For 8 generations Tahitians have been reading a Bible missing the condition of belief for eternal salvation. The original translator decided to use the Tahitian word “hear” instead of the one which means to “hear and receive as true.” When I learned this in a recent translation session my jaw dropped to the floor. Imagine reading, studying, and preaching your lesson from John 3, John 6, and a multitude of other passages in the Tahitian Bible and concluding, “Whosever listens to Jesus will not perish but have eternal life.” Other mistranslated verses have piled up to a staggering height. John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the light…” Light?!? The truth sank in: We are involved in giving the Tahitian speaking people their first Bible they can trust to lead them to eternal salvation. A second truth sank in only moments later: We are in for a battle for its reception and distribution.
I have good news! We have completed our initial translation of the Gospel of John and it is ready for its refinement cycles. Soon it will be in the hands of Tahitians. The same for Galatians, and work on Romans has begun. Soon after we have teams coming together for other island languages.
We desperately need your prayers so that the Tahitian people will receive this new translation. We need the Lord’s wisdom on how to format it and print it, and how to present it to people who have always depended that their version is reliable representation of the Word of God. We need allies in pulpits and pews and homes. We need young people to start reading the Bible for the first time, and after coming to saving faith in Christ, to become a new generation of believers hungry for God’s Word. We need new generations of Sunday school teachers, pastors, evangelists, and Bible study leaders to step forward in order to meet this hunger with sound teaching. We need the Lord to protect this work from those who would destroy it. We need more Tahitian translators, and more scholars who know Greek and Hebrew who are willing to spend time in Tahiti to work diligently on this project.
Rene’ and I stand in awe of your prayers. Through them, God has opened doors in this nation that we never imagined. The translation project is one door of many, and others unknown wait for us.
Serving the Chief Shepherd in French Polynesia,
Mark & Rene’ Perkins
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Likewise, we have a private charitable foundation to support education for Tahitians. You can give to that fund at www.evanelia.org.