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Bible Translation Group Meets at Bethel Seminary

The four members of the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) —a Bible translation for children and English as a second language learners — met recently on the Bethel Seminary campus. The group has been meeting quarterly for the past year to update the NIrV in line with the 2011 revision of the New International Version (NIV).

The group includes Michael Williams, chair of the group and Old Testament professor at Calvin College; Ron Youngblood, professor emeritus of Old Testament from Bethel Seminary; Yvonne Van Ee, professor emeritus of education from Calvin College; and Jeannine Brown, professor of New Testament and interim dean for the faculty at Bethel Seminary. Williams, Youngblood, and Brown are members of the NIV Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) and Van Ee is a reading specialist assisting with the English language accessibility for this version.

“We'll meet four or five times a year until the summer of 2013, when our draft of the revision is due,” Brown said. The group takes on about four biblical books at a time, with members sending proposals to the others for review before the meeting.

Brown explained that the NIrV is focused on a third-grade reading level, which makes Van Ee’s participation in the group crucial. “It's important to have Yvonne as part of the group to help us pay attention to reading level. We do draw on available resources for this part of the work and Yvonne 'field tests' some of our readings on grade school students.”

The group met at Bethel Seminary from April 2-4, 2012.