Kinyamwezi First Bible Translation
Scripture & Prayer
The Kinyamwezi First Bible Translation, this will be the first full Bible translation in Nyamwezi. The project will start with translation of the Old Testament, and will continue with the revision of the New Testament.
The Nyamwezi New Testament (Mhola Ya Chelu Yamwa Guku Na Mupizya Wiswe Yesu Kristo, © BFBS ) was published in 1951. The translation project did not continue with the Old Testament due to the lack of funds.
The Nyamwezi community and churches are, however, eager to see the complete Bible in their language, and so the Bible Society of Tanzania is currently looking ways to continue the translation work.
Matthew 28:19-20; “Go then to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”
1. Pray for availability of funds
2. Pray for the translation work which is continuing smoothly especially these days of the COVID 19.
3. Pray for various training (translation, Paratext, etc.).
The aim is to translate the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. This project is in line with the Philadelphia promise and the Strategic Plan of the Bible Society of Tanzania (2018 – 2022).
To have the entire Bible published in Nyamwezi by the end of 2030 so that it can be used by the local Church, and can be read by speakers of the language.
Project goal’s relationship to overall bible society strategy
- To translate the Bible into Nyamwezi will support the Church ministry and individual Christians. This is in line with the Strategic Plan of the Bible Society of Tanzania (2018-2022).
- The Strategic Plan emphasizes the Bible Society’s responsibility to facilitate Bible translation into languages without the Bible, and to publish and print the same. The aim is to support the spiritual growth of the community by providing the Word of God in the mother tongue.
About the beneficiaries
Need for the Translation
The Nyamwezi people live Tabora in western Tanzania in the Kigoma, Rukwa and Tabora regions between Lake Victoria and Lake Rukwa. The estimated number of Nyamwezi speakers is 1,470,000. The Nyamwezi population is estimated to be 15% Christian and 25% Muslim, while 60% adhere to the traditional religion.
The need for a translation of the Old Testament and a revision of the New Testament translation was brought to the attention of the Bible Society by the main denominations in the Nyamwezi area.
According to the 2012 National Census, the average literacy rates in regions where Nyamwezi is spoken are as follows:
- Tabora region: literacy rate 59% (M65.5%; F52.9%)
- Kigoma region: literacy rate 76% (M82.7%; F70.2%)
- Rukwa region: literacy rate 69.9 (M78.8; F61.8)
If found necessary, the translation of the Nyamwezi Bible will be accompanied by a separate literacy program.
- Currently, there are no reading materials in Nyamwezi. However, the use of the language is vigorous in many of the local areas, and thus having the Bible in the language will be an avenue for readers to encounter God through His word.
- An additional indication of the language context is that the Fipa Church has constantly requested the Bible Society of Tanzania to provide the community with the Bible in their language.
To have the entire Bible published in Chasu language by the end of 2030 so that it can be used by the Vahasu Church, and can be read by Chasu speakers.
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