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I’m Sure We All Remember the Story of Jesus Walking on the Bones

Wycliffe Global Alliance has this gem:

Isn’t the Bible in the regional or national language adequate? After attending a recent church service, Lika speakers in Democratic Republic of Congo answered a quick and confident, “No!”

During the Sunday service the Congolese pastor was preaching in French, the national language. An interpreter stood at the front of the church, ready to orally translate the pastor’s message into Lingala, the regional language, for the benefit of those not fluent in French.

The pastor read Matthew 14:25 from his French Bible, “And late in the night, Jesus came towards them, walking on the water.” The interpreter then translated the verse into Lingala. Unfortunately, the French words for “water” and “bone” sound the same. The interpreter had Jesus walking on bones rather on water! Many people were mystified and confused: How did Jesus walk on these bones? Who put the bones there for Jesus? Who had killed the people so Jesus would have bones to walk on?

Many left the service that day with irrelevant questions clouding their minds rather than understanding and awe filling their hearts. The Lika team is now thoroughly convinced of the need for mother tongue Scriptures.

This reminded me of a story I once heard from a missionary about trying to preach in Spanish for the first time. He wanted to say that Jesus can give you a new way (camino) of life. He actually was telling the congregation that Jesus could give them a new truck (camión).

(H/T: Jim West)

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