Issue No. 2

June 2023

Read on to discover a massive freely-licensed Bible data corpus, successful translation projects, and a parable about a peanut butter sandwich.

This newsletter is intended to be a community resource to enable Bible Translation technologists to discover, learn, share, and collaborate. Read about the backstory and intentions of the newsletter here.

∴ Apps + Tools

Demo: The Bible Translator's Assistant (TBTA)
TBTA is a very interesting rules-based machine-assisted translation platform from OneBook.

The Parallel Passage Tool in Paratext 9.3
New features have come to the parallel passage tool in Paratext. This article is written in a way that helps existing users and sheds light on important use cases while introducing a new feature. It's a valuable read for those in and outside the Paraxext family of tools. By Jeff Shrum. A web app that munches on TEI Collations Currently in public beta testing, Apatosaurus can analyze and visualize TEI collations. It enables users to compare multiple witnesses and explore digital editions. See this example. From David Flood. Learn more.

∴ Data + Research

The eBible Corpus: Data and Model Benchmarks for Bible Translation for Low-Resource Languages.
This recent paper introduces a large curated corpus of parallel data derived from The paper describes how the corpus was curated and demonstrates how it can be used to train machine translation models and validate their accuracy. From the Partnership of Applied Biblical NLP (PAB-NLP).

The Parable of the Peanut Butter Sandwich: An Exercise in Artificial Intelligence and (Pseudo-) Bible Translation
An entertaining article that explores using Bing to translate, analyze and adapt an AI-generated parable. The content here serves as a helpful snapshot of the capabilities of Generative AI in 2023 and a careful reminder of the dangers wrought by VCR ownership and maintenance. From the Journal of Translation by Drew Maust. Direct link to article.

What are embeddings?
Embeddings are a foundational data structure used for a variety of NLP and AI tasks. This excellent paper offers explanations for engineers and business-oriented folks alike. It's also abundant with helpful and interesting references. Start with sections 1 and 2 in the PDF for a high-level overview. By Vicki Boykis.

∴ Field + Community

Support.Bible is a forum for BT software support
From the Assure Alliance, this useful tool enables users in the Bible translation community to ask questions about fielded BT software tools. Questions and answers can be socially upvoted. To have your tool added, contact

TIPs: Translation Insights and Perspectives
This website collects Bible translations, back-translations, and other interesting notes. While wandering the site one might run into Psalm 90 in Southern Altai Throat Singing, a back-translation of Psalm 24 from Nyaneka, a sampling of back-translations for Psalm 1:1 and more. The accompanying Twitter account is a great source of serendipity for one's feed.

What Happens When Christians and Muslims Translate Scripture Side by Side
Understanding the dynamic of translation projects on the ground is central to developing effective technology solutions. This is an informative article that describes unexpected (positive) results in the field. From Christianity Today.

A 17-year project to translate the Bible into Doric concludes
Doric is the first dialect of Scots to receive a full Bible translation. Listen to the Beatitudes read the by the translator, Gordon Hay.