Recording (and explaining) “Mr. Offering”

Today ViBi records the book of Titus.
Please pray especially for Uiko and her eyes.  Pray for Mark as he checks during the recording and Ogata as he handles the camera and IT issues.

After the last prayer update someone wrote with an excellent question:
“I got your e-mail this morning about naming Titus ‘Mr Offering’.  My question is that when those who use the Deaf Bible interface with those who use a standard Bible will there be confusion as to what book of the Bible they are referencing?”

Our reply:
Yes, it does make for some surprises when different languages use different names for the books of the Bible. I (Mary Esther) remember when a Bible trivia board game company asked my father to translate their game questions into German.  One question asked which 5 books of the Bible Moses wrote.  Well, in the German Bible the first 5 books are called “The First book of Moses”, “The Second book of Moses”, “The Third …”!  They had no “Genesis, Exodus. . .”. Clearly there is nothing inspired about the names of the books of the Bible. In fact, many names we are so familiar with in English are quite different from the original Greek and Hebrew names.

ViBi uses CGs (computer graphics) to make subtitles for unfamiliar signs. Every time “Mr. Offering” comes up for the first time in the chapter a CG flashes on the screen with “Titus” written out. This helps those who wish to connect the sign name to the name they see in the Japanese Bible.

Unlike ASL (American Sign Language), fingerspelling is seldom used in JSL (Japanese Sign Language).Even rarer is a Japanese Deaf person who uses a fingerspelling for their name. For us to fingerspell “Titus” in our translation would be like us reading t-i-t-u-s every time we saw the name written instead of just saying “Titus.” Laborious and annoying. In the JSL Bible translation, we only use fingerspelling for those who rarely appear and are virtually unknown.

About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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