Exciting!!! Your Florida Mom and Dad

    • I think the encouragement lies the most in the fact that it’s God’s Word that is changing lives–they are reading it and it is changing them. 🙂

  2. Clement and Jack’s comments are a great joy to our hearts and to you for being there and doing the work that God has called you to. Keep strong in the Lord!

    • thanks, mom! This blog post was written the day before a computer virus attacked all 22 project computers–I am glad you are committed to praying for all of us out here. 🙂

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