Carla Unseth

Bridge to God’s Word Podcast

Podcast of Carla Unseth, where you can learn about missions, the Bible, and Bible translation.

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August 17, 2023
Grace - Key Terms in Translation

Grace is our next key term in translation! This is a word we are quite familiar with, but is still difficult to translate as we consider the depth of the word. Here we consider the meanings of the original words, along with a particular translation that uses the word "love" to translate grace, and then the translation I am working with, which uses the phrase "free help". So do these accurately represent the meaning of the word grace? Listen in to find out!   Photo by Laura Allen on Unsplash

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June 26, 2023
Glory - Key Terms in Translation

For our next podcast series, I wanted to look at some key Biblical terms. These terms are significant for our understanding of faith, so they are very important for translation. The first word I want to consider is "glory". We have a sort of intuitive understanding of this word, but it can be hard to define...and translate! I also wanted to consider the passage 1 Corinthians 11:7, which says that woman is the glory of man. What does it mean to be someone else's glory? Join me in this look at the key Biblical term of "glory".    Here is the commentary that I reference in the podcast: Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987), 517.

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April 14, 2023
Drafting Titus - Final Cautions and Greetings

We have reached the end of Titus! This podcast covers Paul's final words of caution to Titus and his greetings from those with him to the church. We also look at our most important translation principle. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the nuances of drafting a Biblical text!

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February 18, 2023
Drafting Titus - A Miniature Gospel

We are nearing the end of the book of Titus! In this episode we look at the translation principle of how to translate special Biblical terms, and then we see this principle in action in verses 4 through 7, which contain a mini gospel! There are many key Biblical terms, but we look specifically at "regeneration" and "renewal".

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January 19, 2023
Drafting Titus - Can Grace ”Appear”? Translating Figures of Speech

In this episode we consider how to draft Titus 2:11-15. We also look at how to translate figures of speech, and note that in this verse, grace is personified so that it appears, offers salvation and teaches. What happens if it doesn't make sense in a new language to have an abstract noun do those things? This section ends Titus chapter 2!

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December 14, 2022
Drafting Titus - Relationships

As we continue through Titus considering various translation issues, we look in this episode at Titus 2:1-10. This section talks about Christian relationships and behavior. Five different groups of people are given instructions on God-honoring behavior: older men, older women, younger women, younger men, and servants. The primary translation issue is how to translate all these characteristics and how much implicit information can be made explicit - especially considering a passage where we might want to explain some of the concepts, such as women working at home and being submissive to their husbands! Join us as we consider how to translate these ideas.

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November 17, 2022
Drafting Titus - Dealing with the Rebellious

In this podcast, we look at translation issues in Titus 1:10-16. In this section, Paul is giving Titus instructions for dealing with "the rebellious", and particularly "those of the circumcision party." We discuss how translators sometimes have to take cultural information that would have been implied to the original readers and actually state it outright for a new audience. We look at the example of "the circumcision party" - what it means, how to state it in a clear way for a new audience, and how understanding the meaning of this phrase affects our understanding of the rest of the passage.

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October 1, 2022
Translating Titus - Qualifications for Elders

We are continuing our look through Titus. In this podcast we look at translation issues in Titus 1:5-9, which includes both how to translate words in lists that are very similar like "self-controlled" and "disciplined", and the issue of the "one woman man" - does this mean an elder is faithful to his wife, or has only one wife?

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September 2, 2022
Drafting Titus - Introduction

As my translation team works through the book of Titus, I thought it would be fun to look at it in podcast form as well. We will consider the issues that are specific to translation, which are different than the types of things you might consider in devotional study. This podcast looks at the introduction - verses 1 through 4, and considers issues like how to translate "slave", how to translate "God's elect", and how to make it clear that Titus isn't Paul's biological son.

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August 5, 2022
Drafting Titus - Background

Come along with our translation team as we draft Titus! Join me as a I go through the book of Titus as I would with our translation team, considering issues that are specific to translation and thinking about how to clearly, naturally, and faithfully express those concepts in another language. This episode gives the background that we need before starting to translate.

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May 24, 2022
Exegetical Checking

Join us in the translation room in this podcast! Our primary task while I was in Africa was Exegetical Checking - checking a text that has been drafted to revise it and make it as accurate as possible. Get a glimpse of what it was like as you hear our translators talking through the text together.

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November 7, 2021
Mindy - Loving the Littles

There are many "support" roles that are essential to Bible translation, one of which is a teacher. Missionary teachers allow families to stay on the mission field by providing quality education for their kids, which also allows parents to work at various aspects of translation while the kids are in school. In this episode, meet Mindy, who is our teacher here in West Africa. She is an essential part of our team! Hear a little about her call to teaching, to missions, and to Africa.

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September 27, 2021
Marty and Tina - Translation and Faithfulness

While I'm in West Africa, I wanted to give you a look at some of the people who are working here, and who have dedicated their lives to Bible Translation! This is Marty and Tina, who started working here in 1995, and have faithfully dedicated their lives to this translation project. It's a bit longer than usual, but their story is worth the listen!

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February 25, 2021
Roadmap to the Bible - The Ends and the End

Now we reach the end of the story of the Bible. This podcast looks at the spread of the Gospel from Israel to the ends of the earth, and then considers our part as the modern day church in the story of the Bible. But, the story doesn't end there. The Bible gives us a peak into the final conclusion of the whole Biblical story in the book of Revelation. Christ is victorious!

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December 4, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The First Church

The promise has been fulfilled! However, the end of the story isn't quite here yet. The New Testament tells the story of how the sin problem is actually solved through Christ. This podcast looks at the beginning of the book of Acts, and the first church as it learns to live as a community of believers and as God's new temple, and also as they prepare to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

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October 20, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The Life of Christ

The first part of the New Testament introduces the fulfillment of God's plan for redemption! This is done through the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ. This podcast considers Jesus' birth, his ministry of power, his teaching of the Kingdom of God, and how God's plan is fulfilled through his death and resurrection. The Kingdom is opened!

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September 24, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - New Testament Overview

Now that we have completed the Old Testament, we are moving on to the New Testament! This podcast has a bit of review - looking at the overall storyline of the Bible and the major themes and promises introduced in the Old Testament. Then, we move into the New Testament, looking at the structure of the books and how that fits the storyline of the Bible. Along with that, we consider how the major themes of the Old Testament are brought out in the New.

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August 19, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - Between the Old Testament and the New Testament

At the end of the Old Testament, the Israelites return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls, relearn the law, and wait for the Promised One to come. In the New Testament, not only is the Temple rebuilt, but we see a fully functioning religious system, with Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, scribes, and rabbis. So how did this change happen? This podcast looks at the many political and religious changes that happened between the Old Testament and New Testament - changes that prepared the world for the Messiah.

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July 17, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The Return

Israel remained in exile for seventy years, but then things started to change! In three groups, Jews returned from exile to rebuild the temple, restore worship of God, and then rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. A mixture of hope and sadness marked this time as the Jews sought covenant faithfulness once again.     Photo by Ales Me on Unsplash

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June 12, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The Exile

We only get a small glimpse of life in exile for the Israelites through the books of Ezekiel and Daniel. Each of these men prophesied both judgment and hope, though they had different audiences, and each one revealed a different part of God's plan for restoration.

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May 20, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The Fall of Israel and Judah

In the last episode, we discussed the split of Israel into two nations: Israel and Judah. This episode looks at the kings who ruled Israel and Judah and the prophets who brought God's word to the people. Unfortunately, neither nation devoted themselves to the Lord, and both ultimately fell. The picture with this episode is ruins of the Second Temple, which was actually built after the Jews returned from exile, and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. It was taken by my Mom when she visited Israel in 2020!

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April 10, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - The Kingdom Divides

Solomon's kingship was a time of great prosperity for Israel. It seems like the promise is being fulfilled! But this episode reveals that Solomon wasn't the promised king. We look at Solomon's successor and how the Kingdom of Israel ultimately divides into two. How will God fulfill his promise now?

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March 6, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - Covenant and Kings

The last episode considered whether the Israelites following the law mediated by judges could solve the sin problem, and in this episode we turn to a new attempt to solve the sin problem - a king. Will a king be able to keep Israel on track? We look at Saul, David, and Solomon and see an amazing covenant that God makes with David.

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January 31, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - Entering the Promised Land

The Israelites are now poised to enter the Promised Land, and it looks like the promise to Abraham is being fulfilled. This podcast looks at the books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth as the Israelites enter the Promised Land, fight to possess it, and then attempt to follow the Law. Will the Law solve the sin problem?

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January 1, 2020
Roadmap to the Bible - Advent

On this episode I am joined by a special guest - my daughter Jamie! On this short Christmas episode, I look at a Christmas tradition which ties the story of the Bible to the magic of Christmas - the Jesse tree. Jamie helps me to explain what a Jesse tree is and how it helps us to prepare our hearts for the birth of the Messiah. The picture with the episode shows our tree, plus the ornaments that Jamie mentions!

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November 4, 2019
Roadmap to the Bible - Establishing God's Government

The books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy can be hard to understand because they are full of rituals and laws that we don't totally understand. However, these books help us to understand what it takes for us to approach a holy God, and leave us with the question of whether a "theocracy" - a government by God - is what will bring people back into a relationship with God and solve the sin problem.

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October 11, 2019
Roadmap to the Bible - Out of Egypt

The last episode ended with the Israelites in Egypt. God's promise is threatened as the Israelites face the possibility of being wiped out by the Egyptians. This podcast shows God's miraculous rescue of His people, and the covenant He makes which will guide the nation for the rest of its history.  Here is the link to the blog post that is mentioned:

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September 13, 2019
Roadmap to the Bible - Our Forefathers

After humanity's initial attempts to solve the problem of sin, God steps in and shows again that He will solve the problem through Himself. He promises Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob a coming "son" that will save the world from the problem of sin and restore the world to relationship with him, the only way that peace will be possible.

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July 26, 2019
Roadmap to the Bible - The Story Begins

Now that you have an overview of the story, we return to the beginning of the story. With creation, we discuss questions such as "why did God create?" and "did God know that humans would sin?" Then we look at the stories of creation, the fall, the flood, and the tower of Babel and consider how they reflect the overall theme of the Bible.

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June 28, 2019
Roadmap to the Bible - Old Testament Overview

Ever feel like you need a "roadmap" through the Bible? This podcast is the beginning of a series that will be an overview of the Bible. We will look at the theme of the Bible and how all the stories work together to demonstrate that theme. This podcast is a quick overview of the Old Testament so that you can get an idea of the arrangement of all the stories before we take an in-depth look at how they relate to the theme of the Bible.

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May 17, 2019
The Nature of Jesus

In this episode of the podcast, we dive into theology and take a look at the nature of Jesus. Normally when we talk about Jesus, we think mostly about salvation, but here we look at how and why Jesus is both human and divine. This is a doctrine called the "hypostatic union".

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February 19, 2019
How We Got the Bible: Modern Day Translations

In the last hundred years, there have been nearly ninety Bible translations! All of these translations are a resource for us, but it often raises the questions of "Why are there so many?" and "Are they all accurate?" This podcast discusses the reasons there are so many translations, and why they sound different from each other, but are still faithful translations of the original. It also includes some tips on choosing a Bible translation for your own personal reading and study.

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January 10, 2019
How We Got the Bible: Reformation to King James

Following the Reformation, Bible translation into English was given a political boost by the Anglican church. This podcast talks about the translations that were done during the late Reformation period up until the time of the King James Version, which ended the second major period of translation. If you are interested in knowing more about the King James Version, this podcast is for you! The picture here is the front page of the Geneva Bible, a revolutionary translation in many ways.

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November 30, 2018
How We Got the Bible: The Canon

"Canon" means "measuring rod", and in speaking of the Bible it means the books which have been tested and included in the Bible as God's inspired word. In this podcast I explore the formation of the Canon - in other words, how were these books chosen? I look at the formation process of the Canon over the years of Biblical history, with who made the final decisions on the books and what criteria they used. I also touch briefly on the Apocrypha and why it is not included in the Protestant Bible.     Photo by Andrea Sonda on Unsplash

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October 25, 2018
How We Got the Bible: The Start of the Reformation

This podcast picks up at the end of the 1000 year period of no Bible translation. Several key figures began a reformation within the church, including John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, and William Tyndale. Interestingly, each of these men called for reform in the church, and for each of them, people reading the Bible in their own language was part of the reform they wanted.

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September 14, 2018
How We Got the Bible: The First Translations

This podcast looks at the early period of translations - the first translation of the Hebrew Bible, and the translations that followed the death of Christ. These translations were marked by two things: persecution, and growth of the church. The fire of persecution caused an explosion of translation!

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August 17, 2018
How We Got the Bible: Inspiration

This podcast starts a series on how we got the English Bible. Why are there so many different translations? Are they reliable? We are going to look at the history of the English Bible through the centuries and answer some of these questions. We will start at the very beginning - who wrote the Bible in the first place? This podcast describes the doctrine of "inspiration" - men carried along by the Spirit, much like a sailboat carried by the wind.    Photo by Alin Meceanu on Unsplash

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July 11, 2018
Bridge Bible Study: Application

In this podcast we reach the final step of the Bridge Bible Study method: application. After we understand the overarching principles of the passage, it is important to look at how they apply in our cultural context, along with how they apply to our own lives personally. We look at the principles we have gleaned from Mark 1:21-28 along with some possible applications to American culture and some questions to ask as we apply it to our own personal lives.   Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

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June 15, 2018
Bridge Bible Study: Interpretation Part 2

This podcast finishes the "Interpretation" phase of our study of Mark 1:21-28. We consider the second tool that can be used for interpretation - using commentaries. Since many people have already studied these passages, we can read what they have to say in order to help understand the underlying meaning of the text. The three commentaries referenced are the Word Biblical Commentary, the New American Standard Commentary, and the NIV Life Application Commentary. Check with your pastor or church library for other good commentaries you can use.

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May 17, 2018
Bridge Bible Study: Interpretation Part 1

This podcast moves on to the next step of the Bridge Bible Study method: interpretation. We continue to study Mark 1:21-28 by looking at what tools help us to understand the overarching principles of the text that apply to all times and all places. In this episode, we consider the first tool for interpretation, which is using cross-references. The Bible itself can help us understand the meaning of the Bible.     Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

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April 3, 2018
Bridge Bible Study: Observation Part 2

This podcast finishes the "Observation" phase of our study of Mark 1:21-28. It looks at the "why" questions - questions that get deeper into the structure and meaning of the passage. You will discover that this passage has an interesting literary structure which highlights the main point of the story.

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March 9, 2018
Bridge Bible Study: Observation Part 1

Today we apply the Bridge Bible Study method that I introduced last week by looking at Mark 1:21-28, which is the story of Jesus casting out an impure spirit. We begin the process of observation by considering who, when, and where the passage takes place, along with observing some keys to understanding "what" the text means.     Photo by João Silas on Unsplash

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February 1, 2018
Bible Study Methods

We are so priviledged to have the Bible in so many versions to read and study! It is essential that we take advantage of this great wealth that we have and study the Bible on our own. However, that is not always easy to do. This podcast gives a brief overview of one Bible study method, using a bridge as an illustration: Observe what it means for them, Interpret the overarching principles, and Apply it to your life.

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January 4, 2018
Advent Reflection Week 4 - Rejoice!

Rejoice! The Lord has come! In this final Advent Reflection, we consider the rejoicing of those who saw Christ's birth, and how we can rejoice in the hope of His second coming.

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December 22, 2017
Advent Reflection Week 3 - Repent

Part of preparing for Christ's first and second comings is repenting, which is bringing ourselves in line with Christ. We agree that we have sinned, and we agree to change. Hear about Zechariah's repentance, and our response of repentance as well. This podcast is a recording of the live Advent Reflections Webinar! There were a few sound issues, so in places I re-recorded so you could hear things that got muffled. Enjoy!

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December 20, 2017
Advent Reflection Week 2 - Prepare

Part of waiting for Christ's return is preparing ourselves for Him. This Advent Reflection considers how Mary prepared for the birth of Christ and how we can prepare for His second coming.

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December 19, 2017
Advent Reflection Week 1 - Wait with Joy

The first in a four part series of Advent Reflections. Advent is a time to remember and celebrate Christ's first coming, and to anticipate His second coming. How did the Israelites wait for the Messiah, and how can we wait with joy for His return?

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October 18, 2017
Scripture Engagement

The next step of the translation process is to print the Scriptures, distribute them, and help people engage with Scriptures. This podcast ends with a challenge to those of us who have had the Scripture for many years, and introduces the next podcast series to help us answer that challenge.

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September 6, 2017
Consultant Checking

The next step in the translation process is the consultant check. This is where someone with training in both translation and in exegesis (bible study) looks at the translation and checks it for accuracy. This job will be a large part of my role with Pioneer Bible Translators.

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July 27, 2017
The Kono Project - Translation in Process

Get a glimpse of a real translation in progress! This episode is an interview with Steve, who is a translation facilitator for the Kono Project in Africa. This project is at the beginning stages, and Steve is working on linguistics. Steve and Carla met to finalize the Kono alphabet and write spelling rules for the language. Hear about some of the challenges the Kono Project has faced, their reasons for pressing forward, and how it feels to have an alphabet! Steve shares a story as well of the Kono word for Savior! This is a great look at a real translation project as it moves forward!

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July 6, 2017
Comprehension Checking

After a translation is drafted, it goes through several different checks to make sure that it is accurate to the Biblical text, as well as clear to the readers, and natural sounding in the language. This podcast talks about the process of "comprehension checking" - meeting with language speakers to make sure the translation is easily understood by a mother-tongue language speaker.

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June 2, 2017

The next step in the translation process is drafting. This podcast explores two things that drafters must keep in mind - the meanings of the words and the structures of sentences.

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May 17, 2017
Linguistics as Part of Translation

When people find out I am a linguist, they often ask how many languages I speak, and are kind of disappointed to learn that I really only speak English! This podcast explains a little bit about how linguistics plays into translation, and how my linguistics training allows me to work with a language that I don't speak.

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April 17, 2017
The Process of Translation

Welcome to the podcast for Building a Bridge to God's Word! In this episode, you will learn a little bit about the process of Bible translation. There are many steps to translating the Bible, and this will give you a broad overview of everything that is involved in bringing God's word to people in their own languages!