This is the story of Neville Taylor and his love for Bible mission.
His passion for the Bible was so strong he wanted to continue the legacy of Bible work after his death by making a gift to Bible Society in his Will.
His gift will have an impact not just on this generation but for several to come.
A bequest for Bible mission
The Bible was Neville Taylor’s life-blood. Reading, studying, teaching, translating and memorising it was a source of strength to him. The Bible was also a fount of understanding, conviction and inspiration for his roles as a missionary and translator, as well as a source of joy throughout his life.
His daughter Adrianne said that it drew him even closer to the God who speaks through it. “As long as he still had his sight we would often find him reading it,” she said.
Raised in a Christian family, Neville loved God from an early age. For his enthusiasm one time while street preaching, a heckler took his billboard covered in Bible verses and smashed it down over Neville’s head.
One of the many Christian preachers he admired was Robert Laidlaw (founder of the Farmers Trading Company). Later Neville went on to become a preacher in Open Brethren Churches.
As a serviceman in the New Zealand Army during WWII, he set the habit of reading the Bible and praying each night before going to sleep. He was never ridiculed for it, his son David said. He was posted to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. As they approached the island in landing craft they were bombed by enemy planes. Neville told his son how terrifying it was and how he drew strength from the verse, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you,” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV).
A missionary in Chad (Africa) for 26 years, Neville and his wife Evelyn dedicated their lives to the Mbai people. And it was while teaching evangelists and Bible school students that he increasingly felt the need to translate the Old Testament into the local Mbai language. Neville also loved the Psalms and wanted to preach from them.
So in 1960 Neville began work on the translation of the Psalms into Mbai with a Chadian national. In preparation, he taught himself Hebrew and Greek. This in itself was quite an achievement as he had left school at fourteen. On completion of the Psalms in 1965, Neville set to work with a translation team on the Old Testament. This was completed in 1972 along with a revision of the New Testament. David said these two translation projects were the most satisfying achievements of his father’s life.
It was Neville and Evelyn’s wishes that part of their legacy be used for church work in Chad. “The Bible was central to Mum’s and Dad’s life. It is to each of us, their children, as well.”
“Translating the Bible was a big part of Dad’s work and so funding a Bible translation project is something Dad would have wanted.”
“Each people group needs to have the Bible in its birth language. The Chadian Arabic language is one of those languages. So we are thrilled to help in this translation and fulfil the wishes of our father and mother.”
Neville’s passion for the Bible and its translation led him to make a bequest to Bible Society. If you’d like to leave a lasting legacy like Neville did, fill in the form below and we’ll make contact with you.
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