FNV New Testament Translation Process

Here are the steps used for the New Testament translation process:

Each step was overseen by the Project Manager, Terry M. Wildman. He provided coordination with OneBook, review guidance, quality control, recruitment of volunteers, promotion of the project, and acted as liaison with Native Churches and Ministries regarding the FNV.

First, as lead translator, Terry Wildman prepared a draft verse by verse, using the Key-terms agreed upon by the First Nations Version Translation council. In creating the draft the Greek and sometimes Hebrew were consulted using the translation tools found in Logos Bible Software. Several commentaries were consulted to research the more difficult passages and help with theological issues. The United Bible Society Handbooks for translators were used extensively in this process.

The UBS Handbooks are detailed commentaries providing valuable exegetical, historical, cultural, and linguistic information on the books of the Bible. They are prepared primarily to assist Bible translators as they carry out the important task of putting God’s Word into the many languages spoken in the world today. The text is discussed verse by verse, and is accompanied by running text in at least one modern English translation.

After each draft was finished for each portion of the New Testament, it was sent to a punctuation specialist, who volunteered to do an initial punctuation check. This person also entered all the SFM Markers needed for the transition into ParaText.

After drafting was completed it was entered into ParaText—a highly sophisticated Biblical translation software where checks were made against the key terms and other translation requirements.

From ParaText a new document was downloaded and then uploaded into Google Docs for the review process. Each Biblical book was broken into segments of about four chapters.

The approved reviewers from differing First Nations heritages then began to review the draft and make suggestions. Working collaboratively using Google Docs the reviewers suggested possible changes. Any significant changes were brought before the Translation Council for input and approval. The Project Manager oversaw this process and when needed made the final decision. All changes were then entered into ParaText.

Each document was reviewed by at least 4 First Nations reviewers, who checked verse by verse for readability, clarity of understanding, cultural relevance, and simplicity of language. Other non-native reviewers were sometimes used for editing and feedback from a non-native perspective.

After each segment was finished, it was then turned over to the FNV Consultant (Dave Ohlson) who has more than 50 years of translation experience worldwide. The consultant went over each verse carefully, checking it against other English translations, and when necessary also looked into the original Greek. This consultant only suggested and asked questions and never made the final decision. Any changes recommended by the consultant were reviewed by the Project Manager and submitted to the council if needed.

After the final Consultant check, another check was done in ParaText for any changes that had been made.

Finally, the finished text was exported from ParaText, ready to send to the publisher for the publication process.