Pioneer Bible Translators – Bridging the Bible Literacy Gap

DALLAS, TX – International Literacy Day is September 8, 2020. Pioneer Bible Translators’ approach to reducing illiteracy is unique. Their name implies that their work is limited to Bible translation. While Bible translation is a key component of their work, Pioneer Bible Translators’ mission and vision are much broader.

While Bible translation is a key component of their work, Pioneer Bible Translators’ mission and vision are much broader.
Photo by Pioneer Bible Translators, In Their Own Words: Bible Translation

The PBT team includes translators who work alongside literary evangelists and church planters to see lives transformed through God’s Word in every language.

The FBO was founded in 1976 by a group of spiritual leaders from the Christian Church Restoration movement to work closely with Wycliffe Bible Translators. Those men developed a strategy that embraces the ministry styles of Wycliffe, the Church Growth Movement, and excellence in Hebrew and Greek exegesis following the pattern of the United Bible Societies.

What developed was an entirely new, holistic approach to Bible translation and Christian missions. Through the collaborative efforts of 30 other ministry partners, Pioneer is serving 43 million people in 18 countries with 92 language projects.

Still, the gap is wide.

  • One-third of all the people alive today have never heard of Jesus Christ.
  • More than a quarter of the 7,000 native languages in the world have no Scripture in any form, let alone an entire Bible.

Pioneer’s strategies always begin with and are infused with prayer to the Lord of the Harvest. Then they equip those whom God as called to reach Bibleless people by training, sending, and involving each in providing oral, visual, and written Scripture and Scripture-based materials for use in their discipleship and church planting.

Their missionaries are taught to live in a way that glorifies God and exemplifies Him in their evangelism and works of compassion. They seek to maximize the impact of Scripture by establishing and strengthening churches for sustainable ministries. They accomplish this as they use Scripture to soften the hearts of those who reject the Gospel and by building the economic capacity of each local church so that it becomes a partner in ministry, including the work of Bible translation.

Pioneer Bible Translators believe that they are uniquely suited to reach at least 200 of the remaining language groups yet without Scripture. Pioneer looks at poverty much differently than so-called humanitarian aid groups. PBT describes language groups where there is no Scripture as those who experience extreme spiritual poverty. The Bible is the foundation for all other compassion and church building ministries

Current plans include beginning 50 new translation projects and sending 100 “Scripture Impact” workers who will ensure that every language community for which written Scripture exists begins to use it effectively. PBT estimates that they should be able to complete a total of 300 translation projects to use by themselves and their 30 partner agencies by 2050.

Missions Box News is particularly impressed that PTB’s presentation of its ministries never seems to include the words “humanitarian aid.” This is a term birthed in humanism as an expression of the idyllic idea that we can save ourselves.

“Pioneer Bible Translators is committed to practicing unity in the body of Christ with Scripture as the sole authority. We promote the restoration of the unity of the Church by mobilizing Christians to work together on the basis of obeying the clearly taught, essential elements of Scripture while allowing for a wide diversity of opinion on matters that Scripture does not make clear. . . We pay special attention to mobilizing the churches of our heritage, but we also seek to mobilize believers of every background, all who are able to unite around reading and obeying the Bible and making it accessible to people who do not have it. Pioneer Bible Translators bridges the gap between the Church and Bibleless peoples, translating the Word into the heart languages of unreached people to transform lives and grow thriving New Testament churches.”

To learn more about Pioneer Bible Translators and the things that make them unique in the field of Christian missionary work, click on this link to their website.

This short video (3:42) will give viewers a deeper insight into Pioneer’s commitment to not only translate Scripture but to do it in a way that ensures that it says what it should in the receiving language.


Read more news on Bible Translation and World Missions on Missions Box.


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