One Among a Thousand: Interpreting In Christian Settings [Resource]

There are very few books specifically geared towards what we do in Deaf Ministry. Recently, I had an opportunity to read a book specifically focused on interpreting in the Christian setting. This book, “One Among a Thousand,” by Andrew Owen, is an insightful book for anyone involved in church interpreting for the Deaf.

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About the Author

If you are unfamiliar with Andrew Owen, he serves at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, also known as Charles Spurgeon’s church (we wrote about him here and here). According to the publisher’s website (Wakeman Trust), “Andrew Owen is a Communication Support Worker, working in London colleges and universities. He is responsible for the large Deaf Fellowship at the Metropolitan Tabernacle (Baptist Church) in central London and trains both spoken and sign language interpreters.”

About the Book

“One Among a Thousand” derives its name from Job 33:23, “If there be a messenger with him, an

The cover of “One Among a Thousand”

interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness.” This is a foundational book for the church interpreter. Owen uses the Bible to develop a Christian Code of Ethics, a Biblical Model of Interpreting, and a Church Interpreter’s Code of Practice. For those of us who have interpreted any amount of time, a lot of what Owen writes might feel like common sense (for example, he makes a strong case that a church interpreter ought to be a Christian themselves, something most of our readers would readily agree with), but for me it was great to have the information articulated and presented systematically with Biblical support.

Owen uses the Bible to develop a Christian Code of Ethics, a Biblical Model of Interpreting, and a Church Interpreter’s Code of Practice.

I plan to obtain physical copies (I read it in Kindle and not everyone has an e-reader) to pass around to to the interpreters I oversee. “One Among a Thousand” will impact the way I train my interpreters. Many (possibly most) church interpreters have no formal or professional training or experience interpreting (I do not mean this as a criticism of church interpreters, just as a statement of fact that carries it’s own positives and negatives) and wonder how much latitude they have to make the message clear or what are the standard practices in a given situation. A code of ethics and code of practice that is uniquely Biblical, along with a Biblical model for them to follow, is something from which the interpreters in my church will benefit tremendously.

Where can I get it?

If you want to obtain a copy of “One Among a Thousand,” a quick Google search will reveal several British book stores which may or may not ship to the United States. I have not personally tried any of these providers, so I cannot recommend any at this time. (As I try to obtain these for my interpreters, I will post an update on this article if I have any success or find an American distributor.) The easiest way to read this book in the United States (where we are based) so is via Amazon as an ebook.

I hope this book is as much of a blessing for you as it was for me!

Have you read “One Among a Thousand”? What were your thoughts?

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