DPM’s Rekindling the Spirit of Ancient Translation

Derek Prince Ministries
Derek Prince Ministries
Derek Prince Ministries
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Digital
Teaching Translation

It’s about 260 B.C. In the bustling Egyptian city of Alexandria, King Ptolemy II Philadelphus initiates a grand project: to translate the Hebrew Tanakh (the five books of Moses) into Greek. Seventy Jewish scholars, renowned for their wisdom, embark on this monumental task, resulting in the creation of the Septuagint. Named after the Latin word for "seventy," the Septuagint represents the first major effort to translate the Bible from one language into another, bridging cultural and linguistic divides.


Fast-forward to today, and DPM is reliving this outreach effort through its own Septuagint Project. Inspired by the ancient endeavor to communicate God’s Word, DPM's project aims to translate Derek Prince’s 70 most influential video teaching messages into 70 different languages, complete with subtitles. This modern Septuagint project seeks to bring God’s story to people in their native tongues, making spiritual teachings more accessible than ever before.

Making an Impact on YouTube

YouTube, the second most visited website globally after Google, is a pivotal platform for this initiative. Subtitling Derek's video sermons on YouTube is not just about translation; it's about enhancing accessibility and reach in a rapidly globalizing digital age.

Several key factors underscore the importance of this project:

  1. Accessibility

Subtitles make the content accessible to a broader audience, including those who are hearing impaired. This inclusivity ensures that no one is left behind in the search for spiritual nourishment. Moreover, with an upcoming YouTube feature that allows viewers to select translated subtitles and hear them as voice-overs, Derek’s teachings will become even more accessible worldwide.

  1. Global Reach

Translating subtitles into multiple languages bridges linguistic barriers, reaching diverse cultural backgrounds and generations. Although many understand English, experiencing messages in one’s heart language makes a profound difference. For instance, while many in the Philippines understand English, Tagalog subtitles can make Derek’s messages more relatable and impactful, touching hearts - and that is where real transformation begins.

  1. Changing Viewing Habits

Many viewers watch videos with sound muted, relying on subtitles. Subtitling caters to this trend, ensuring that Derek’s messages remain impactful even in silence.

People prefer shorter videos to full sermons due to time constraints. That's why we also create short video clips from full sermons, resulting in around 700 videos per language. These clips can be shared on social media other than YouTube, reaching even more people. Each clip answers specific questions, for instance, about how to pray or how to break a curse. Viewers can opt to watch the full video or related short clips.

Our team has developed a subtitle tool designed to cut the videos into smaller segments for short clips while keeping the correct time codes and subtitles. This way, no duplication of the subtitling work is needed, making it time- and cost-effective in any language.

Meet the Translators

The Septuagint Project's success hinges on a dedicated team of translators working across the globe. Languages such as Hebrew, Arabic, Swedish, Amharic, Polish, French, Portuguese, Croatian, Bulgarian, Italian, Indonesian, Serbian, Dutch, and Amharic have already seen translations. Current efforts include Zulu, Xhosa, Tagalog, Farsi, Haitian, Ukrainian, and Russian, with Hindi and Tamil translations on the horizon.

Paul Storms, overseeing the project, emphasizes the unique stories behind each translator:

“Take for example the Arabic translator. She is a young Christian woman, a professional translator, living in Syria. Being a believer in Syria is a real challenge, so she contacted us to say how much Derek’s videos were blessing her and also offering her help. By now, she has subtitled several videos in Arabic, making it possible to reach a far greater audience.

To give you some idea of the potential of the Arabic subtitles, let me share some numbers with you. Our two main YouTube channels are currently reaching about 20 million people. However, there are over 400 million people who speak Arabic! And as this translator in Syria is helping us reach the Arabic-speaking world, we are helping her to financially support her family under very challenging conditions.

As this translator in Syria is helping us reach the Arabic-speaking world, we are helping her to financially support her family under very challenging conditions.

Here’s another story. During one of my travels, I had a layover in a hotel in Dubai, a very strict Islamic country. There had been some troubles getting to the hotel, so I was tired and a little frustrated. But as I was checking in, I suddenly heard Christian worship music coming from the first floor. There ‘happened’ to be a prayer meeting for Filipino expats! I joined the prayer meeting and met the leaders, who later connected me with the translator who is now part of the Septuagint project. We see God’s hand in that.

Or take the story about our Creole translator for Haiti. One day, we got an email from a doctor in Miami, Florida, who originally came from Haiti. She was eager to get Derek’s Bible teaching to ‘her’ people in Haiti - could we do that? She was thrilled to hear about the Septuagint project and contacted us with some very good translators.

I could share similar stories, about the translator in Sweden, or Ethiopia, or Israel, but the message is clear. It is God’s fingerprint!”

Challenges

Paul identifies prayer as the biggest challenge, urging supporters to pray for the translators' protection. Many translators face spiritual battles, loneliness, depression, temptation, and health issues. Prayer support is vital to sustain them through these challenges.

Technical and financial challenges also loom large. Unlike the original Septuagint legend, which claims the translation was completed in 72 days, DPM’s project spans several years, requiring significant financial investment. Paul hopes for donors and trusts to support this monumental endeavor, one video and one translator at a time, trusting God to provide.

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