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Friday, November 17, 2017

600-700 Illiterate People

The Living Water Translation does not read like a translation, although it is a true translation, not a "paraphrase." It flows in the most natural way--with supernatural effects. 

In 1958, Roy Mayfield, and his wife, Georgialee, a young American couple, made their new home among a remote group of 600-700 illiterate people called the "Agtas," in the northern Philippines, as Wycliffe Bible Translators. 

Roy and Georgialee raised their four children in this community. They learned to speak the Agta language, put their words into written form, and taught the Agtas how to read their own tongue.

Why? Because the Agtas did not have the Bible in their own language, and the Mayfields wanted them to read the Word of God for themselves [as Luther wanted Germans to be able to do], and to know the Savior's love and will for their lives. After 30 years, the New Testament was complete. They stayed another 10 years, and by 1994 half of the Agta group had committed themselves to Christ. 

“It was primarily through the Agta leadership and witness of individual believers that the Agta Church grew,” says Roy. "When the Agta New Testament was dedicated [in 1993], isolated Agta communities from a large geographical area were invited to participate for a two-day affair. This experience motivated them to hold a gathering the following year. And for the past 20 years the annual Agta Christian Convention has been a venue where some find Christ for the first time, and others grow in their spiritual walk with the Lord.”

When Roy returned to the United States, he did not stop translating. He turned his attention to writing an English version of the New Testament, which sprang from his own longing for a "more readable translation." One that was "clear and flowing."

I can personally attest that Roy succeeded in reaching his goal! His translation is indeed "a more readable translation." It is really "clear and flowing."

Roy calls it, The Living Water Translation. It is my favorite translation of the New Testament, and my wife's favorite also. She spends hours reading it while soaking in the tub! (Well, not hours in the tub at once...)

The Mayfield translation has not yet been "discovered." I want to get the word out. It is a treasure hidden in a field. To order your copy, click here. You'll be glad you did! Give yourself an early Christmas present--and someone else, too.

Take a look at the photos below, courtesy of my Aunt and Uncle, Roy and Georgialee Mayfield:

Roy and Georgialee teaching a group of Agtas to read their own language.

Roy (far left) and Georgialee with three of their four children and some Agta friends.
Roy with an Agta helper, "testing" his choice of words. Roy was trained in linguistics at the Universities of North Dakota and Oklahoma, as well as Indiana University. As a Wycliffe Bible Translator, Roy was trained to "translate in a way that does not read like a translation." As Roy puts it, "Any literary work calling itself a translation must be as understandable and idiomatic for the modern reader as the original was to the original readers of the content." After 30 years of applying this principle to the Agta New Testament, Roy applied the same principle to his English translation of the New Testament, calling it, The Living Water Translation. To read sample chapters, click here.