“I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people” (Revelation 14:6). The translatable gospel! Engaging the people of the entire world with urgent end-time relevance. Nations, people groups within nations, unique languages and dissimilar tribes accentuate both the possibilities and challenges of gospel translation. Whether we understand it theologically or embrace it as an overall narrative, John’s Apocalypse offers a fresh perspective on the holistic nature, cosmic dimension, and universal application of the gospel. Not merely the transference of knowledge or the change of behavior, but personal redemption and conversion through its celebrated Lamb.
One wonders at this gospel’s breadth: How is this translation possible? What is the gospel’s communicative nature? How is this gospel given to the people? Is there anything untranslatable? To what degree can it be translated with fullness and integrity across cultures and time, language and worldviews? What is consistent, gained, or lost with each translation?
As we explore how to “make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19) may we experience its power and stand in awe of its depth. While called to the creative task of gospel translation, there is hope in the promise not only of the gospel’s translatability but in Holy Spirit’s work within—enabling us to powerfully communicate spiritual truths with spiritual words and spiritual ways (1 Corinthians 2:13).
Pictures from conference can be found here (34 MB ZIP file)