Daryl Richardson with EasyEnglish.Bible | Episode 005
Welcome to Future.Bible podcast!
Kenny Jahng and DJ Chuang, interview Daryl Richardson of Mission Assist for today’s episode. Listen as they discuss how EasyEnglish.Bible changed the perspective of many people about the Bible, not just in Europe, but in every part of the world.
Curious as to how they did it? Watch Episode 5 of the Future.Bible podcast.
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DJ Chuang: .BIBLE podcast, I’m DJ Chuang and I’m here with my co-host Kenny Jahng. How are you, Kenny?
Kenny: Hey, good to be with you again, Dj. Always having fun here on the interwebs with you.
DJ Chuang: Well, today we have a very special guest and he’s going to share with us some real stories of real life change and he’s coming to us from across the pond as they say. He’s in the United Kingdom and he’s with an organization called MissionAssist. He is the CEO, Daryl Richardson. Thank you for joining us today.
Daryl: Hello. Thanks for having me to join, to talk to you over there and to share the exciting things that God is doing.
DJ Chuang: Well, one of our colleagues, Pat Walker, met you at a recent conference and she was very excited about your enthusiasm with the work that you’re doing there with MissionAssist. And in particular we’re going to talk about a Bible translation that you and your organization and a whole team of volunteers put together called the easy English Bible. So tell us about the history of how the Bible translation came about.
Daryl: Like many of the services that we really offer in this book which is this, the idea came additionally from a missionary who mentioned how pastors of Churches of others are conscious that they didn’t have any Bible commentaries at their own language and a quick access in English commentaries because the language would be just too difficult. And so, she came back to us and said, “Do you think you may be able to help with this?” So, we started to pray and see what God would have us to do, and from that the notion of developing an easy English language that anybody who has English as a second, third or fourth language could access so that we could convey biblical truth. The idea of the notion came about. Of course that was just the start of a lot of hard work because easy English to translate is probably not easy, but thankfully God provided as he always does with some able linguists and theologians because we need the two side by side, we wanted the truth to be accessible. We wanted it to be the truth. We didn’t want just to translate to make it easy, but with conscious this is Holy Scripture and want you to ensure that they’re saying what God originally intended. So we said to her initially there’s some commentaries and also go hand in hand with that sections of the Scriptures. First of all, we just use and published that in hard copies. So, the Gospel and any other part and it was lovely to hear, how they are used by International Bible groups. They could study the same passage together because they had it in Easy English. And then around 2001 had the first steps to be available. So, we stopped different job in the website, the translation was far from completed. We thought, let’s get it out there so that there will be possible gab.
Kenny: Wow, and you guys work with amazing group of partners, right? I know ABS is part of it. The Bible Society, The Digital Bible Library, OM, USAID, OM international, Wycliffe, United Bible Societies, Voice of the Martyrs and it’s a whole slew of partners that you guys work with. Today, how many people or how many countries are accessing this resource together to find the Easy English translation of the Bible?
Daryl: Over the last year, there are people from 230 countries over the world have accessed the website. Bible apps that we have downloaded in 129 countries but that only just started in January, so it’s 129 in half a year.
Kenny: That’s amazing. One of the things that I love about this and maybe we should even back up a little bit. A lot of people don’t know what the actual Easy English Translation is that you are looking at, I guess different levels of vocabulary, right? That there’s a level A and level B, from my understanding,
Daryl: That’s right, the Bible is translated in what we call level A, which is the vocabulary of 1200 words. That started of by looking at the most commonly used words that we have to start thinking about those what are the potential readers of this Bible so for example, many country already have few if any abstract dialogues. So one of the things was remove all abstract dialogues. The other thing was to be consistent because some of the words in English can have two or three different meanings. For example, “bad”. It could be, ‘it’s a bad day today’ or ‘it’s a bad game’, whatever. So, we actually ensure that we chose just what meaning because that will cause confusion in one thing and one situation and in another thing and another situation. We have to look at clauses because sometimes in the sentence can be so long that you’d forgotten about where it started, when they get to the end especially English is not their first language. So, we have to set that rule like short sentences, short paragraphs and just to ensure that everything went through logically, so people could follow it through. So, then very often we would use two or three short sentences rather than a long sentence. So, there was a lot of trying things out, tested things out. So, we feel that we pay both with what we believe is basically today.
Kenny: Then what about sometimes people are looking at the texts on a device or a screen or in the app you said versus a paper book or the, you know, the old style Bible, that we have. In your opinion, and there’s some people say that we’ve lost so much of the story and the narrative by taking it off of paper and an actual physical environments. Your site has done tremendous things by using technology to further the Word, to give greater access. Can you speak to that a little bit and talk about maybe some of the things that you might gain or the other side of the upside of using technology to marry that with the Bible?
Daryl: Yeah, there are several things. I think first of all, our concern if the people to learn about Jesus as to develop that Christian faith. The Great Commission is to all nations and the beauty of technology is now that we’re able to reach people that we can never thought standing on a boat load of books or anything like that, like our commentaries, the 2,800 word versions in Easy English. And so there again, our desire was get this out there to be able to study and can be able to read. What we have found which surprised us a little bit, is a number of people use it as their daily devotional because there are tablets, the iPad here, there and everywhere. It just means that people just look that access, the joy of all they could do. You know, like with the apps what we do have is some links so, that you could press other words to get information about the town or where the context of the story is. Well, you can put things like that in a boat without distracting from reading Scripture themselves, but that of the other hand I still feel there’s a place for hard copies. It is good. I think sometimes when a whole something’s, sometimes better reread several times or the live highlight at all the other things. But, the wonderful thing is I believe that the technology that we have today is part of God’s plan and God’s purpose to help fulfill the Great Commission, but it won’t say it’s one or the other. It’s what is the most appropriate for this type of the people that you want to reach. Of course they will get that concerned. I was meeting with people who spent years and years and years translated Scriptures into a language. And the books are piling up, nobody’s getting them, so the translation is the first part, but won’t be able to read them.
DJ Chuang: We are so proud to have you as a ministry partner with us on the .BIBLE, top level domain and a website is that EasyEnglish.BIBLE and you took the time to switch that over from a previous website. And have you noticed some of the real life change that has happened since that time? Can you story it too?
Daryl: I think, one thing I would say is how much we value our partner. I think, again, going back to the Great Commission to get this job done, we need each other, and we’ve got to work together. I love that as written in the Scripture where the route of the sea, that’s what’s the breaking and it says that they called for their partners to help them, and I thank God, it’s a privilege to work with other people who have a heart like we have, a desire that we have because together we’re going to achieve far more from God on our own. I don’t believe just sitting in small corner. I want to support and help others to far more than they of their own of those that were mentioned before and it’s such a joy. As far as the .BIBLE, domain name, that road will be brilliant. Now, when people come, they could see the Bible. It’s what .BIBLE has done, has given as well. That authenticity, that this is real Scripture that it’s not something, that detracts the Scripture. This is the Truth and that is so valuable to us because that is something that could be recognized across the world, by churches, by ministers, that it’s so valuable, we would be so appreciative where we discovered that our application’s been successful that we could start the lost side, you know, the other .BIBLE. So we’re praying for ourselves, we’re praying for you. We’re praying for others, too. And so it has helped us reachable, it’s catered us an even wider audience than we had before if that is possible.
DJ Chuang: Well, you sound so excited, you’re coming through, the camera is shaking and we’re hearing the noise, now, we are celebrating with you. Can you share with us the real life change because I know behind the technology and as we’re connecting people with God’s Word, it changes individual lives.
Daryl: One of the things we do have is we do invite people to email with questions and so forth and It is so encouraging, but it just mean as well that we could follow situation though because I discovered that sometimes people in countries that I never knew existing, I have to get by App and Google out where is that country. And if I am in a small island so forth, but we do like to keep in touch where possible and what that meant is that we get all this feedback. I’m so grateful to found this site. It is absolutely amazing. I’ve started reading the Bible daily. It’s so great because this is the best site with the best commentaries. And I just say thank you and the person with mild mental retardation and one thing about the Bible has helped a lot of people with special needs. And I thank God, because everyone is precious in the sight of God. Everyone has value. Everyone has a part to play. It’s so lovely when you hear situations like that. This person said, I’ve struggled all my life with understanding that Greek material. I’ve recently I gave of the Bible completely, I gave out of the Christian religion as well, but that I did a research, easy to understand Bible on Google, found our website of that I started reading a few paragraphs at Genesis. And I won’t always recommend Genesis the best place to start, but it worked for them. I completely understood what was written. It was amazing. It was written in simple English. I started crying tears of joy. Just what I needed. Thank you so much for making this available. Someone, I looked online at the meaning of Psalm 51. Thank you, that God used you to really help me understand this Truth. I would pray, believing the God can renew a person’s heart by the way, with the way you explained it has brought both hope and both love for by my Heavenly Father, knowing Him more in depth and how great His love is for me. I could go on and on.
DJ: One more.
Daryl: Let me do that. Every year at our conference, we get people to share these. This website in Easy English has an impact in my life today. It helped me in reading, understanding, digesting a Biblical verse in the Bible. It does help me understand the Bible address simple easy English. Words that easy to understand. So, in Singapore, using our Easy English Bible, day by day, daily Bible readings. Switzerland. Today, I found your valuable site. Praise God, it is just so thrilling.
DJ Chuang: That’s more than one, but we’re thrilled with you.
Daryl: They come back with questions. Please tell me more about Jesus. How can I find out more? I could quite believe that so many people would have been reached any other way, but this is God’s plan and purpose.
Kenny: Real life change on the Internet. This is just fantastic to see something in action that it’s not just a hypothesis. You’ve got millions of visitors from over 200 countries doing this actively on a .BIBLE website. Just kudos to you and your team, Daryl, for making such a wonderful and accessible resource
Daryl: Well, thank you all, too. Say for partnering with us, it’s a joy to meet your colleague. This partnership will continue and that God will use you in such a wonderful way and a valuable day.
DJ Chuang: Well, as we close out and we’d like to ask the question, what do you see for the future of the Bible? Because we are Future.BIBLE.
Daryl: I think, I love the thing about the Bible is web people turn to it. It explains to that, that they say that yes, it has the truth about God in the Bible. God is revealed to us and the truth about the work of Jesus Christ, but the lovely thing is, it has advice of every part of our lives. We could truly live by the Bible. All that we did, the inequity, the help of the Holy Spirit is there for us. And this day and of this, age people need truth. They receive so many lies from politicians and reproving this side of the pond as much as they want. Who can they trust? The wonderful thing about the Bible, it is God’s Word. It can be trusted. The word of God is real. And the wonderful thing is it works as we apply the truth of God in our lives. It works. And more and more we get the truth out there, we’ll keep developing the app, we’ll keep developing the commentaries, we’ll keep developing other resources. I’m especially concerned about new churches in certain countries, where the leaders have not received access, training and I would like to do something because the Bible needs to be explained. It needs to be opened up, it needs to be understood, but this could make a powerful difference in everybody’s life. Somebody said to me the other day, I didn’t realize the Bible, there’s so much to say about money and that in where we looked at dimension, but you know, it’s everything. This is a pathway that we can take. A doctor said, our relationship with God, enjoy, delight in all its fullness which is what God has intended for us.
Kenny: Well said, If someone today is there listening in or watching our conversation, we’d love to get in touch with you directly with EasyEnglish.BIBLE, what’s the best way for them to do that? Could you share a way that they can contact you directly?
Daryl: Yes. We are thankful that we do have a number for our volunteers who are in the States and we thank God for everyone of them. There are two ways to be able to contact me. Just send that email to CEO@MissionAssist.org. They could also look up the MissionAssist website that has details. Or, why don’t they look at EasyEnglish.BIBLE.
Kenny: Awesome. Awesome. Well, thanks again so much for taking this time to sit down with us across the ponds in Europe as we sit here on the East and West coast. I just love the Internet and being able to do this together. Friends, if you’ve been listening in today, thank you so much for listening to the Future.BIBLE Podcast, the number one audio production show for people who want to learn more about what is possible when we dream together of putting together the technology and Bible and bring engagement to the next level. Thank you so much for listening. Remember there are free resources, transcripts of our shows, and other episodes available www.Future.BIBLE, and if you love this episode in particular, please head over to iTunes to subscribe, rate, and leave a review. It’s much, much appreciated. DJ, thank you for co-hosting today. I just love meeting new people on our journey here together at Future.BIBLE.
DJ Chuang: Thank you Kenny, and thank you Daryl, blessing to you.