ENKLA SANNINGAR för NYA TROENDE
When we first wrote our “little book,” Simple Truths, we had a limited audience in mind. We began the project for use in Vietnam, in Vietnamese, and a few tribal languages. Soon, we started hearing from missionaries who asked if we could help them translate the little book into their language. Today, we now offer material in more than forty-five languages. Sometimes, we say that the little book “escaped,” which seems like the only way to adequately describe what happened.
Some translation projects have come together quickly. Some of those translation projects have been quite challenging.
In June of 2017, a pastor/church worker in Sweden contacted us. In addition to his pastoral work, he was also a sought after Swedish translator. He had recently completed his work on The New City Catechism for the Gospel Coalition. But he had found that the book was a bit too ‘advanced’ for his target audience. Somewhere, he had come across the book, Simple Truths for the New Believer. He liked it and asked if he could begin translating the text into Swedish. We agreed, and the process started.
While Sweden has a rich Christian history, less than 10% of the population would embrace an evangelical understanding of the gospel. The youth of the country, whom our little book targets in Sweden, are described by missiologists as “post-Christian, thoroughly secularized, and ignorant of Bible truth.” Sweden has also experienced an influx of Muslim immigrants, mainly from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Bosnia, and Somalia. That makes the challenges, and the opportunities, even more significant.
We soon discovered that one thing that makes Jonas (our translator) so good is his commitment to excellence. He does not arrive at “good enough” until the work satisfies his stringent standards. We have developed a set of field-testing guidelines that we follow, but our guidelines seemed like child’s play for Jonas. We watched as this Swedish translation made its way through many edits, and on March 16, after nearly three years, we received the final edition.
This week, we received an update.
I have been talking with Daniel of (the publisher) Reformedia now. I also spoke to ministry friends in Finland, and they are focusing on my translation of Spurgeon’s catechism and will print a Swedish, English, Finnish edition for outreach and edification.
I have printed four samples of God’s Story (your shorter catechism) as a test for a small youth group I lead. It will be an excellent test to see how the catechism works in Swedish culture. The first reaction is that they like it very much, especially the definitions/glossary.
Also, I have put a section of Simple Truths “Enkla Sanningar” on the website of Baptist history I manage “Bapisternas historia” http://www.baptisternashistoria.se/enkla-sanningar-19725729, The site is used as a resource by the new Baptist confessional church plants in Sweden, and also get some attention from the general free church Christianity in Sweden. And also, some of the Lutherans reportedly find some gems here.
For the printing, I (suggest) that I print a lower volume locally with your support and use it in my local ministry. We will then send samples to the few Baptist church plants in Sweden to see the interest. I think this is the best alternative.
Grace and Peace
If you are interested in a copy of “Simple Truth for the New Believer” (ENKLA SANNINGAR för NYA TROENDE) in Swedish, you may download in the book from our A Simple Word website [HERE].