December 2014

The Tagalog Project: Tod Allman is working with a Filipino pastor named Ephraim Rey to build a Tagalog lexicon and grammar so that TBTA’s software can produce simple, easy to understand Tagalog translations of several biblical books.  Pastor Ephraim was a missionary and church planter for many years, and recently has been translating Bible study guides from English into Tagalog.  Pastor Ephraim and Tod meet three mornings a week, and they’re making good progress on the Tagalog grammar.  Soon they will start working through the book of Ruth in order to produce a translation that is easily understandable for children and adults who have at least a sixth grade education.  Pastor Ephraim is not aware of any translation intended for Tagalog speaking children, so the translation produced by TBTA should be very beneficial to many children and adults throughout the Manila area.  Please pray for Pastor Ephraim and Tod as they develop this new translation.  Please pray that God will help Pastor Ephraim choose appropriate words and constructions for the translation, and please also pray that Tod will be able to analyze the Tagalog grammar accurately.
Pastor Ephraim would like to do some of this work at home, but he doesn’t have a computer.  If anyone would be willing to donate a laptop to TBTA for Pastor Ephraim, TBTA would send you a tax deductible receipt.  Any laptop that runs Windows XP or later would be fine for this work.  If you have a laptop that you don’t use much anymore and would be willing to donate it to TBTA, please send Tod an email at

Richard Denton’s Insights – in Plain English: There are many phrases and passages that we read in our English Bibles, and we vaguely understand them, but can we say clearly what they actually mean? For example, what does Paul mean when he opens and closes his epistles with “Grace be with you”? When I’m analyzing the Pauline epistles and I encounter a sentence like this, I consult Wycliffe’s Translator’s Notes and other commentaries, and I try to figure out a simple way to communicate the same idea using TBTA’s simple grammar and vocabulary. I’ve translated this particular sentence as, “I pray that God will treat you kindly.” The “I pray” portion captures the “may it happen” implication. The word “grace” is a noun, but grace is not an isolated thing; it is a blessing that comes from God.  So Paul’s prayer is that God will do something good for the people Paul is writing to. Some people think of grace as something that we don’t deserve. Grace is God treating us kindly even when we don’t deserve it.  That’s a good thing to keep in mind as we live our lives day by day.

The Spanish Project: Stephen Beale is beginning work on Spanish with TBTA.  This version will be useful as a teaching tool, not to mention its potential use in the Spanish-speaking world. He would appreciate your prayers as he transitions from full-time university work to part-time TBTA work: both financially and, more importantly, that he could manage his time well with his many other responsibilities.

Amazon Smile: TBTA has enrolled in Amazon’s Smile program.  AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon; they have all the same products and all the same prices as Amazon.  But when you shop through AmazonSmile, they will donate .5% of each sale to a non-profit organization of your choice.  If you’d like to help contribute to TBTA’s Bible translation work while shopping online, you can go to TBTA’s web site at, and go to the Donations page.  There you’ll see a button for AmazonSmile.  When you click on that button, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Amazon’s Smile program.  Then when you shop online at, Amazon will contribute part of the sale to TBTA.  So you can shop for your family and friends during the holidays, and contribute to Bible translation at the same time.
            Tod Allman and Ephraim Rey                                          Richard Denton
The People of the Philippines: There are a little over 100 million people living in the Philippines, and that number is growing rapidly at a rate of more than 20,000 people per day.  The country consists of more than 7,100 islands, and is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and spectacular mountain views.  At the time of World War II, the Filipino economy was the second largest in Asia, behind only Japan.  However, during the past six decades, the country’s economy has gradually deteriorated for a variety of reasons.  The economy has been growing, but it is not able to keep pace with the rapid population growth.  The Philippines’ poverty line is set at an annual per capita income of just $378 ($31.50/month), but more than one fourth of the country’s population is living below the poverty line.  Severe poverty is a significant social issue throughout the country, but no one has any viable solutions.  Numerous organizations from other countries are pouring their resources into the Philippines with a hope for a brighter future.  Please pray that God will somehow help the millions and millions of people here who are living in severe poverty.