The technology and data teams of Biblica, SIL, UBS, ABS, Scriptura, Seed Company,, and Prescience have entered into an informal strategic collaboration agreement to help equip the global church to translate Scripture more confidently. This collaboration, called Assure, originated from a shared desire to serve those engaged in the immense task of translating God’s Word faithfully and clearly into the languages of the world. The Bible Translation world has matured to the point where more formal inter-organizational collaboration is needed in order to work strategically. Assure has been formed to meet precisely this need.
“Language communities need full confidence in their Bible translations,” explains Doug Higby, International Language Technology Use Coordinator at SIL. “Right now, different organizations have different strengths, all of which are needed for full confidence. In order to equip Bible translators well, we've joined forces, to leverage our collective knowledge and experience and to combine our innovations in tools, techniques, and translation resources. We recognize the imperative to engage collectively for the good of the global church and to support the entire lifecycle of Bible translation. We are confident we can both collaborate and still honor the calling and unique contributions of each organization. We welcome like-minded Bible translation organizations worldwide to join us.”
● Current members of Assure:
○ American Bible Society - Nida Institute
○ Biblica – The International Bible Society
○ Prescience Lab
○ Seed Company
○ SIL International
○ United Bible Societies - Bible Ministry Technology
● Why create Assure? “Our user base is changing,” explains Mike Cochran, Director of Language Technology, SIL.”More local groups are taking the initiative to draft their own Scriptures and seeking technology to help with checking. Other groups with New Testaments are hungering for the rest of Scripture. By joining Assure, we gain motivated and capable partners ready to work with us to meet these changing needs.
“Each Assure partner brings unique experience, perspectives, data and skills they are willing to contribute. By learning to partner more effectively, SIL can increase project velocity without jeopardizing quality. We’ll create joint proposals and shared standards. Assure's endorsement of technology innovations can result in support from the resourcing community. Together, we can present a unified and expanded narrative for Bible translation technology.”
● The first meeting of the Assure members was held on July 22, 2021 in Stowe, Vermont. Dr. Reinier de Blois, Director of Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship, views Assure as a collaboration of like-minded technologists and content creators. “At this meeting we envisioned an inclusive strategic group of Bible translation organizations that could offer guidance, coordination, and funding assistance to innovative teams around the world who are working on tools, techniques, or translation resources for Bible translation. Through agreement on standards for interoperability and the interconnection of Assure member technologies, the process of Bible translation can be accelerated while the quality is improved.”
The goal of Assure is to give Bible translators confidence by collaborating to equip them with the technology and biblical content they need so all language communities will have access as soon as possible to a trustworthy translation of Scripture.