International (MNN) ― "We expect to have the entire Bible in print within five years." That's World Bible Translation Center's David Stringham, Director for Translations in Africa.
Today's is an exciting launch, considering in April, they didn't have a fully-formed team. A partner made inquiries and assembled a team of fluent English/Swahili speakers and scholars.
The urgency? Several governments in East Africa are looking at adopting Swahili as the official country language. "One of the things that we're looking at accomplishing with this is not only as an outreach tool to people who may not have a strong background in Christianity, but we're looking at this as linguists--the effect Swahili will have in coming years on the development of Africa itself."
The team will be working on the Easy-to-Read Bible in its entirety, which is translated at a third or fourth-grade reading level. This means that those with the most basic reading skills and those who are new Christians will be able to understand God's Word.
Though WBTC is already distributing the Easy-to-Read English Bible, the Swahili version is expected to reach more people.
Swahili is the one of the most widely-spoken languages in
eastern sub-Saharan Africa. This translation
will be able to reach people in their heart language.
Stringham says they need support. "Pray for consistency in order to best communicate God's Word to the people we're doing this for: primarily those who have not had a strong religious background."