Bible Translation 2015: The 8th Biennial Bible Translation Conference

A forum for presentation and discussion of developing theory and practice in Bible translation

The Bible Translation 2015 Conference was October 16-20, 2015.

This academic conference is co-sponsored by the Dallas International University (Dallas International) and SIL International; the Eugene A. Nida Lecture Series is sponsored by the Nida Institute. The BT Conference will be held near the International Linguistics Center (Dallas International campus) in Dallas, Texas, USA.


Bible Translation and Transformation


    1. Theory & Practice and Translator Training
    2. Scripture Engagement
    3. Contemporary Context of Bible Translation
    4. Technology and other Tools

There will be 90+ papers presented at BT2015 from the four subthemes. The BT2015 presenters come from over 30 different Bible translation organizations and educational institutions. See “Selected Paper Titles” below for a partial listing of papers.


Beekman Lecture Series (Friday/Sunday evenings):

Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary San Diego

Dr. Mark Strauss is the author of many books and articles including commentaries on Mark and Luke and a textbook on the Gospels. Works on translation include Distorting Scripture? (1998) and How to Choose a Translation for All It’s Worth (2007). He has served on translation committees for the New Century Version and the Expanded Bible and is Vice-Chair of the NIV translation committee.

Eugene A. Nida Lecture Series (Monday evening):

Christiane Nord, professor extraordinaire and research fellow, University of the Free State at Bloemfontein, South Africa

Professor Dr. Christiane Nord has a BA in Translation for German, Spanish, and English (Heidelberg University), a Ph.D. in Romance Studies, and a post-doc qualification for Applied Translation Studies and Translation Pedagogy. She has trained translators since 1967 at Heidelberg, Vienna, Hildesheim, Innsbruck, and Madgeburg Universities. She has written approximately 200 publications in German, English and Spanish on translation theory, methodology, and pedagogy.

Public Banquet (Tuesday evening):

Roy Peterson, President and CEO of American Bible Society

Dr. Roy Peterson was President and CEO of The Seed Company from 2003-early 2014. Before this he served in government relations for SIL International in Ecuador and Guatemala, and then was President and CEO of Wycliffe USA from 1997-2003. Roy has a BS from Roger Williams University, an MA from Azusa Pacific University, and an honorary doctorate from Taylor University. Roy and his wife Rita have three children and three grandchildren.

Additional Plenary Speakers:

    • Dr. Larry Jones, Senior Vice President for Bible Translation of The Seed Company
    • Dr. Harriet Hill, Program Director for the Trauma Healing Institute, a ministry of the American Bible Society
    • Dr. Wayne Dye, Professor of Applied Anthropology, Dallas International University


The Committee was able to accept 97 abstracts for presentation. From the quality of the submissions, this will be a very exciting and informative conference. Below is a list of about one third of the paper titles:

    • Negotiating the Final Form of the Text
    • A Cloud of Knowing. Translating the legal terms in Psalms 1, 19 and 119
    • Some Guidelines for Creating a Poetic Meaning-based Translation
    • PILAT: Pursuing sustainable vocational Bible Translation training in PNG—the journey so far
    • Concordance in Translation: Scalpel or Chainsaw?
    • Exploring Cognitive Activity: Biblical Hebrew Prepositions as Key Terms
    • Developing an Oral Interpretation Translation Method
    • Finding the way out of a maze of meaning: how skopos theory helps solve pluralities
    • Translation Consultant Development within nationally led Wycliffe Organizations: Report of some findings
    • Improving insight in poetry by indentation
    • Managing large mother-tongue teams: Challenges and solutions
    • Translating spatial prepositions: a cognitive approach
    • Using SooSL to maintain key terms in sign language translations
    • Training translators within a situated, sociocultural paradigm of translation
    • The Ethics of Scripture Engagement
    • Participatory Songcrafting: The warp and the woof of it
    • Setting the Captive Free: Scripture Engagement and Addiction Recovery in Minority Groups
    • “Lord, Lord!” Contextual considerations in translating kurios in Yawa, a language of Indonesia
    • Achieving Plain Talk
    • Oral Translation Meets Software: Three Pilot Projects Discussed
    • The Bible Translator and the Simultaneous Interpreter in the Ghanaian Religious Setting
    • Healthy Christ-pleasing relationships: Improved collaboration between Impact, Resource and Technical Partners
    • Building customized smartphone apps with synchronized Scripture text and audio
    • When should I use which tool in ParaTExt? Software in the life-cycle of a consulting relationship
    • Why oral translation and distribution before printed translation?
    • The Literary Style of Matthew 11:28-30: Parallelisms
    • Creole languages: Bible translators lead the way in language development
    • A New Approach to Training in Bible Translation
    • Old Testament translation training and resource development: Semantics and key terms
    • Life-transforming Translations: How can we Teach Translators with Limited Education to Produce Natural-sounding Translations of the Scriptures?
    • The trinity of bible translation revisited: accuracy, naturalness, and clarity
    • Friendly Forces, or Feuding Frenemies? Why Bible Translation Needs Both Tradition and Innovation

From the BT Conference Coordinator

I hope you are considering attending the Bible Translation Conference. The last day to register is quickly approaching (Friday, October 9).

I am excited when I see the quality of the papers, the enthusiastic people who return for conference after conference, and the way this conference “scratches where it itches” for people involved in Bible Translation in every aspect of the work and every part of the world.

When I see the attendees sharing ideas, grappling with BT-related issues together, renewing and making friendships, learning how they can apply new technology advances, and having strategic encounters with people who share their passions and areas of expertise, I know that this conference is an encouraging and valuable experience.

Please plan to attend, and please tell your colleagues about this opportunity.

–Peggy Connett, BT Conference Coordinator

The Conference schedule is expected to be as follows:

    • The opening event will be a plenary session on Friday evening.
    • Papers will be presented all day Saturday. There will be a Poster Presentation event on Saturday evening.
    • The only scheduled event on Sunday will be a plenary session in the evening.
    • Papers will be presented all day Monday. There will be a plenary session in the evening.
    • Papers will be presented all day Tuesday. There will be a concluding Public Banquet on Tuesday evening

This schedule includes time for oral and poster papers, discussion, individual interaction, product and program exhibits, and networking.

Note these pre- and post-conference events before planning your travel:

Please note that other BT organizations may schedule events in Dallas, Texas, before or after the conference that are open to BT Conference attendees (seminars, workshops, etc.). Events of this nature will be listed on this website as we become aware of them. Please check this website before purchasing airline tickets, in case one or more of these events is also of interest to you.

    • ParaTExt training will be offered prior to the conference. The training will be offered Monday through Friday (October 12-16, 2015) in a modular format. Modules may cover topics such as: Introduction to ParaTExt; Project Management; Translation Tools; Translation Checking; Consistency Checking; Consulting with ParaTExt; Publishing with ParaTExt. More information and a tentative schedule can be found HERE. If you have a particular topic that you think might be helpful, please contact Phil Leckrone (
    • The Abraham Center at Dallas International will host its biennial conference, Abraham 2015, October 21-22, 2015, at the International Linguistics Center immediately following the Bible Translation conference. We invite proposals for papers and/or presentations on topics related to Scripture use in Abrahamic contexts OR that examine ways the Abrahamic religious traditions have agreed or differed on interpretations of biblical passages and key terms. See for their Call For Papers, Registration Form, and more information. Contact:
    • October 21-28 the OneStory Partnership is hosting three events. They are a Storycrafting Consultant Development Workshop, an Introduction to Storying & Orality workshop, and a Storying & Orality Community of Practice Gathering. Please see OneStory’s website for more information and how to register.
    • A Participatory Methods for Engaging Communities (PMEC) workshop will be offered Oct 6-15, 2015 in Duncanville, near the ILC. This workshop trains people to facilitate discussions about all aspects of Bible translation and Scripture engagement work. A participatory approach helps key stakeholders in the community and the body of Christ to think and talk together as they decide, plan and evaluate activities connected to the translation and use of God’s word. Contact to register.
    • A Scripture-based Trauma Healing Classic Initial Equipping session will be held in Dallas at the ILC 25-30 October. We are also exploring the possibility of holding the Advanced Equipping training as well at the same time, if there are enough people who would like to attend. If you would like more information on the Trauma Healing ministry, follow this LINK. Please contact if you are interested in attending. Cost will be $150.00.

Conference History

This Bible translation conference series began in 2001. Since that time, each conference has grown in numbers of papers and participants, and has offered valuable contributions to the worldwide Bible Translation effort. BT2013 was attended by 400 Bible translators, consultants, linguists, professors, students, literacy specialists, anthropologists, translation software specialists, orality specialists, administrators, and other professionals involved in the Bible translation task. These came from more than 70 Bible translation agencies and training programs, and from all parts of the world.