The gospel of Luke in the Kabwa language

December 15, 2011 in Wycliffe, Mark, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

Last month another of the language groups in Tanzania’s Mara Region, the Kabwa, celebrated the completion and publication of the gospel of Luke in their language. The Kabwa are a relatively small language community that the language survey team that I was part of visited back in 2005,┬áliving mainly in just two villages to the south of Musoma town. Despite being a small group the Kabwa are very proud of their language and were eager to translate the Bible so that they could understand it better and pass it on to future generations.

Our colleague Michael Nicholls has again taken some excellent photos of the dedication event last month, some of which are below: Read the rest of this entry →

Turning the world upside-down: Luke 4:14-30

November 11, 2011 in Mark, Bible, Front, Mission, Theology

In Luke 4 we see Jesus enter the synagogue at Nazareth, read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and announce that the prophecy of good news for the poor, release of captives, healing of the blind and the year of the Lord’s favour has been fulfilled that very day. The crowd are amazed and speak well of him. But then something changes. Jesus says a few things, and apparently within minutes the previously eager and expectant crowd are trying to throw him off a cliff.

What changed? Why did the crowd suddenly switch from accepting Jesus to trying to kill him? And what does any of this have to do with God’s mission in the 21st century? Read the rest of this entry →

After years of perseverance…

October 28, 2011 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

Andrew and Misha are friends of ours who are working in Tanzania’s Mara Region to support local pastors as they translate the Bible into several languages there. Their blog is always interesting to follow, both to gain an insight into the kinds of issues that they encounter in their work and also to see what daily life is like for them in Mara.

Recently they have written a couple of posts about how some of the first parts of Scripture to be produced have been received in the various language communities. This is particularly interesting and exciting for me, as these were communities that I was involved in surveying back in 2005 and 2006 (and again in 2006) to evaluate their need for Bible translation and to help collect words for an initial alphabet creation workshop. Read the rest of this entry →

Luke’s gospel dedicated in Ikoma

October 7, 2011 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Tanzania

On Monday this week the gospel of Luke, translated into the Ikoma language from the south-east of Tanzania’s Mara Region, was dedicated by the church leaders and translators who had been involved in the translation project for the last few years. For me it was a great excitement to see this first Scripture book produced in Ikoma, just over six years after the survey team that I was part of first visited Ikoma, Nata and Isenye villages to meet people and discuss the need for Bible translation into their language.

Michael Nicholls, a colleague of ours, has posted some excellent photos from the day, a few of which I have reproduced below… Read the rest of this entry →

Luke translated into Ikoma, Kabwa and Zanaki

September 26, 2011 in Wycliffe, Africa, Bible translation, Front, Language, Tanzania

Back in July and August 2005 I was part of a language assessment team that was asked by the church leaders in Tanzania’s Mara Region to research the various languages spoken in the region and assess the need for Bible translation. The research trip was a memorable one for me in many ways, ranging from the fascinating people, culture and languages (and animals) of Mara Region, to the frequent trips to the internet cafe in Musoma to check on the cricket scores and to see if Laura (who I had met a few weeks previously) had emailed.

Six years on and it is very exciting to see the progress that has been made in the translation project since then, and in particular to see that the first Bible books in some of the languages are about to be published! The book of Luke has been recently translated into the Ikoma, Kabwa and Zanaki languages of Mara Region, spoken by a total of around 150,000 people. Read the rest of this entry →