I hope you have one (or many). These are people we look up to and who inspire us. Normally they are ordinary people who have, over time, made a huge difference in our lives; maybe in the world.
One of mine is Ken Taylor, founder of Tyndale House Publishers. Ken is an example of what can be accomplished through vision and sustained focus.
Believing that everyone should hear the Good News of The Gospel in a language they understood best, Ken spent hours translating for his children so that they could more easily understand the stories in the Bible. Paraphrases and individual books (Living Letters) lead to a whole New Testament (The Living Bible) and this led to new a new Bible translation (The New Living Translation).
Ken had a passion for building God’s Kingdom by making it easier to engage with his Word…his eternal Word…in a language and form ordinary people could relate to best Over many years, and not without criticism, Ken stayed focused on his goal. Today many have an understanding of God’s eternal truths because of his efforts.
Ken’s vision extended beyond English. Today, Mark Taylor, following in his fathers footsteps, continues to promote this vision. Tyndale has just published the Nueva Traducción Viviente in Spanish.
Ken was passionate, too, about empowering mother-tongue Bible translators in minority language communities around the world. He and his wife, Margaret, actively supported their developement and education. There is no way to count the contribution of one man, led by God, to work toward the completion of the Bible translation task. Like Cameroon Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Ken waved the flag of creating access to God’s Word for the minority and bypassed peoples of the earth.
Today, we are participating in the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation ever witnessed. Something we thought was a distant future is actually happening right in front of us: the eradication of Bible poverty in our lifetime. Who would have dreamed that? Ken Taylor did.
Who are your heroes, and what are you passionate about to dedicate time, energy and sustained focus to? Over time, it makes a difference. Ken sure did.