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Does your Church Website link to an Online Bible? June 25, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in Bible Translation, multilingualism.
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If you think the Bible is important it would make sense that your church website lets people know how to find one online.

The Bible is available online in a lot of languages (1900 versions in over 1300 languages on Bible.com and a similar number but slightly different mix on Bible.is), but a lot of people don’t know that until someone shows them.

Many people around the world speak multiple languages may benefit from accessing the Bible in more than one. This is often not just a matter of understanding but also of identity.

Depending on what type of web hosting you have you may be able to embed online bibles and other resources directly into your site but any church or personal website or blog site can link to online Bibles.

Bible.com is the Web version of the YouVersion Bible app

You can also link directly to any of the 1900 versions, or to one of the 50+ interface languages for the site eg Welsh, Spanish, Arabic, French. For more details see How to add YouVersion to your website . You Version also provides a Kids Bibles app in a smaller but growing number of languages.

Bible.is from Faith Comes By Hearing

Bible.is specialises in providing great recordings of scripture and the Jesus Film but they usually provide the text too! You can filter by country, language and version to find the ones you are looking for, and perhaps some you didn’t know were available! A new feature is the inclusion of filmed versions of each of the four gospels being rolled out over an increasing number of languages.

There are a lot of other options to choose from and a good number of great websites and tools. Which is one reason why I created 1000bibles.wordpress.com a simple website to point people to a few.

For example, Biblia has a wide range of plugins including Verse of the Day, Reference tagger, a Bible Search Box, and an Embedded bible with a choice of versions in English and a few other major languages. You can customize the size of the box, what version you start with and several other features.

Over 500 versions and 400 languages are offered by http://webtools.bible. You can customise their widget to just include the languages and versions of your choice (but it might be an idea to link to the full collection. A simple workthrough provides to code you need for your site but once again you need a host that allows you to add scripts (my free site doesn’t)

<script id="bw-widget-src" src="//bibles.org/widget/client"></script>
<script>
BIBLESEARCH.widget({
	"background": "F19317",
	"selected": "eng-ESVUK16",
	"versions": "eng-ESVUK16,eng-NLT,hwc-HWCNT"
});
</script>

So there you are. A few simple ways in which you, your friends, and your church website could link to a free online Bible. There are languages in which scripture isn’t online yet and languages in which translation is ongoing or needed. Supporting Wycliffe and other translation organisations (and those of us in them) can help fill the gaps. Telling people about what is already available via a simple web link or social media share can make a difference too.

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Global(ised) Worship June 3, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in multilingualism, worship.
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83 widely translated Worship Songs

Each of the songs below has been translated into at least 10 languages with the translations available on www.weareworship.com . To find exactly which languages click on the links. Sometimes using the translated song title or first line may find a recording on YouTube and one song may lead you to a whole playlist of songs you already love, and songs that you’ve never heard.

These 83 songs represent contributions from 54 different songwriters most writing in English and having global reach. While it is good that these songs can be sung in many languages it is also good to recognise that around the world songs are sung in hundreds and one day thousands of languages each with its own distinct style and unique expression.

Over 1300 of the nearly 8000 songs listed have been translated into at least one other language (not counting UK and USA English as separate). with 360 being available in 4 or more languages.

(There are a wide range of other sites and tools for Multilingual worship which I’ll link to in another post soon.)

CCLI Title Written By Languages
4847027 HAPPY DAY Written by: Ben Cantelon, Tim Hughes 18
5340815 ALL TO YOU Written by: Neil Bennetts, Eoghan Heaslip 11
5376377 YOU ALONE CAN RESCUE Written by: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman 12
5557062 OUR HEARTS ARE BREATHING IN (THE MORE WE SEE) Written by: Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin 11
5120176 HALLELUJAH Written by: Ben Cantelon 11
5109647 THERE IS A HOPE Written by: Mark Edwards, Stuart Townend 11
5003372 BEHOLD THE LAMB (COMMUNION HYMN) Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 11
5469291 BY FAITH Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 11
4779872 HOLY SPIRIT LIVING BREATHE OF GOD Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
2646732 WE’RE GOING TO SING LIKE THE SAVED (SING LIKE THE SAVED) Written by: Matt Redman 11
4706948 GLORY AND HONOUR TO YOU WE BRING Written by: Doug Horley 11
4674166 YOU NEVER LET GO Written by: Beth Redman, Matt Redman 15
5828478 WORTHY Written by: Ben Cantelon, Becky Drake, Nick J Drake 11
5677416 OUR GOD Written by: Jonas Myrin, Matt Redman, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin 18
6016351 10,000 REASONS Written by: Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin 27
6186078 BUILD YOUR KINGDOM HERE Written by: Rend Collective 13
5942543 AT YOUR NAME Written by: Tim Hughes, Phil Wickham 12
3111376 AMAZING GRACE Written by: Nathan Fellingham, John Newton 11
4642105 EVERY PROMISE Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 11
4685258 EVERYTHING Written by: Tim Hughes 13
4556538 EVERLASTING GOD Written by: Brenton Brown, Ken Riley 23
4615235 SPEAK O LORD Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 15
4610917 BENEATH THE CROSS Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty 11
4611992 O CHURCH ARISE (PUT YOUR ARMOUR ON) Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
4506980 BENEDICTION Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 12
4490766 THE POWER OF THE CROSS Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 18
4329411 NOTHING BUT THE BLOOD Written by: Matt Redman 14
78275 YOU LAID ASIDE YOUR MAJESTY Written by: Noel Richards 13
3915912 BEAUTIFUL ONE Written by: Tim Hughes 19
2296522 THE HEART OF WORSHIP Written by: Matt Redman 21
1033408 WE WANT TO SEE JESUS LIFTED HIGH Written by: Doug Horley 15
2106499 WE BOW DOWN Written by: Viola Grafstrom 12
3818569 CONSUMING FIRE Written by: Tim Hughes 14
1585970 PSALM 23 Written by: Stuart Townend 13
1108735 LORD YOU HAVE MY HEART Written by: Martin Smith 16
3266032 HERE I AM TO WORSHIP Written by: Tim Hughes 29
1545484 JESUS LOVER OF MY SOUL (IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU) Written by: Paul Oakley 11
48119 JESUS PUT THIS SONG INTO OUR HEARTS Written by: Graham Kendrick 12
1564362 ONCE AGAIN Written by: Matt Redman 16
1083764 I WILL OFFER UP MY LIFE Written by: Matt Redman 15
2430979 LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH Written by: Matt Redman 11
37845 LORD JESUS WE ENTHRONE YOU Written by: Paul Kyle 13
1097451 BETTER IS ONE DAY Written by: Matt Redman 14
1558110 HOW DEEP THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR US Written by: Stuart Townend 24
1540719 HOLY HOLY (LIFT UP HIS NAME) Written by: Nathan Fellingham 11
78897 THE SERVANT KING Written by: Graham Kendrick 12
58202 FATHER GOD I WONDER (I WILL SING YOUR PRAISES) Written by: Ian Smale 13
3798438 BLESSED BE YOUR NAME Written by: Beth Redman, Matt Redman 23
120824 BE STILL Written by: David J Evans 13
2492216 BEAUTIFUL SAVIOUR Written by: Stuart Townend 14
120556 ALL HEAVEN DECLARES Written by: Noel Richards, Tricia Richards 15
38686 ABBA FATHER Written by: Dave Bilbrough 11
4108797 RESURRECTION HYMN (SEE WHAT A MORNING) Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 13
5232617 COME PEOPLE OF THE RISEN KING Written by: Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend 15
5146473 AND CAN IT BE Written by: Chris Eaton, John Hartley, Gareth Robinson 11
5925663 WAITING HERE FOR YOU Written by: Jesse Reeves, Martin Smith, Chris Tomlin 12
7002032 MY LIGHTHOUSE Written by: Rend Collective 12
5037070 GOD OF THIS CITY Written by: Richard Bleakley, Aaron Boyd, Peter Comfort, Ian Jordan, Peter Kernoghan, Andrew McCann 12
4662491 HOSANNA (PRAISE IS RISING) Written by: Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche 15
7038281 THE LION AND THE LAMB Written by: Brenton Brown, Leeland Mooring, Brian Johnson 12
3350395 IN CHRIST ALONE Written by: Keith Getty, Stuart Townend 26
2298355 OPEN THE EYES OF MY HEART Written by: Paul Baloche 17
20285 GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART Written by: Henry Smith 17
798108 BLESSING AND HONOUR (ANCIENT OF DAYS) Written by: Jamie Harvill, Gary Sadler 11
674545 THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU Written by: Lenny LeBlanc 13
190579 ONLY BY GRACE Written by: Gerrit Gustafson 14
16347 WHEN I LOOK INTO YOUR HOLINESS Written by: Cathy Perrin, Wayne Perrin 11
6460220 GREAT ARE YOU LORD Written by: Leslie Jordan, David Leonard, Jason Ingram 13
4447960 REVELATION SONG Written by: Jennie Lee Riddle 16
3540703 JESUS HOPE OF THE NATIONS (HOPE OF THE NATIONS) Written by: Brian Doerksen 11
4219071 HERE I AM (MAJESTY) Written by: Stuart Garrard, Martin Smith 14
2672885 ABOVE ALL Written by: Lenny LeBlanc, Paul Baloche 19
879168 JESUS ALL FOR JESUS Written by: Jennifer Atkinson, Robin Mark 12
4403076 INDESCRIBABLE Written by: Jesse Reeves, Laura Story 16
4348399 HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD Written by: Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, Chris Tomlin 21
2456623 YOU ARE MY KING (AMAZING LOVE) Written by: Billy J Foote 11
3148428 FOREVER Written by: Chris Tomlin 19
4158039 HOLY IS THE LORD Written by: Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin 11
6454621 VICTOR’S CROWN Written by: Israel Houghton, Kari Jobe, Darlene Zschech 11
6367165 WE BELIEVE Written by: Richie Fike, Matthew Hooper, Travis Ryan 12
14181 HOW GREAT THOU ART Written by: Stuart K Hine 22
1043199 I COULD SING OF YOUR LOVE FOREVER Written by: Martin Smith 11
6115180 JESUS AT THE CENTRE Written by: Israel Houghton, Adam Ranney, Micah Massey 11

*Counts of languages from early 2019.

Five ways to use other languages (a bit) in your church June 1, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in multilingualism, worship.
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How many languages will be heard in and from your church this Pentecost?

Do you know how many languages are spoken by the members of your church? (it could be a good time to find out)
Do you know how many languages are spoken in your local community? (it may be more than you think)
And even if everyone can understand English (or the language used most in your church) is that their only or their preferred language? Would people welcome hearing and using the other languages they speak on a daily basis at home and in their community?

That’s part of what I am currently looking at for my MA dissertation and for a paper I will present in July as part of the London School of Theology’s one day conference “Sounds of Heaven and Earth“.

I’m exploring a lot of the ways churches are or could be using languages other than English as part of their services and outreach. Here are just five very simple ideas.

  1. A multilingual welcome sign, plus other signs and posters.
    With text projected on the screen, used into printed notices, and used on the walls in various parts of the church buildings it is easy to add content in a few more languages. (Translations of Bible verses easily available using Bible.com but verse numbers are sometimes mid sentence and in some translations verse numbers vary. You can double check with speakers of the language or for languages covered by Google you can translate the verse back into English for confirmation)
  2. Saying “the grace” or a blessing in other languages
    Saying ‘the grace’ to one another’ seems to be the only bit of liturgy my own church uses but there are many other options of single verse greeting.
    “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  Cor 13:14 NIV
    You can put a few others on the screen or just invite people to say it in their own language.
  3. Playing familiar worship songs in other languages.
    Many of the songs you sing are already available in other languages. Whether or not you sing (or play them) in other languages you can add the lyrics on the screen in another language.
    I’ve compiled a list of 83 worship songs that are each available in 10 or more languages (available soon). Over 1300 of the nearly 8000 songs listed at https://www.weareworship.com/ have been translated into at least one other language with 360 being available in 4 or more languages.
    Be aware that versions in other languages are often not direct translations.
  4. Introduce songs with a verse of scripture in the languages spoken in your community.
    Simply display translations of a Bible verse that introduces the theme or is directly quoted in a song. eg 10,000 Reasons starts with and takes several phrases from Psalm 103 .
  5. Introduce worship songs from another language and culture
    Newcomers may appreciate songs that are not only in their preferred languages but also in their preferred musical styles. If you want a mostly English congregation to join in singing in a language they don’t speak pick something simple or just teach one line of the chorus. Sing the song, explain the significance.
    Some songs available at worshipleaderapp.com and https://songs2serve.nl, http://hmworship.com has songs in Latvian, English, Ukranian, Russian, Turkish, and Estonian. Also see twonineteen.org.uk/multicultural-worship-top-tips/

I could add other ideas but so can you. Add comments here or on the accompanying Facebook post. What has worked well in your church or what ideas would you like to see tried?
Other Pentecost post coming soon.

Language(s) and the Church May 22, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in multilingualism, Statistics.
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I’m excited to be researching attitudes to languages within the UK Church …and (where appropriate) how to change them.

In 2014 the Church of England gathered a lot of statistics about the diversity of it’s congregations and published a report called “Everyone Counts“.
So far as I look at websites and reports from many different church denominations and agencies it seems that although there is a lot of data gathered, language isn’t something that gets talked about much.

This is despite the fact that over 300 languages are spoken by people living in the UK. This is despite the fact that 17% of children in schools in England come from a home where English is not the first language.

For the general population the spread of languages other than English looks something like this…

…the number of languages and the number of people speaking them vary considerably from place to place.

According to data from an interactive parish map, provided by the Research and Statistics unit of the Church of England, the town I was born in is still 98.3% white and 73.7% defined themselves as Christian in the 2011 census. Another Church of England website Presence and Engagement helps to identify and serve parishes through identifying the proportion of other religions (just enter your postcode).

Neither of these sites currently tells me about languages spoken (P&E has a page on resources in other languages) . Other census data suggests 98% of people said their main language was English and an email revealed at least 16 different languages represented in the town’s schools.

2011 Census reports from the UK Office for National Statistics

In multicultural society, ethnicity, country of birth, and language are very different things which is why I’d like to have been surprised that so few churches and organisations seem to have paid much attention to the languages people speak.

In part, that may be due to the many other things rightly clamouring for attention but perhaps also that if people speak English to a high level of proficiency then language is not perceived to be a barrier. I’m hoping my research and discussions will encourage people to see that language is more than an obstacle.

After many travels around the world I’m now living just half an hour away from where I grew up, in a town which is much more diverse in terms of languages spoken at home (over 80). So far I’ve identified ten spoken by people in the churches, but I’m looking forward to hearing out about more.

Now available…
Five ways to use other languages (a bit) in your church.

The Worlds Favourite Worship Songs? January 31, 2019

Posted by P, J, or J in multilingualism, worship.
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This is no longer a new CD, so many of the songs might already be among your favourites, but are they really the World’s favourites?

“Possibly the best worship collection ever made featuring over 50 of the finest modern worship songs sung the world over.

With songs that cross the nations and span the generations The World’s Favourite Worship Songs showcases what the world’s churches are singing today.

Really?

I like lots of the songs on here (as do many people around the world) but watching the video you’d think the church only sang in English.

I am pleased to see that the team at weareworship.com , recognises that and are inviting subscribers to submit translations of many popular songs. (eg there are 29 translations of “Here I am to Worship” and scroll to the bottom of the list and it gives you a link to provide a translation if there isn’t one in your language).

Sadly they don’t (yet) have the built in ability to search by language, but it is possible to use Google to do that for you. eg


polski site:https://www.weareworship.com

My hope however is that in addition to the globalisation of worship where everyone sings to the same tunes we will have truely global worship where we get to hear more songs from other cultures and musical styles both traditional and modern. WeAreWorship are contributing to that too with a platform called SongShare and there is another emerging community at proskuneo.org.

Meanwhile if you look for it there is a lot of worship happening in different languages, some of which is shared on YouTube. Here’s 70,000 people singing in Arabic

348,000 views on YouTube

And another Arabic Christian song that seems quite popular

almost 5,000,000 views so far

How many languages are actually being used to worship God? Heaven knows.

How many languages will sung in heaven?

I know that there are over 3350 languages into which some part of the Bible has been translated and would hope (but don’t know) that songs are being sung to God in each of these and perhaps even more.

I also know that there are well over 300 languages spoken by people living in my home country of the UK but suspect that far fewer are used in our churches. So I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the singing. Here’s some worship leaders and theologians talking in 2015 about their hopes for the future of worship in the UK.

seen only 1137 times in the last 4 years, but worth letting people know about

…and a plug for a Multicultural Worship day on Feb 23 at All Nations

Bible-less languages and Bible-less people July 9, 2018

Posted by P, J, or J in Bible Translation, multilingualism, Statistics.
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People often get confused as to why there is a difference between the number of languages that don’t have any scripture and the number of languages in which Wycliffe and others report that scripture translation needs to begin.

scriptureandneeds2017

I’m wondering if we sometimes need to be more careful to distinguish between “Bible-less languages” and “Bible-less people”.

The simplest public messages on the need for Bible translation continue to imply that people cannot understand or respond to scripture unless it is in their language but research over the last 40 years has taught us that there are in fact many barriers to engagement. Which perhaps explains why there are so many millions of people who own or could easily access a Bible in their main (or only) language but never read it.

Language can obviously be a significant barrier (this is why I’ve spent the last 22 years of life working with Wycliffe and others involved in Bible translation). Promotional material has often implied that people only speak one language really well. This is sometimes nuanced with the idea that people only have a single “heart language” through which God can clearly connect  to them.

Many people speak more than one language equally well. Some are spoken to in multiple languages from birth, others acquire them one after another as they move into education or as they move from one place to another. It can still be true that for people who speak several languages well, one or two touch them more deeply. Language isn’t just about intellectual understanding but also about emotional connection, identity, and even trust.

2017BTstats-enThere are 3,312 languages with some scripture and 1,636 languages where translation is estimated as ‘needing to begin’. (figures from Wycliffe’s last official global statistics in Oct 2017)

Those ‘translation needs’ might rise or fall depending not just on linguistic analysis but upon the felt needs of the speakers.

As our understanding of the issues of multilingualism continues to grow it may be that some of the need is for initial connection with the Bible rather than ensuring that what ‘we’ see as the most important bits around salvation and Christian living are translated first.

One old story that comes to mind is the impact of genealogies for some cultures. Something the translators saw as secondary to the ‘important bits’ but which gave the local people the connection they needed –  a list of ancestors pointed to Jesus being a real person, the length of the list pointed to him being a very important person. Suddenly mere stories became true! In Joanne Shetlers’ book, “And The Word Came with Power“, it’s interesting to note that while Bible translation had a major impact, this discovery came from looking at a Bible in a majority language.

Meanwhile, I once met a young British man who had tried reading the Bible before but didn’t understand it. I showed him a modern translation opened “at random” to include the bit about God loving the world and giving his son so that those who believed could have eternal life – all wrapped up in John 3:16. The key to him engaging was John 1:37, “They answered, “Where do you live, Rabbi?” (This word means “Teacher.”)”
“Hey this is great!”, my new friend said, “It tells you what it means.”

Although there are still many people who are unreached and unevangelised, there are also billions of people do have easy access to the “important” bits in languages of head and heart but they have yet to make it past their own obstacles and make the connections.


For anyone wanting to read more deeply about multilingualism I’ve just downloaded a draft copy of “Language and Identity in a Multilingual, Migrating World“. I’ve got lots more of it to read but recommend John Watters’ section on “The Language of the Heart”. 

Coming soon… Multilingual Worship June 25, 2017

Posted by P, J, or J in multilingualism, worship.
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There are a number of powerful multilingual worship videos where people unite in singing the same song in many different languages. It’s good practice for when you get to heaven.

If you’ve never heard this, listen, and be moved.

– Revelation song in multiple languages.

 

This can be repeated in many large events and even in smaller congregations.

Here’s the same song sung by teens in 14 languages

Katelin Hanson asks whether attempting multilingual worship is worth it. She concludes it is. Would you feel the same if it was you in a new church in a new land? http://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-blogs/161669-katelin_hansen_multilingual_worship_is_it_worth_it.html

Worship is not only multilingual, it is multicultural – even when it’s in English!

Think of music that you associate with the Lords Prayer. I introduced a few people to Cliff Richard’s version “the Millennium Prayer” recently and told others about a somewhat slower version sung by Beach Boys (1964).

Personally I prefer this one sung in English by Shreya Kant (live in Warangal, Andhra Pradesh. This song is from the album Thy Kingdom Come where it also available in Urdu and Punjabi.)

I’ll be writing more on this concept later including some tips on how to be more multilingual in your ministry (in simple manageable steps), and seeing what sites and apps exist to help you find good song and strategies.

Stay tuned!

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