About Pioneer Bible Translators

Pioneer Bible Translators® bridges the gap between the church and the Bibleless peoples around the world. Our team is composed of Bible translators, literacy evangelists, church planters and a variety of support personnel working to see transformed lives through God’s Word in every language. We are serving 43 million people in 92 language projects in 18 countries. 

We are seeking new missionaries who will step up and meet the need for incarnational ministry among Bibleless peoples. Pioneer Bible Translators currently sends missionaries from Canada and the United States. Our International Service Center, located in Dallas, TX, is crucial in attaining our global ministry goals. From here, missionaries train and prepare for cross-cultural ministry.

Our Mission

Pioneer Bible Translators exists to disciple the Bibleless, mobilizing God’s people to provide enduring access to God’s Word.

Our Vision

Transformed lives through God’s Word in every language

Our Primary Strategy

Prayer is our strategy.


Statement of Faith

  • We believe in one God who created the world and exists eternally as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is Savior and Lord.
  • We believe in the Holy Spirit, who indwells believers to lead and help them.
  • God saves people and gives them eternal life through Jesus.
  • God’s salvation is by grace through faith.
  • We respond to God’s gift of salvation by obeying His commands.
  • Baptism is the pledge of a good conscience to God that clothes us in Christ.
  • Each follower of Jesus should strive to live a holy, godly life.
  • Jesus is building the Church by assembling communities of His followers.
  • We accept the Bible as the Word of God, our supreme authority and the basis of all we believe and do.

Read our Expanded Statement of Faith


Core Values

We do what we do because we value…

  • The Church as God’s instrument to accomplish His mission that all peoples would glorify and worship Him
  • Pioneering among the least-reached, Bibleless language groups, planting a network of reproducing churches adapted to the context
  • Enduring Access to God’s Word as essential for life transformation, discipleship, and growing the church
  • Obeying Christ’s Commission by teaching people to follow Jesus and by living out the values of His Kingdom
  • Partnering with like-minded people to accomplish mutual goals
  • Living Incarnationally with the local people, learning from deep relationships and communicating in the most effective language
  • Equipping those we send, their families, and local teammates for healthy and effective ministry

Strategies and Methods

Pioneer Bible Translators aspires to be the best problem-solving team for helping a people without God’s Word impact their context with Scripture, equipping them to translate it into their language and use it to transform their community. Helping a people group go from Bibleless to Bible impact constitutes our sharp focus. Our flexible, holistic approach is a core strength. We will consider our ministry among a people group complete when a network of churches is using Scripture to grow, mature and multiply. The four primary strategies of Pioneer Bible Translators are to:

Mobilize God’s People
  • Praying to the Lord of the Harvest
  • Calling and equipping God’s people everywhere to pray, give, and volunteer with us
  • Recruiting, training, and sending missionaries, including any children in the family for excellent service
  • Involving each missionary to mobilize God’s people through partnership development efforts
  • Equipping Bibleless people for partnership
Provide enduring access to God’s Word
  • Determining the need through survey
  • Translating Scripture
  • Developing sustainable literacy programs
  • Joining with others to provide oral, visual, and written Scripture-based materials for church planting and discipleship
Disciple the Bibleless by maximizing the impact of Scripture
  • Living in a way that glorifies God to exemplify the impact of the Bible on us, including personal evangelism and works of compassion
  • Working with existing churches to transition them into greater use of Scripture in their own language
  • Establishing and strengthening churches to maximize the use of the translated Scriptures, working together with partners where they are present
  • Promoting the use of local art and music to increase scripture impact
  • Ministering through community development and community health evangelism in ways that promote the use of Scripture either by building the church’s economic capacity to partner in mission or by softening the hearts of people groups resistant to Scripture
Accelerate the mission through team work
  • Cooperating and partnering with others
  • Building effective teams
  • Caring for missionaries and their families by promoting mutual love and concern
  • Providing administration and leadership at the international and national levels
  • Providing support services in the field

Heritage

God inspired Al Hamilton in the mid-1970’s with a passion and a vision to mobilize more of God’s people for the task of translating Scripture into every language. He and other members of the Christian Churches began to recruit missionaries from Restoration Movement churches to translate the Bible. They decided to form a mission that would work in close cooperation with Wycliffe. But the new mission would try a new approach, combining the genius of Cameron Townsend (founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators) with that of Donald MacGavran (founder of the Church Growth movement), with an emphasis on excellence in Greek and Hebrew exegetical studies inspired by Eugene Nida (United Bible Societies). This new mission would mobilize churches to send missionaries who would use Bible translation and literacy as strategies for church planting and church growth. From this vision, Pioneer Bible Translators was born in 1976.

With our roots in the Restoration Movement, Pioneer Bible Translators is committed to practicing unity in the body of Christ with Scripture as the sole authority. We promote the restoration of the unity of the Church by mobilizing Christians to work together on the basis of obeying the clearly taught, essential elements of Scripture while allowing for a wide diversity of opinion on matters that Scripture does not make clear. Because of our history, we pay special attention to mobilizing the churches of our heritage, but we seek also to mobilize believers of every background, all who are able to unite around reading and obeying the Bible and making it accessible to people who do not have it. Today, Pioneer Bible Translators bridges the gap between the Church and Bibleless peoples, translating the Word into the heart languages of unreached people to transform lives and grow thriving New Testament churches.


Future

In the future, Pioneer Bible Translators will follow the Spirit’s lead to fill the gaps in the Bible translation movement so that we and our partners will see churches with Scripture transforming every language group on earth by 2050.
 
We have set the audacious goal of starting and finishing 250 projects by 2050 bringing our total number of projects to 300.  We estimate that if we can complete 300 translation projects total, our 30 Forum of Bible Agencies partners will have enough momentum to handle the rest of the needs.
 
Because we are a Bible translation agency that also does church planting, we are uniquely suited to send teams of translators, church planters, literacy workers, and community development workers to cross language barriers among 200 of the remaining language groups for whom there is still no church and no Scripture. These least-reached, Scriptureless language groups suffer the greatest spiritual poverty remaining on earth. We are focusing most of our energy on this strategic gap to help eliminate the tragedy of extreme spiritual poverty.

We plan to help fill a second critical gap in areas of extreme linguistic diversity where the sheer number of languages currently overwhelms the resources of the Bible Translation movement. We plan to start 50 translation projects to help our partners overcome the challenge of extreme linguistic diversity.
 
Some language communities scattered over the earth have received a finished New Testament, but have not yet started to use it to transform their context. To fill this third gap, we intend to send 100 Scripture Impact workers who will find innovative ways to ensure that every language community that has Scripture begins to use it.
 
By intentionally filling these three strategic gaps, we believe we will lighten the burden on our partners, making it possible for the Church to cross every remaining language barrier with church, Scripture and life transformation. Never before has it been imaginable, but we believe we are now training and sending out the generation of missionaries that can leave behind Churches using Scripture to transform every language community on earth.


Board of Directors

2019 Annual Report  (PDF)
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report

 

Why Bible Translation?

We believe the single greatest way we can help a hurting world is to give them God’s Word.

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Financial Accountability

Pioneer Bible Translators® is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Pioneer Bible Translators is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and has earned Charity Navigator's Highest Rating.

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