Kinyamwezi First Bible Translation

Kinyamwezi First Bible Translation

Kinyamwezi First Bible Translation

Project Summary

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.


Key Verse

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”

Prayer points

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.).

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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).

Project Goal

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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.

Non-literate Population

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.

National/Community Context

  • 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.
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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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16 Hatibu / 9th Road, Madukani Area.
P.O BOX 175, Dodoma -Tanzania.


+255 (0) 765 530 892


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