Bible Society of Ghana rallies support from churches ... For Bible translation project
The Bible Society of Ghana (BSG) has said it is committed to translating the Bible into all the local languages to promote evangelism and discipleship for Jesus Christ across the country.
It said the exercise was not only key in promoting the gospel but also in preserving the local languages for generations to come.
However, that was a herculean task financially; hence, the need for The Church to support the society to carry out this project.
The General Secretary of the BSG, Very Rev. Dr John Kwesi Addo Junior, who gave this assurance, said translating the Bible into local languages was part of the fulfilment of the Great Commission of ensuring that people everywhere got to know about and read the gospel; thus, it was important for churches to make the objective reality in the country.
Addressing journalists after a thanksgiving service at the Holy Hill Assemblies of God, as part of their 58th anniversary celebration in Accra yesterday Very Rev. Addo Junior indicated that so far, the society had been able to translate the Bible into nine major Ghanaian languages, and there was the need to expand the scope.
The BSG General Secretary disclosed that it spent GH¢7 million to translate the Bible into just a language and this huge investment was to get people to know God and transform them.
Explaining the mandate, Very Rev. Addo said the society was set up in 1967 to make God’s word available to everybody through the Bible in the format and in the language convenient to them and “we thank God that we have over the years been working towards achieving this”.
He said they used different formats to translate the Bible for different people in society, citing that for persons with hearing impairment, for instance, the society had created the format of putting the Bible in video forms “so that when the signs are done, they can understand and appreciate God”.
He further stressed that it was only when people with such challenges received the word that miracles could take place and “so we give them the word in a form that we believe is the best”.
Although the BSG received foreign support for its activities, Very Rev. Addo Junior said the support for some time now had dwindled, which had, therefore, necessitated a need for support from the local churches.
He said the BSG was currently working on seven projects, including a study Bible, and ordinarily, it would take 10 to 15 years to complete one full Bible translation, he said.
“We have over 50 languages in Ghana.
We are working on getting the Bible in every language so that all Ghanaians can have the Bible in their mother tongue.
“For the sign language, we are looking at anything around 30 years,” he said and added that the only country in the world that had been able to fully complete a sign language Bible was the United States of America (USA) and “it took them 40 years”.
Very Rev. Addo Junior said the BSG was learning from the experience of the USA and, therefore, looking at completing their sign language Bible in 30 years but before that would be achieved “we are currently doing it book by book, like Matthew, Mark, Luke” so that persons with hearing impairment could have portions of the Bible to use before the whole Bible was completed.