written by Paul Hefft, a Translation Advisor for the team

Revisions on previous publications help develop translators and improve clarity. Some of the translation software we use has also changed. We now have tools that will quickly collect all of the occurrences of a given Hebrew or Greek word and then provide us with a list of the way(s) we have translated it into Burunge. This tool helps us stay consistent in how we are translating key terms and phrases.

One issue that surfaced during the revision was the way we were translating the term “redeemer.” Listening to the translators’ conversation about how to express this term in Burunge was fascinating. Their culture is much more like Biblical Hebrew culture, to the point that the sandal exchange in Ruth 4:8 is not foreign at all to them. Also, Levirate Marriage (marrying the widow of your close relative) is still practiced by the Burunge people.

So when discussing how to describe Boaz as the “kinsman-redeemer,” the translators had the perfect words in their language to fit the situation. It was ironic that I am supposed to be the exegetical adviser, yet they probably understand the culture and meaning of Ruth much better than me.