Form Emmanuel Uwanekezi, Enugu
The Golden Jubilee celebration of the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) recently came to a close at the Cathedral Church of Good Shepherd, Enugu.
The Bible Society of Nigeria was founded in 1966 by the former Governor of Eastern Nigeria, a Presbyterian Church rural missionary medical doctor by choice, late Sir Akanu Ibiam.
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Emeka Anyoku, former Commonwealth Secretary General, in his address, depicted Nigeria as one of the most prayerful nations of the world in terms of the large number of Christians and Muslims, Churches and Mosques.
But he lamented the paradox in the fact, that the above notwithstanding, there is much moral depravity, corruption, stealing, examination malpractices and other vices.
Chief Anyoku advocated for ethical revival of the old where parents taught their children that success comes from hard work and integrity.
He blamed the ills of the country on structural defects, suggesting that the only way out was for Nigeria to convert the 36 states and six regions into six regions only.
The Anglican Archbishop of Enugu Province, Most Rev. Emmanuel Chukwuma who spoke on the theme; “The Impact of Bible Translation on Evangelism”, noted that it involved the hearing, reading, writing, understanding, believing and building the Christian faithful through the message of the Bible.
He identified language as an effective tool for evangelism hence the translation of the Bible from its original Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek roots for the effective propagation of the gospel.
Archbishop Chukwuma cited various translations of the Bible including the Luther Bible translated to German language from Hebrew and Greek by Martin Luther, John Wycliffe who translated the English Bible from Latin in the 1380’s as well as popular and authorized King James version of the Bible commissioned in 1604 and completed in 1611.
Most Rev. Chukwuma equally mentioned late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Growther for translating the English Bible to Yoruba and Archdeacon Thomas John Dennis for translating the Igbo Bible from English.
He concluded that the translations of the Bible into many languages have greatly enhanced evangelism over the years and generations adding that a situation where Christianity is garbed in western civilization, cloak is not healthy for the evangelization of Africa and Nigeria in particular.
In his address on the theme; “Bringing Good Tidings”, the General Secretary of BSN, Mr. Dare Ajiboye disclosed that the Bible has been translated into 24 languages as well as the Bibles for the deaf and dumb.
According to him, 13 translations of the Bible are on-going including the Grail Bible while the Legacy Bible was produced to mark the golden jubilee celebration.
Translated in English, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba and Ejik it has a leather case that could last between 500 and 700 years.