The Bentons': Wycliffe Bible Translators Joe and Mary Benton
Mary and Joe Benton
Mission: members of Wycliffe Bible Translators from the USA
Field organization: We serve under the auspices of the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) of Mexico, a partner organization of Wycliffe. We are field linguists, literacy workers and Bible translators for two Zapotec indigenous minority language groups in the state of Oaxaca (wah.HAH.kah), Mexico. Joe also serves as a translation consultant, while I (Mary) also serve as a Scripture Publication Editor and Literacy consultant. As consultants, we review the work that others in the SIL Mexico branch have done and make recommendations on how to improve it.
We love the Word of God and are so thankful for our salvation in Jesus Christ. The Bible is where we get to know God and hear His heart and plans for us and the world. Since 1972 we've been committed to serving the Lord in Bible translation. We praise God that many Zapotecs from both variants are now followers of Jesus Christ.
In 1990, with a Zapotec translation team, we presented the New Testament to the first Zapotec language group. Then in early 2014, with a different Zapotec translation team, we presented the New Testament to the second Zapotec language group.
With the help of speakers of each language, we have also prepared reading materials to help the people learn to read so they can read the Scriptures in their own language. As linguists we have analyzed the grammar and sound system of both variants, devised the alphabet for each one, and Joe especially has written up his findings in linguistic articles. In each language he has prepared a bilingual dictionary in Spanish and Zapotec with guidance from mother tongue speakers from both Zapotec variants.
There are continuing felt needs for using the Scripture and teaching people to read. In the first Zapotec language, we've been asked to do a New Testament revision, which Joe began in October 2014 with a new translation committee.In the second language, we've been asked to translate Old Testament portions, which I am now doing with a different translation committee.
We invite you to share our vision and join us as committed prayer and financial partners to bring God’s Word to these people hungry for it.