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Key Terms of the Bible Course

The Key Terms of the Bible Course is designed to help Mother Tongue (MT) speakers who have the New Testament or other Scripture portions available in their language discover how these terms have been translated into their local language so they become comfortable using them. If they are not fluent readers of the local language, the course should include practice in reading aloud. NOTE: It is also available in Spanish.

This May Be a Good Tool For Your Community If:

If a community already has at least some portions of the Bible in their language, this tool will help pastors, both from inside and outside the community, understand the important terms that the translators have chosen to use in the translated Scriptures.

It is an ideal course for an indigenous Bible school or for a workshop for indigenous pastors and church leaders. This is especially effective when translations in multiple indigenous languages can be compared.

This could be helpful in churches where local language Scriptures are not being used because the people don’t feel comfortable expressing the difficult concepts in the Bible in their language or know how to relate them to the dominant language terms.

This could be a very nice addition to any training workshop for pastors or leaders and can be expanded or contracted to meet the goals of the workshop.

How This Works

The course manual contains 43 key terms found in the Bible with Scripture references to passages where each key term is used in different contexts. By looking up these passages in their local language translation and back translating the meaning into a language of wider communication, participants begin to gain an understanding of how key terms are expressed in their language. When more than one language group is present, the experience is enriched by comparing back translations from many languages. The course manual is laid out in a flexible format, which enables users to pick and choose how many and which of the key terms they want to focus on in a given training event.

Scripture references are many and are taken from across the whole New Testament (NT). there are NO Old Testament references.

Finer Details

The Key Terms Manual is a workbook designed to facilitate using Scriptures already available in the local language.  Because of the predominance of training in national languages, there is a need to deliberately focus on important theological terms in local languages.  It is a simple manual with Scripture references to passages where the key words are used in different contexts.  If the book is used in a multilingual context, the depth of meaning and scope of the term comes out in the discussion of how the term has been translated in different languages.

This course will help church leaders and churches:

  • identify how key terms in their language are translated;
  • use the terms when they teach or preach;
  • better understand the doctrine based on or related to the key term;
  • attach greater value to the Scriptures in their language since they know that there are appropriate ways to communicate key terms in their own language and that it may change according to the context;
  • use the Scriptures with more confidence and motivate other people in their ethnic group to do so.

How To Get Started

Download the manual in English, Spanish, or Portuguese here.


This is a good way to teach Theology. It brings out different aspects of the meaning of the term in a way that is easy to understand.

From a Bible School Teacher after hearing how terms were translated in different languages

So that is what justification means!

From a Vaupes person

Now I can understand the Scriptures better.

From a Wayuu person

I didn’t think the translation in my language was very good. But now I really like it.

From a Mountain Group