Bilingual Church Planting
Do all members of a church need to speak the same language? This is one of the questions we face in the planting Connexion Rockland. Located 40km east of downtown Ottawa, Rockland is a bilingual community hosting about 10 thousand people (the larger community of Clarence-Rockland hosts nearly 25 thousand people). Through the covid pandemic, the value of real estate has skyrocketed in Canada’s Capital Region, and Rockland is experiencing significant growth that is reshaping the linguistic profile of the city. In this article, we explore church planting in a bilingual population from the perspective of Agape love (1 Cor 13). After explaining why this topic needs to be treated with care, we highlight the importance of approaching it from a missional viewpoint. We discuss whether bilingual church planting is a viable model to obey the “one another” commands found in the New Testament. Then, we examine biblical requirements and tactical options for translation in bilingual churches, before presenting concluding remarks.
Bilingualism: A Sensitive Topic
For various reasons, the topic of bilingualism tends to trigger strong emotions in Canada. May God fill us with peace. May He help disciples of Jesus anchor their identity in Christ instead of languages or other vehicles of culture. God loves all peoples and speaks all languages.
Healing and Love
May the Lord bring healing to our hearts and minds, regarding fears, apprehensions, hurts, self-centeredness, pride, and wounds associated with the topic of bilingualism. Many of us have been reduced to one of our languages. Many have been forced to learn a language to be promoted at work. Many have been disadvantaged because of their limited fluency in a language. Many have experienced the pain of not being serviced, not being considered, or not being carefully heard because of their accents. Many, who were open to conversations on bilingualism at first, have been associated with extreme positions with which they did not identify. Many language-related promises have been heard, in public life, for political gain. In Canada, the word "bilingual" is tainted with so much conflict and heartache. Many relationships have been strained, because of the topic of language. May the Father of mercy come to our rescue. We need healing at the deepest level. We need humility. We need God's perspective on language. May the Lord reform and renew our understanding. May the Good Shepherd bring us close to his heart to care for our hearts. As disciples of Jesus, we need to learn to depend on one another in areas where we are weaker, without feeling threatened. We need the safety which Christ provides, to be vulnerable and open to help. We need Christ. Followers of Jesus need to learn to function in biblical communities. Oh, that the Lord would spread life, where language wounds are sore.
May the Lord help us move from hospitality to full-on outward Christ-like love. May the Spirit help us be genuinely welcoming, friendly, congenial, and cordial. May our words and our attitudes be gracious and amicable. May our minds be filled with the passionate, outgoing love of Jesus for the nations, for people from all tribes and tongues. May God synchronize our heartbeats for the people God wants to form out of all people groups. May our hearts be filled with a genuine desire to see God praised in diverse ways. May our hearts be so enthusiastic about the glory of God that we would stand first in line to sacrifice and be spent for the worship of God by people from all tribes and nations. God is glorious. He deserves to be loved in all languages, including French and English. His excellencies are worthy of being extolled in French, English, and all other languages. May our hearts be kindled by God's passion for the nations.
In the Rockland area, about half of people speak French. Franco-Ontarians are mostly unreached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is rare to meet Franco-Ontarians who claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is rare to meet Franco-Ontarians who can explain what the Good News of Jesus is. Our hearts are broken because many of our friends, colleagues, families are as we were: sheep without a shepherd for their soul. We want to say: "God, here we are; use us. What can we do? We don't have the pretention to know what we should do. Lord, use our homes, our families, our everything, for your glory, among unreached people, including those who are right here, in our city."
The Lord sees our hearts. May He lead us in His mission to make disciples among the nations. Our methods will evolve, but his Message will not change. Our methods are flexible, but the Message stays the same. We seek to be flexible concerning strategies and firm concerning our commitment to Christ's mission. We strive to improve our methods, out of love for God and people. We seek to remain faithful to God concerning his mandate for us to love the nations.
That is the spirit behind our desire to grow a bilingual church for a bilingual city. May Jesus be honoured in our weakness, as we journey in that direction. Though we have not reached perfection, we aspire to godly transformation as we walk towards our heavenly destination.
Bilingual Church Planting
A Bilingual Church for a Bilingual City
Connexion Rockland is a bilingual church for a bilingual city. To reach francophones and anglophones living in the Rockland area, we aim to plant other churches that will be, God willing, either French-speaking, English-speaking, or bilingual.
Here is the type of bilingualism we aim for:
- Missional: We do not aim for institutional bilingualism (politically forced), but missional bilingualism, stemming from authentic and hospitable love, inspired by God, for people whose primary language is English or French, whom God has led towards Rockland, and towards whom He leads us, to share with them our most precious possession: the message of reconciliation with God to savour life with Jesus.
- Factual: We do not aim for conceptual bilingualism, but factual bilingualism, whereby English and French are used in informal and formal communications, spontaneously and thoughtfully, in such a way that Anglophones and Francophones each use their heart language, to express themselves and to listen to one another. We do not aim for the artificial advertisement of bilingualism but fully experienced reality.
- Cultural: We do not aim for primarily intellectual bilingualism (focused on grammatical purity), but cultural bilingualism, according to which French and English speakers form a church together, respecting linguistic diversity and celebrating spiritual unity in Jesus.
The use of an intentionally bilingual church model for an Ontarian city (e.g. Rockland) allows reaching Franco-Ontarians who seek to follow Jesus in their heart language in the context of bilingual communities.
Franco-Ontarians with English speakers in their families would benefit from such a model. English speakers who seek to contribute to Jesus' mission towards Franco-Ontarians would also be able to do so efficiently, in the context of their home church, e.g. by inviting French speakers to their church gatherings, or by offering their friendship to English-speaking partners or Franco-Ontarians.
The experience of the proposed bilingual church model is likely more challenging for unilingual than bilingual speakers. Since Rockland includes unilingual inhabitants, the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) is vital for Connexion Rockland to function as a bilingual church community.
It is helpful to distinguish substance from form. Substance is more firm, while form is more flexible. Substance provides a global direction, while form gives a local direction. Substance is closer to Jesus' mission, while form is fashioned by the context in which that mission is executed. It is beneficial to be calm when approaching the topic of strategies and their tactical aspects. It is essential to highlight that we seek to be flexible concerning our strategies, always interested in improving them through prayerful conversation. Here are strategies we employ to develop a bilingual community:
- Emphasis on disciple training in small groups: Relational disciple training is done in small groups, in the heart language of group members. Some groups use French, some may use English, and some may use both languages. Small groups are the context in which the bulk of the local church's mission is executed. The "center of attraction" is not "the Sunday gathering," but "life groups." We don't function with the mentality of "going on Sunday for the sermon of the week." "We live and blossom in life groups." Life groups are the "greenhouses of the local church." Sunday gatherings focus on engaging interactions between God and "the body."
- Bilingual teaching communicated in advance: The teaching of God's word is central and critical to the viability of the Church. We aim to do everything to help French and English speakers understand and apply the Bible. For instance, as needed, we communicate, in French and English, as much as possible days before our large-group gatherings, any relevant discipling material, teachings, or sermons. This allows participants of our corporate meetings to be filled with God's word and ready to worship Him in various ways, including prayer, songs, and offerings. Each regular participant is responsible for preparing himself/herself for corporate gatherings, by completing discipling assignments, and by reviewing, in the language of his/her choice, any relevant teaching or sermon sent in advance.
- Bilingual teaching in large-group gatherings: Various types of bilingual in-person sermons or teachings, in large-group gatherings may be used, e.g. by alternating mostly English and mostly French sermons from one week to the other, with adequate projected bilingual sermon outline, if the church chooses it. Another option is the practice of bilingual sermons (sermons hopping between French and English) adapted to an audience sufficiently bilingual to understand the most important aspects of such sermons.
- Bilingual songs and prayers, in large groups: In large groups, we encourage each person to make short prayers, in French, English or a combination of those languages. For large-group songs, we prepare a bilingual mix of songs or song verses. We do not generally vocalize complete translations of prayers, to ease communication flow in large group gatherings. However, when possible, we display the translation of each song verse. When church leaders lead the congregation in prayer, we ask them to help unilingual listeners follow the gist of what is communicated to God, in such a way that everyone in the congregation can reasonably agree and say “amen.” This is a balancing act, but it works.
- Bilingual small-group conversation in large-group gatherings: In large-group gatherings, we form small groups to discuss and pray about discipling material, teachings, and sermons communicated in advance. These small conversation groups may use English, French, or a combination of both, for discussion and prayer. Such an approach makes gatherings more interactive and capitalizes on the deep echo of biblical teaching off a diverse audience. Each conversation starts with a summary of the material sent in advance. Questions are then used to dig deep and explore practical aspects of teachings.
Clarity and Beauty of Jesus’ Mission
Jesus’ Mission for the Church
The mission of the Church is to make disciples who make disciples. It is inappropriate to make the Church the workhorse of a linguistic cause. Linguistic protectionism in the Church interferes with the mission of the Church. Languages are a grace from God, a means to worship Him, and an instrument to communicate. Hearing someone and expressing ourselves in a language with which we are familiar is a blessing. We want French and English speakers living in Rockland to understand and communicate the Gospel clearly. We want them to express themselves freely in the languages of their hearts. We also want them to support the bilingual mission of Jesus in Rockland. This is why we make the strategic decisions described above. When Jesus is at the center of the Church's mission, linguistic cohabitation is easier. May God fill our hearts with faith (in Him, not in self), hope (in Him, not pessimism), and love (for Him and our neighbours).
The Beauty of Unity in Diversity
It is harder to function in bilingual communities than in unilingual ones. However, the corresponding Christian witness of unity in diversity is thereby more powerful, and perhaps more faithful to the end-times picture of the universal church presented by the Bible (Rev 7:9).
We acknowledge that our model of church bilingualism will not work for everyone. In such cases, we remain open to suggestions for improvements. In some cases, we may recommend unilingual churches to people for whom our bilingual formula does not work.
Obeying the “One Another” Commands
A fundamental question regarding the biblical viability of bilingual churches is whether a bilingual church is well-positioned to obey the “one another” commands (e.g. “love one another”) addressed, in the New Testament, to communities of Jesus’ disciples.
Before examining specific “one another” commands (e.g. “love ), we outline a mental model of what we mean when we state that a church obeys such commands. Are all members of a church expected to execute these commands toward all other church members at all times in the same way? Here are our working assumptions.
- Limited Capacity: Every church member has a limited capacity to obey “one another” commands (e.g. based on individual availability, abilities, and resources).
- Attempted Maximization: Barring the reality of sin, every church member attempts to maximize his/her obedience to all “one another” commands toward all other church members, according to a Jesus-honoring combination of the member's current capacity and the current capacity of other church members.
- Attention to Disconnecting Members: The church works together to identify and restore to communion all church members who are, in a way that does not honour Jesus, on a path leading to their disconnection from the rest of the church community.
The aforementioned assumptions lead to a connected graph of relationships between church members: each church member is (indirectly) connected to any other church member, and no church member is relationally disconnected from any other church member. This graph, however, does not need to be complete or uniform: all church members do not need to be directly connected to all other church members; relationships between church members do not need to be the same all the time.
Connexion to a Bilingual Person
For increased clarity, we specify what we mean by the phrase “bilingual church.” Our assumption is that a bilingual church consists of the following:
- A Bilingual Majority: Church members who understand two languages (i.e. who discern the meaning of songs, prayers, and any teaching presented in corporate church gatherings) form a numerical majority. Some of those members can speak both languages fluently. Others may speak only one of the languages fluently. We also assume that language is not a barrier preventing church members from understanding church teachings (e.g. because the teachings are communicated in an adequate language or are accompanied with sufficient supporting information).
- A Unilingual Minority Connected to the Bilingual Majority: Each unilingual church member is connected to a bilingual person (e.g. a family member or friend) who serves as a translator when needed.
“One Another” Commands
Below, several “one another” Bible commands are listed. An important question is whether these commands can be exercised by a bilingual church. Considering, on the one hand, the principle mentioned above of capacity-maximizing obedience, and, on the other hand, the model of linguistic connexion of a bilingual church, we believe God can work in a bilingual church to help its members obey the following biblical calls to care for “one another,” according to the limited capacity and linguistic skills of those members, in such a way that each member can care for other members and be cared for by other members, in a Christ-honoring way.
Before enumerating commands, let us consider the following “one another” prayers.
- May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, [Rom 15:5 ESV]
- and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, [1Th 3:12 ESV]
Let us reflect on the following “one another” observations.
- that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. [1Co 12:25 ESV]
- But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. [1Jo 1:7 ESV]
- No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. [1Jo 4:12 ESV]
Let us ponder the following “one another” warnings.
- But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. [Gal 5:15 ESV]
- For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. [Tit 3:3 ESV]
Let us meditate on the following proscriptive “one another” commands.
- Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. [Jas 4:11 ESV]
- Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. [Jas 5:9 ESV]
Let us, finally, think about the following prescriptive “one another” commands.
- Jesus answered them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. [Jhn 6:43 ESV]
- If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. [Jhn 13:14 ESV]
- A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. [Jhn 13:34 ESV]
- By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." [Jhn 13:35 ESV]
- "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [Jhn 15:12 ESV]
- These things I command you, so that you will love one another. [Jhn 15:17 ESV]
- Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. [Rom 12:10 ESV]
- Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. [Rom 12:16 ESV]
- Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. [Rom 13:8 ESV]
- Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. [Rom 14:13 ESV]
- So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. [Rom 14:19 ESV]
- Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. [Rom 15:7 ESV]
- I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. [Rom 15:14 ESV]
- Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. [Rom 16:16 ESV]
- So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another-- [1Co 11:33 ESV]
- All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. [1Co 16:20 ESV]
- Greet one another with a holy kiss. [2Co 13:12 ESV]
- For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. [Gal 5:13 ESV]
- Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. [Gal 5:26 ESV]
- Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [Gal 6:2 ESV]
- with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, [Eph 4:2 ESV]
- Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. [Eph 4:25 ESV]
- Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. [Eph 4:32 ESV]
- submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. [Eph 5:21 ESV]
- Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. [Phl 2:3 ESV]
- Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [Col 3:9 ESV]
- bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. [Col 3:13 ESV]
- Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, [1Th 4:9 ESV]
- Therefore encourage one another with these words. [1Th 4:18 ESV]
- Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. [1Th 5:11 ESV]
- See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. [1Th 5:15 ESV]
- We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. [2Th 1:3 ESV]
- And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, [Heb 10:24 ESV]
- Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. [Jas 5:16 ESV]
- Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, [1Pe 1:22 ESV]
- Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. [1Pe 4:9 ESV]
- Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." [1Pe 5:5 ESV]
- Greet one another with the kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ. [1Pe 5:14 ESV]
- For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. [1Jo 3:11 ESV]
- And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. [1Jo 3:23 ESV]
- Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [1Jo 4:7 ESV]
- Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [1Jo 4:11 ESV]
- And now I ask you, dear lady--not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning--that we love one another. [2Jo 1:5 ESV]
Translation Requirements in Bilingual Churches
It is fascinating to examine language-relevant guidance provided by the Bible for congregational worship. Below, we summarize biblical translation requirements and tactical options which may be used to implement those requirements for congregational worship.
General Translation Requirements
1 Cor 14 provides helpful guidance on the use of multiple languages in corporate worship. Below, we highlight observations and requirements from this Bible chapter.
God as the Audience of People who Worship Together
When a congregation gathers to worship God, church members stand as partners in this activity whose target audience is God. To cooperate in this endeavour, members need to understand one another. Care must therefore be taken to deal with circumstances in which members need assistance to understand others. Moreover, while God is the primary audience of corporate worship, congregational worship can also honour God by building up church members. God is indeed honoured when members are encouraged and instructed by the spiritual insight, wisdom, zeal, and unity granted by God to the church for corporate worship.
- For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. [1Co 14:2 ESV]
- What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. [1Co 14:26 ESV]
Translating to Build Up Others
1 Cor 14 identifies, on the one hand, the building up of the church as a goal of corporate worship, and, on the other hand, linguistic interpretation as a practical tool to achieve this goal.
- On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. [1Co 14:3 ESV]
- Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so the church may be built up. [1Co 14:5 ESV]
- So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. [1Co 14:9 ESV]
- Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. [1Co 14:13 ESV]
- For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. [1Co 14:17 ESV]
Clarity for Visitors and Unbelievers
Through 1 Cor 14, the reader is reminded that translation helps people who do not follow Jesus understand and potentially agree with what is happening in corporate worship.
- but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. [1Co 14:11 ESV]
- Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? [1Co 14:16 ESV]
- Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. [1Co 14:22 ESV]
- If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? [1Co 14:23 ESV]
Limiting Opportunity for Unclear Communication
Since corporate worship is intended both to build up the church and help visitors understand what happens in church gatherings, 1 Cor 14 provides guidance on congregational meetings requiring linguistic interpretation.
- If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. [1Co 14:27 ESV]
- But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. [1Co 14:28 ESV]
It is important to remember that, in our bilingual church model, the majority of church members understand both spoken languages. In the case of Rockland, most inhabitants are also bilingual.
1 Cor 14 seems to address circumstances in which a vast majority of church gathering participants do not understand the language used to utter some extemporaneous prayers. This would explain practical restrictions on the number of times such spontaneous communications are warranted, since spoken interpretation is to follow each of these utterances. The Bible chapter is nonetheless important for guidance on bilingual church services, because it highlights the overall importance of communication clarity in the context of church gatherings, including bilingual meetings. Bilingual churches should strive to make spoken communications understandable for all participants of church gatherings.
Tactical Options for Bilingual Churches
Below, we specify tactical options to fulfill biblical linguistic requirements for bilingual churches.
- Songs and Readings: For congregational singing, lyrics can be provided (e.g. projected) in relevant languages and sections of songs may be sung in alternating languages. The same principle may be employed for congregational readings (e.g. Scripture readings and responsive prayers).
- Extemporaneous Prayers: For spontaneous prayers, various options are available (incidentally, those options seem to form a set of rules for some sort of bilingual social game):
- Long prayers in one language with section summaries in the other language;
- Bilingual prayers whose sections are uttered in alternating languages;
- Short unilingual prayers, each followed by a prayer that includes a summary, in the other language, of the previous prayer; and
- Long unilingual prayers with projected prayer summaries in the other language.
- Teachings: For teachings, various options may also be used, including the following.
- Access to recorded teachings (e.g. sermons) in relevant languages before congregational gatherings;
- Access to live teaching interpretation during congregational gatherings, e.g. by using non-disruptive systems leveraging earbuds and live interpretation feeds accessible via smartphones; teachers may also be asked to pause while their speeches are interpreted;
- Access to translations of congregational teachings;
- Access to written outlines of congregational teachings in both languages, before, during or after congregational gatherings; and
- Access to a translator who summarizes teachings in a language that one does not understand well.
Overall, there are many ways to leverage the linguistic skills of bilingual church members to provide spoken and written information allowing all church members to understand what happens in congregational gatherings, and thereby be built up in a way that meets relevant biblical requirements. Implementing these options is a way for church members to care both for one another and for visitors.
We have explained why and how a bilingual congregation can excel in mutual member care, by leveraging the linguistic skills of its bilingual members.
We acknowledge, however, that, in a bilingual church, unilingual members who do not aspire to learn the other church language should probably reconsider their long-term involvement in this bilingual church. We also encourage unilingual church members who struggle to understand what is communicated in congregational worship to share their struggle with church leaders. Overall, bilingual churches seem to fit well for people and families who are not or do not aspire to remain on an extreme end of the corresponding bilingual spectrum. Bilingual churches can be an asset for people who aspire to participate in bilingual mission.
Love allows the Gospel to be lived out and explained effectively, despite linguistic challenges. Agape-driven church bilingualism is an apology of the Gospel in bilingual cities experiencing tensions between linguistic groups. Such bilingualism is a preview of worship in heaven.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. [1Co 13:4-8 ESV]