Wycliffe Associates

Wycliffe Associates & MAST

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Wycliffe Associates

Wycliffe AssociatesWycliffe Associates is a Bible translator but it isn't Wycliffe USA, even though the two share the same headquarters building in Orlando, Florida. Wycliffe Associates was a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators, also known as Wycliffe Global Alliance, but left it in 2016 to protest the alliance's Muslim-appeasing translations that blaspheme the Lord's name (see below).

Wycliffe Associates was founded in 1967 by Bill Butler, Dale Kietzman and Rudy Renfer, three men who thought translators with Wycliffe USA were spending too much time on tasks other than translating, and founded Wycliffe Associates to have Bible translators focus on translating and let other Christian volunteers build buildings, provide technology and other support services. (Wycliffe Associates and other "Wycliffe" Bible translators are named after John Wycliffe, the 14th century Englishman who was the first to translate the Bible into English, from Latin Vulgate, and was condemned for it.*)

Surmising this model of Bible translation to be still too slow, Wycliffe Associates overhauled it in 2014. Instead of sending and supporting Western Bible translators to learn a foreign language and then sequentially translate the 66 books of the Bible, Wycliffe Associates began offering technical and financial support to the target language's indigenous churches so that teams of their members can translate the Bible into their own language using just pen and paper. Wycliffe Associates trained them, provided them with Bibles in other languages that the translators also understood, assigned each of them to different portions of the Bible, and oversaw them as they translated simultaneously (image below, Cameroon in 2015, source), using these 8 steps of their new model, dubbed "MAST" (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation):

1.  Read or listen to the text in the source language, typically one chapter.
2.  Using the native language, verbally describe to a partner what was just read or heard.
3.  Divide the passage into small "chunks," and re-read or hear the first chunk.
4.  Draft the translation of the chunk without looking at the source text.
5.  Improve the draft using the source text, translation dictionaries, commentaries, etc.
6.  Trade with a partner, and suggest, discuss and make edits to each other's draft.
7.  Check to ensure correct translation of key (e.g., abstract spiritual) terms.
8.  In pairs or in larger teams, check the translation verse-by-verse against the source text, make needed improvements, then move onto the next chunk.

Wycliffe Associates - MAST

The completed translation is word-processed to create digital copies, which are then printed and distributed. If the target language is purely oral, instead of taking a decade to create and teach a written form of that oral language, Wycliffe Associates has the volunteering indigenous Christians orally translate the Bible into an audio recording. The MP3 files are then compiled, copied and distributed to be heard via MP3 players or mobile phones.


1.  MAST can cut the time needed to translate the Bible into a new language from 20-30 years to just a few months or even less, depending on the number of volunteering translators. For example, if 13 volunteers each translate 2 chapters per week, the 260 chapters in the New Testament can be translated in 10 weeks.

2.  MAST claims to cut the cost to translate the Bible into a new language from $2,000,000 to "$19,500": "Wycliffe Associates seeks to begin 10 Bible translation projects... Each language project will cost $19,500" (source). However, there are unanswered questions about the veracity of this claim (see below).


1.  Wycliffe Associates compromises on accuracy.

Because a MAST translation prioritizes speed and is a compilation of translations by many different people, most of whom are not formally trained translators and some of whom may have weak linguistic abilities, it isn't as accurate or uniform as a translation done over decades by a formally trained translator, with three caveats. First, no translation is ever perfect, and all translations - even those done by professional translators - are edited and improved over time. Second, people who have no Bible are better off waiting several weeks to months for an imperfect translation than waiting several decades for a less imperfect translation, or dying while waiting for it. Third, even the initial versions of MAST-translated Bibles are better than Wycliffe Bible Translators' blasphemous "Bibles" that intentionally replace "God the Father" with "Allah" or "Guardian," and "Son of God" with "Representative of God" or "Beloved one from God" in order to appease Muslims by portraying God as NOT being Trinitarian.

2.  Wycliffe Associates wastes donations to solicit more donations.

From 2015 to 2020, 28 cents of every $1 donated to Wycliffe Associates ($41.3 million / $149.3 million) was spent on fundraising:

($ Million) 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 Total
Donations $27.3 $29.3 $24.4 $22.8 $22.8 $22.7 $149.3
Other Rev. $18.7 $19.8 $13.2 $14.0 $8.2 $18.4 $92.3
Total Rev. $46.0 $49.1 $37.6 $36.8 $31.0 $41.1 $241.6
Bible Translation $35.4 $37.7 $30.0 $33.3 $32.6 $27.7 $196.7
Fundraising $7.3 $7.1 $6.8 $7.7 $7.0 $5.4 $41.3
Gen. Mgmt. $2.1 $2.2 $2.9 $4.0 $2.8 $2.1 $16.1
Total Expenses $44.8 $47.0 $39.7 $45.0 $42.4 $35.2 $254.1


3.  There are doubts about the veracity of Wycliffe Associates' claims.

As quoted above, Wycliffe Associates indicated that each MAST translation, to which it switched in 2014, costs "$19,500," and the amount spent on "Bible Translation" from 2015 to 2020 was $196.7 million, enough for 10,087 translations ($196,700,000 / $19,500). Yet, only 424 New Testaments were translated during this period (see below), which would have cost $8.3 million (424 x $19,500), equal to only 4.2% of the $196.7 million Wycliffe Associates reported spending on "Bible Translation" during this period. On May 8, 2021, Wycliffe Associates was emailed as below concerning the unaccounted $95.8% of the $196.7 million:

Dear Wycliffe Associates,

Your webpage states,
"Wycliffe Associates sees record number of completed Bible translations in 2020... New Testament translations were completed in 141 languages, and 8 languages now have completed translations of the Old Testament." 141 New Testament translations being completed during the 12 months of 2020 infers 106 New Testament translations being completed during the nine months from April 1, 2020 to the end of 2020.

Your webpage states,
"318 New Testaments have been completed using MAST" as of April 1, 2020.

This means
424 New Testaments (318 + 106) were completed from 2014, when MAST was launched, to the end of 2020.

Your webpage states,
"Wycliffe Associates seeks to begin 10 Bible translation projects... Each language project will cost $19,500."

$19,500 x 424 translations = $8.3 million.

Your Annual Reports from 2015 to 2020 report
"Bible Translation Ministry Programs" expenses that total $196.7 million ($27.7 million in 2015, $32.6 million in 2016, $33.3 million in 2017, $30.0 million in 2018, $37.7 million in 2019, and $35.4 million in 2020).

Based on the figures you reported, of the nearly $200 million spent on
"Bible Translation Ministry Programs" from 2015 until 2020, only 4.2% ($8.3 million / $196.7 million) was spent on MAST.

Could you please name the various programs of the
"Bible Translation Ministry Programs" and indicate how much of the $196.7 million was spent on each program?

Also, what is the current or the 2020 compensation (salary + benefits) for each of these officials listed on your webpage?

TIM NEU - Interim President / Chief Executive Officer
SCOTT BROWN - Vice President of Finance and Administration
STEVE MARTIN - Vice President of Field Development
FRANK NOLAN - Vice President of Marketing and Communications
TABITHA PRICE - Vice President of Translation Services
MARK STEDMAN - Vice President of Technology

Thank you in advance.



1.  Respond to the enquiry above. 

2.  Prayerfully rely on God instead of high-pressure fundraisers for His provision.

* "That pestilent and most wretched John Wycliffe, of damnable memory, a child of the old devil, and himself a child or pupil of Antichrist... crowned his wickedness by translating the Scriptures into the mother tongue." - Thomas Arundel (1353-1414), Archbishop of Canterbury