Publishing the Bible in stages

The Bible is a big book, consisting of 1,189 chapters, and the task of seeing it translated in its entirety can be quite daunting. We suggest that the task be broken down into smaller steps which both makes the project more manageable and gives the translation team the opportunity to test smaller sections and eventually distribute Scripture portions as they go along, rather than waiting until the entire NT or Bible is complete. We also believe that translating and distributing OT sections should be done in the early stages of Bible translation, and not only after the NT has been completed, since knowledge of many OT stories and people is assumed in the NT.

The Roma Bible Society provides a scalable approach with templates.

We suggest that translation take place in stages, and the following is one suggested order:

“Jesus is Lord” booklet

2016_06 Hungary Croatia Trip 026 ssp   Phrase 1 is the “Jesus is Lord” booklet which contains beautiful photographs and graphics and presents the following 5 pericopes from the life of Christ. These include
  1. Luke 7:1-10 (where Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant)
  2. Luke 8:22-25 (where Jesus Calms a Storm)
  3. Luke 8:26-39 (where Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon)
  4. Luke 15:11-32 (The Parable of the Prodigal Son)
  5. Luke 19:1-10 (the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus)
The booklet also contains an introduction, transitions between pericopes and a conclusion. Power is a significant issue in Roma life. These five pericopes were chosen in order show that Jesus has power over sickness, over natural forces such as storms, over evil spirits, over sin, and over guilt.
Jesus is Lord
RBU will provide templates for this project, which means a field worker can enter the text online into a template and the text will be stored and made ready for print. Through our partnership with OM East, they design the layout of the product and then field workers can download it and take it to the local printer of their choosing. Additionally OM East will make them into e-books.

Life of Christ booklet

Phase 2 is the Life of Christ booklet (10 chapters). This Scripture portion includes ten chapters from the life of Christ, including His birth, sample teaching, death and resurrection:
  1. Luke 2 (covering His birth)
  2. Luke 4 (covering His temptation and beginning of His ministry , including healing, teaching and preaching,
  3. Luke 6 (covering the calling of the apostles, His teaching and healing)
  4. Luke 7 (finishing chapter started in Phase 1. above)
  5. Luke 8 (finishing chapter started in Phase 1. above)
  6. Luke 15 (finishing chapter started in Phase 1. above)
  7. Luke 19 (finishing chapter started in Phase 1. above)
  8. Luke 22 (covering the Last Supper)
  9. Luke 23 (Jesus‘ trial and crucifixion)
  10. Luke 24 (resurrection)
The booklet also contains an introduction, transitions between pericopes and a conclusion. This builds on the “Jesus is Lord” booklet (see above) and allows the translator to finish the chapters started there. This also provides a good start on the Gospel of Luke which would be very helpful if there are plans to dub the Jesus Film, which is based on Luke.

Selections from OT

Phase 3 contains Selections from OT (20 chapters). This covers 20 of the main chapters of the OT and lays a solid foundation for the Gospel:
  1. Genesis 1 (creation)
  2. Genesis 2 (man)
  3. Genesis 3 (fall of man)
  4. Genesis 6 (Noah)
  5. Genesis 12 (Abraham)
  6. Exodus 12 (Moses)
  7. Exodus 20 (Ten Commandments)
  8. Deuteronomy 6 (the Shema)
  9. 1 Samuel 16 (David)
  10. 2 Samuel 7 (covenant with David)
  1. 2 Chronicles 6 (Solomon and the Temple)
  2. Psalm 1
  3. Psalm 2 (Messianic psalm)
  4. Psalm 19
  5. Psalm 22 (Messianic psalm)
  6. Psalm 23
  7. Proverbs 1
  8. Isaiah 6 (Isaiah’s vision of God’s holiness)
  9. Isaiah 53
  10. Jeremiah 31 (new covenant) 
This booklet could include an introduction, transition paragraphs between chapters, and a conclusion.

Panoramic Bible

Phase 4 is the Panoramic Bible (52 chapters). This contains the Scriptures translated in stages 1.-3. above and also adds 32 of the main chapters of the NT.
  1. Genesis 1 (creation)
  2. Genesis 2 (man)
  3. Genesis 3 (fall of man)
  4. Genesis 6 (Noah)
  5. Genesis 12 (Abraham)
  6. Exodus 12 (Moses)
  7. Exodus 20 (Ten Commandments)
  8. Deuteronomy 6 (The Shema)
  9. 1 Samuel 16 (David)
  10. 2 Samuel 7 (covenant with David)
  11. 2 Chronicles 6 (Solomon and the Temple)
  12. Psalm 1
  13. Psalm 2 (Messianic psalm)
  14. Psalm 19
  15. Psalm 22 (Messianic psalm)
  16. Psalm 23
  17. Proverbs 1
  18. Isaiah 6 (Isaiah’s vision of God’s holiness)
  19. Isaiah 53
  20. Jeremiah 31 (new covenant)
  21. Luke 2 (birth of Christ)
  22. Luke 7
  23. Luke 8
  24. Luke 15
  25. Luke 19
  26. Luke 22 (Last Supper)
  1. Luke 23 (crucifixion)
  2. Luke 24 (resurrection)
  3. John 1 (the Incarnate Word)
  4. John 3 (new birth)
  5. Acts 1 (ascension)
  6. Acts 2 (coming of the Holy Spirit)
  7. Acts 9 (Paul)
  8. Romans 1 (need for the gospel)
  9. Romans 3 (justification)
  10. Romans 8 (life in the Spirit)
  11. Romans 12 (life in the Body)
  12. 1 Corinthians 15 (resurrection)
  13. 2 Corinthians 4
  14. Galatians 5 (fruit of the Spirit)
  15. Ephesians 1
  16. Ephesians 2
  17. Ephesians 4
  18. 1 Thessalonians 4 (Christ’s coming)
  19. 1 Timothy 3 (elders)
  20. Hebrews 10
  21. 1 Peter 3 (Christian family, suffering)
  22. 1 John 1
  23. James 2 (true faith)
  24. Revelation 20
  25. Revelation 21 (new heaven and new earth)
  26. Revelation 22
This can include an introduction, transition paragraphs between chapters, and a conclusion. With the completion of this “mini-Bible” we now have the major chapters of the entire Bible, giving an overview or “panorama” of all the Scriptures. With 52 chapters now completed, this provides a handy reading program for new readers for reading one chapter for each week of a year.

Selections from the Old Testament plus the full New Testament

Phase 5 is "Selections from the Old Testament plus the full New Testament" (280 chapters). This includes all the passages translated in phases 1.-4 above plus the remainder of the NT.

Selections from OT, complete Psalms, complete Proverbs, and the full NT

Phase 6 is "Selections from OT, complete Psalms, complete Proverbs, and the full NT" (461 chapters): This includes all the passages translated in phase 1.-5. above plus the remainder of Psalms and Proverbs.

Full Bible

Phase 7 is Full OT & NT (1,189 chapters)

Before we start

Before beginning the phase of actual Bible translation in the seven phases listed above, it is often helpful to translate other materials into the national language used by the mother tongue Roma translators. We have found it helpful to take the following approach.

We first establish contact with a Roma community and tell them of our desire to serve them by teaching them the Bible and literacy. We begin by introducing the UNA Club as a way to serve the children first.

Pre-phase 1

In order to facilitate the UNA Club, Roma Bible Union provides training materials for running an UNA Club and UNA Festival. These materials are already laid out with appropriate graphic design and illustrations. A national language translator goes online and translates the material which explains how to run the club and festival, entering it into our online temples. RBU stores this translation online and prepares the material digitally with OM East so they can then be downloaded and taken to the local printer of your choice or downloaded as e-books.

Pre-phase 2

RBU provides online templates of the following UNA Club material. National language translators enter the text into the online templates. RBU stores this translation online and prepares the material digitally with OM East so they can then be downloaded and taken to the local printer of your choice or downloaded as e-books. Literacy materials: This includes reading primers. Coloring books Children’s story materials Bible teaching aids Songs (This requires special training and workshops with RBU’s ethnomusicologist, which provides assistance in developing songs in the national language and local Roma dialects.)

Pre-phase 3

Bible study topical booklets covering topics such as How to study the Bible, How to pray, the church, the Christian family, fortune telling and witchcraft, begging and Christian work ethic, alcoholism, and physical and sexual abuse. RBU also has daily devotionals to go along with Scripture reading. These materials can be used before, during and after the Bible translation phases 1.-7. to prepare for and encourage Scripture use. In each case RBU and RBS will provide online templates, so that the translated text and can be entered online, stored digitally and prepared with graphic design layout for you so that you can download it and take it to the local printer of your choice, or as e-books. RBS will also work with partner organizations to provide the Bible text, as well as the above-mentioned supplemental materials in audio, video and digital formats, on the web, in apps, and through social media We encourage you to distribute as you go. It is increasingly costly and unnecessary to print large quantities of Scripture portions and store them in warehouses and churches. With printing on demand our suggestion is to only print what can be realistically distributed in a short period of time. There are many distribution methods available, such as through the post, couriers, blitz teams, and local churches and the RBU/RBS network will provide guidance and contacts to assist in the distribution of these materials.