Feature Articles

/Feature Articles
Feature Articles 2017-08-05T22:28:55-06:00


Feature Articles

by Rex Cobb, Director

Dynamic Equivalence or Formal Equivalency?

A Bible translation project requires at least three vital ingredients: the text, the technique, and the translator. We dealt briefly with the issue of the text in our article, “The Bible of the Martyrs” (Fall 2012 issue). For the New Testament, it is our conviction that the traditional (received) text is superior to the critical text. A skilled translator using the best technique while using the wrong text will at best produce a well-translated, corrupt [...]

The Bible of the Martyrs

While hundreds of languages have not one syllable of Scripture, English speakers get a new Bible almost yearly. The names change, but the New Testament versions can be put into two groups based on their underlying Greek text.  One group is derived from what we call the Received Text or Textus Receptus (TR), and the other from the Critical Text (CT).  The TR represents the Greek text that was used and preserved by the early [...]

Commandments and Convictions

The work of Bible printing and distribution by local Baptist churches is proof that God’s churches can work together. For a long time, we got our Bibles from the Bible societies or secular printing companies. That all changed due to a great extent to Donald M. Fraser, founder of the Bearing Precious Seed ministry. Dr. Fraser was born August 18, 1926, in Toronto, Canada. His father, Bill Fraser, was a Scottish immigrant and an early [...]

Tell Me What it Means!

A missionary and his native helper were translating the New Testament. The verse they were working on was not clear to the missionary, but he hoped that his helper could somehow translate it anyway. He told the helper, “It might mean this. Or maybe it means that. Or it may mean this other.” Frustrated, the helper finally said, “Look, you just tell me what it means, and I’ll tell you how to say it in [...]

Three Long Years

Daniel and his friends who were taken captive and carried to Babylon probably thought they were going there as hostages, but we can see that they were really missionaries. Daniel was especially used to deliver a cross-cultural message for God. The king chose them because of their nobility, their intelligence, and their good looks. Daniel chapter one describes them, “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning [...]

The Missionary and His Bible

Missionaries are often required to fill out questionnaires before they are given a  meeting at a church. The pastor wants to know, and rightly so, what the missionary believes and practices. Some important questions, however, are seldom asked: Are you and your wife prepared spiritually and emotionally for the mission field? Are you prepared to face and win the battle of the culture shock that destroyed many before you? What specialized training have you had [...]

Love Thy Neighbor

Both the Old and New Testaments command us to love our neighbor. Jesus even tells us to love him as we love ourselves. The story of the Good Samaritan clearly teaches us that we do not choose our neighbors. The Lord defines “neighbor,” not as the person who lives near us, but as the person that needs our help. Dr. Don Fraser, founder of the Bearing Precious Seed ministry, taught us that  loving our neighbor [...]

The Canary and the Fire Hydrant

The task of learning a new language has been compared to a canary trying to drink from a fire hydrant! The flood of strange sounds, together with a new culture, can be very overwhelming to the newly arrived missionary. Even familiar sounds are often placed in strange combinations that his mouth has never pronounced. Nevertheless, effective communication demands that he learn a new language, maybe more than one, and that he learn it well. Understanding [...]

Family Matters

To effectively communicate the Word of God, the missionary must speak and understand the language. Since the meaning of words is bound and hidden in the culture, the missionary should diligently study the culture just as he studies the language. It is a serious mistake to assume that another’s culture is the same as ours. It never is. Another error is thinking that all we need do is proclaim truth, and our truth will somehow [...]

Indigenous from Birth

As the young missionary outlined his plans to win souls and baptize and teach believers, he said, “When I turn the work over, it will become an indigenous church.” He has the right idea, but his use of the word become, and the mindset that goes with it, may prevent him from realizing his goal of seeing the church continue to grow and prosper without outside help. An indigenous church is one which thrives naturally [...]

Barren Churches

The speaker at a pastors conference requested, “If you have a missionary from your own church who is either on deputation or is on the field, please stand.” Out of a congregation of one hundred fundamental Baptist pastors, only seven stood! And that was twenty years ago! Is something wrong when only one in fourteen of our churches produces a missionary for the foreign field? Someone said once, “We have time and money for what [...]

Prove Your Love

Concerning the Great Commission, the church has two problems. The first is that there are too many places and people and not enough missionaries. There never has been enough, but it is worse today. The world’s population is exploding while our missionary force is decreasing. The sad truth is we just do not have enough laborers. Matthew 9:37 is as true today as when Jesus spoke it—“the labourers are few.” Jesus told us to pray [...]

According to the Language of Every People

King Ahasuerus had an important message that he wanted sent to every person in his vast kingdom. “For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people” (Esther 1:22). The King of kings has an even more important [...]

Why Do You Talk Funny?

The Lord has ways of humbling His missionaries. About the time they think they're learning the new language, someone will inadvertently or blatantly let them know they talk funny. Do we really sound bad? What makes us talk with a foreign accent? Can it be avoided? Why do missionary kids speak so much better than their parents? The adults have superior intelligence and education, but language learning has little to do with these. The parents [...]

Let Me Run!

  This story takes place in II Samuel, chapter eighteen At a safe location away from the fighting, King David anxiously awaited word from Joab, his general, concerning the battle. He wanted to hear that the rebellion had been put down and also that the rebel leader, his son Absalom, had been spared. A watchman announced that a runner was approaching. He would have the message the king wanted. Then the watchman reported a second [...]

English or Greek?

With our increased interest in Bible translation for the many Bibleless people groups also comes many questions about who should translate—and how. As Independent Baptists, we are very zealous for the pure Word of God and very opinionated, even dogmatic, about how it should be transferred into other languages. This position of strong conviction is a good place to begin, but to this zeal, we must add knowledge. One question almost always comes up: Should [...]

Stuck in Samaria

We are all familiar with Acts 1:8 in which Jesus commanded His disciples to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the earth. This command is also a literal prediction, and we in America are proof that it was fulfilled. From Jerusalem, America is the uttermost. We use this verse today as a guiding principle for our missionary outreach. We begin in our Jerusalem and reach to the uttermost, whatever we [...]

The Price of a Bible

An inexpensive Bible with cheap paper and a vinyl cover costs only dollars, but if you want a nice, leather-covered Bible with thin pages, you will pay dearly for it.  In Communist Europe a Bible once sold for $400.00 on the black market.  However, this is not what I mean when I talk about the price of a Bible. I refer more to the sacrifice that must be made so that a people can have [...]

Let Wycliffe Do It

Thirty-two years ago my wife and I were students at a newly established missionary school called Baptist Bible Translators Institute (BBTI). I was also trying to raise support to go to the mission field when our specialized training ended. One pastor was having a difficult time understanding me (maybe because I was speaking Yankee) as I explained the phonetics, culture, and language learning classes at BBTI. He said I was wasting time at this school [...]

Dysentery and Duck Eggs

We understand fluency in relation to language. But a fluent speaker, in the truest sense, not only can make the sounds correctly, but he knows what his listeners are going to understand by his words. This requires much more than a good pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. It requires cultural fluency. All missionaries say  that learning the culture is important, but I’m afraid most only learn a few customs and the culture that is obvious on [...]

Dual Assignment

As the missionary was about to leave for the field, the board leader told him, "You have three assignments for the next couple years: 1) learn the language, 2) learn the language, and 3) learn the language." This leader understood the importance of learning the language very well. However, if I were challenging this missionary, I would say, "Learn the language and the culture, the language and the culture, the language and the culture! Culture [...]

Syncretism and Stoning

An understanding of the problem of syncretism is vitally important to successful missionary work. Syncretism is the blending of two distinct beliefs,  thinking or pretending that they are the same. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas found themselves up to their ears in syncretism. Paul had just healed a lame man that had never walked (vs. 8-10). When Peter and John did this in Acts 3, a great revival broke out; however, a revival of [...]

The Tribal Bible

Several years ago a friend, who is a Bible printer in Wisconsin, put together an unusual “Bible” that he called “The Tribal Bible.” It consists of  a cover and blank pages. The purpose of this wordless book is to illustrate the fact that no one has translated God’s Word into nearly 4,000 languages. In many churches I have set this Tribal Bible on my missionary display table. Almost always, when people look at it, their [...]

An Unfamiliar Solution

Most people would rather live with a problem they are familiar with than try an unfamiliar solution.  This mentality is akin to the saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Do we Fundamental Baptists have any problems when it comes to missions?  I would say we do.  However, let me be quick to say I think we do more for missions than many other groups. I don’t [...]

Dare to Dream

Faustino, an Indian from the Tlapaneco tribe located in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, had lived outside his village among the Spanish-speaking people for several years. God in His goodness saved this young man, and he attended a Bible institute. During this time, Brother Don Fraser, the founder of the Bearing Precious Seed ministry, challenged the Mexican students to reach those who have never heard the message of salvation in Christ. God gave Faustino [...]