Keys of the Kingdom
Supporting Bible translation as language technical consultant, and editor
April 2017

Neal’s work

TIU Group
In early March Neal served on the staff of TOTAL-It-Up! Extreme—a taste of translation and linguistics, where participants spend a week in a “primitive” setting in the woods near the JAARS Center. He taught three classes: grammar, language learning, and translation and technology. Ten women and four men attended from states mainly in the eastern US.

Here are a few of the many positive reactions from the young people. “It was the best week of my life so far.”

“I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so ‘extreme’! I realized we’d be sleeping in hammocks in ‘champas,’ but I guess I didn’t expect cold showers and pit latrines. I do think that it was a fun experience, though, so I didn’t mind!”

“I learned so much more about Bible translation and all the supporting roles than I thought I would. I also did not expect to experience so much love and mentorship from everyone there.”

“I absolutely loved every aspect of the TOTAL It Up! Extreme!!!
Kitchen with mud stoves
Kitchen with mud stoves
I loved sleeping in my hammock and getting to sit by a fire every night. I loved learning about phonetics, semantics and language learning. I loved getting to know the others and being encouraged by hearing testimonies from missionaries who have been all over the world.”

Recently Neal helped Pat Brien, a woman who has worked in Papua New Guinea for years in the Narak language. She lives near us now in North Carolina. He put a large section of the Narak-English dictionary into Paratext, a software normally used for Scripture editing. Paratext generates a complete word list and also compares and highlights spellings that are similar. In other words, suspicious pairs are discovered. Are both correct? Or is one a misspelling? The program gives a count of every word too. There were nearly 17,000 different words that occurred in this section of the dictionary. Two of the words occurred more than 6,000 times: the and to. But more than 11,000 words occurred eight or less times, most of these only once, which will demand a check. Pat says, “We’re not expecting perfection with this dictionary, but we do want to make it as accurate as possible, with a goal that any errors not caught will be so infrequent that most people will never see them.”

Carol’s work

Since early January I have been working as an editor for publications done by SIL International (an affiliate of Wycliffe dealing with the scholarly side of Bible translation). I have finished two books for Dr. Carol McKinney, an anthropologist. I met her only once, back in 1972 in Nigeria when she and her husband hosted a meal for the newcomers attending the Africa Orientation Course! One book is called Bajju Christian Conversion and the other, Baranzan’s People, which is an ethnohistory. They both explore the Bajju people of Nigeria, with whom the McKinneys worked in translating the Scriptures.

I also have copyedited a language survey written in French about the Ngbaka Manza of Central African Republic. My next assignment is to scan a 200-page grammar, also written in French, on the Nawdm language. It is ironic that this language group is located only 15 minutes down the road from our former home in Kande, Togo! And the author is a friend I have known since my year in Paris in 1971–1972!

This work demands formatting these documents, which is a challenge and a steep learning curve for me. I would appreciate your prayers!

The Finish Line

Every year Wycliffe publishes a list of languages whose Scripture translations are close to being completed, either New Testaments or full Bibles. It’s called “The Finish Line.” As I perused the section for Africa a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to recognize many of the language names and the people who have worked on them for years. It felt like an opening Olympics parade, announcing the names of each country and watching the teams walk onto the field excited and waving their flags. I wondered with tears in my eyes, Will it be like this in heaven one day? Will we see all those worldwide whom Jesus has redeemed and glorify him with our hearts full of joy?

Our sincere thanks to each of you for your prayers and gifts to support Bible translation. May God bless each one of you in special ways!

We appreciate you and love you,

Carol and Neal Brinneman

If you desire to contribute to our ministry, go to or send a check to Wycliffe Bible Translators, PO Box 628200, Orlando FL 32862-8200, and enclose a separate note stating, “Preference for the Wycliffe ministry of Neal and Carol Brinneman.” Thank you!