Choosing to illustrate interesting events in the text may help build audience interest in the story of Scripture, and this interest may be more foundational to audiences’ relationship with God than knowledge of details about what objects and places looked like.
Illustrations often serve motivational functions for readers, especially reluctant readers, increasing their enjoyment of a text and the amount of time they give it. Various audiences require different kinds of Scripture visuals to care about the message and understand it well. Just as translators need to carefully check the words of Scripture, it is important that they also check Scripture illustrations with members of the intended audience, and if needed, change their choices based on this interview feedback. This paper encourages translation teams to check visual elements of Scripture with members of the intended audience, and helps prepare consultants to check illustrations based on local visual vocabulary, grammar and rhetoric.
This is an edited version of a paper presented at the Bible Translation Conference in October 2015, Dallas, Texas.