Mission Intersects with Bible Translation, Computational Linguistics, and Biblical Scholarship
In 1998 an evangelism ministry based in Japan founded Global Bible Initiative (GBI) to address Bible translation needs of churches planted in China. Our work was later expanded to include India, Myanmar, and Cambodia. In 2004, Dr. Andi Wu, a computational linguist with Microsoft, joined GBI to apply natural language processing to assist GBI’s translators. In 2008, Dr. Randall Tan, a biblical studies professor and scholar, came on staff to collaborate with Dr. Wu to produce resources and tools that assist translators without formal training in biblical languages.
The five translations the ministry is working on include:
Planting the Seeds for Greater Impact
In 2016, the ministry seeded GBI with funds and established us as an independent U.S. based 501(c)(3) organization. Due to the ministry’s generosity, we were given ownership of all prior intellectual property, enabling us to begin to offer the fruit of Dr. Wu’s and Dr. Tan’s many years of work (including rich Greek and Hebrew aligned resources) freely to the world. We also began to seek funding and pursue collaboration with key Bible translation organizations. Additionally, in 2017 we launched a pilot project in India to validate the use of our technology followed by another in Central Asia in 2018.
Innovation Built on Years of Prior Work
In 2018, building on his years of prior work with Dr. Tan, Dr. Wu developed the prototype of a unique machine-assisted translation technology called the ClearEngine. This technology automatically aligns a translation to the original text (like an interlinear) using any amount of text already translated. This interlinear mapping of the translation to the Greek and Hebrew and the automatic concordance it generated provided just-in-time, visual assistance to check and debug translation work. It also functioned like a dictionary to provide automatic suggestions when the same or similar words and phrases recurred in the translation process. This work was presented at a conference in February 2019.
From Innovation to Initial Concept
In 2019, we received funding to begin work on YouTranslate.Bible (YTB), an online machine-assisted Bible translation drafting and editing app. YTB empowers global church leaders to equip their people to translate the Bible with excellence.
In 2020, we released the initial concept of YTB with a simplified user interface designed to keep the complexity of Bible translation in the background and with an initial implementation of a portion of the ClearEngine.
Collaboration and Beyond
In 2020, we began an intentional drive toward deeper collaboration with other key organizations within the Bible translation ecosystem. We deepened our relationships with Biblica, SIL, UBS, and unfoldingWord as we moved to integrate our technology with theirs.
In late 2020, we launched a major re-branding effort, changing our name from Global Bible Initiative to Clear Bible, Inc to better express our mission and vision: Clear is accelerating the faithful translation of Scripture until all people can access God’s Word in their own language.
2021 has been the year of true collaboration for Clear. We developed a new prototype of a tool called the ClearSuite, which works in conjunction with the ClearEngine to help with translation checking. We are blessed to be working on several pilot projects together with our global partners. Ongoing collaborative testing and experimentation enable us to improve our technology continually to meet the practical needs of translation teams and our translation ministry partners.