MAST Overview



MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation) training is available to empower the global church to draft their Bible in months rather than years. The pilot program took place in 2014.  Since that time, God has opened doors to expand its influence. MAST is now also touching the illiterate, using translation recorder to do oral Bible translation. The deaf community is also beginning to benefit as we have developed a program we call DOT (Deaf Owned Translation) to address their Bible translation needs.

We can send a team for 2 weeks and train mother tongue speakers to do Bible Translation.  We will assess the group for language fluency, Biblical knowledge, computer familiarity and basic thinking skills.  We then have them form groups that can work in parallel on the translation work.  Here are the steps taken:



       Phase 1: Naturalness        Phase 2: Accuracy        Phase 3: Final Editing
  • Consume
  • Verbalize
  • Chunking (Thought Units)
  • Blind Draft
  • Self-Edit
  • Peer Edit
  • Keyword Check
  • Verse by Verse Check
  • Community Check
  • Church Check




Consume and Verbalize Text: Participants read the text and discuss it with another participant to develop their understanding.  The goal is to get the big picture and a general understanding of the passage.  Talking about it will force the information into the short term memory of the translator.

Chunk and Draft Text: Participants divide or “chunk” the text into smaller portions that are more than a single verse, but not generally more than three or four verses.  After reading the chunk, they close their source text, and draft the new text.  The goal is to have workable bite-sized pieces that can then be expressed in a natural way.

Self-edit: Participants compare their drafted text to the source text.  This helps each translator take personal responsibility to correct their own mistakes.

Peer edit: Participants trade drafted texts and compare the work to source text.  This increases accuracy and naturalness.

Key Words/Verse Check: Facilitators review the drafted text with participants to see if key terms made it into the text and that they were used correctly.  It is important that the meaning for these words are well defined and expressed in a natural and clear manner.  They also verify that no verses or thoughts were omitted.

Community and Church Check: The group reviews drafts for naturalness, clarity, and accuracy making suggestions to improve the text.


Places to find additional details:

Bruce Smith's blog  is a great resource for a more in-depth look.

Testimony from Cameroon after participating with the MAST process.

Here is an overview of the MAST process as we worked on Open Bible Stories in Papua New Guinea.

Having tools for the MAST process in gateway languages is important. The church in Brazil is excited to be part of this movement.

Go to the MAST Theory Training website to see how research in the fields of psychology, neurosciences, and education has resulted in several theories of personality and learning upon which MAST is based.

You can be a part: