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

Scripture Translation software

On April 6, the latest version of Paratext, Paratext 8.0, was released. The team praises God for this culmination of 20 months of work. Around the world, 1,000-plus Bible translation teams use Paratext (over 10,000 users) to do Scripture drafting, revising, checking, and team collaboration. Many teams have now upgraded to using 8.0, and many more will do so in the coming year. Paratext 8.0 training workshops around the world are preparing team leaders and support staff to help teams make the transition.

One workshop was held the first two weeks of May in Waxhaw, N.C. Neal served as a roving helper. He also taught a section on the tools available in Paratext to help understand the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic used in the original Bible texts. These include interlinear word-for- word translations of the text into major languages, such as English, Spanish, and French, as well as dictionaries linked to the biblical text. Other material is available that helps the translator understand the plants, animals, and manmade objects mentioned in the Bible. All these helps are interlinked with the text itself. For example, if you click on a plant name in the biblical text, it opens immediately to the page where that plant is described.

The course was also live-streamed on the Internet and recorded. Tutorials (instruction videos) are now being created. Neal is one member of a team that watches them and gives feedback.

This 3-minute video gives you a glimpse of the various needs for IT personnel in Bible translation.


Lama Old Testament progress

As the Lama Old Testament team work each day in Togo, Neal reads over their work online here in North Carolina via Paratext. He can tag any words for the team that might be misspelled, or question a word or expression. He can maintain the consistency of the spelling overall, too. The team gets this information the same or next day for their consideration. Neal has so far read Genesis through 2 Chronicles, Esther, and is now in Psalms. As of July, 26 of the 39 books of the OT are completed and consultant-checked, with some very long ones to go, such as Job and Jeremiah.

The team of three Lama men are presently in Côte d’Ivoire taking a Hebrew course for two weeks in preparation for a trip to Israel in the fall. This will be the first visit there for Pastor Adji.

In Togo and Benin, Lama is not the only language team at work. Other languages translating the Old Testament are: Ifè, Kabiyè, Moba, Nawdm, and Waama. The entire Bible is completed in Bassari. Three others have completed the New Testament, two are almost done, and five are working on it. There are three languages waiting to start translations.

Lama grammar and dictionary

Neal and I have updated and corrected a short grammar of Lama (15,000 words in French) that we wrote in the past. Carol formatted it also, a formidable job in itself! We expect the Lama team to read it over for us, as well as a linguistics consultant. Then it will be posted online at lama.webonary.org.

Also, I am revising and polishing the Lama trilingual dictionary, which has about 7,600 entries. I am checking for consistency of spelling, tone marking, correct parts of speech, the quality of the example sentences, and more—with Neal’s assistance when needed. I have read a very good book on how to create multilingual dictionaries, which gives guidance on layout and choices. I am very thankful for Gaston Nfa in Togo, a talented Lama university grad who answers my questions quickly over email. I am blessed that my SIL supervisor is happy for me to get this project done, and hopefully I will be able to share what I have learned with others in the future.

Church celebration—30 years of marriage

At the end of May, Pastor Adji Arakou and his wife, Susanne, celebrated 30 years of marriage. They held a special service to thank God and to show the Christians and others in their community that it is possible to remain faithful to one spouse over many years. It so happened that the church building in Kande where Adji pastors was recently completed and furnished, even down to musical instruments and amplification—after many years of prayer and seeking God for his provision. Dear partners, your gifts helped to bring this about, so rejoice with us all.

The Arakous (center back) with their eight daughters
The Arakous (center back) with their eight daughters

A second grandchild!

We praise God for the safe arrival of our second grandchild, Maggie Rose, born June 30 in Charlotte, N.C., to our son Ben and Patty! Here she is in her rose-covered outfit. :-)

second grandchild

Our grateful thanks to all for your prayers, correspondence, and gifts, which enable us to support Bible translation.

We appreciate you and love you,

Carol and Neal Brinneman


If you desire to contribute to our ministry, go to https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/brinnemans 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!