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Translation and Syncretism | Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt
Episode 10512th April 2024 • Essentially Translatable • Lutheran Bible Translators
00:00:00 00:36:10

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In this episode of the Essentially Translatable Podcast, Rich Rudowske engages in discussion with Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt on the importance of cultural and contextual nuances when communicating the Gospel. Dr. Rutt has an impressive 40-year career serving in ministry. Most notably he has served as missionary to Guatemala, Director for International Ministries at Lutheran Hour Ministries, and Provost for Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. 

The conversation delves into two concepts: syncretism—the tendency to mix non-Christian beliefs with Christian ideals, and contextualization—communicating God's Word in ways that resonate with a culturally diverse audience while maintaining the purity of the Gospel message.  

These topics are informed by Dr. Rutt's extensive experience in international ministry, as well as his recent article, “Translation and Syncretism”, published in Concordia Journal in spring of 2023. This article explores the complexities of Bible translation, the significance of Scripture being available in one’s Mother-tongue, and the critical role of exegesis in both understanding the Word and the world.  

Tune into learn how Dr. Rutt’s transition from commercial pilot to seminary student led to a life-changing experience as a missionary to Guatemala and his continued service in God’s kingdom.  

Read “Translation and Syncretism” here


  • Dr. Rutt and Rich discuss the recently published article “Translation and Syncretism” 
  • Dr. Rutt is a former missionary to Guatemala with 40 years of experience in ministry 
  • Two key terms: syncretism and contextualism, are discussed in relation to Bible translation. 




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