“We can barely find good, biblical, Arabic resources,” said a TMAI professor regarding his ministry in the Middle East. “This is the problem: We don’t have enough good resources. We don’t have books that can show you the truth as it is.”
But change is happening—a book at a time.
Just last month, the Arabic translation of Biblical Doctrine landed and is now heading to take its place in a growing library of sound Arabic resources. “We are happy to have another book on our shelf to use and give to our students,” the professor said. And by God’s grace, additional projects are underway.
This is the kind of change that’s coming about through one of TMAI’s newest initiatives—the GPD.
Introducing the GPD
While most of us can get a box of Christian books delivered to our door in a day or two, most of the world’s Christians have next to no sound resources in their native tongue.
In response to this, many of our schools on the field have launched their own indigenous publishing ministries—and they’ve found fruitful results. “The Czech Bible Institute,” for example, “started a publishing house that’s now the largest Christian publishing house in the country,” said one TMAI executive. And through these efforts, more and more Christians around the world are gaining access to books that were never available before. As we’ve gotten deeper into this work…we’ve seen that the need for this is great but also the opportunity is just massive.
But publishing takes time. Lots of it.
When our schools began to face the mounting complexities that came with their publishing ministries, our headquarters looked for a way to get involved.
In 2020, we established the Global Publications Department (GPD) to relieve our schools of their burdens and still make sure they get great books. Led by Rick Kress, the GPD now streamlines the publication and distribution of indigenous biblical resources for all our schools around the world.
Strategic Field Support
When it comes to books and resources, the GPD supports the field in two ways:
For translation projects, the GPD bears the responsibility of interfacing with US publishers to manage license acquisitions and foreign translation rights. This ensures that our teams on the field can spend more time training their students.
For indigenous resources, the GPD works to develop and partner with in-country publishing houses that can carry this ministry forward into the next generation. This strategy is critical as more and more nationals start to write their own books.
Rick summarizes the two-step strategy to strengthen churches:
“The benefit of translating foundational works—like Bible expositions, Bible study notes, systematic theologies, and other resources—is that those kinds of books help train people to handle the Scriptures properly. Then, once indigenous authors are trained in that way, they are more equipped to go and write the kinds of books that apply Scripture to their own cultural context. So really the goal is to equip and enable indigenous authors.”
A former missionary adds,
“In the same way that we believe ‘A missionary is good but a national is better,’ we could say that ‘A translation is good, but a book written by a national is better.’ When you can write from an understanding of what your audience is living on a day-to-day basis, and when your readers understand that you get exactly where they’re coming from, then that resource is going to be so much more effective.”
This ministry has proven fruitful in country after country. “As we’ve gotten deeper into this work,” said one TMAI executive, “we’ve seen that the need for this is great but also the opportunity is just massive.” These first few years have already yielded a harvest of resources—and by God’s grace there’s more on the way. See below for a sample of what’s being done.
130 Books & Translations In Progress
Some languages include:
- English for India/Philippines
Major Upcoming Projects
- Zulu and Hebrew translations of the MacArthur Study Bible
- Armenian translation of Essential Christian Doctrine
- Russian and Albanian translations of Biblical Doctrine
Notable Projects Completed In 2021–22
- Burmese translation of MacArthur Bible Handbook
- Czech translation of Warren Wiersbe’s commentary
- Armenian translation of Growing Your Faith by Jerry Bridges
- Indonesian translation of Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
- Polish and Arabic translations of Biblical Doctrine
Want to Help the GPD?
Intercede: The best way to get involved in this ministry is through prayer. Please pray for the GPD as the team negotiates translation rights to key biblical resources. Pray also for the books on the ground to equip and embolden the faith of those who read them.
Invest: Another way you can help is to invest in these translation projects and involve your church in this ministry. To give now, please click here and select Translation and Global Publishing.
“The fruit of these resources will outlive us in time, and the effects of this work will echo in eternity.”
– Rick Kress, Director of the GPD